Learning Opportunities

View a list of seminaries that offer ministerial training.

 

What's Happening in the UCC?

View UCC calendar of engagement opportunities

UCC History, Polity, and Theology Course

8-week online Polity course: August 9 - October 3, 2021

Phillips Theological Seminary's Certificate for Ministry and Lay Training Program. It has fulfilled the requirements of several Committees on Ministry (COMs) throughout the country. Check with your COM to see if it satisfies their requirements for YOU. It's an incredible bargain because every student receives tuition aid assistance making the courses only $75, plus the cost of books. Register HERE.

PATHWAYS
Theological Education for a Changing World
Whether you are on the path to authorized ministry, want to hone your current skills, or just want to explore your faith more deeply, Pathways has a program for you.

 

Essential Guidance on Importance of Internal Controls
With the sudden and unexpected onset of the COVID pandemic, churches had to quickly make a shift in how they handled worship services, donations, and administrative tasks. "Keeping Internal Controls in Check During a Pandemic," a free webinar presented by Church Law & Tax (CL & T), featured Rob Toal, CL & T Vice President, and Vonna Laue, CPA, as they discussed the importance of keeping internal controls in place. If you were unable to watch this webinar live, you can still watch a recording and download the presentation slides. This is a must-see presentation for local churches; their boards and leadership teams, including treasurers; and especially new members serving on boards.

Conference Ministers Offer Webinars for Local Churches

The 36 UCC Conference Ministers are piloting a series of webinars to share what local congregations are learning and doing in this challenging time of change. People interested in watching the webinars can visit the host conference's website or Facebook page. Each one-hour webinar is recorded and made available online.

 

  • Watch the recording of the first webinar, "Phasing Forward," led by Don Remick, a bridge Conference Minister in the Southern New England Conference, as a panel discussed approaches to deciding when and how to return to in-person worship.


Webinar on Child Abuse Threat to Churches
Church Law & Tax presented a recent webinar on emerging trends in child abuse cases involving churches and the legal threat these cases pose. Watch a recording of the webinar and download the presentation slides.

 

ONA Webinars for Churches  
The Open and Affirming Coalition of the UCC is offering a series of webinars this fall. Whether your church is an ONA church, is taking the first steps towards becoming one, or is interested in learning more, there is a webinar sure to be of interest to you. To register for or view the list of upcoming webinars, click HERE.

 

New Resource for Churches
Facing Uncertain Future 

Facing Your Church’s Uncertain Future/Helpful Practices for Courageous Conversations and Faithful Decisions, a new resource, is available in print version and digital download through UCC Resources. The Worship Resource section of the book, which includes liturgies for Discernment and Decision-Making, Church Building Closing and Church Ministry Closing, is available as a free download HERE.

 

Webinars on Planned Giving 
United Church Funds has created a series of webinars to help churches implement or enhance a planned giving program. View the four webinars or download the PDF slides HERE.

 

Preaching Advent
(Center for Progressive Renewal)

On-Demand

Preaching Advent is a four-week, on demand course that includes content and resources from Rev. Jacqui Lewis, Rev. Jim Keat, and other preachers to spark new insights and ideas for you to explore as you are Preaching Advent. You will get a glimpse of the working drafts of Jacqui's sermons for each of the four weeks of Advent as well as Brian's take on each of the four themes. Also included is a series of short-form reflections on Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love that you can use for your own reflection or small group discussion. Advent begins on December 3, but all the content for Preaching Advent is available now.

Cost: $49

 

Church Planting 2.0 
(Center for Progressive Renewal)

On-demand

Church Planting 2.0. is built around the Church Planting Handbook, and includes web-conference meetings with a senior CPR staff member, video lectures, facilitated reflection, assignments and access to a host of supporting handouts and articles. This online courses is as challenging as it is enriching. The full course is comprised of three individual foci: Gathering the People, Leadership, and Administration; each has three modules.

Cost: $250

View other courses on church planting

 

Turn Your Board into a Dream Team
(Center for Progressive Renewal)

On-demand
Instructor: Rev. Cameron Trimble, Executive Director, CEO of the Center for Progressive Renewal

You are likely exploring this course because you have been recently elected or selected as a member of your congregation’s governing body. In some churches you would be called a member of the board, in other congregations a member of the session, and other faith communities might call you the warden of the vestry. Regardless of the words your faith community uses for your new position, you are probably feeling a mixture of fear and excitement as you take on this new role. One of your first questions is probably: What do I do next? Although you may have had the opportunity to observe the board at meetings, you still may be feeling unsure. If you have no prior experience of the work of the board, you may be feeling extremely unsure! This course is designed to help you with this and all the questions you have about your new job, as well as some questions you haven’t even imagined you need to ask!

