PATHWAYS Leaders in Progress

PATHWAYS is a leadership formation ministry of the Southeast Conference, UCC, that has been serving the wider United Church of Christ in the area of theological education since 2011. The program’s purpose is to serve the future. PATHWAYS does this by investing in our churches through equipping their leaders for the emerging tasks of ministry. It seems that this future is happening sooner than we ever anticipated. As this time of year is marked by graduation ceremonies across the nation, PATHWAYS is proud to present five graduates who have successfully completed the PATHWAYS Level 2 program.

Heidi Hulme, full-time pastor at Faith UCC in Davenport, IA Kate Stulce, pastor associate for spiritual life at Pilgrim UCC in Chattanooga, TN Shonda Deranleau, part-time pastor at Truro UCC in Truro, IA Marsha Brown, pastor at Phoenix Christian Church in Wildersville, TN Mary O’Riley, pastoral intern at shared ministry of UCC Congregational and First Presbyterian Churches in Creston, IA
Heidi Hulme, full-time pastor at Faith UCC in Davenport, IA
Kate Stulce, pastor associate for spiritual life at Pilgrim UCC in Chattanooga, TN
Shonda Deranleau, part-time pastor at Truro UCC in Truro, IA
Marsha Brown, pastor at Phoenix Christian Church in Wildersville, TN
Mary O’Riley, pastoral intern at shared ministry of UCC Congregational and First Presbyterian Churches in Creston, IA

For the past 16 months, the graduates immersed themselves in the Level 2 program that entails nine months of Supervised Ministry Practicum and seven courses designed to enhance their pastoral competency. In his book, Earthen Vessels, Daniel Aleshire asks a question that is centrally important to the life of PATHWAYS community: “Can multiple patterns of theological education be developed that achieve the same formational learning that cultivates an aptitude for theological reflection and wisdom pertaining to responsible life in faith?” I am confident to say that through their work and ministry the five graduates have answered with an enthusiastic “yes!” Their graduation ceremony will be held on August 24, as they gather in Montana for the 2014 GTE immersion trip. During the past 16 months they have met each other entirely online. This will mark the first time that this group is able to connect together face to face. The graduates are each continuing with their learning journey in the PATHWAYS Level 3 program, which is due to be completed by fall of 2015—so there are more achievements and miracles are ahead of all of us. Thanks be to God!