Faith Formation Leadership Training and Certification

Faith Formation Leadership Training and Certification

“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 each class closes 24 hours before the class session.*

To Register for Classes:

Just click on the title of the class(es) you wish to take from the list below.

New this year:  You will need to fill out 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?

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

Sunset at Pilgrim Pines
Do you wish you could meet your classmates in person?
Then come to a
NEAUCE Pre-Retreat
May 3-4, 2023
to examine your call to ministry, followed by the NEAUCE Event!
Click here for more information.

Class descriptions and instructors

To register: 

  1. Click on the title of each class that you wish to take. 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. You will need to fill out a separate online form for each class you register for; however, this will help us to keep better records of your participation in the program. We appreciate your assistance with this.

2023 Classes

(Fall classes will be posted here in June)

Making Disciples — Theories and Practices for the 21st Century          
February 11, 2023
(8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.)
Dr. Joshua Lunde-Whitler
        How the grounding principles of education, formation, and living in the ways of Jesus can be developed and used to make disciples of all ages in today’s congregations.

Youth Ministry 101 — Practices for a Sustainable Ministry

February 4, 2023 (8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time)
Becky Stambaugh and Judi Wallace
        Explore the nuts and bolts alongside the theological foundations of organizing and implementing youth ministry 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 do not have youth ministry in their job description.

Faith Formation 101 — Practices for a Sustainable Ministry
March 4, 2023
(8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time)
Larainne Wilson, M.Ed.  

        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.

Creating Safe Environments — Policies and Procedures
April 1, 2023 (8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time)
Debby Kirk
        Explore why congregations need a safe church policy and how to create one for the specific needs of the congregation.

Adaptive and Innovative Leadership for Faith Formation & Youth Ministry Leaders

April 1, 2023 (10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time)
Rev. Susan Page Townsley
        Engage in creative thinking that inspires slant approaches to faith formational ministries in a post-pandemic world.

Developing Faith — Ages and Stages
January 28, 2023
 (8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time)
Rev. Dr. Ted E. Huffman

        An overview of human development based on the work of Piaget, Erikson, and Gardner; and faith development based on the work of Fowler and Westerhoff. 

Living Into the Mystery — Worship and Sacraments in the United Church of Christ
March 25, 2023
(8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time)
Rev. Jenn Macy
      An overview of the worship tradition of the United Church of Christ, tracing its history back to early Christian practices, particularly Baptism and Communion. 

Racial Justice for Faith Formation & Youth Ministry Leaders                     
April 29, 2023
(8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time)
Rev. James Ross
        Create a common language around racism, to unmask racism in our lives, and to encourage long-term engagement in racial justice ministry as a spiritual issue.

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
2022 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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Framingham, MA Office

1 Badger Road
Framingham, MA 01702

Hartford, CT Office

125 Sherman Street
Hartford, CT 06105

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