Summer Session 2013 - UCC History, Theology & Polity at Synod in Long Beach


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You are invited to enroll in the 2013 UCC History, Theology and Polity Course at General Synod. 

This is a course in the History, Faith, and Polity of the United Church of Christ. Sign up and learn more about how Congregational, Christian, Evangelical and Reformed traditions have shaped and continue to shape the UCC and how multiple cultural traditions continue to shape community life and theological thinking.  Explore current theological issues and structural questions in the UCC. 

Lead instructor Rev. K. Ray Hill, Rev. Carol Barriger, and others will guide students through the Synod and a two-week intensive learning experience.


The Course: 

UCC History and Polity at General Synod 2013
3.0 credits / 4.0 CEUs (40 contact hours)
online May 27-June 27; [Synod June 28-July 2;] class July 3-10 Long Beach
Hill, K. Ray & Barriger, Carol


The course will meet for four preliminary online sessions beginning in May and twelve intensive days immediately following General Synod 29.  Students will attend designated Synod sessions and meet for class at First Congregational Church of Long Beach.  Class will begin in Long Beach at 9 am Monday, July 1 and end in the afternoon Friday, July 10. The course will include evening and weekend activities and will use the General Synod as a laboratory for learning about the UCC. 

A detailed course syllabus is under development.  Registered students will receive instructions for accessing the online portion of the class in late April. 

Normally, M.Div. students take UCC History, Theology and Polity as part of their seminary curriculum. However, regularly enrolled seminarians may take the course as a three credit course if their seminary will transfer in the credits.  Pacific School of Religion is a fully accredited institution and the course is a three credit course.

Conference Requirements: 

NEW!  NCNC UCC: This course now DOES fulfill the NCNC's UCC History and Polity requirements, typically taken in a two-course, one-year sequence at PSR.

Other Conferences: Check with your committee on ministry. Most conferences will accept this course as fulfilling the requirement for ordination.

Students:  This course is particularly appropriate for:

  • Students who are attending seminaries where UCC History, Theology and Polity courses are not convenient or available
  • “Students in Discernment” who have been encouraged by their Church and Ministry Committee to participate in the General Synod Course
  • Persons seeking privilege of call who do not live near a seminary where a UCC History, Theology and Polity course is offered
  • Pastors from the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and pastors holding dual standing in the UCC and another denomination
  • Interested lay persons
  • Persons exploring becoming part of the UCC
  • Regular M.Div. students in UCC related seminaries

Technology Requirements:  The ONLINE portion of this course meets asynchronously using Moodle. It has no required
meeting times. High-speed internet connection required. See for full technology requirements. 

Meals:  Lunch will be provided.  Other meals are on your own.  There are many restaurants and cafes in the neighborhood.

Housing:  Students need to arrange room and board locally themselves. See the Synod website for designated Synod hotels.  The closest hotel is the Renaissance.  Ask the hotel for the UCC Synod rate, which runs through July 7.  It may be possible to extend that rate through July 10.  First Congregational Church of Long Beach is located a short walk from the Convention Center and local hotels.

Those interested in sharing a room can use the Synod room sharing board.

Transportation: Students are responsible for their own transportation to Synod and to the course.  First Congregational Church of Long Beach is located a short walk from the Convention Center and local hotels.

Cost:  Costs include course tuition and fees.

  • 2013 tuition is $2,040 for academic credit and $720 for CEUs. 
  • $150 in additional fees covers administrative costs, lunches on classroom days, and supplies.  Complete this fee payment form.
  • Synod registration is required.  Students must register for Synod directly with the UCC.  See the Synod website for registration information.


Required texts:

  1. Walker, Randi: The Evolution of a UCC Style: Essays in the History, Ecclesiology, and Culture of the United Church of Christ. Pilgrim Press, 2005.
  2. Post, Margaret: History and Program, revised edition. Thomas E. Dipko, ed. United Church Press, 2007.
  3. Hoffmann, Jane: Covenant: A Study for the United Church of Christ. Pilgrim Press, 2008.
  4. Fowler, Sidney: What Matters to You Matters to Us: Engaging Six Vital Themes of Our Faith. Pilgrim Press, 2008.
  5. Gunnemann, Louis: The Shaping of the United Church of Christ: An Essay in the History of American Christianity. United Church Press, 1999. Purchase here.

Required texts available through the UCC website:
Allen O. Miller: The United Church of Christ Statement of Faith: A Historical, Biblical, and Theological Perspective. Pilgrim Press, 1981.
Frederick R. Trost, ed. Barbara Brown Zikmund co. ed. & series ed: The Living Theological Heritage of the United Church of Christ, vol. 7. Pilgrim Press, 2005.

An important note regarding LTH (Living Theological Heritage):
LTH-7 is available in paperback for about ½ the cost of the hardbound version. Electronic versions of LTH are also available!  It is now possible to purchase and download from UCC Resources a searchable PDF file for each of the 7 LTH volumes at $14.99 each.

There is also a searchable flash drive containing all 7 volumes in a single PDF file for $49.99. Using key word search you can find and authors, events, and theological concepts across all 7 volumes (4,000 pages) of LTH.  While all of the LTH readings assigned for this class are in vol. 7, we strongly recommend the entire resource for your library.

Contact:  Contact the PSR Summer Session at or 510-849-8227  with questions about the UCC Synod course.