Ministerial Internship Grants Program
The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) seeks to play a significant role in helping to provide congregations with the opportunity to call well-trained and highly-qualified ministers. A strong internship experience is an extremely important step in the preparation process for the Unitarian Universalist ministry, and it’s one that would not be possible without the participation of our member congregations. The UUA is thankful for those congregations will support our future ministry through serving as an internship site!
For many congregations, adding a fair internship salary to the budget can be especially difficult in the first several years of becoming established as a teaching site. The Ministerial Credentialing Office oversees the Internship Grant Program in order to support new teaching sites to provide internship salaries during their first year or two. Since good teaching sites are always in great demand, it is hoped that following this initial assistance, the congregation will want to continue to support their internship program independently, thereby making it possible for a congregation to host interns in the years to come.
The grant program is open to congregations offering either full-time or part-time internships. Full-time internships average 40 hours/week for at least 9 months, while part-time internships are a minimum of 15 hours/week for 18 months and usually span two congregational years. These internships may take place 1) primarily within the context of a congregation, or 2) be congregationally-based but include ministry with an outside agency or institution (no more than 50% of the internship experience.) Grants will be made to congregations.
Applicants will note an emphasis on a congregation's involvement with issues of anti-racism, anti-oppression, and multiculturalism. The 1997 General Assembly Resolution, Toward An Anti-Racist Unitarian Universalist Association, "urges the Unitarian Universalist Association, its congregations and community organizations to develop an on-going process for the comprehensive institutionalization of anti-racism and multi-culturalism." It further states, "the General Assembly urges all Unitarian Universalist leaders, including ministers [emphasis added] ...to engage in on-going anti-racism training, to examine basic assumptions, structures, and functions, and in response to what is learned, to develop action plans." A good internship site will provide opportunities to engage in anti-racism, anti-oppression, multiculturalism work in addition to those which develop other core ministerial competencies.
Each year, we receive applications from a number of congregations deserving of internship funding. Because there are limited funds available for the Internship Grant Program, grants unfortunately cannot be awarded to all qualified applicants.
Grants will provide up to one half of the recommended minimum salary for a full or part-time internship of up to 10 months. (Please refer to the Internship Grant guidelines for recommended minimum amounts.) Congregations may re-apply the following year for one renewal of up to half the amount of the first grant. (Note that these renewal grants are not automatic; an application must be submitted!)