Rev. Dr. Ruth E. Shaver is the Academic Dean of PATHWAYS Theological Education, Inc., an online, asynchronous, Progressive Christian organization that offers affordable theological education to those seeking ministerial authorization, those desiring to lead their congregations more confidently as lay people, and for clergy with an interest in continuing education that stimulates creativity and passion. Shaver is an apprentice faculty member of the Interim Ministry Network; an Interim Consultant in the Southeast Region of the Southern New England Conference; and the Bridge Interim Pastor of Lakeville United Church of Christ in Lakeville, Massachusetts, and North Congregational Church United Church of Christ in Middleborough, Massachusetts. She is a past Fellow of Sinai and Synapses (2017-2019 cohort). She holds a Doctor of Ministry (I Wonder: Scientific Exploration and Experimentation as a Practice of Christian Faith) from Lancaster Theological Seminary, a Masters of Divinity from Boston University School of Theology, and a Bachelor of Arts in Soviet and East European Studies from Boston University College of Liberal Arts. Shaver resides in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, where she roots for Boston sports teams, cooks, reads, and enjoys every opportunity to visit museums and go kayaking with friends.

Rev Teña Nock is originally from Washington, DC, and currently resides in Tampa, FL.  She has lived all over the US from the East Coast to the Mid-West because of having served in the United States Navy for 8 ½ years.  Teña holds a B.A. in Psychology from USF (GO BULLS!). Teña is also a graduate of PATHWAYS Theological Education Inc.

Teña was ordained on 5/29/2022 in the UCC and granted Privilege of Call in The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries in July 2023. She is currently the Associate Pastor of Digital Ministry at First United Church of Tampa, UCC and she also chairs the Stewardship Committee. She is also a PRN Chaplain at a local hospital.

Melissa Ashmore is here to help. She completed her MDiv from a distance of over 1,700 miles from her degree granting institution, Andover Newton Seminary. Along the way, she was able to interact in online classrooms from 5 different theological schools. She maintains ordained standing in the North Texas Association of the UCC where she serves in leadership roles and in outreach/community ministry. Prior to ministry, her industry was healthcare administration where she worked primarily on the technology side in clinical research, quality, reporting and data warehousing. She has experience in cooperative elementary and secondary secular education as well as Christian faith formation. She is passionate about interfaith and environmental advocacy. She is known in her community as Running Reverend from serving the running and cycling community while training for the Chicago and Boston marathons. She and her wife Lora have two children that require a completely different type of running.


Joel Brotzman-Gonzales (He/Him) has been a spiritual leader in marginalized communities of the Rio Grande Valley of Texas for many years and is currently serving as Director of Deacons for United Church of Christ Rio Grande Valley, a new church start. As a singer-songwriter who performs under the name Joel Brogon, he often uses music as a vehicle for outreach and activism, bringing awareness to environmental and LGBTQ+ issues. Joel also enjoys writing, acting, directing, photography, and baking. Joel is based in southernmost Texas and lives with his husband Christopher and their four fur-children.




PATHWAYS believes that quality theological education should be available to any who want it. That’s why we provide a cost-effective online theological program accessible to all. 4-week Explorer courses are only $124, 6-week courses just $350, 9-week courses Supervised Ministry courses are $470, and our 12-week UCC History and Polity course is only $625.


Because classes are not bound by geography and have a flexible weekly schedule, PATHWAYS courses are able to fit into the rest of your busy life. Courses typically involve weekly readings and discussion in a facilitated online forum, offering practical, open-minded education and a learner-centered environment where participants can bring their own questions and insights.


Our courses have between 4 and 15 participants. This allows for deep and productive discussions in the online forum. We know that a small class size allows the participants to develop learning relationships with each other and for facilitators to push participants to a more indepth learning experience.


PATHWAYS Theological Education, Inc.,
P.O. Box 897
Tucker, GA 30085

Partner with PATHWAYS


PATHWAYS Theological Education, Inc. is a nonprofit provider of theological education that is academically rigorous and affordable.   A PATHWAYS education in Ministry Preparation can be completed on-line in three years at a fraction of the price of a seminary education.   Our program is aligned with the requirements for ordination of most mainline Protestant denominations and seeks to work with ordaining bodies to make sure that participants are meeting their goals.   Now is the time to make an inquiry for the future of theological education.  Reach out today to Partner with PATHWAYS Theological Education, Inc.

Support PATHWAYS Today!


PATHWAYS is an innovator in cost-effective, progressive Christian education. We work alongside denominations, regional partners and individuals to make our programs accessible to all regardless of their ability to pay. This commitment to funding begins with each of our supporters. No matter how large or how small the donation, it all goes towards making theological education affordable to everyone who desires to learn.

There is no time like the present to contribute financially to PATHWAYS’ work and mission by making your tax-deductible gift – Today!