Older Adult Ministry Certificate Program

Aging can create special challenges, as well as strengths, in faith formation. The Center for Lifelong Learning (CLL) at Columbia Theological Seminary and the Presbyterian Older Adult Ministries Network (POAMN) are pleased to offer the Older Adult Ministry (OAM) Certificate Program to better equip those working in churches and faith-based organizations to address the needs of older adults.

The Older Adult Ministry courses are open to participants from any denomination or faith tradition. There are four core courses, with two courses offered each spring at The Center for Lifelong Learning.

A capstone project is required to complete the certificate program.   While those pursuing the Certificate may begin with any of the four coureses, where possible we recommend beginning with The Process of Aging and Implications for Ministry and Teaching for Transformation courses. Pre-course reading and post-course assignments are required to received course credit toward the Certification. The Older Adult Ministry Certificate course of study may be completed in 24-36 months.

The Older Adult Ministry Certificate course schedule through the spring of 2020 is listed, below. Guest rooms and  dining facilities are available on campus and housing may be reserved during the registration process. Limited scholarship funds are available through POAMN. Please contact Sarah Erickson if additional financial assistance is needed.

For more information about each course or to register, click on the name of the course, below.

OAM Courses in 2020 

Registration for these classes are open. Register soon to assure your place.

January 27 – February 6, 2020 – NEW! Online!

Theological Reflection and Older Adult Ministry, with Dr. Skip Johnson

April 27 – 29, 2020 – on campus

Spiritual Formation and Older Adulthood, with Mary Anona Stoops

OAM Courses in 2021

Course dates to be announced by fall 2019.

The Process of Aging and Implications for Ministry

Teaching for Transformation with Older Adults

The OAM Capstone Project

The Capstone Project is the final course in the Older Adult Ministry (OAM) Certificate Program. Participants will design a project to enhance an aspect of older adult ministry within a particular context or community. The project must demonstrate application of the theory and practices learned during the four courses in the OAM Certificate program: the process of aging and implications for older adult ministry; teaching for transformation; theological reflection and affirmations and spiritual formation among older adults.

Projects may vary and may include compiling lists or local resources, describing a coordinated approach within a community to address an identified need, or designing a retreat, curriculum or single class on a particular topic. If a project entails designing a curriculum, retreat or similar group formation/education class, participants are encouraged to conduct a sample class and assess the experiences as part of the project itself.

Participants may register for the course when they have

Ordinarily discussions about the project and supervisor will occur as coursework progresses in conjunction with course leaders and OAM Advisory Group members. Please contact Lifelong Learning at Columbia Theological Seminary (lifelonglearning@ctsnet.edu or 404-687-4577) or POAMN if additional support is needed to proceed.



Sarah Erickson
Director, Lifelong Learning/OAM Program Coordinator
404 687-4526


Patricia Baker  
POAMN Vice-President/OAM Certificate Program Advisor

Presbyterian Older Adult Ministry Network