Faith Formation Leadership Training Is For Today’s Congregations

Faith Formation Leadership Training Is For Today’s Congregations

I have been wrestling with the term “Sunday School” for almost as long as I’ve been a Christian educator. I sometimes even take issue with being called an “educator” in the church setting. Why? Because what we “teach” in the church is so much more than just head knowledge. We provide guidance to help form the whole person— mind, heart, and soul.

Of course we want to ensure that our children, youth, and adults are biblically literate and have a basic understanding of our Christian traditions. Yet there is so much more to living a Christian life and understanding Jesus’ call to discipleship. One’s journey in faith and growing relationship with God requires spiritual nurture that goes further than just studying texts. One can learn how to pray in a classroom setting, for instance, but the practice of prayer goes far beyond what happens in a traditional learning environment.

The people in our congregations need “teachers” that serve as guides on this journey that reaches beyond the classroom. The Southern New England Conference offers training opportunities for anyone who wishes to gain the skills and knowledge to serve their congregation in this way. The Faith Formation Leadership Training Program offers six Saturday morning classes each program year on a variety of topics in the ministry of faith formation, such as worship and sacraments, the Bible, mission and service, youth ministry, and spiritual development, to name a few.

This program is flexible. Classes may be taken a la carte, allowing participants to participate in only the classes they want. Or one can choose to take all of the classes over the course of two years or more to complete a certificate in faith formation and/or youth ministries. Each class is offered twice — once onsite at Hadwen Park Congregational Church in Worcester, MA, and once via (Zoom) video conferencing for those who would prefer not to travel. While we strongly recommend that participants attend classes in person to take advantage of face to face classroom communication and sharing, the video conferencing technology available to us can also allow similar interactions with peers.  

What are the advantages of completing the certificate program?

  • Certification serves as a validation of one’s knowledge and experience as a faith formation and/or youth ministry practitioner. Access to a support system of peers and colleagues in ministry.     

  • Access to best practices and resources for faith-forming ministries. 

  • Joining others in a spirit of learning, faith-building, and friendship.   

  • The certification certificate will indicate the level of proficiency achieved through knowledge, experience, and training.

We hope you will take advantage of these offerings to help guide your congregation in creative learning and Christian practices together as they grow in their faith.

To learn more about the program and to register, visit

Debbie Gline Allen is the Associate for Faith Formation & Youth Ministries, member of the Discipleship Team for the Southern New England Conference United Church of Christ. She can be reached at or by calling 508-603-6601.


debbie gline allen cropped.jpg
Debbie Gline Allen

Debbie Gline Allen serves as a Minister of Faith Formation on the Conference’s Faith Formation Ministry Team. She also serves as the administrator of the SNEUCC Faith Formation Leadership Program.  Her passion for ministry is with children and family...

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