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 by mail or preferably email to the Ministerial Credentialing Office:

  1. Initial Inquiry Form.
  2. Interview Form (RSCC-2) (Word) (PDF) Applicants must find a UU minister to interview them, preferably a minister who knows the applicant well, and will be candid about their potential for the ministry. The UU minister should complete the form and send it to the Ministerial Credentialing Office directly via email or regular mail.
  3. Essay on ministerial aspirations and relevant biography (1-2 pages) in which the applicant says something about who they are and the ministry they feel called to serve.
  4. A signed Criminal Offense Disclosure/False Representation Statement RSCC-3 (Word) (PDF)
  5. A Transfer/Plural Standing Form, if applicable. The requirements for clergy seeking transfer or plural standing with the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) are essentially the same as for all other aspirants. Please note that the Ministerial Fellowship Committee (MFC) seeks evidence of a clear demonstration of motivation and commitment to Unitarian Universalism. Clergy seeking transfer or plural standing must also:

    • Sign a consent form allowing for the release of information to certify status of standing in current or prior denomination; (RSCC-4 (Word)) (PDF)
    • Submit a letter of reference from a ministerial colleague from current or prior denomination; 
  6. Acceptance letter from an Association of Theological Schools approved seminary, or transcript if graduated. (Those seeking a Master of Divinity degree equivalency are urged to contact the Ministerial Credentialing Director for further information.)
  7. Signed the Application for Candidate Status/Waiver of Claims/Authorization, RSCC-5 (Word) (PDF)
  8. Completed the Financial Planning Worksheet, RSCC-6 (Word) (PDF).

The Ministerial Credentialing Office will open a file for each Aspirant.  Aspirants are encouraged to subscribe to the seminarian email list, UUMINS2B.

Aspirants may be eligible for a $1,000.00 Program Assistance Grant to offset the costs of the required career assessment. Aspirants are eligible for reduced registration rates for General Assembly and should contact the General Assembly office of the UUA directly. Seminarians who are attending theological school at least half-time are eligible to apply for UUA scholarship aid, beginning in the second year of school. Incentive grants are available to people of color and from historically marginalized communities in the first year of theological school by contacting the Ministerial Credentialing Office. Persons seeking transfer or plural standing are not eligible for financial aid from the UUA other than the Program Assistance Grant.

Candidate Status

The aspirant must interview with one of the two Regional Sub-Committees on Candidacy (RSCC.) Prior to scheduling an appointment to meet with the RSCC, the aspirant MUST have had their Career Assessment completed and the written report MUST have been received by the Ministerial Credentialing Office directly from the center, which conducted the Assessment. During the interview the RSCC are empowered to grant candidate status or postpone candidate status. 

Information on Preparing for the RSCC Interview

In addition to 1 through 8 above, a candidate has also:

  1. Completed and released a career assessment from an approved center.
  2. Completed at least one year of theological education.
  3. Been interviewed and granted candidate status by an RSCC.

All aspirants must have scheduled an interview with an RSCC prior to the commencement of their internships. Please also be aware that MFC Policy 3, C.9 states that candidates for the UU ministry “Agreed in writing 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.”

After being granted candidate status by the RSCC and before requesting an MFC interview, a Candidate must have:

  1. Obtained sponsorship (PDF) from a UU congregation (MFC-5).
  2. Completed CPE or the internship and have evaluations (Internship Clearinghouse).
  3. Completed the MFC Appointment Form, MFC-1 (Word) (PDF).

Preparing to Interview with the MFC

For more information contact