Main Content

Preparatory Stages of Becoming a Minister

The following outline describes the stages of preparation for Unitarian Universalist 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.

Ministerial Fellowship Requirements Booklet and Appendix

**** In July 2019, the Ministerial Fellowship Committee (MFC) developed an MFC Orientation document for aspirants and candidates. The MFC hopes that all aspirants and candidates find this information helpful in their preparation for their MFC interviews. Please click on the link below.

Ministerial Fellowship Committee Orientation for Unitarian Universalist Aspirants and Candidates

Aspirant Status

A person in Aspirant Status has submitted the following forms to the Ministerial Credentialing Office. ALL REQUIRED FORMS CAN BE FOUND IN THE REQUIREMENTS FOR MINISTERIAL FELLOWSHIP APPENDIX:

  1. Initial Inquiry Form
  2. Interview Form—from a UU minister
  3. Evidence of acceptance to a theological school or another approved program, or graduation from theological school with submission of all official transcripts from prior graduate level academic preparation
  4. Signed Application for Candidacy form, which stipulates agreement to abide by the Rules and Policies of the Ministerial Fellowship Committee and 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
  5. Completed Criminal Background Check (effective January 1, 2019) Background checks for candidates who reside in Canada will need to be obtained by applying to the local police service for a “Criminal Record Check” that includes a “Vulnerable Sector Check.” These checks will review records maintained by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and other national databases to determine if a person has a criminal history or a record suspension (pardon) for sexual offenses. If your name and birth date are a direct match with someone who has a criminal record, you will be required to submit fingerprints and undergo a “Certified Criminal Record Check.” When you receive the official response from the police service, please submit this document to the Ministerial Credentialing Office (mco@uua.org). For more information, please go to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police web page.
  6. Congregational sponsorship obtained and Statement of Congregational Sponsorship has been submitted on behalf of the aspirant. (Clergy seeking dual or transfer standing or active UUA regional staff may have this requirement waived. Please contact the Ministerial Credentialing Director for further information.)
  7. Transfer/Plural Standing Forms (if applicable)

Candidate Status

In addition to 1 through 7 above, a person in Candidate Status has also:

  1. Completed an approved career assessment program and the written report has been received by the Ministerial Credentialing Office
  2. Completed at least one year of theological education
  3. Submitted final evaluations from a field education experience, CPE/CPSP/CSCPF (Unit 1) or an internship.
  4. After gaining Candidate status but before requesting an MFC interview, a Candidate must have:
    1. Completed a CPE/CPSP/CSCPF unit or an internship, and have sent evaluations to the Ministerial Credentialing Office;
    2. Completed the MFC Appointment Form and sent in a $250 appointment fee. (This fee may be waived under extenuating circumstances. Please consult with the Ministerial Credentialing Director for further information.)
    3. Completed the Criminal Background Check process. (effective January 1, 2019)

The Ministerial Fellowship Committee affirms that the granting of candidacy status permits the Ministerial Credentialing Office to share this information with those institutions and people who are engaged in your ministerial formation.

MFC Policy 3.E:Provisional Endorsement for UU Ministry

Any individual who holds Aspirant or Candidate status with the MFC may request provisional endorsement from the UUA while they continue through the fellowshipping process for the following purposes:

  1. The individual is seeking Board Certification for chaplaincy and requires endorsement.
  2. The individual is transferring their credentials or ordination from another generally recognized faith community/endorsing agent and wishes to be recognized as a UU minister for professional reasons (examples: they are currently serving a UU or UU-related institution; they are innovators creating a new form of UU community; or they require endorsement for military or VA chaplaincy while in the process of transfer).

Process: Once Aspirant or Candidate status is confirmed, the interested individual will submit a 1-2 page essay to the Executive Secretary of the MFC about why they want to be a UU minister within the context they are serving. This essay will be reviewed by a Co-Director for Ministries and Faith Development, the Ministerial Credentialing Director, and the Ministerial Formation Specialist. A follow-up interview may be required for a determination by the group. Provisional Endorsement will be provided so long as reasonable progress continues to be made in the fellowshipping process over time, with a maximum of seven years. A standard letter of Provisional Endorsement or the equivalent form (2088 for the Military or VA Endorsement form, etc.) will be made available to successful applicants.

Additional Information