Category Archives: Continuing Education

Union Seminary – Pathways Registration


The Leadership Institute at Union Presbyterian Seminary is excited to announce that registration for classes in our online Pathways to Learning and Leadership program is now available.

Who are these classes for?  Everyone!
  • Church members who want to learn in more depth about the Bible and increase their ability to teach and even preach
  • Those who are called to ministry as a Commissioned Ruling Elder and need the educational component
  • Church professionals who want to brush up or enhance the education you have already received, and learn some new things
  • Others who want to enjoy stimulating, excellent instruction from seminary professors and church professionals and interact with others who want the same thing

And the best part is, you can take these classes from the comfort of your home!  Classes are taught online, either on Tuesday or Thursday evenings from 7-9 p.m. Eastern Time for five weeks per class.  In addition, there are reading and homework assignments to be done on your own schedule for each of the classes.

The cost of the classes is only $100 per five-week session.  Take as many of the classes as you like – there are no prerequisites, and you only have to purchase one book per class.  While these classes don’t earn college or seminary credit, you do receive a certificate for participating, and of course all of that learning!

Go to our website, and check out the classes and the schedule.  A link to register for classes is also on that site. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to send me an email or give me a call.

Hope to see you online!

Marilyn Johns, D.Min.
Director of Program Development
The Leadership Institute
Union Presbyterian Seminary

3401 Brook Road, Richmond, VA   23227
5141 Sharon Road, Charlotte, NC   28210
804-278-4383 or 800-229-2990 X 383
FAX 804-278-4360

Church Business Administration Seminars at Union Seminary

Union Presbyterian Seminary’s Leadership Institute offers seminars in Church Business Administration.  Whether you plan to pursue certification as a Church Administrator through our partnership with The Church Network, or you are already certified and need to take some classes for retention, or you just want to take a few seminars to see how to better serve in the administrative functions of your congregation, you are welcome to join us!

The program consists of eight seminars in

  • Financial management (2 seminars)
  • Human resources management (2 seminars)
  • Legal and tax issues
  • Communications
  • Facilities and property management
  • Strategic planning

Take all eight core classes toward certification, or take four, or just take one or two that interest you.

In addition, for those seeking certification (or not), we will offer a separate day for the four required CEU classes:

  • IT Basics
  • IT Trends
  • Theology and Ethics of Church Administration
  •  Self-Care for Church Administrators.

We are excited this year to have a great lineup of seminar leaders, including nationally known lawyer/CPA team Frank and Elaine Sommerville, on both our Richmond and Charlotte campuses.   Seminars in Richmond will be offered July 24 – August 2, 2018.  In Charlotte, the seminars are offered on Thursdays throughout the year, with four in the fall of 2018 and four in the spring of 2019, and an additional day in the spring for the CEU seminars.  Costs for the seminars are $100 per day, OR $335 for four days, OR $670 for all eight.  The CEU seminars are $25 each, or $100 for all four.  A hearty lunch is included each day.

Visit our web pages for more information on the schedule and how to register:

  • For Church Business Administration in Richmond, click HERE.
  • For Church Business Administration in Charlotte, click HERE.
  • For more information about the certification process, visit The church Network HERE, or contact Marilyn Johns at with any questions.

Marilyn Johns, D.Min.
Director of Program Development
The Leadership Institute
Union Presbyterian Seminary

3401 Brook Road, Richmond, VA   23227
5141 Sharon Road, Charlotte, NC   28210
804-278-4383 or 800-229-2990 X 383
FAX 804-278-4360

Reformation Day Celebration at Hanover College

“The Lutheran Reformation: 500 Years Later” Symposium

Hanover College on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 from 8:00-4:45 p.m.

Luncheon Provided by Hanover College

Followed at 7:00 p.m. by the O’Brien Lecture by Professor John Roth, Goshen College, who
will be lecturing on “The Importance of Luther’s
95 Theses: Then and Now.”

Schedule of Events:

  • 8:00-8:45 a.m.: Registration – Classic Hall
  • 9:00-9:30 a.m. SCC 137: Welcome and Address by President Lambert
  • 9:30-10:30: SCC 137: Session I
  • 10:45-11:45 a.m.: Duggan Library Archives: Address by Professor Miriam Pittinger on the Luther Scholarship of Her Father, Professor Jaroslav Pelikan, and Viewing of the Remnant Trust Luther Rare Book Exhibit
  • 12:00 Noon: Posting of the Ninety-Five Theses, Hanover College Chapel
  • 12:15-1:30 p.m. Brown Campus Center Faculty Dining Room: Luncheon, Rev. Catherine Knott, Keynote Speaker
  • 1:45-2:45 p.m. SCC 137: Session II
  • 3:00-4:45 p.m. SCC 136 & 137: Student Presentations
  • 5:00 p.m.: President’s Home: Symposium Dinner (Advance Registrants Only Deadline 10/27/2017)
  • 7:00 p.m. Recital Hall: O’Brien Lecture: Professor John D. Roth, Goshen College, Director of the Institute for the Study of Global Anabaptism

