Professional Development Opportunities for Religious Educators
The Renaissance Program
Professional development modules that provide basic training in a specific area useful to religious educators. When five have been successfully completed, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) recognizes this achievement with a Letter of Recognition. Many districts also award lapel pins or other means of recognition. The Renaissance Program is a recognized component of the Religious Education Credentialing program.
Meadville Lombard Theological School
An independent, accredited, graduate theological seminary located in Chicago, IL. Meadville/Lombard prepares students for the Unitarian Universalist ministry as well as leadership positions in religious education and the social services. Of particular interest to religious educators is an online course on Unitarian Universalist history, the school's winter and summer Intensive courses on a variety of subjects, and its annual Winter Institute conference for religious educators, ministers, lay leaders, and seminarians held in Madison, Wisconsin, each February. In the future, look for information on a new education program for lay leadership.
Starr King School for the Ministry
An accredited graduate theological seminary whose mission is to educate people for religious leadership, especially Unitarian Universalist ministry. Of particular interest to religious educators is the school's summer session and its online courses in a variety of subjects. In fall 2003, Starr King will add a new master's degree—the Master of Arts in Religious Leadership for Social Change (M.A.S.C.). This two-year program will integrate theological study, spiritual practice and professional development.
Harvard Divinity School of Harvard University
HDS has historical and contemporary links to Unitarian Universalism. Of particular interest to lay professional religious educators are continuing education opportunities available through the Boston Theological Institute, the Theological Opportunities program, and various public events at the school.
Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA)
Sponsors an annual Fall Conference on different topics of interest to religious educators as part of its advocacy for the support of religious educators and the field of liberal religious education.
Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly
Includes many workshops, lectures, and meetings of professional interest to religious educators serving Unitarian Universalist congregations and other organizations.
Unitarian Universalist Association Coming Events
Lists a calendar of many denominational-wide upcoming events, including continuing education events and those of professional interest to religious educators.
The Mountain's Learning Center for Leadership
Dedicated to helping the lay and professional religious leader build and practice leadership skills. Of particular interest to religious educators is the Leaderships School for Religious Educators, online courses on topics related to religious leadership, and "Leadership Matters," a quarterly newsletter providing resources to congregations to explore what it means to be a learning community.
The Mountain Retreat Center
Hosts Religious Education Week at its Highlands, North Carolina, facility. Sponsored by the Southeast chapter of the Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA), this summer event provides a week of continuing education and training in religious education, worship, fellowship and camp-style fun.
Ferry Beach Camp and Conference Center
Sponsors a Religious Education Week at its Saco, Maine, facility on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. Religious Education Week is a lively summer week of professional development, spiritual growth, and just plain fun for Unitarian Universalist religious educators and their families.
Star Island Religious and Education Conference Center
Located in the Isles of Shoals off the coast of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Every summer it is host to a Religious Education Conference designed to meet the professional and personal needs of those both new to and experienced in Unitarian Universalist religious education as well as family and friends.
These resources from the UU College of Social Justice can be used to accompany a service-learning trip, or for individual or group study.