Course Type:

Applied Courses (Level 2)  - SM20902 - 2.5 Credits

Local churches are in the midst of change. Some attempt to hold on to ways of “being thechurch” that are closely tied to their history. Others attempt to reinvent themselves to bemore inclusive, more progressive, or more....well, more something. It may not be clearwhat that “something more” actually is. In either case, congregational membersexperience grief due to loss of members, diminishing status in the community, or theaddition of new music or practices. Staffing patterns and program offerings change due tofinances or interest. Local churches are indeed in the midst of change. Change requiresletting go of what was to accept what is becoming. Change is a bereavement process.

This segment of Supervised Ministry will examine grief, loss, and change in the localchurch. This examination will invite you to consider what it means to be a pastoral leaderin the midst of change. Over the next nine weeks, you’ll consider dynamics of change andthe role of leadership as you engage in day-to-day pastoral ministry. Such a processreflects the experience of ministerial staff members who reflect on issues of leadershipwhile they are actually leading. In this way, you will gain a greater sense of the context ofactual ministry while engaging in reflection on your role in ministry as a change-agent andleader.

Learning Objectives

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

  • To appraise one’s own call to ministry.
  • To evaluate how one’s own call to ministry can be embodied in the context of a particular community of faith.
  • To identify ways in which congregational change can occur which is consonant with the congregation’s values and identity.
  • To analyze how a congregation’s history, values, vision and leadership form the context for change.
  • To examine a congregation’s current values, vision, and expectations of leadership as a context for change.
  • To interpret the congregants’ experience of loss and grief in ways that empower the life of the community.

Required Texts

  • McFayden, Kenneth J. ( 2009) Strategic Leadership for a Change: Facing Our Losses, Finding
  • Our Future. Rowman & Littlefield Publisher, Inc.



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!