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NYSOM Courses

New York School of Ministry
Schedule of Courses          Fall,2017(Spring,2018)

Registration is now open! Our registration page has a new look. Click here to see our fall Events. Click on the course you want on the left (not the blue buttons on the right), and the registration box follows the course information at the bottom of the page. If you have difficulties,  please contact NYSOM’s clerk, Rev. Leigh McCaffrey, at to register.


Cost per 20-hour course: NY Conference Participants: $250;  Audit: $175; Repeat Course Audit: $100

Non-New York Conference Participants: $275; Audit: $200 (plus the Distance Learning Support fee). Distance Learning Support fee for Fall 2017:  $70 per 20-hour course.

Distance Learning requires technological support. For webconferenced courses, participants who are not part of the New York Conference are more than welcome. The NY Conference provides that support for its participants; we ask other UCC Conferences and participating denominations to provide that support for their participants (if such church support is unavailable, the distance learning support fee is the responsibility of the participant).

No face to face meetings required. Participants can participate in our webconferenced courses from their home computers. 

Core Courses

Foundations of Pastoral Care and Counseling

This course addresses the basics of counseling in a variety of situations where there is a pastoral element in the professional relationship: from the parish setting, where counseling may happen even in the chance encounter over refreshments after worship, to the professional counselor’s office, where it may be the structured and focused deep healing of pastoral psychotherapy. While some form of counseling can happen in any of these settings, this course does not prepare students for the practice of professional pastoral counseling and/or pastoral psychotherapy.
This course encourages participants to develop a clearly articulated picture of the strengths and limitations of one's pastoral and professional role, skills, and setting. With a contextual understanding of pastoral role and setting, they can determine the possibilities and limits of their pastoral counseling. In addition, they will learn when and how to make sensitive and appropriate referrals.

Rev. Wayne Gustafson, D.Min., Instructor

September 23, October 14, October 28 — 9:30-4:45 (with ½ hour lunch break)

Link to Syllabus here.

Link to the UCC Marks of Ministry here

To register, see directions at the top of this page.

New Testament I

Course Objectives.  We will seek to gain an understanding of the narrative material of the New Testament by answering the following questions:
1) What do “scripture” and “canon” mean?
2) What factors led to the selection of the four gospels as authoritative for the church?
3) What was the historical context in which each gospel was written?
4) What do we know about the historical context of Jesus’ ministry?
5) How do the four gospels inform our Christian understanding of Jesus?

Rev. J. Mark Lawson, Ph.D. Instructor

November 4 -- 10:00-3:30 (with ½ hour lunch break)

November 11, Dec 9 & January 27 – 9:00-2:30 (with ½ hour lunch break)

To register, see directions at the top of this page.


Special Short Course

Empowering Vital Ministry: Congregational Leadership 2.0

Want to take your leadership to the next level?  Learn to use your natural strengths to become a more effective leader?  Explore the ways your personality and leadership style intersects with your congregation’s cultural norms and behaviors?  
In this 3-part series: Empowering Vital Ministry: Congregational Leadership 2.0, we will continue our quest to move from management to visionary leadership. We welcome those who participated in the Spring Learning Event, but that event is not a requirement for participation in this course.

Rev. Marsha Williams, Ph.D Instructor

Sept 28, October 12 & 26 – 7-8:30 pm

         Session I: “Visionary Leadership – Purposeful Management”

         Session II: “Credibility and Personal Authenticity”

         Session III: “Leadership and Congregational Culture”

NY Conference Participants: $30

Non-NY Conference Participants: $40 

To register, see directions at the top of this page

New York School of Ministry Spring Events


Core Courses


Introduction to Christian Ethics

Steve Johnson, Instructor

Wednesday Evenings: 7-9 pm

January 17, 24, 31; February 7, 28; March 7, 14, 21; April 4, 11


 This course focuses on the Christian tradition of reflecting upon moral behavior.

 Textbook: Christian Ethics: a case method approach, Fourth Edition, edited by Laura Stives, Christine Gudorf, and James Martin-Schramm.

Registration opens in November.




New Testament II

Mark Lawson, Instructor

Saturdays: 9:00-2:30 (with ½ hour lunch break)

February 10 & 24. March 17 & 24


This introductory course focuses on the epistolary material of the New Testament and the book of Revelation.  Participants engage in the critical study of the text and are taught exegetical method.

Registration opens in November.



 Previous Offerings

UCC POLITY  (American Church History is a pre-requisite for this course)

This course, required for the Christian Leadership Program, surveys the historical and current documents that illuminate the breadth of theology that informs the United Church of Christ. It provides an overview of the history of the UCC since 1957 and examines the covenantal structure of the church, the responsibilities and accountability of authorized ministers, worship, and vocation in the UCC.

Click here for syllabus 


This course, required for the Christian Leadership Program, offers an overview of the development of Christian churches in the United States with an emphasis on ideas and events that have shaped the United Church of Christ.

 Click here for syllabus.



This course, which is a requirement for the Christian Leadership Program, introduces participants to the primary themes of Christian Theology.  Participants write papers or sermons that address the topics of Christology, the Doctrine of the Trinity, and the Purpose of the Church. 


This course focuses on how Family Systems Theory helps pastors be a healthy as they can be in ministry and how they can use their personal process of "differentiation" to maximize their leadership capacities in congregations. 


This course, which is a requirement for the Christian Leadership Program, surveys the history of Christian liturgy, examines the theology of worship and the sacraments, and offers practical instruction to enable participants to make informed choices when planning liturgies.  One quarter of the course is devoted to preaching.

Click here for syllabus  


This course addresses many of the clincial issues providers of pastoral care face.  It offers an integrated pastoral and behavioral sciences approach to some of the more challenging situations faced by helping professionals.   


This course explores the various dynamics at work in the life of a local church, toward the end of gaining insight into how to nurture a healthy and productive faith community. 


During this course we will: study critically many of the documents of the Old Testament (Psalms, Wisdom literature, prophets Jeremiah through Malachi) paying particular attention to their historical context; examine the relevance of the Old Testament for the Christian church; and dicuss the role/use of the Old Testament in (our) faith development. 





5575 Thompson Rd. • DeWitt, NY 13214 • 315-446-3073 • Fax: 315-446-3076 •