Leadership Institute offerings for early fall


UPSEM-logoThe Leadership Institute at Union Presbyterian Seminary has something for everyone.  Check out our early fall offerings and consider registering for some “back to school” for yourself or members of your congregation!
  • For church members and those interested in becoming Commissioned Ruling Elders:  Try our new Pathways to Learning and Leadership, an online program of non-degree courses designed to enhance discipleship for church members.  Many presbyteries are also using these courses as part of their CRE training.  The first course offered is Biblical Interpretation, and it begins meeting online on September 6; there is reading before that class.  These classes are filling up fast, so register now!  Cost:  $100 for each 5-week course.  Go to:  upsem.edu/pathways for more information and to register.
  • For church administrators, pastors, treasurers, and volunteers in churches large or small of any denomination:  If you want to learn more about managing the business, finance, human resources, legal and tax, strategic planning, and facilities parts of the church, or if you are interested in certification through The Church Network, consider taking seminars in Church Business Administration through our Charlotte Seminars meet on four Thursdays in the fall, and five Thursdays in the spring, and you may take any or all of them.  Completing all seminars fulfills the core educational requirement, and part of the continuing education requirement for certification.  The first seminar, Managing Financial Issues – Accounting, meets on Thursday, September 8.  Cost:  $670 for all eight core seminars; $100 per day for individual seminars and for the continuing education seminar (includes lunch each day).  Note:  housing is on your own.  Go to:  www.upsem.edu/leadership_institute/upcoming_continuing_education_events/cba_clt_16_17/ for more information and to register.
  • For church educators, Sunday school superintendents, Christian Education committees, and pastors: Want to learn more about why and how we teach in the church?  The Leadership Institute is offering a hybrid course in Christian Education Theory and Practice which is open to anyone and is approved to meet the requirements in this area for Christian Education certification through the Presbyterian Church (USA).  The hybrid model involves 18 hours of work at home, and 12 hours of work on our Richmond campus.  The at-home portion begins on September 6, and the in-class time is October 4-6.  Cost:  $295 (includes lunch on October 5).  Go to:  upsem.edu/leadership_institute/upcoming_continuing_education_events/christian_education_theory_and_practice/ for more information and to register.
  • For anyone involved in the church:  As the church tries to live into a time of transition, it’s easy to get caught up in looking for fixes or programs that will attract people.  We often forget our core message and the reasons we want to attract people.  Start with Good News:  Rediscovering the Why of Evangelism is a three-day conference, September 27-29 in Richmond, designed to bring us back to that core message.  Speakers from across the country will lead us in energizing plenaries, then we will engage in small groups to discuss and apply what we have heard.  While individual attendees will benefit from this experience, you are encouraged to attend with a team of clergy and church members.  This conference is offered at a very low cost so that the maximum number of people may attend.  Cost:  $25 per person, maximum of $100 per church (includes lunch on September 27 and 28). Go to: upsem.edu/startwithgoodnews for more information and to register.
  • For clergy, church leaders, and church administrators:  Strategic Planning in an Uncertain World, which meets on the Richmond campus October 17-20, is a workshop focusing on the role of strategic planning in an adaptive context.  Not only theoretical, this workshop will also offer practical ideas and resources, and participants will begin a planning process designed for their own congregation.  For those in the process toward certification as a church business administrator, this workshop offers 1.8 CEUs.  Cost:  $250; $195 for those who register by September 5 (includes lunch on October 18 and 19).  Go to: upsem.edu/leadership_institute/upcoming_continuing_education_events/strategic_planning/ for more information and to register.
For more information, contact: Marilyn Johns, D.Min. Director of Program Development The Leadership Institute Union Presbyterian Seminary 3401 Brook Road, Richmond, VA   23227 5141 Sharon Road, Charlotte, NC   28210 804-278-4383 or 800-229-2990 X 383 FAX 804-278-4360 mjohns@upsem.edu www.upsem.edu/leadership_institute

Resources for Vital Congregations



Lewis Center for Church Leadership

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Books

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Serve Your Neighbor

GBHEM Leadership Resources


Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church

Englewood Book Review

Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations

Ted Talks: The Golden Circle

Ted Talks: The Power of Vulnerability

Ted Talks: The Price of Invulnerability

Design Thinking

Meditations on the Ministry of All Christians


Be A Disciple

A Disciple’s Path; A Guide for United Methodist

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Adult Christian Studies from the Wesley Ministry Network

Traveling Together: A Guide for Disciple Forming Congregations


Living As United Methodist Christians

Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials

Reclaiming our Wesleyan Tradition: John Wesley’s Sermons for Today

John Wesley Sermons: Anthology


Get Their Name

Evangelism & Theology in the Wesleyan Spirit

Canoeing the Mountains

Fresh Expressions

Fresh Expressions: Dinner Church

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Reach New Disciples

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: 50 Ways to Reach People

Community: The Structure of Belonging


Institute for Emerging Issues

Congregations 4 Children


The Royce and Jane Reynolds Ministry Fund Grants

The Duke Endowment


The Appalachian District Church Vitality Team has been prayerfully seeking ways to help support you and the ministries of your local congregation during this COVID-19 pandemic. Together they have diligently researched and connected with others throughout the conference and our denomination to identify resources and offer them to you. We hope they will be helpful to you and bless you greatly in leading your churches and communities through this unprecedented time. We are very grateful to the District Vitality Team and other contributors for their great work on this resource.
This faithful team has created three documents, two of which you are receiving today. They include:

  • Family Home Worship – designed to help families establish a regular worship space within their homes as well as a time where they can worship together.
  • Tech Strategies – to help guide you in selecting effective tools and resources within your budget to best communicate in the digital world.

We believe these resources will be of great benefit to you. Also know that the District Vitality Team is available to answer any questions you might have in regards to the documents attached. If you have questions, you may email Rev. Howard Fleming at hfleming@wnccumc.net.


  • Resources
Follow Jesus. Make Disciples. Transform the World.