ON-LINE CONGREGATIONAL HISTORY & POLITY
The Congregational Way is rich in history and tradition and is vitally relevant to today. Designed in two levels, this self-paced course is easily engaged by laity and clergy alike.
This introductory level is designed to acquaint you with the general history, theology, spirituality and practice of Congregationalism. Congregationalism is deeply rooted in scripture and has a rich history that continues its expression of faithfulness through congregations like yours. This level is for:
- Anyone who is active in a Congregational church that is a member of the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches and wants to know more about our rich heritage.
- The lay leader who wants to be better informed about the Congregational Way so that you can be a more effective leader.
- A minister serving a Congregational church for the first time in your ministerial career.
- A seminary student studying to be a Congregational minister.
- New member class orientation.
- Confirmation class
- Leadership boards
Level II of the Congregational History & Polity course goes in depth on the topics first presented in Level I. This course will relate the principles of congregationalism to church leadership, examine the context of congregational polity, evaluate the significance of covenant, and articulate the major historical and theological development of American Congregationalism. It will nurture the Congregational Way in church life and membership. Students in Level II will be assigned a faculty contact person for any questions they may have while working through the material. Completion of Level I is required before advancing to Level II. This level is for:
- Anyone who wishes to learn more about our rich Congregational history.
- Motivated lay leaders who wish to assist their congregation.
- Clergy from other traditions now serving a Congregational church.
- Seminarians studying to be a Congregational minister.
This course is designed in a self-paced study format using CourseSites. All materials are posted on line. Internet access and e-mail address are required. The materials may be accessed and reviewed as often as you like. Only the final Course Review of Level I must be completed in one sitting. There is no cost for this course.
Level I - Recognition of Completion
At the end of the Level I is a self-administered course review. Upon completion of the course review, a student may contact the Center for Congregational Leadership for a Certificate of Completion. Upon request, the certificate will be sent to the individual along with a notification to the minister and/or moderator (president) of that person’s church commending the student for her or his accomplishment.
Level II - Final Assessment and Recognition of Completion
After you have studied all sections of the Level II course, you will complete a Final Assessment paper appropriate to your designation, laity, clergy or CFTS student. Your paper will be reviewed and commented upon by faculty of the Center for Congregational Leadership. Upon successful completion of Level II, a certificate of completion will be issued by the Center for Congregational Leadership and notice of completion put in a minister’s Disclosure File (if applicable.) Notification will also be made to the moderator or other appropriate individuals of the graduate’s member church.
How to Enroll
Download the Application Form and return it to Marie Steele, Administrative Assistant at the Center for Congregational Leadership. It may be emailed to her at firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to her at 320 S. Main Street, Olivet College, Olivet, Michigan 49076. When the application is approved, you will receive an invitation to self-enroll in the course.