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Summit on Excellence in Ministry
About the Summit
The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (UUA) is gathering a conference of leaders in our movement who are actively engaged in the formation of both our professional and lay ministers. The Panel on Theological Education was asked by the UUA Board of Trustees to convene this conversation about our ministries.
We hope it will be a significant meeting for those who have rarely had an opportunity to work together. We have engaged a talented and skillful facilitator, the Rev. Susan Beaumont of the Alban Institute. She will lead us in dialogues that are challenging.
By design, the process is open with no predetermined conclusion or result. Some of the critical issues that we face include recruitment, disparity of resources available to students at Unitarian Universalist (UU) and non-UU schools, accountability, and continuing education for clergy and laity. We will hear a keynote address from the Executive Director of the Association of Theological Schools, Dr. Daniel Aleshire, who offers a wider perspective in the area of theological education.
"The Tyranny of Excellence" (PDF, 10 pages) was the Keynote address delivered by Dr. Daniel Aleshire on Friday December 12, 2008.
Location: University Unitarian Church, Seattle, WA
Date: December 10-12, 2008
The Panel on Theological Education recognizes a need for new and more imaginative partnerships to realize our hopes for Excellence in Ministry. Our faith is that by bringing together people who have a strong interest in and commitment to Excellence in Ministry, folks will set the groundwork for working with new partners, or strengthen the foundations for working with old partners in new ways. Additionally, the Panel is looking for input and inspiration to inform the next generation of its work.
The Panel has invited representatives from a number of stakeholder groups to participate in the conversation on Excellence in Ministry. These groups include:
- UUA Board of Trustees
- Ministry and Professional Leadership
- Identity-Based Ministries
- Office of Youth Ministry
- Office of Young Adult Ministries
- District Staff
- Panel on Theological Education
- The Ministerial Fellowship Committee (MFC)
- Diverse and Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries (DRUUMM)
- Harvard Divinity School
- Andover Newton Theological School
- Starr King School for the Ministry
- Meadville Lombard Theological School
- Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association (UUMA)
- UUMA Continuing Education Network for Training, Enrichment and Renewal (CENTER)
- Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA)
- Unitarian Universalist Musicians Network
- Society for Community Ministers
- Shelter Rock Congregation, New York
- Unitarian Universalist Youth Working Group
- Allies for Racial Equity
Coverage of the Event
The Reverend Christine Robinson covered the conference via her blog, "iMinister."
Disclaimer to Notes on the Eight Conversations from the Excellence in Ministry Conference Held in Seattle, WA, December 10-12, 2008
The following notes were taken by more than a dozen volunteers at the conference. These notes have not been reviewed or edited. They are not intended to represent a final report and should not be considered a verbatim transcript. Not every critical point was captured by the note takers and some comments were taken out of a larger contextual conversation.
The following documents are in PDF format.
- "AR/AO/MC and Resistance" led by Wendy Von Zirpolo
- "Whose are We?" led by Sarah Lammert
- "What’s the Model of the Church we are Assuming for Leadership Training?" led Ned Wight
- "Ministerial Culture, UU Growth and Impact of Credentialing Process" led by Doug Gallagher and Christine Robinson
- "Collaborating for Collegiality and Continuing Education" led by Rob Eller Isaacs
- "Lay Theological Education" led by Harlan Limpert
- "Fostering Emotional Maturity and Spiritual Depth" by Beth Miller
- "Right Relationship Between the UUA and Theological Schools" by Wayne Arnason
Please direct your questions to the Rev. David Pettee, Executive Secretary of the Panel on Theological Education at pte [at] uua [dot] org, (617) 948-6402.