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Certified Christian Educators

Educator Certification Courses


There are a total of seven course areas required for educator certification (Presbyterian Polity and Presbyterian Program and Mission are typically taught together as one course). Although taught by a variety of instructors and in different settings, there is standard content for each. These standards for each course area are available here.

Educator Certification Readiness Summary
In order to successfully complete the requirements for educator certification in the PC(USA), educators should be prepared to meet these expectations prior to beginning the educator certification exam.

Approved Courses
These courses have been approved by the Educator Certification Committee as meeting the requirements for educator certification:

Religious Education Theory and Practice (Hybrid Course*)
Instructor: Cindy Kissel-Ito
Dates: Begins at home – January 6; In Class – January 27–29, 2020; Final paper due February 16, 2020
Location: APCE Annual Event
Contact: Renda Brinson
For more information:
Instructor: Carson Brisson
Dates: February 24–March 26; In Class—March 24–26, 2020
Location: Union Presbyterian Seminary, Richmond, VA
Contact: Tinsley Jones

*This hybrid model includes about 18 hours of in-home and online work before coming to campus for the additional 12 required hours.

Projected Courses
While the course designs and instructors have not yet been approved by the Educator Certification Committee, the following information is the anticipated course schedule listed for your planning purposes. Please keep in mind that the courses listed below are not official until the Educator Certification Committee has approved the course design.
2020 Projected Courses:
Worship & Sacraments—Union Presbyterian Seminary (spring)
Human Growth & Faith Development—Union Presbyterian Seminary (fall)
Worship & Sacraments—Montreat (fall)
Polity, Program, & Mission—General Assembly (June)
2021 Projected Courses:
Human Growth & Faith Development—APCE Annual Event (January)
Religious Education Theory & Practice—Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary’s Certificate in Ministry’s Teaching in the Church course (January)
Religious Education Theory & Practice—Union Presbyterian Seminary (spring)
Reformed Theology—Union Presbyterian Seminary (spring)
Biblical Interpretation—Montreat (fall)
Polity, Program, & Mission—Union Presbyterian Seminary (fall)

Alternative course options

Distance Education Courses at Dubuque Seminary
University of Dubuque Theological Seminary admits unclassified students, who can take up to 12 credits online or in residence without enrolling in a degree program. Selected M. Div. coursework from the Distance Education Program will be accepted as fulfilling requirements for Biblical Interpretation, Reformed Theology, Worship and Sacraments and Presbyterian Polity, Program and Mission at CCE level. These courses include “English Exegesis” offered each spring, “Presbyterian History and Confessions” offered every fall and summer, “Polity and Program of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) offered every spring and summer and “Worship in the Reformed Tradition”. CLP coursework (currently at one credit) will not fulfill the entire requirement for certification.

BLENDED LEARNING Program at Union Presbyterian Seminary

Students in the Blended Learning Program at Union Presbyterian Seminary do course work in the Master of Arts in Christian Education degree at home. They come to campus for brief sessions in the summer or winter where they interact with fellow students and faculty and participate together in worship and fellowship activities. 

In addition to the approved courses, please be aware that the corresponding required courses in degree programs from PC(USA)-related seminaries will be accepted as meeting educational requirements for certification at CCE level. Electives will be considered on a course by course basis. For PC(USA) Ministers of Word and Sacrament, passing an ordination exam will meet its respective knowledge and skill area requirement in certification.

Educators seeking the Christian Education Associate level (formerly Enrolled Educational Assistant) will complete coursework through the Opening Doors to Discipleship online training resource. CEA candidates will also meet with their Certification Advisors after completion of each of the four modules to discuss their journals and ways this course informs their educational ministry.

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