Cost: $149

 

Standing Rock Webinar
(Pacific School of Religion)

On-demand

Listen in on a one-hour session that offers tools to help faith communities and leaders learn more about Standing Rock and the movement against the Dakota Access Pipeline. The webinar includes Indigenous and progressive Christian theological perspectives, resources for pastors including worship ideas, and tools for engagement. Featuring:

  • David Vásquez-Levy, President of Pacific School of Religion

  • Shauna Hannan, Associate Professor of Homiletics, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary

  • Patricia St. Onge, Founder of Seven Generations Consulting

Melvin Cobb, MDiv student at Pacific School of Religion\

Cost: Free

 

DIY Websites and Social Media

(Center for Progressive Renewal)

Instructor: Rev. Jonathan Chapman

February 1, 2016 to September 1, 2024 (on-demand)

First impressions happen long before a visitor steps in the door of the church.  For many people, choosing to visit a church begins with searching your website.  So how do you design a website for your church that is welcoming and invitational, expresses who you are, conveys the necessary information, and also serves as a portal for the existing congregation?  If you are a bit unsure where to start, a bit overwhelmed by the task at hand, or if you are aware that its time to take your website to the next level of excellence, then this on demand course is the place to begin.

Cost: $149

 

Conflict: How to Turn the Inevitable into an Opportunity
(Center for Progressive Renewal)

Instructor: Rev. Dr. Claire Bamberg

February 1, 2016 to February 1, 2025 (on-demand)

Where there are people, there is conflict.  And since the church is comprised of people, it is inevitable that there will be conflict. Though, contrary to popular belief, conflict is not bad.  Rather it is essential and even holds a tremendous opportunity for personal and congregational growth when handled well.  This on-demand course will walk you through how to handle conflict in healthy, balanced ways that open doors for community transformation.

 

Youth Ministry that Transforms Your Whole Church for Individuals 
(Center for Progressive Renewal)

Instructor: Rev. Nicole Halveka

February 1, 2016 to February 1, 2026 (on-demand)

Many people have fond memories of Sunday evening youth groups, summer trips in old yellow school buses and lock-ins in the church basement; those models of youth ministry don’t often meet the needs of today’s busy teens and families who seek deeper engagement with God and their faith. Relationships are still the key to effective youth ministry. 30 years of research – and our common sense – tells us this. In this course, explore how to use this ‘old-school’ principle in new ways through cross-generational and family-based ministry, social media and engaged learning that helps whole families (not just teens) live their faith for a lifetime.

Cost: $99

 

Early Christianity: The Letters of Paul
(Harvardx; on-demand)

Instructor: Laura Nasrallah, Harvard University professor

The letters of Paul are the earliest texts in the Christian scriptures, written by a Jew at a time when the word “Christian” hadn’t yet been coined. What is the religious and political context into which they emerged? How were they first interpreted? How and why do they make such an enormous impact in Christian communities and in politics today? We’ll explore how immediately controversial these letters were, and how these letters are used today to debate relations between Christians and Jews; issues such as love, law, and grace; and topics such as charismatic Christianity, homosexuality, and women’s religious leadership.

Cost: Free

 

Christianity Through Its Scriptures
(Harvardx; on-demand)

Instructor: Karen L. King, Harvard University professor

Christianity is a global religion. From modest beginnings 2,000 years ago, it has grown to encompass nearly a third of the human population. Diverse in languages, cultures, histories and creeds, Christians nonetheless share a common collection of sacred scripture called the Bible. This religion course introduces you to the Bible and its scripture and asks the questions:

  • What are the contents, languages, and forms of Bibles in various times and places?

  • How have Christians lived out their stories and teachings?

  • How does Christian history reflect the contested and varied uses of scripture—in the ancient Roman world where Christianity began, in its spread through European and American colonialism, in the diverse forms it takes in varied locations around the globe?

Cost: Free

 

White Privilege: Let's Talk
(Center for Progressive Renewal; on-demand)

Instructor: Rev. Cameron Trimble

The United Church of Christ has released their curriculum, “White Privilege: Let’s talk. A Resource for Transformational Dialogue” and The Center for Progressive Renewal would like to extend an invitation to you to work through the curriculum on its online learning platform. An online course has been developed that includes an online discussion board and access to the webinar series from June 2016 that featured the authors of the curriculum, John Dorhauer, Traci Blackmon, DaVita McAllister, Stephen G. Ray, Jr. and John Paddock in conversation with CPR Founder and Director, Cameron Trimble.

