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United Church of Christ - New York Conference
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NYSOM Courses

New York School of Ministry
Schedule of Courses 2016

When registration information is available for a class, it will be available on this page. If you have questions about registration for a course, please contact Marjorie Purnine, New York School of Ministry Dean, or 315-446-3073 x16.

Participants can participate in our webconferenced courses from their home computers. 

FALL 2016

20-Hour Courses


Webconferenced Courses:

No face to face meetings required. Participants are expected to have webcams(which can be purchased for under $30 at stores like Target)

Cost per 20-hour course:

NY Conference Participants: For Credit $250; Audit $175; Repeat Course Audit $100

Non-New York Conference Participants: For Credit $275; Audit $200; plus the Distance Learning Support fee

Distance Learning Support fee:  $69 per 20-hour course or $133 per semester

Distance Learning requires technological support. For webconferenced courses, Participants who are not part of the New York Conference are more than welcome. The NY Conference provides that support for its participants; we ask other UCC Conferences and participating denominations to provide that support for their participants (if such church support is unavailable, the distance learning support fee is the responsibiliy of the participant).

Payments: A non-refundable deposit of $25 must be received to process your registration.  The balance of the course fee and Distance Learning Support Fee (for Non-NY Conference participants) is due to the NY Conference by the second meeting of the class.




This course, which is a requirement for the Christian Leadership Program, introduces participants to the primary themes of Christian Theology.  Participants write papers or sermons that address the topics of Christology, the Doctrine of the Trinity, and the Purpose of the Church.

Marks of Faithful and Effective Authorized Ministers

 Personal and Professional Formation for Ministry

2. A sense of theological identity and authority, while being responsive to the opinions and values of others, including those whom the Member will serve.

 Knowledge and Skills Specific to Authorized Ministry

4. A deepening familiarity with contemporary theological ways of thinking and with the rich and varied theological heritages, creeds, liturgies, and spiritual practices of the Christian churches.

Instructor: Rev. Steven D. Johnson, Ph.D.

Wednesday evenings: September 7, 14, 21, 28; October 5, 19, 26; November 2, 9, 16 (7-9pm)



This course focuses on how Family Systems Theory helps pastors be a healthy as they can be in ministry and how they can use their personal process of "differentiation" to maximize their leadership capacities in congregations.

Marks of Faithful and Effective Authorized Ministers

 Personal and Professional Formation for Ministry

1. A healthy sense of self as shaped by God, community, and personal experience.

3. A healthy awareness of strengths, weaknesses and limits, and assumption of responsibility for one's body, mind and spirit.

7. The ability to affirm the identities of others, including others very unlike oneself.

8. The ability to engage in self-reflection and to seek and use feedback from others appropriately.

 General Knowledge and Skills:

1. The ability to understand and appreciate a variety of perspectives of life.

2. The ability to understand the profound differences that physical, psychological, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, class, cultural, religious, racial, and ethnic factors make in the ways that human beings experience the world.

6. The ability to apply basic concepts of psychology to the understanding of oneself, others, and human interactions.

Knowledge and Skills Specific to Authorized Ministry

18. To read the contexts of a community's ministry and creatively lead that community through change or conflict.

Instructor: Rev. Wayne Gustafson, D.Min

Saturdays: September 10; October 1, 29 (9:30-4:45pm; with 1/2 hour lunch break)



This course, which is a requirement for the Christian Leadership Program, surveys the history of Christian liturgy, examines the theology of worship and the sacraments, and offers practical instruction to enable participants to make informed choices when planning liturgies.  One quarter of the course is devoted to preaching.

UCC Marks of Faithful and Effective Authorized Ministers Nurtured in this Course:

 Personal and Professional Formation for Ministry

 8. The ability to engage in self-reflection and to seek and use feedback from others.

 Knowledge and Skills Specific to Authorized Ministry

 8. The ability to understand the nature, use, and misuse of power and authority, and to exercise them appropriately and effectively in authorized ministry.

11. The ability to celebrate the unique features of local faith communities while encouraging them to be receptive to perspectives from the broader church and world.

12. The ability to appreciate, practice, and pass on traditions of faith while interpreting them in light of the context of a diverse and changing world.

13. The ability to adapt the practices of ministry to the unique social, cultural, environmental and ecclesiastical aspects of particular settings.

15. The ability to preach the good news, lead worship and participate in the sacraments in a manner faithful to the broader Christian heritage and appropriate to the characteristics of specific culture and setting. 

Instructor: Rev. Marjorie Purnine, Ph.D.

Saturdays: November 12; December 10; January 7, 28 (9:00-2:30pm; with 1/2 hour lunch break)

Click here for syllabus 

Please select one the of following registration options for Liturgy and Worship

(If you have any questions regarding registration, call Marjorie Purnine at 315-446-3073 x16)

NY Conference Participant for Credit

NY Conference Participant for Audit

NY Conference Participant for Repeat Course Audit

Non-NY Conference Participant for Credit

Non-NY Conference Participant for Audit

Registration Deadline: October 28, 2016




This course addresses many of the clincial issues providers of pastoral care face.  It offers an integrated pastoral and behavioral sciences approach to some of the more challenging situations faced by helping professionals.  The course will be grounded in useful theories of human growth, development, and healing and will use both psychological and theological language and images to describe and develop the context, problems and interventions appropriate to the work.  The course will consist of lectures, discussion, practice exercises, and consultation on actual pastoral and counseling situations brought by the instructor and participants.

Instructor: Rev. Wayne E. Gustafson, D.Min.

Saturdays:  February 6, March 12, April 9 (9:30am-4:45pm with 1/2 hour lunch break)



This course explores the various dynamics at work in the life of a local church, toward the end of gaining insight into how to nurture a healthy and productive faith community.

Instructor:  Rev. J. Mark Lawson, Ph.D.


Saturdays: April 30, May 14 & 21, June 4 (9am-2:30pm with 1/2 hour lunch break)



During this course we will: study critically many of the documents of the Old Testament (Psalms, Wisdom literature, prophets Jeremiah through Malachi) paying particular attention to their historical context; examine the relevance of the Old Testament for the Christian church; and dicuss the role/use of the Old Testament in (our) faith development. 

Instructor: Rev. David Cleaver-Bartholomew, Ph.D.

Sundays: January 24 & 31, February 7, 21 & 28, March 6 & 13 (7pm-9pm)

Wednesdays:  January 27, February 3 & 17, March 2, 9 & 16 (7pm-8pm)

This course is open only to students who have completed this fall's Old Testament I.



5575 Thompson Rd. • DeWitt, NY 13214 • 315-446-3073 • Fax: 315-446-3076 •