Community Ministry

Community ministry is care for the world outside the walls of the local congregation. Community ministry has deep roots within Unitarian Universalist movement, dating back to Joseph Tuckerman’s pioneering work among the poor of Boston in the 1820s. Today, community ministry is a growing and thriving vocation for both lay and ordained people.

Community ministers serve our movement in many ways. Some community ministers work independently; others serve in an organization outside a congregation; some form a bridge between congregations and secular organizations. Service sites may include chaplains in hospitals, in hospices, at prisons, on campuses, in police departments, or in the military; spiritual directors, pastoral counselors, street ministers, social justice advocates, UU legislative ministers; educators, journalists, UUA field staff, arts ministers, and nonprofit administrators.

If you are seeking information about pursuing ministerial fellowship with the UUA, please visit Becoming a UU Minister.

If you have entered preliminary fellowship and have questions about the renewal process for Community Ministers, please visit MFC Requirements for Preliminary and Final Fellowship.

Professional Organizations

The UU Ministers’ Association (UUMA) offers collegiality and continuing education for ministers in fellowship with the UUA, as well as for aspirants and candidates working toward fellowship.

The UU Society for Community Ministries (UUSCM) is a UU professional organization specifically serving and bringing together community ministers, both lay and ordained. UUSCM's website contains many helpful resources, including a Guide to Affiliation for Congregations and Sample Affiliation Agreements.

Other collegial organizations include: