This online United Church of Christ (UCC) History, Polity, and Theology course is six weeks in duration based on the Marks of Faithful and Effective Authorized Ministers (The Marks). It is designed as a self-paced course in a shared learning community with other students (At anytime, this course is available as an independent study).

This course fulfills the "Essential Elements" guideline of the UCC History and Polity Teachers’ Network. Through readings, videos, multi-media presentations, discussion forums, online study groups, and a writing project, participants will engage in community dialogue and written reflections to understand the history, polity, and ecclesiology of the United Church of Christ. 

It also satisfies a requirement of UCC Committees on Ministry for authorization as ordained or lay ministers in the Indiana Kentucky Conference of the United Church of Christ. It may also fulfill the requirements for Authorized Ministry in other UCC Associations and Conferences, if approved. In addition, it provides an introduction for ministers from other denominations seeking privilege of call, ministerial partnership standing or dual standing. 

UCC Polity Course Curriculum


  Virtual Orientation and Live FAQ in the Training Suite
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  Week 1: MARK - Nurturing UCC Identity - Part 1: Foundational Texts & European Roots
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  Week 2: MARK - Engaging Sacred Stories and Traditions - Part 2: Diverse Tributaries to the Four Faith Traditions and Becoming the UCC
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  Week 3: MARK - Participating in Theological Praxis: Theological Worlds in the UCC
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  Week 4: Engaging Sacred Stories and Traditions - Imagining the Church & Sacramental Life:
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  Week 5: MARK - Building Transformational Leadership Skills: Ministry, Ministerial Oversight & Authorization, and Discipline
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  Week 6: MARK - Strengthening Inter- and Intra-Personal Assets - Concepts Integration Paper
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Your Instructor: Rev. Dr. Toni Hawkins


Hi, I’m Toni Hawkins, the instructor for this course. I am so glad you have chosen to take this online UCC Polity Course based on the Marks of Faithful and Effective Authorized Ministers.

My short story is, I am a local pastor of a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) congregation and an Associate Conference Minister for Leadership Formation and Discernment in the Indiana Kentucky Conference of the United Church of Christ.

I am a resource support staff person for the states of Indiana and Kentucky in the areas of ministry authorization and oversight, new church starts, and congregational vitality. I provide support and resources to committees on ministry (COMs), members in discernment (MIDs) and ecumenical partners seeking ministerial partnership, privilege of call, or dual standing in the UCC.

In addition, I am an adjunct professor for a few seminaries and a facilitator of communities of practice/clergy peer groups. I facilitate courses and provide coaching in the areas of anti-racism, anti-bias, and racial trauma, ethics and professional boundaries, anti-racism and pro-reconciliation, interim/transitional ministry, process improvements, clergy self-care, and grief and loss courses, just to list a few.

I want you to know that I look forward to journeying with you, as together, we learn more about the United Church of Christ.

Select the pricing plan - Group (Cohort)


$425

UCC History, Polity, & Theology: Nurturing a UCC Identity

An Online 6-Week Cohort

This is a 6 week online course designed for individuals interested in learning about the UCC and the Marks of Faithful and Effective Authorized Ministers and those members in discernment and ecumenical partners seeking authorized ministerial standing in the UCC. There is no refund for online courses/services. Access is limited to 6 weeks, course will expire at the same time for all students.

$475

UCC History, Polity, & Theology: Nurturing a UCC Identity

Independent Study - Self-paced (up to 6 weeks to complete)

This is an online UCC Polity course taken independently. It is 6 weeks in length but can be completed in less time since there is no required group interaction. Access is limited to 6 weeks. All course requirements remain the same with the exception of giving and receiving peer feedback in the discussion forums. If you have questions, please email Dr. Toni at [email protected]