Cost: "Pay What You Wish"

 

Ministry and Liturgy for Same-Gender Loving Couples
(Andover Newton Theological School; on-demand)

Instructors: Rev. Dr. Leanne McCall Tigert and the Rev. Maren C. Tirabassi 

While debate continues in some faith communities as to the appropriateness or permissibility of religious blessing of same-sex couples’ unions, many faith communities have for years embraced the love of all couples who understand themselves to be called to a spiritual union. With the recent Supreme Court decision, increasing numbers of clergy will be presiding at same-gender marriages. It is about more than saying customary words at a ceremony, however. It is also about providing pastoral support and inspirational liturgy for same-sex couples. In this video seminar you will be introduced to methods and resources that will enable you to minster effectively and faithfully with same-sex couples as they consider and prepare for marriage.

Cost: $45

Local Events

Online Events & Resources

 
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For those completing their certificates (you have taken all courses from 09/2020 to 06/2021), here is the schedule for the rest of the certificate program:
 

  • August 14 & 28: Christ and Culture: An Introduction to Theological Ideas for Transformation. 
     

  • September & October: Courses are being scheduled.
     

  • November: Two 2- to 3-hour seminars will be scheduled (these are lecture/discussions with a small amount of pre-reading and no Moodle homework.)


TEL is an online learning program of special courses and seminars for people who want to study theology and ministry in community. TEL is multicultural in its design and focus. The program may be engaged at the level that works for you—for personal spiritual formation, lay leadership training, professional growth, or continuing education. There are facilitators available locally to support students in their learning on each of the following islands: Hawai'i, Kaua'i, Lāna'i, Maui, and O'ahu.
Find recordings for a variety of virtual presentations HERE!
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"Trust, Transformation and Thanksgiving:
Stewardship for the 21st Century"

 

This generosity program was created by Sharon Matsuyama, Chair of the Stewardship Missional Team, and the Mission Interpreters of the Church Building and Loan Fund.

 

Workshops have been scheduled by county to allow for church leaders and stewardship chairs on the same islands to build relationships with one another for the sharing of insights and support. Should a person not be able to make their county workshop, they, of course, can attend a neighboring county workshop.

Each workshop will be 2 hours long and cover content such as:

  • the difference between a transactional stewardship ministry and a transformative stewardship ministry

  • the relationship between generosity and mission

  • how attitude, advocacy, and action work heart-in-hand in developing generous people
     

     Save the date for your workshop:

  • Saturday, July 24 (8:30-10:30 a.m.)
    Kaua'i; REGISTER HERE
     

  • Saturday, July 31 (8:30-10:30 a.m.)
    O'ahu; REGISTER HERE
     

  • Saturday, Aug 7 (8:30-10:30 a.m.)
    Maui County (registration coming soon!)
     

  • Saturday, Aug 14 (8:30-10:30 a.m.)
    Hawai'i Island (registration coming soon!)

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Bicentennial

Speaker Series​​

2020 marked the Hawaiian Mission Bicentennial. Kawaiaha‘o Church, known as the "Mother Church" of Hawai‘i, put together a series of learning opportunities led by different speakers. Check it out!

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Lawrence (Larry) Peers will be guiding an adaptive leadership learning initiative for congregations. Larry Peers is a leadership coach who works with ministers and religious organizations across many traditions. He draws from a rich array of insights and methods from his extensive background in organizational development.
 
    Through the leadership of Dr. Peers, pastors and congregational leaders will have an opportunity to identify adaptive challenges and create a model for addressing those challenges. Registration cost per church is $100 for a team of 3 to 6 people. The teams should plan to attend five sessions and complete the learning/action guide activities prior to each workshop.   
 
    The process will include churches identifying learning goals for their team. The dates for this online learning initiative are:

  • August 9, registration deadline (Please note the new date);

  • August 28, half-day retreat (online)

  • September 11, 25; October 16, 2-hour workshops in which church leaders address the adaptive challenge that have been identified

  • January 15, final conference-wide program to access how the model worked and what was accomplished.

     The workshops help identify challenges and barriers to change and offer an opportunity to develop prototypes and experimental learning projects. Three to six months following the workshops, participants will join to celebrate their accomplishments and learning and plan next steps.
 
    All conference-wide activities will be online.
 
    Please complete the registration form and mail it to the Conference Office (1848 Nu‘uanu Avenue, Honolulu, HI, 96817) with your check or register online.