To Register Please Contact:
Professor Michael Raley
Classic Hall 113
Phone: (812) 866-7205

Download the registration form

Union Presbyterian Seminary: Fall Events

  • Pathways to Learning and Leadership – online classes taught by UPSem professors and other experts in their fields.  A variety of five-week classes will be offered throughout the year.  If you are working on becoming a Commissioned Ruling Elder in your presbytery, check with the presbytery to see if the classes qualify toward that goal.  If you just want to participate in the classes for your own edification, register soon – class sizes are limited!  Each five-week class costs $100.  In September, classes on Biblical Interpretation (foundational course on Tuesdays, beginning September 12 from 7-9 p.m. Eastern time) led by Dr. Carson Brisson, and Worship and Sacraments (on Thursdays, beginning September 7 from 7-9 p.m. Eastern time), led by Dr. Rebecca Davis, will be offered.  More information and registration can be found here.
  • Christian Education certification course in Polity, Program, and Mission – This is a HYBRID course, with about 18 hours of work online at home, beginning on September 5, and 12 hours on campus in Richmond (October 3-5, 2017). While this course qualifies for those working on Christian Education certification, it is also open to anyone who is interested in learning about the government and structure of the Presbyterian Church (USA).  Led by Rev. H. Carson Rhyne, Jr., General Presbyter/Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of the James.  Cost:  $295.  Click here for more information and registration.
  • Seminary for a Day – On September 23 in Richmond, enjoy a day of workshops led by UPSem professors on a wide variety of topics (one registrant complained we had too many good choices!), and two keynote addresses, one by Prof. Richard W. Voelz of UPSem on the topic “Conversation Forward:  Preacher, Congregation, and Public in Divided Times,” and one by Prof. Luke Powery of Duke Divinity School, entitled “The Gift of Tears,” using Jeremiah and Jesus to illustrate the role of weeping as a vital Christian practice.  The cost of the day, including a delicious lunch, is only $25.  Choose your workshops and register here.
  • Mission Possible:  Embracing the task of strategic visioning – October 9-12. This four-day workshop features Olanda Carr, Ministry Relations Officer for the Presbyterian Foundation. He and the participants will explore critically and statistically the state of today’s mainline churches, who we are in relation to the larger church, and help develop a mission strategy for your congregation.  For church administrators, this workshop will count for 1.8 CEUs toward your certification or retention requirements.  Pastors, administrators, educators, and church members will come away with practical strategies in leading your congregation. This event will take place on our Richmond campus.  Cost:  $250 ($195 for those who register by September 25), including lunch on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Click here to register.
  • Interim/Transitional Ministry training – Week 1 takes place November 13-17 on our Richmond campus.  For pastors interested in interim ministry and/or congregations in transition. The intense 30-hour course provides the basics for understanding interim ministry and transitional ministry.  Led by Hart Edmonds, Laura Sherwood, and Ken McFayden, the curriculum for this course is unique and has been well-received since it was developed a few years ago.  The cost for the week, which begins at 1 p.m. on Monday and ends before noon on Friday, is $395, including lunch on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  Registration is limited to 30, and we usually are filled to capacity, so register soon.

Campus housing is available on a first-come, first-serve basis for $40 per night for a private room.  If you desire to stay on campus for any of these events, do not delay in registering to ensure you get a room.

Columbia Seminary Accepting Applications for 2017 Thompson Scholars

Decatur, GA—Thompson Scholars 2017, Evangelism and Social Justice, will take place May 2-5, 2017 at the Center for Lifelong Learning on the Columbia Theological Seminary campus.

The United States and the global community have recently witnessed an amplified outcry for justice. This seminar will address the issues of social justice and evangelism as intersecting points for addressing this outcry. The call and role of the Church as a witness in this age, along with how we are to witness, become critical questions.

Adam L. Bond, Associate Professor of Historical Studies and American Baptist Liaison at The Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology, Virginia Union University; andMark Whitlock, pastor of Christ Our Redeemer AME Church and Director of Community Initiatives at University of Southern California, Center for Religion and Civic Culture will be keynote speakers. Local pastors and community leaders will serve as panelists and workshop leaders. Dr. Ralph Basui Watkins, the Peachtree Associate professor of evangelism and church growth at Columbia Theological Seminary will serve as organizer, moderator and opening speaker.

“The seminar will empower church leaders to explore ways their churches can have conversations around evangelism and social justice, and equip them with the theological resources to guide this work,” states Watkins. “We’ll look at practical models that support congregations and faith communities as they seek to make a real difference in their communities in ways that are directly linked to their presence within those communities.”

