Religious Education Leadership Training
The Renaissance Program is a major component of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Religious Education (RE) Credentialing program. Each 15-hour module provides standardized basic training in a specific area useful to religious educators. The following modules may be used in any order:
- Administration as Leadership
- Adult Faith Development and Programming
- Curriculum Planning
- Ministry with Youth
- Multicultural Religious Education
- Philosophy of Religious Education
- Teacher Development
- Unitarian Universalist History
- Unitarian Universalist Identity
Modules are designed to accommodate between 10 and 20 participants, however, attendance requirements are at the discretion of the coordinators. Renaissance Modules are open to all those interested in religious education leadership including divinity students, parish ministers, RE committee members and RE teachers. Preference is given to religious educators if the workshop is oversubscribed. Congregations sponsor the Religious Educator by underwriting their registration and allowing time to attend.
Renaissance modules are usually offered by District or regional RE Committees, by summer camps or conference centers; they can also be offered by clusters of congregations or professional associations such as Liberal Religious Educators or Unitarian Universalist Ministry Association (UUMA). If you are interested in sponsoring a Renaissance module, please fill out this form.
The UUA will provide leadership lists and program materials, while the sponsoring group is responsible for registrations, publicity, local arrangements for hosting the workshop and leader expenses. Many of the modules require that reading materials be sent to participants in advance of the workshop; this is also the responsibility of the sponsoring group.
At least six months before the anticipated date of the module, read the Renaissance Module Planning Guide (PDF) and consider the following items a priority:
- Identify which of the available modules you wish to sponsor
- Set the date and secure a module location
- Establish a planning group that will give the needed support
- Identify and confirm two Leaders (see Planning Guide on how to become certified and see Leader-in-Training Evaluation form under Module Resources)
- Designate a Coordinator
- Contact the Renaissance Program Office with any questions.
The cost of a Renaissance module is shared by the participants and the sponsoring group. Details of the cost breakdown are in the planning guide. The registration fee is determined by the local planning committee, based on its estimates of the conference costs. The conference budget must include:
- Honoraria for the leaders
- Meals and accommodations
- Leader expenses including travel and accommodations.
When a participant has completed five modules, (75 hours of Renaissance training) the Renaissance Program will send a Letter of Recognition and a Renaissance pin, in appreciation of the time that has been given in the service of quality religious education for our children, youth and adults. A participant may include these five modules and any additional modules toward completion of any level in the Religious Education Credentialing Program.
It is strongly recommended that congregations give financial sponsorship to a Religious Educator who is attending on their behalf. Some district, regional or professional organizations have funds available for Renaissance scholarships; please contact your representative to learn more. For questions about other possible funding for professional development, contact the UUA’s Professional Development Associate for Religious Education and Music Leaders at recredentialing [at] uua [dot] org.
Becoming a Renaissance Leader
The usual path to becoming a Renaissance Leader is:
- As a participant, take the Renaissance Module you are interested in leading
- Apply to become a Leader-in-Training (LIT):
- Complete a self-assessment using the Leader-in-Training evaluation form (the form is designed as an “after” module evaluation and is also used for the initial self-assessment.)
- Obtain a recommendation from district or regional staff; someone who is familiar with your work as a leader or facilitator. The recommendation should include information such as how long they’ve known you, in what capacity, and why they think you’d be a strong leader. Recommendation should be sent with “Leader-in-Training Endorsement” in the subject line to renaissance [at] uua [dot] org.
- Once all application materials are submitted, the LIT goes on the Leader-in-Training list and waits for an opportunity to be placed with an experienced leader as modules are scheduled.
- Once LIT has co-led a module, the experienced leader and LIT each complete the LIT evaluation form and feedback is provided to the LIT. Depending on feedback from leader and from participants, an additional placement as LIT may be required.
- With a successful evaluation, LIT gets placed on the leader list.