The Sixth Episcopal District (SED) Certificate Program is designed to provide individuals with a broad introduction and practical skills related to pastoral leadership and congregational ministry, through a sequence of 5 two-week intensive (3 credit hours) courses in the following areas:

  1. Self-Awareness and Congregational Care (Fall 2020 Cohort, October 5th -17th)
    • Course Description: This introductory level course explores family, culture and social institutions as the collective context within which individual and communal identities develop and grow. The course also introduces participants to pastoral methods of congregational care. Texts for this course focus on embedded theologies that inform life and ministry.
      • Course Objectives– Students will be able to:
        • Identify the paradigms that inform students’ pastoral identity and practice
        • To develop awareness of key pastoral care resources and paradigms of care
        • To consider the impact of socially oppressive systems like patriarchy (sexism/male supremacy), racism (white supremacy), classism (economic oppression), and trans/ homophobia (heteronormativity) on identity and pastoral concerns
        • To develop a baseline of skills necessary for pastoral ministry (effective listening, spiritual assessment, referrals, self-awareness, and emotional intelligence).

2. Church Leadership and Administration (Fall 2020 Cohort, October 19th -31st)

    • Course Description The purpose of this course is to provide students with a broad overview of the practice of administration in the local church by exploring the biblical concepts of leadership and administration. Additional topics to be addressed include goal setting, team building, delegation, human relationships, budgeting, working with committees, legal issues, personnel management, church operations, and the training of leaders.
      • Course Objectives- Students will be able to:
        • Understand foundational principles of transformational leadership.
        • Apply foundational principles of church operations, legal issues and personnel management.
        • Assess a Christian ministry or local church for sound administrative practice.
        • Apply the methods and techniques to carry out financial planning and budgeting in financial institutions.

3. Preaching in Ministry (Fall 2020 Cohort, November 9th – 21st)

    • Course Description- This course will allow students to think through a theology of preaching and preaching practices and will explore foundations of biblical interpretation, preaching biblical genres, ethics and social justice, rhetoric, special occasions, social locations, sermon forms and functions.
      • Course Objectives- Students will be able to:
        • Utilize various sermon forms. They will be to identify a wide range of issues and resources for help with regard to preaching and its contexts.
        • Integrate the various theological disciplines in relation to preaching.
        • Develop skills in preaching and sermon development as it applies to pastoral ministry.

4. Managing Bi-Vocational Ministry (Fall 2020 Cohort, January 4th -16th, 2021)

    • Course Description: The goal of this course is to help students understand and appreciate bi-vocational ministry as a vital part of today’s church and to become better equipped to minister bi-vocationally. This course will address the need for, and various incarnations of, bi-vocational ministry. It will also cover practical aspects of bi-vocational ministry such as time management, self-care, financial concerns, and matching ministry-learned skills with secular employer needs.
      • Course Objectives- Students will be able to:
        • Define “bi-vocational ministry” within the pastoral context while recognizing the cultural variants operant in this context.
        • Articulate the value of the bi-vocational minister and her/his ministry as it contributes to the overall work of the church.
        • Recognize the value of the bi-vocational minister’s non-church employment and analyze the relationship between ministry-related skills/experience and secular employment opportunities.
        • Demonstrate some of the skills necessary for successful bi-vocational ministry. These work/life balance skills include: self-care, time management, financial management, communication, and conflict management.

5. Church and Community Engagement (Fall 2020 Cohort, January 18th – 29th, 2021)

    • Course Description- This course surveys models of community engagement, including but not limited to, theories of equity, citizenship, human rights, advocacy and activism, civic leadership, social justice, civil discourse, and social capital. Students will use an interdisciplinary approach to analyze and actively engage in principles and practices of community engagement through a local lens.
      • Course Objectives- Students will be able to:
        • Identify models of community and civic engagement, both current and historical
        • Understand what it means to be civically engaged and the roles and responsibilities of civic action
        • Develop knowledge of the theories and practices of positive community change
        • Reflect on personal expectations for community engagement and social justice
        • Create a personal community engagement action plan that makes valid connections between issues of interest, community needs, and career/academic skills, knowledge, and goals.


 For information on joining the next SED cohort, contact Turner Seminary.