Faith Formation Leadership Training and Certification

Faith Formation Leadership Training and Certification

The only theologically progressive entry-level program for faith formation in the United Church of Christ.

"Taking classes in the Faith Formation Leadership Program helped me to step in at this critical time and has given me the confidence, tools, and framework to provide nurture and faith formation for our congregation.”
 - Dawn Sorensen, 
Director of Children’s Ministries and
Southborough Safe Spaces, 
Pilgrim Congregational Church, Southborough, MA


 Classes are interactive (not webinars)

and are not recorded for distribution.

**Registration for 2023-2024 is now open!**

To Register for Classes:

Just click on the title of the class(es) you wish to take from the list below.
Complete a separate online form for each class.

Read the information below and download our complete details file.
For questions not addressed here, please contact Debbie Gline Allen at
          or call 508-244-4332.


What is the Faith Formation Leadership Training Program?

The Southern New England Conference Faith Formation Leadership Program is the only theologically progressive entry-level training opportunity for faith formation and youth ministry leaders in the the country!

Classes may be taken as either part of a certificate program or as stand-alone classes
Participants may choose to take classes either as stand-alone opportunities, or as part of a process for certification in faith formation &/or youth ministry leadership in the Southern New England Conference UCC.  
Specific information about the classes may be accessed using the links in the list below.

For anyone with a passion for faith formation and youth ministries
While designed for the Southern New England Conference, anyone - both lay leaders and authorized ministers - within or beyond the United Church of Christ and southern New England, may participate with the understanding that the focus will be on ministry within a United Church of Christ congregation.

Faith formation and youth ministry for the 21st Century
Our instructors are selected for their experience and expertise in their specific ministries, and present best practices and teaching methods for forming faith and making disciples in today's congregations, particularly during this post-pandemic time.

FAQs and complete program details

Class descriptions and instructors

To register: 

  1. Click on the title of each class that you wish to take below. This will bring you to the class information page with the registration link. The registration form will allow you to select which of the two dates works best for your schedule (as those two classes will be identical).
  2. Fill out a separate online form for each class you register for.
  3. Registration for each class closes 24 hours before the class session.

2023-2024 Classes

Engaging Our Sacred Scripture’s Story
October 14, 2023 or February 10, 2024          8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
           Rev. Don Remick

          An overview of the formation, contents, structure, and flow of the Bible. 

Exploring Curriculum & Digital Resources
          October 21, 2023 or February 3, 2024               8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Mastroni-Kenyon and Rev. Jenn Mazur
          How to evaluate, select, and adapt curriculum materials based on the appropriateness for the congregation’s needs
          and mission. Includes an overview of the United Church of Christ /Unitarian Universalist Our Whole Lives
          sexuality materials as well as a review of current practices for using social media for communications, connections,
          and spiritual formation.

Exploring the United Church of Christ — Our History, Our Beliefs, Our identity
October 28, 2023 or March 23, 2024
          Dr. Jill Baker    
in partnership with Eden Theological Seminary     
          An overview of the birth, development, structure, beliefs, values, and
          ethos of the United Church of Christ.  Participants will get an overview of
          the five major streams that contributed to the UCC, how our
          Congregational polity works, understand some important UCC beliefs, and
          discuss how the UCC views scripture. 
     **Does not meet UCC Member In Discernment requirements.
        *Registering for this class will allow participants to gain access to Eden Theological Seminary's Brightspace,
          where they will choose their own login and password.  All materials and Zoom link will be posted in Brightspace.

Serving Together — Mission for All Ages
 November 18, 2023 or March 2, 2024                8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
          Rev. Dr. June Cooper
and Rev. Kevin Weikel
          Explore the differences between charity and justice from biblical and developmental perspectives in light of offering
          mission and service opportunities for children, youth, families, and the congregation.

Boundary Awareness for Faith Formation and Youth Ministry Leaders (and Local Church Musicians)
          January 7, 2024               3:30 to 7:00 p.m.  (a Sunday afternoon)
          April 27. 2024                    8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  
          Rev. Greg Morisse
          Developed by the historic Massachusetts Conference, this introductory course will equip faith formation and
          youth ministry leaders with the basics of healthy boundaries. This class will explore specifically the joys and challenges
          of ministering to and with children and youth while serving on a local church staff. Through reading, conversation,
          and case studies, participants will create their own guiding principles for ethical behavior in ministry.
     **Does not fulfill the Boundary Awareness requirement for clergy.

Faith Formation 101 — Practices for a Sustainable Ministry
          January 20, 2024  or April 6, 2024               8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
​          Debbie Gline Allen, C.M.C.F.
Explore the nuts and bolts of organizing and implementing faith formation programs in the local church;
          recruiting, nurturing, and supporting volunteers; leadership skills, and working on a church staff.
       *This class is optional for those seeking certification who only have youth ministry in their job description.

More Program Information

Our Mission, Goals, Objectives, & Faith Formation Ministry Partners List
Classes & Instructors
Complete Program Details to download/print with Frequently Asked Questions
Community of Practice information

Who should I contact if I have more questions?

Debbie Gline Allen, Minister of Faith Formation at or call 508-603-6601

Quick Links for Program Registrants
Requirements & Expectations of Certificate-Seeking Students
Association of United Church Educators (membership required for certificate)
Marks for Ministry for Faithful & Effective Faith Formation and Youth Ministry Leaders
Church Educator's Code (United Church of Christ)
Class Tracking Form (Word doc)
Evaluation & Class Reflection Questions Form
2023 Online Form for Completion of Certificate Program

2022 Faith Formation Leadership Program Certificate Recipients 

Top Row
Debbie Gline Allen - SNEUCC Faith Formation Leadership Program Director

Debby Kirk - SNEUCC Faith Formation Team Leader

Diane Osborne - the Christian Education Chair at Second Congregational Church, UCC in Attleboro, MA

2nd Row
Andrew Laro the Minister of Faith Formation at the First Congregational Church of Stamford (CT)
Margit Griffiththe EnrichedLIFE Director at The Cambridge Homes,
                                     formerly the Director of Religious Education at First Parish in Lincoln (MA)
Lee Carman
- the Director of Faith Formation at the Ellington (CT) Congregational Church, UCC

3rd Row
Christine Lehoullier - the Christian Education Director at First Parish Congregational Church in East Derry, NH
Lisa Haupt - the Director of Faith Formation at Storrs (CT) Congregational Church, UCC
Linda Heinze - the Sunday School & Co-Confirmation Teacher at Feeding Hills (MA) Congregational Church

Bottom Row
Andrea Terni Bullard - the Faith Formation Director at Barrington (RI) Congregational Church

READ about the 2022 certificate recipients

List of all 70 Certified Faith Formation Leaders in the Southern New England and historic Massachusetts Conferences

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Massachusetts Office

1 Badger Road
Framingham, MA 01702

Connecticut Office

805 Old Main St.
Rocky Hill, CT 06067

Toll Free Phone: 866-367-2822
Fax: 866-367-0860
General Email: