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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 ( 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 application fee. (This fee is being used to help offset travel equalization costs and 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 Requirements Checklist

  1. Digital Photo (headshot in jpeg or gif format)
  2. Biographical Information Form
  3. Narrative Essay: An essay (1,200-1,500 words) that narrates your life journey and call to ministry. The MFC is interested in learning about you as a person: your family background, where you grew up, your commitments and interests outside the ministry; your present family and personal support system. Also, please discuss how you imagine serving in the Unitarian Universalist ministry in the near future.
  4. Career Assessment Report from an approved career assessment program
  5. Statements of Competence and Reading List:  The MFC expects candidates to complete all required readings and coursework—or equivalent substitutions—by the time of the interview. All are relevant areas of inquiry during the interview, regardless of whether the candidate has completed them. A candidate cannot qualify for preliminary fellowship until all statements of competence and the reading list are completed.
  6. First unit CPE or CPSP Evaluations:  Self, Supervisor
  7. Internship Learning/Serving Agreement (dated and signed)
  8. Internship evaluations:  Self, Supervisor, Committee 
  9. Five letters of reference from the following recommenders:
    1. A faculty member or academic advisor, if the candidate has been enrolled in seminary within the last five years;
    2. A Unitarian Universalist minister other than the internship supervisor;
    3. A religious educator;
    4. Anyone of the candidate’s choice who has known them for at least five years;
    5. Anyone of the candidate’s choice.
      **All letters of reference must be dated, signed, and must clearly indicate that they have been/will be shared with the candidate.
  10. All official (up to date) seminary transcripts
  11. All official graduate transcripts (and undergraduate transcripts, if available)
  12. Oxford Document Management Criminal Background Check: Final report must be received by the UUA. There is a fixed fee of $180, which is a substantial discount from the vendor’s ordinary fee. The UUA offers to cover half of the cost of the criminal background check. Please email for more information.
  13. Criminal Offense Disclosure Form (if available)
  14. RSCC letter (if applicable)
  15. Consent for Release of Information for Transfer and Plural Candidates (if applicable)

** Aspirants who have had their candidacy status postponed by an RSCC interview may achieve candidacy status by submitting field education, CPE/CPSP and/or internship evaluations to the Ministerial Credentialing Office.

** Aspirants who have had their candidacy status denied by an RSCC interview may submit a request to the Executive Committee of the Ministerial Fellowship Committee. Please consult with the Ministerial Credentialing Director,, for further information.

Additional Information