On behalf of the Steering Committee of the Northeast Ohio School of Ministry, I welcome you to our web page.

The Christian church has always recognized the role of learning in its life and work. “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” was Paul’s line of thinking when he wrote to the young church at Rome (Romans 10:14). Believing, hearing, preaching – learning is essential to all of these acts of believers, and the Northeast Ohio School of Ministry provides ongoing opportunities for the church to continue its task of educating its leaders.

Christianity was first known simply as “the Way” (Acts 9:2) – the way of life embodied in Jesus the Christ – and that way has content. And content is both learned and, by the grace of God, lived – lived in such a way that ordinary people are inspired to preserve and pass on that way from generation to generation. Christianity is both taught and caught, and our lay and continuing education program takes as its mission not only the transmission of information and knowledge, but also the formation of followers of Jesus Christ. Our three-year cycle of such basic courses as Bible, theology, ethics, church history, stewardship, faith formation, evangelism, and mission is intended to better equip the saints of God for the work of the church.

On this page you can read more about what our program consists of and how it operates. If you hear God’s voice calling you to learn more about your faith – and to share with others how your learning has strengthened that faith – then our school of ministry is for you.

In addition to the resources on this page, there are also real people ready to answer any questions you might have, and I am privileged to be at the head of that line. Feel free to contact me or Machelle Miller, the administrator of our programs, for more information.

Happy learning!




The Rev. Dr. Eugene Clifford McAfee, Dean of Schools

Class Offerings for Fall 2017

The Church: Ecclesiology & Administration

This class is offered to our Certified students and with permission from the Dean

Student Fee: $200

Instructor: Rev. Brian Burke, Interim Pastor of Community Congregational UCC in Amehrst

Description: After a discussion on Theology of the Church (Ecclesiology) and the various models of the Church’s ecclesiology, class members will reflect on a selection of programmatic and administrative areas that reflect a developing theology of Church. Areas to be explored will include evangelism, stewardship, church management, worship, congregational boundaries, roles of laity and clergy, among others.

Meetings: Thursdays • September 14-28, October 26, November 2-9 • 6:30-9:30PM

Location: The comfort of your home or office, online via the free Zoom video platform (available at 222.zoom.us).

Required Texts:

  • Richard L. Hamm, Recreating the Church: Leadership for the Postmodern Age, 2007, Chalice Press
  • Anthony B. Robinson, Transforming Congregational Culture, 2003, Eerdmans
  • Michael Piazza, Vital Vintage Church, 2017, Michael Piazza
  • Various internet/PDF articles as given to you by the instructor

Personal Ethics

Student Fee: $100

Audit Fee: $65

Instructor: Rev. Sharon Alberson, J.D.

Description: The study of Ethics invites a broad conversation about what it means to live a good life, how to cultivate Christian character and how to make moral decision. The study of Ethics also explores the interdependency of personal choices and community well being. Through shared readings, class discussion and written work, we will examine core Christian values and lessons from Scripture that reveal who we are as people of faith and hos God’s call upon our live impacts our decision.

Meetings: Saturdays • September 16-October 21 • 9AM-12PM

Location: Bethany UCC • 1235 Broad Blvd • Cuyahoga Falls

Required Texts:

  • Bible & Ethics in the Christian Life (Revised and Expanded Edition), by Bruce Birch and Larry Rasmussen, Augsburg 1989
  • A Practical Companion to Ethics, by Anthony Weston (Third Edition), Oxford, 2005
  • Various portions of the Bible (especially focusing on the Sermon on the Mount and parables of Jesus)

UCC History & Polity

Student Fee: $150

Instructor: Rev. Dr. Robert O. Noble “Rip”

Description: This course explores the questions of “who is…?” and “what is…?” the United Church of Christ. Students will gain an appreciation for UCC history and polity through this class. They will also examine the ongoing struggle between autonomy and covenant.

Meetings: Saturdays • September 16-30; October 1410AM-Noon, 12:30PM-2:30PM (bring your own lunch)

Saturday, November 4 • 8:30AM-2:00PM (Annual meeting. You will be automatically registered.)

Location: First meeting at St Paul’s Community Church UCC (4427 Franklin Blvd, Cleveland). Subsequent meetings will include other churches, UCC National Offices (700 Prospect Ave East, Cleveland), and the annual meeting at First UCC (201 Fair Ave NW, New Philadelphia).

Required Texts:

  • Consitution and Bylaws of the UCC (can be purchased online through UCC Resources)
  • History and Program of the UCC (can be purchased online through UCC Resources)
  • Gunnemann, Louis The Shaping of the United Church of Christ
  • Johnson, Daniel and Hambrick-Stowe, Charles, editors Theology and Identity: Traditions, Movements and Polity in the UCC
  • Zikmund, Barbara Brown, editor, Hidden Histories in the United Church, Vol. I and II