Course Type:

Synthesizing Courses  (Level 3) - MP20611 - 1.5 Credits

Church leaders who are responsible for worship leadership and preaching at scheduled worship services are often called upon to provide worship and preaching leadership for funerals, weddings, and other special occasion events in a community. This course offers participants the opportunity to prepare liturgies and sermons for such occasions using contemporary resources.

In addition to the objectives the learners identify for themselves, participants who successfully completes this course will be able to:

Learning Objectives:

 In addition to the objectives the learners identify for themselves, participants who successfully completes this course will be able to:

  • Demonstrate ability to prepare a funeral service for two separate circumstances that provides comfort and hope to those in attendance.
  • Demonstrate ability to prepare a marriage ceremony for two separate circumstances that ground the couple and their families and guests in Christ’s love.
  • Demonstrate ability to prepare a worship service for an ecumenical worship experience.
  • Demonstrate ability to prepare a sermon for an interfaith worship experience.

 Required Texts 

  • Schlafer, David L. What Makes This Day Different? Preaching Grace on Special Occasions.
    Cambridge, MA: Crowley Publications, 1998.
  • McFarlane, Doreen M. Funerals with Today’s Families in Mind: A Handbook for Pastors.
    Cleveland: The Pilgrim Press, 2008.
  • The United Church of Christ Book of Worship (1995) or the approved general worship
    resource of your denomination, e.g., The Book of Common Prayer.

Resources (texts, online – written, audio, visual, other)

  • Hedahl, Susan K. Preaching the Wedding Sermon. Louis: Chalice Press, 1999.



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

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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.

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