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United Church of Christ - New York Conference
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New York School of Ministry Courses

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 The New York School of Ministry offers a variety of webconferenced courses, where participants interact with their instructors in real time and are in conversation with peers “face to face” from their home computers. We offer our 12 core courses (the ones required for the Christian Leadership Program) on a three year rotation.


Cost per 20-hour course: NY Conference Participants: $250;  Audit: $175; Repeat Course Audit: $100
Non-New York Conference Participants: $275; Audit: $200 (plus the Distance Learning Support fee). Distance Learning Support fee for Fall 2019:  $70 per 20-hour course.
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 responsibility of the participant).  No face to face meetings required. Participants can participate in our webconferenced courses from their home computers. 



FALL 2021


Old Testament I

Rev. David Cleaver-Bartholomew, Ph.D., instructor

Monday evenings: 6:30 - 9:00 p.m.

Sept. 13, 20, 27; Oct. 4, 18, 25; Nov. 1, and 8


During this course we will: 

1) study critically many of the documents of the Old Testament (e.g., Genesis through Esther) paying particular attention to their historical context

2) expose participants to a variety of perspectives on the text (since who we are informs how we read), recognizing the multi-cultural context in which we live

3) examine the relevance of the Old Testament for the Christian church

4) discuss the role/use of the Old Testament in (our) faith development


The Rev. David Cleaver-Bartholomew, Ph. D currently serves as the Director of Stewardship and Donor Relations for the Southern New England Conference of the UCC. He has served churches in Georgia, Michigan, New York, California, Tennessee, and Ohio, and as Association Minister for Eastern Ohio Association. He received an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School and a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible from Claremont Graduate University. David has been part of the NYSOM faculty since 2011. 


Advanced Topics in Pastoral Care and Counseling

Rev. Wayne Gustafson, D.Min., LMHC, Instructor

Wednesday evenings: 6:30-8:45 pm (the first session will go to 9 pm)

Sept 22, 29, Oct 6, 13, 20, 27, Nov 10, 17, Dec 1,


This 20-contact hour course encourages the development of an integrated theoretical and practical approach to pastoral care. Participants will emerge from the course seeing pastoral care as addressing human experience from the perspectives of mind, body, and spirit. Participants will come to understand the dynamics of abuse and unresolved trauma including their effects on theology and religious yearning and practice. Pastoral care is as much about the care provider as it is about the care seeker, so the course will provide ample opportunity for self-exploration.

The Rev. Wayne E. Gustafson, D.Min. LMHW is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, Psychotherapist in the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, and a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in New York.  Dr. Gustafson is a graduate of Cornell University with a BA in Chemistry and has Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry (Psychology and Clinical Studies) degrees from Andover Newton Theological School. He teaches Pastoral Care courses for the New York School of Ministry and leads workshops for clergy and laity. He has also been a Prison Chaplain, an Interim Minister, and an Adjunct Instructor in Psychology at Tompkins Cortland Community College. 

Religious Fundraising – Past and Present, taught by Rev. David Cleaver-Bartholomew, Ph.D.

Saturday, September 25, 2021: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM


This is Continuing Education for Ministers, Stewardship Teams, and Everyone


Cost:      $25 for Participants from the NY Conference

               $35 for Participants from other denominations and UCC conferences


While the local church wasn’t looking, the landscape for raising funds to support religious organizations, such as the church, changed. This seminar will look at the dramatic changes that have taken place over the last 25 years and the current landscape for religious fundraising. We will also consider the “best practices” of the nonprofit world and how they may be helpful in raising funds to support the work of the church. This course provides 3 hours of continuing education for authorized ministers whose associations require it.


“What does it mean to be both progressive and Christian?”

taught by Rev. David Kaden, Ph.D.

Tuesday Evenings, Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26, 2021: 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM


Cost:     $50 for Participants from the NY Conference

              $70 for Participants from other denominations and UCC conferences


Ask Google about “progressive Christianity” and in a split second you’ll be engulfed by a whirlwind of competing definitions.  There are websites dedicated to the topic.  Wikipedia describes it.  Naysayers warn of its dangers.  There are even YouTube videos that try to define it in less than three minutes.  And, of course, the word “progressive” sounds politically partisan.  For many of us, however, a version of Christianity that takes the Bible and Christian tradition seriously while also being open to diversity, welcoming of other religious perspectives, and dedicated to making a compassionate difference in the world is the spiritual home we need.  


Rev. David A. Kaden is senior minister of First Congregational Church of Ithaca, New York.  He holds a Ph.D. in religion from the University of Toronto and has taught at Cornell University, University of Toronto, St. Olaf College, and the New York School of Ministry.  David is passionate about helping individuals and churches live into a progressive vision of Christianity that strives to make the world a better, more loving, more just place for all.


For a list of NYSOM’s 20 hour course offerings, click here

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