Union Beyond

Union Theological Seminary offers a variety of courses and programs that go beyond traditional residential, full-time graduate education. Union’s ministry topics and public engagement courses, cohort programs, and part-time and online advanced certificates and degrees provide opportunities for personal and professional growth and lifelong learning. Ranging from a few days to a semester or longer, the courses/programs are open to anyone looking to expand their knowledge, whether their interests are in social justice activism, faith leadership, or simply seeking personal enrichment.

Professional Education and Lifelong Learning at Union allows the public to join our students and the wider Union community in exploring new ideas, skills, and world views. Many of these offerings are available in online or low-residency formats. They also provide valuable opportunities for those considering a Union advanced certificate or degree program to initially engage with Union faculty, students, alumni, and other community members. Union offers four different advanced certificate program in part-time formats (with some online course options) and a fully online, part-time MA in Social Justice program.

Ministry Topics and Public Engagement Courses 

Union offers a wide variety of “Supplemental Unit” (SU) courses focused on topics in ministry and issues at the intersection of faith, spirituality, and social justice. These courses are taken by Union students for credit towards degrees, but they are also made available to members of the community on a non-credit basis. They generally meet for 13 hours over multiple days (on Zoom or in person) and feature a variety of guest speakers in addition to a primary instructor. These courses often require pre-reading and incorporate lectures, panel presentations, and group discussions throughout the live class experience.

Cohort Programs

Union’s current cohort programs range in length from one semester to two years, providing participants with unique learning, mentoring, community- building, and professional development opportunities. Each has its own admissions requirements, application process, and tuition/fees. Cohort programs are designed for aspiring and current leaders of faith communities as well as those looking to engage more deeply in religious and spiritual exploration. Meetings and other activities are scheduled to fit the busy lives of working professionals. These programs are taken by community members on a non-credit basis.

Part-Time + Online Advanced Certificates/Degrees

Union is proud to offer a variety of online and part-time for-credit programs designed and developed specifically with the changing realities of theological education firmly in mind. Online and part-time programs feature coursework taught by Union faculty and carefully designed to meet the intellectual and professional interests and learning needs of online and part-time students. These programs are part of a “stackable credential” approach, allowing students to begin Union coursework as part of a shorter advanced certificate program (earning credits that can later be used towards a master’s degree). Online and part-time programs allow professionals from all walks of life—doctors, journalists, educators, public servants—who are interested in pursuing their deep moral and ethical calling to serve the cause of justice while still continuing in their day-to-day career.