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Music Leadership Certification Program Requirements
Music Leadership Certification Program Requirements

Print the Music Leadership Certification Program Plan.

Application Materials

  1. Applicationdue annually on March 15th
  2. Resume
  3. Signed Code of Professional Practices
  4. Criminal Offense Disclosure Form (Word)
  5. Letter of Support—Minister
  6. Letter of Support—Board
  7. Philosophy of Music as Ministry, Original (Word) (PDF)
  8. Annual Fee $350.00 (upon acceptance) Due by July 15 each year you are in the Program


Six Courses (two per year)

  1. Leadership of Congregational Singing
  2. Toward Multicultural Competence
  3. Leading a Successful Choral Rehearsal
  4. Care and Ethics
  5. Integrating Music and Worship
  6. Developing and Managing a Music Program

Assignments, deadlines, and evaluation standards set by course instructors in consultation with MLCP staff.

Three Professional Development Days (one per year)

Assignments, deadlines, and evaluation standards set by course instructors in consultation with MLCP staff.

Annual Assignments

Due Early Fall

  1. Fall Triad (Word) (PDF)—focused on goal-setting, instructions on form
  2. 1st-year candidates only: Self-Assessment Form (Word) (PDF)
  3. 2nd-year candidates only: Community Service Project Proposal—See Community Service Project, below

Due Early Spring

  1. Spring Triad (Word) (PDF) and Year-end Self-Assessment (Word) (PDF)—focuses on evaluation and goal review, instructions on form
  2. Philosophy of Music as Ministry Statement revisions (Word) (PDF)—See Music as Ministry Philosophy Statement, below

One-time Assignments

  1. Community Service Project—See Community Service Project, below
  2. Reflections on Denominational Gatherings (3)—See Denominational Gatherings, below

Additional Materials For Program Completion

  1. Criminal Background Check—you will receive instructions
  2. Updated Resume
  3. Final Recommendation from Advisor (Word) (PDF)
  4. Final Recommendation from Sponsor (Word) (PDF)

Further Information

Community Service Project Requirements

The purpose of the Community Service Project requirement is to develop skills to extend the outreach of the candidate’s music program into the congregation’s wider geographic community or to other communities with which the congregation has established a relationship, e.g. a partner church. It is advisable for the candidate to devise the project in consultation with the minister(s) or appropriate congregational leaders (where there is no ministerial presence) to discern both community needs and the resources of the congregation.

Each candidate will devise and carry out one community service project during the three-year period of candidacy. Such a project will employ appropriate musical resources from the candidate’s congregational music program and may also employ resources from the wider community if the candidate so chooses. The project should assist and support causes of social justice, social witness, or social assistance outside of the congregation, and should not be a fund-raiser for the congregation.

The candidate will submit to the MLCC a proposal for the Community Service Project no later than the Fall Triad Meeting of the candidate’s second year, and the project must receive the approval of the MLCC.

Successful completion of the project will demonstrate candidate’s skills in (1) identifying community needs, (2) negotiating and establishing relationships with outside organizations, (3) planning and organizing resources, (4) carrying out advertising and publicity, (5) and selecting music appropriate to project’s benefactor(s).

After the project’s completion, a one- page essay from the candidate should reflect on the effects of the project on the participants and recipients, as well as lessons and insights learned from the project. These documents, along with other relevant documents, e.g. programs, flyers, photos, et al. will be placed in the candidate’s portfolio.

Denominational Gatherings Requirements

The requirement is to document three denominational events in which you participated, not including UUMN conferences. It is intended to demonstrate the breadth of your engagement with Unitarian Universalism and the UUA. Types of events that would be considered for this requirement: GA, District Assembly, regional/district UUMN, UU summer institutes, UU Music camps. The reflections may be submitted at any time.

A reflection on each event is required and should include:

  • helpful things learned for your music program,
  • an awareness of what is happening in other congregations,
  • how has your perspective been broadened from participating in this event, and
  • how you have (or how might you) integrated what you’ve learned from participation in this event into your professional practice.

Music as Ministry Philosophy Statement Revisions

As part of your application, and for each year as a candidate in the MLCP, you are asked to submit a statement of your philosophy and vision of music ministry – not a list of responsibilities, but rather a reflection on the relationship of music to your congregation and on how you see your music ministry as an expression of our living faith tradition. You are asked to consider these Guiding Questions:

  • How are you called to serve?
  • Describe your passion for music ministry.
  • How does your music ministry serve your congregation?
  • How does your music ministry reflect our UU principles, traditions and sources?
  • How is music in your congregation a ministry?
  • How does music in your congregation change lives and heal persons?

In the spring of your 1st and 2nd years, you are asked to expand on your Original Statement by reflecting on the MLCC’s feedback, taking into account your learnings during the year, and/or considering additional Guiding Questions.

In the spring of your final year of the program, you are asked to distill your reflections from all three prior versions of your Philosophy Statement into a briefer statement that can serve as a touchstone or compass for your day-to-day work as a music leader. Again, be sure to look at feedback from the MLCC on your most recent version.

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