To complete an application, click here. The application deadline is February 15, 2017 and applicants will be notified before the end of the month. Preference will be given to applicants who have not participated in previous Thompson Scholar seminars. For additional information, including a link to the application, click here.

A program fee of $150 covers all course-related fees, eight meals on campus during the event, refreshments, and access to the online course site. Pre-course preparation will include required reading and participation in online discussions. Participants are responsible for their housing and transportation; on campus housing is available.

The Thompson Scholars program is generously supported by an endowment in honor of Cecil Thompson, former professor of evangelism at Columbia, making it possible to offer the seminar at a lower cost to participants than comparable programs at the Center for Lifelong Learning.

Columbia Theological Seminary is “Cultivating faithful leaders for God’s changing world.” As an educational institution of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Columbia Seminary is a community of theological inquiry and formation for ministry in the service of the Church of Jesus Christ. Columbia offers six graduate degree programs and dozens of courses and events as a resource for church professionals and lay people through The Center for Lifelong Learning. For more information, please visit

The Art of Transitional Ministry – Registration Now Open

The Synods of Lincoln Trails and Mid-America (MALT) have joined together to provide interim training every spring and fall to pastors nationwide. Transitional Ministry Education is intended for those presently engaged in interim ministry and those inquiring about this ministry. Committee on Ministry members and presbytery staff persons with responsibility for congregations in transition will also find the training helpful.

MALT Weeks 1 and 2 (“The Art of Transitional Ministry”) will be held
October 31st – November 4th, 2016

  • Registration is now electronic and through eventbrite.
  • The Synod now accepts credit cards (as well as checks) for payments.
  • A signature is no longer required by COM moderators or EPs
  • The event brochure is available here on the Synod Website.

For more information, see the Interim Pastor Training page, here.

Fall offerings from Union Presbyterian Seminary

The Leadership Institute at Union Presbyterian Seminary has something for everyone. Check out our early fall offerings and consider registering for some “back to school” for yourself or members of your congregation!

For church members and those interested in becoming Commissioned Ruling Elders: Try our new Pathways to Learning and Leadership, an online program of non-degree courses designed to enhance discipleship for church members. Many presbyteries are also using these courses as part of their CRE training. The first course offered is Biblical Interpretation, and it begins meeting online on September 6; there is reading before that class. These classes are filling up fast, so register now! Cost: $100 for each 5-week course. Go to: for more information and to register.

For church administrators, pastors, treasurers, and volunteers in churches large or small of any denomination: If you want to learn more about managing the business, finance, human resources, legal and tax, strategic planning, and facilities parts of the church, or if you are interested in certification through The Church Network, consider taking seminars in Church Business Administration through our Charlotte campus. Seminars meet on four Thursdays in the fall, and five Thursdays in the spring, and you may take any or all of them. Completing all seminars fulfills the core educational requirement, and part of the continuing education requirement for certification. The first seminar, Managing Financial Issues – Accounting, meets on Thursday, September 8. Cost: $670 for all eight core seminars; $100 per day for individual seminars and for the continuing education seminar (includes lunch each day). Note: housing is on your own. Go to: for more information and to register.

For church educators, Sunday school superintendents, Christian Education committees, and pastors: Want to learn more about why and how we teach in the church? The Leadership Institute is offering a hybrid course in Christian Education Theory and Practice which is open to anyone and is approved to meet the requirements in this area for Christian Education certification through the Presbyterian Church (USA). The hybrid model involves 18 hours of work at home, and 12 hours of work on our Richmond campus. The at-home portion begins on September 6, and the in-class time is October 4-6. Cost: $295 (includes lunch on October 5). Go to: for more information and to register.

For anyone involved in the church: As the church tries to live into a time of transition, it’s easy to get caught up in looking for fixes or programs that will attract people. We often forget our core message and the reasons we want to attract people. Start with Good News: Rediscovering the Why of Evangelism is a three-day conference, September 27-29 in Richmond, designed to bring us back to that core message. Speakers from across the country will lead us in energizing plenaries, then we will engage in small groups to discuss and apply what we have heard. While individual attendees will benefit from this experience, you are encouraged to attend with a team of clergy and church members. This conference is offered at a very low cost so that the maximum number of people may attend. Cost: $25 per person, maximum of $100 per church (includes lunch on September 27 and 28). Go to: for more information and to register.

For clergy, church leaders, and church administrators: Strategic Planning in an Uncertain World, which meets on the Richmond campus October 17-20, is a workshop focusing on the role of strategic planning in an adaptive context. Not only theoretical, this workshop will also offer practical ideas and resources, and participants will begin a planning process designed for their own congregation. For those in the process toward certification as a church business administrator, this workshop offers 1.8 CEUs. Cost: $250; $195 for those who register by September 5 (includes lunch on October 18 and 19). Go to: for more information and to register.

Some on-campus housing is available in Richmond. All of these workshops and events are open to anyone in any denomination.