Course Type:

Applied Courses (Level 2)  - SM20903 - 2.5 Credits

It is a privilege and an awesome responsibility to lead the people of God in their worship. Regular worship participation forms, informs, and reforms the faith of Christians from cradle to grave as they journey through life. The leadership of worship is surely the most visible aspect of a pastor’s role. Attending a Sunday service typically shapes a visitor’s first impressions of a church.

While Christian worship embraces a variety of expressions and traditions reflecting different contexts and cultures, this course will focus primarily on North American church practices. Participants are always encouraged to augment what is presented with their own customs and rituals. After introducing the worship leadership topic and sharing personal backgrounds, we will examine the various components comprising a worship service and discuss related matters of pastoral leadership.

As in your previous Supervised Ministry courses, it is assumed that you will be meeting regularly with your Site Supervisor and with your member advisory Group. It will be important for your site supervisor to be kept up to date on the progression of the course to provide ample opportunities for you to be leading in worship and to teach the adult education course designed as your final project.

Learning Objectives

 In addition to the objectives the learners identify for themselves, participants who successfully completes this course will be able to:

  • To identify and expand one’s personal experiences, beliefs, and expectations for worship.
  • To explore the elements and rituals of typical Protestant worship via their theological underpinnings, recent trends, and related issues.
  • To become acquainted with a variety of readily accessible worship planning resources.
  • To grow in confidence for leading worship through reflection, planning, and participation

Required Texts

  • Worship for the Whole People of God (Second Edition) by Ruth C. Duck. Westminster John Know Press, 2021
  • The New Pastor’s Guide to Leading Worship by Barbara Day Miller. Abington Press, 2006
  • Book of Worship: United Church of Christ. UCC Office of Church Life and Leadership, 1986 (or comparable resource from one’s own denomination)
  • The New Century Hymnal. Pilgrim Press, 1995 (or comparable resource from one’s own tradition/congregation)


PATHWAYS believes that quality theological education should be available to any who want it. That’s why we provide a cost-effective online theological program accessible to all. 4-week Explorer courses are only $124, 6-week courses just $350, 9-week courses Supervised Ministry courses are $470, and our 12-week UCC History and Polity course is only $625.


Because classes are not bound by geography and have a flexible weekly schedule, PATHWAYS courses are able to fit into the rest of your busy life. Courses typically involve weekly readings and discussion in a facilitated online forum, offering practical, open-minded education and a learner-centered environment where participants can bring their own questions and insights.


Our courses have between 4 and 15 participants. This allows for deep and productive discussions in the online forum. We know that a small class size allows the participants to develop learning relationships with each other and for facilitators to push participants to a more indepth learning experience.


PATHWAYS Theological Education, Inc.,
P.O. Box 897
Tucker, GA 30085

Partner with PATHWAYS


PATHWAYS Theological Education, Inc. is a nonprofit provider of theological education that is academically rigorous and affordable.   A PATHWAYS education in Ministry Preparation can be completed on-line in three years at a fraction of the price of a seminary education.   Our program is aligned with the requirements for ordination of most mainline Protestant denominations and seeks to work with ordaining bodies to make sure that participants are meeting their goals.   Now is the time to make an inquiry for the future of theological education.  Reach out today to Partner with PATHWAYS Theological Education, Inc.

Support PATHWAYS Today!


PATHWAYS is an innovator in cost-effective, progressive Christian education. We work alongside denominations, regional partners and individuals to make our programs accessible to all regardless of their ability to pay. This commitment to funding begins with each of our supporters. No matter how large or how small the donation, it all goes towards making theological education affordable to everyone who desires to learn.

There is no time like the present to contribute financially to PATHWAYS’ work and mission by making your tax-deductible gift – Today!