2023-2024 Pathways Online Courses


Please contact Theda Wortman for more information or assistance:  twortman@upsem.edu


Online Course Description

The Pathways Online Course Program is taught by faculty of Union Presbyterian Seminary and experienced practitioners. Courses are open to all, regardless of denomination affiliation or role in the church. These courses are designed to deepen and expand knowledge as well as support and promote leadership development within the church for those seeking to become a commissioned lay pastor / commissioned ruling elder within the PC(USA), as well as to anyone seeking edification.

The recommended order is to complete the Phase 1 courses prior to taking the Phase 2 courses. However, participants are able to register for courses as they deem fit. (Note: Prior to taking the Preaching course, it is highly recommended that the Biblical Interpretation course, or an equivalent, is completed).

The five foundational courses, Phase 1, are:

Biblical Interpretation  |  Also approved for Christian Educator (CE) Certification candidates of the PC(USA)

Church History

Reformed Theology

The Christian Life

Mission and Evangelism


Following the foundational courses, five practical ministry courses, Phase 2, are offered:

Polity and Administration  |  Also approved for Christian Educator (CE) Certification candidates of the PC(USA)

Teaching the Bible

Preaching  |  Prior to registering for this course, completion of the Biblical Interpretation course is highly recommended

Introduction to Pastoral Care 

Worship and Sacraments


Course Format

The face-to-face component of the Pathways program will be done using the Zoom video conferencing program. Please note that class meetings will not be recorded. You will NOT need to buy a subscription to Zoom to participate in the courses, but you will need access to the following technology:

  • Internet Connection | Broadband Wired or Wireless (3G or 4G/LTE)
  • Speakers and a Microphone | Built-in, USB Plug-in, or Wireless Bluetooth
  • A Webcam | Built-in or USB Plug-in

The schedule is divided by Phase 1 and Phase 2 courses. Courses are six weeks in duration (with possible variations noted), and the course syllabus will outline the meeting dates. The meeting times are usually from 7-9 p.m. Eastern Time (with possible time variations noted). If a course reaches maximum registration capacity, a waiting list will be started.

Course Tuition

The early registration price per course is $165. Please note that early registration per course ends 2 weeks prior to the first class start date--at which point, the cost of a course will then increase by $25. Participants are able to cancel their registration any time prior to the start of the class for a refund, minus a $25 cancellation fee. Participants will also be sent a list of any required text(s) to purchase prior to the beginning of the course.

Registrations for each course will be accepted up until 7 a.m. on the day the course begins as space allows. Course capacity is limited. Be sure to register early and save, as the price change will occur, per course, on the following dates:

Polity and Administration, increased rate begins August 15, 2023

Biblical Interpretation, increased rate begins August 28, 2023

Church History, increased rate begins October 10, 2023

Teaching the Bible, increased rate begins October 12, 2023

Reformed Theology, increased rate begins December 25, 2023

Introduction to Pastoral Care, increased rate begins December 28, 2023

The Christian Life, increased rate begins February 6, 2024

Worship and Sacraments, increased rate begins February 29, 2024

Mission and Evangelism, increased rate begins April 1, 2024

Preaching, increased rate begins April 11, 2024