United Church of Christ Polity & The Practice of Congregational Leadership

REL691
Spring 2017
M 3:30pm - 5:20pm
Area: 
Area II
Professor: 
Permission Not Required
No Limit to Enrollment
Course Description: 

The United Church of Christ is a young tradition rooted in four centuries-old Christian denominations that, in 1956, sought voluntary mutual accountability for locally-governed congregations. In this course, participants will learn about the history, ethos, and ministries of the United Church of Christ and will explore the leadership implications for clergy of this tradition that values local control, flat hierarchy, and deep trust in the Holy Spirit.

Background Expected: 

This course will meet the United Church of Christ’s requirement that Ministers In Discernment take a UCC polity course within the context of their Masters of Divinity degrees or through another approved path (see http://uccfiles.com/pdf/essential-elements-in-a-one-term-class-x.pdf for denomination’s expectations). The instructor will assume that students are pursuing ministry in the United Church of Christ, although in true UCC form, all are welcome.

Course Requirements: 

The course will include reading; reflective, action-oriented, and research-based writing; and online and in-class discussion. The final assignment will be a useable draft of the student’s ordination paper and will be aligned with today’s expectation for Ministers in Discernment in the United Church of Christ. 

Basis of Evaluation: 

Students will be graded on their papers’ comprehensiveness, creativity, and writing quality; their substantive contributions to online and in-class discussion; and the sufficiency of their ordination papers vis-à-vis the expectations of the United Church of Christ. The course is pass/fail, and each of the following components meet 1/4th of the expectations:

·         Reflection papers (2)

·         Online discussion (weekly)

·         Group projects in the form of ministry profiles

·         Ordination paper drafts