Pathways Online Courses

Pathways to Learning and Leadership Online Courses

Pathways to Learning and Leadership is an online program of nine courses offered over a two-year period to provide educational preparation toward leading a congregation as a Commissioned Ruling Elder (CRE).  Courses are open to all, one does not need to be pursuing to become a CRE in order to participate. Courses aim to enhance knowledge and discipleship, and each course is five weeks long.

  • Dates: September 2019 to May 2020
  • Leaders: Union Presbyterian Seminary faculty and experienced practitioners
  • Standard Registration: $100 per five-week course
    • Late Registration: Within two weeks of the first class meeting date, tuition increases by $25 per course.
  • CEUs: 3.0 per course
  • For: Open to all, including those desiring to become Commissioned Ruling Elders as well as church and community members who want to further their education and discipleship
  • In addition, we offer a self-directed New Testament Survey course, which is online with pre-recorded lectures and quizzes.  See below for more information. (Old Testament Survey will be available in spring 2020)


Online Courses offered in the 2019-2020 academic year are:


Phase I (Foundational) Courses

  • Thursdays, September 5 – October 3, 2019: Biblical Interpretation with Professor John Carroll
  • Tuesdays, October 15 – November 12, 2019: Reformed Theology/Church History with Professor Paul Galbreath
  • Tuesdays, January 7 – February 4, 2020: The Christian Life with Professor Cindy Kissel-Ito
  • Mondays, February 24 – March 23, 2020: Mission and Evangelism with Dr. John Vest


Phase II (Practical Ministry) Courses

  • Thursdays, September 12 – October 10, 2019:  Preaching the Bible with Professor Rich Voelz
  • Thursdays, October 17 – November 21, 2019:  Teaching the Bible with Professor Cindy Kissel-Ito (No class meeting on November 14)
  • Thursdays, January 9 – February 6, 2020:  Pastoral Care with Dr. Carol Schweitzer
  • Thursdays, February 27 – March 26, 2020:  Polity and Administration with Adjunct Instructor Carson Rhyne
  • Thursdays, April 16 – May 14, 2020: Worship and Sacraments with Professor Paul Galbreath


Bible Survey Courses – self-paced to complete at your own pace on your own timeline. Click here for information on the Bible Survey courses. After you register for the Bible Survey course, you will be sent a login and password to begin the self-paced New Testament Survey course.

  • New Testament Bible Survey course – available now – Click here to register for the New Testament Survey self-directed course. Cost per Bible Survey course is $125.
  • Old Testament Bible Survey course – available late fall / winter of 2019


CLICK HERE TO REGISTER for any of the Phase I and Phase II courses for the 2019-2020 academic year. Click here to view the full schedule of the Pathways program, including course descriptions.

After you register for Phase I or Phase II courses, the course syllabus will be sent to you at least two weeks prior to the first class meeting. The online class meeting link will be shared a few days prior to the first class meeting.


Why Pathways? To assist presbyteries in training women and men to be Commissioned Ruling Elders, AND to offer quality educational opportunities for church members in an affordable and accessible way, the Leadership Institute offers online courses for:

  • Those seeking to become Commissioned Ruling Elders (CREs) take four Foundational Courses in the first year and five Practical Ministry Courses in the second year.  Please consult with your presbytery on their particular requirements, as these courses are taken in consultation with your presbytery or denominational office to provide educational experiences toward becoming a CRE.
  • Church members interested in taking any or all of the courses offered; it is recommended that the four Foundational Courses be taken before others.