Credentials

Are you preparing for Messianic Jewish ministry? The Union provides licensure and ordination for rabbis, educators, and chaplains. Most of the academic requirements can be fulfilled at our three UMJC-approved graduate schools:

UMJC Smicha (Ordination)

Candidates for rabbinic ordination must fulfill all requirements for the Madrikh program and finish additional coursework, internship, and practicum requirements.

The following five core courses must be taken through a UMJC approved graduate school: 

  • Messianic Jewish Theology
  • Tanakh: The Beginnings of Judaism and the Jewish People
  • Apostolic Writings: The Early Messianic Jewish Community
  • Messianic Jewish Spirituality
  • Jewish Practices in a Messianic Context

These courses may be taken at any graduate school: 

  • Biblical Hermeneutics
  • Introduction to Rabbinic Literature
  • Talmud
  • Jewish-Christian Relations

This course may be taken at any college:

  • The History of Judaism and the Jewish People

Rabbinic ordination candidates must also fulfill eight Professional Development units, which may be taken at a UMJC-approved graduate school, or through individual tutoring with a UMJC rabbi:

  • The Personal Life of the Spiritual Leader
  • Congregational Growth & Development
  • The Basics of Synagogue Worship
  • Effective Public Speaking/Homiletics
  • The Roles of the Messianic Jewish Rabbi
  • Shabbat & Weekday Worship Services
  • Services for the High Holy Days and Moedim
  • Key Events in the Jewish Life Cycle

Finally, under the direction of a UMJC rabbi, smicha candidates must fulfill a one-year internship that provides practical experience in the following areas:

  • The Rabbi's Personal and Professional Relationships
  • Pastoral Care I - Counseling and Prayer
  • Pastoral Care II - Serving Through the Stages of Life

For more information, contact Rabbi Barney Kasdan, the UMJC Credentials Chairman. 

Madrikh (Licensure) Program

The Madrikh Program is a post-graduate training and development curriculum designed to increase the number of equipped leaders in Messianic synagogues (including teachers, synagogue officers, cantors, and counselors). It is the first step toward ordination or smicha, and a valuable credential in its own right.

Eligibility: Students must possess an undergraduate degree and participate in a UMJC member congregation.

Requirements: Core curriculum of 10 courses. 4 may be taken as intensive seminars at UMJC conferences:  

  • Messianic Jewish Theology
  • Tanakh: The Beginnings of Judaism and the Jewish People
  • Apostolic Writings: The Early Messianic Jewish Community
  • Messianic Jewish Spirituality
  • Jewish Practices in a Messianic Context
  • The Personal Life of the Spiritual Leader
  • Congregational Growth and Development
  • Basics of Synagogue Worship
  • Effective Public Speaking/Homiletics
  • History of Judaism and the Jewish People

Additional requirements:

  • One-year mentoring relationship with a UMJC rabbi
  • Biblical reading plan
  • Oral exam
  • Demonstrated knowledge of Hebrew

For more information, contact Rabbi Barney Kasdan, the UMJC Credentials Chairman.