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Preparatory Stages of Becoming a Minister

The following outline describes the stages of preparation for Unitarian Universalist (UU) ministerial fellowship and some of the policies and procedures associated with each stage.

Applicants are persons who have contacted the Ministerial Credentialing Office indicating intent to pursue fellowship as a UU minister. A record of applicants will be maintained by the Ministerial Credentialing Office.

Aspirant Status

A person in Aspirant Status has submitted the following forms to the Ministerial Credentialing Office:


  1. Initial Inquiry Form;

  2. Interview Form—from a UU minister;

  3. Transfer/Plural Standing Forms (if applicable);

  4. Evidence of acceptance to a theological school or another approved program, or an official transcript showing current status or graduation date from theological school;

  5. Signed Application for Candidacy form, which stipulates agreement to abide by the Rules and Policies of the Ministerial Fellowship Committee and to defer accepting any ministerial position other than internships and student ministries unless approved by the Ministerial Credentialing Director. Violation of this policy shall render the candidate ineligible for an interview with the Ministerial Fellowship Committee or Ministerial Fellowship for four years from the commencement of the position;

  6. Signed Criminal Offense Disclosure Form/False Representation Statement;

  7. Congregational sponsorship obtained and Statement of Congregational Sponsorship has been submitted on behalf of the aspirant. (Clergy seeking dual or transfer standing or active UUA regional staff may have this requirement waived. Please contact the Ministerial Credentialing Director for further information.)

Candidate Status

In addition to 1 through 7 above, a person in Candidate Status has also:

 8. Completed an approved career assessment program and the written report has been received by the Ministerial Credentialing Office;

 9. Completed at least one year of theological education;

10. Submitted final evaluations from a field education experience, CPE/CPSP unit or an internship.

Prior to the Ministerial Fellowship Committee (MFC) interview, a Candidate will have:       

  1. Completed the MFC Appointment Request form;

  2. Sent in a $250 application fee at the time the MFC interview is scheduled. (This fee will be used to build a fund to help offset travel equalization costs. This fee may be waived under extenuating circumstances. Please consult with the Ministerial Credentialing Director for further information.)

  3. Submitted the following paperwork required for inclusion in the MFC interview packet:

a) Biographical Information Sheet

b) Biographical background form (two to three pages double-spaced)

c) Digital (head shot) photograph

d) Signed and dated MFC Reading List

e) Conviction Disclosure form

f) Oxford criminal background check

g) Consent for Release of Information for Transfer and Plural Candidates (if applicable)

h) Career Assessment Report from an approved career assessment program

i) Essay: “What is the theological context of your call to Unitarian Universalist ministry? Refer to at least one theologian, one personal experience and one sacred text.” (Maximum length: 4 pages, double-spaced)

j) Essay or short reflection paper explaining how your analysis of anti-racism, anti-oppression, and multiculturalism is reflected in your ministry. (Maximum length: 4 pages, double-spaced)

k) Essay: Describe a personal experience of ministering with children or youth and how this experience informs your philosophy of religious education. (Maximum length: 4 pages, double-spaced)

l) RSCC letter (if available) **

m) Five letters of reference: A faculty member or advisor if the candidate is enrolled in seminary, or a recent graduate; a Unitarian Universalist minister other than the internship supervisor; anyone of the candidate’s choice who has known him or her for at least six years; anyone of the candidate’s choice; a religious educator.  (All letters of recommendation must be dated, signed and must clearly indicate that they have been shared with the candidate.)

n) Internship Learning/Serving Agreement (signed and dated)

o) Internship evaluations:  _____ Self _____Supervisor _____Committee

p) First unit CPE or CPSP Evaluations:  _____Self   ______Supervisor

q) All MFC Statements of Competency

r) All official graduate transcripts (and undergraduate transcripts, if available)

** Aspirants who have had their candidacy status postponed by a previous RSCC interview may achieve candidacy status by submitting field education, CPE/CPSP and/or internship evaluations to the Ministerial Credentialing Office.

** Aspirants who have had their candidacy status denied by a previous RSCC interview may submit a request to the Executive Committee of the Ministerial Fellowship Committee. Please consult with the Ministerial Credentialing  Director for further information.

Additional Information

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