Transformational Religious Leadership Workshop

What are the skills and perspectives needed to be a religious leader in these complicated times? Learning to navigate change, create holding environments for productive conflict and assess the kind of leadership needed in the midst of chaos are key. Weaving together theories of change management, conflict transformation, systems, and adaptive leadership, this workshop will offer you an opportunity to practice techniques as well to utilize the perspectives and gifts of your colleagues to learn experientially about your leadership role and style.

This workshop is open to ministers, ministerial candidates, and district staff members.


  • Rev. Dr. Terasa G. Cooley
  • Rev. Martha Niebanck


  • Monday, May 24, 2010 – Friday, May 28, 2010


  • The Mountain Retreat & Learning Center, Inc.
    Highlands, NC


  • For registrations received by March 29:
    $600 double occupancy / $750 single occupancy
  • For registrations received after March 29:
    $650 double occupancy / $800 single occupancy

Registration includes lodging, meals, and program materials. Limited scholarship money is available if you register before March 15.


Rev. Dr. Terasa Cooley is the Mass Bay District Executive. She has offered innovative and in-depth learning opportunities for ministers and religious leaders on such topics as conflict transformation, adaptive leadership, understanding systems, growth and change, strategic planning, and leadership development. She has served congregations in Detroit, Chicago, and Hartford. She received her MDiv from Harvard Divinity School and her DMin from Hartford Seminary.

Rev. Martha Niebanck is the co-minister with the First Parish in Brookline, MA. She has served congregations in South Country, RI, and Waltham, MA. Prior to ordained ministry, Martha was a therapist working with individuals, families, and groups in mind-body medicine. She holds degrees from Tufts University, Andover Newton Theological School, Boston University, and the Kantor Family Institute. She has co-facilitated a “Conscious Aging” workshop at the NYC Jung Foundation, NYC Open Center, Interface, Star Island and Ferry Beach. Serving as the chair of the Mass Bay District’s Conflict Transformation Team since 2004, Martha consults to congregations teaching the practice of dialogue.


The Mountain Retreat: Nestled atop a granite cliff in Western North Carolina, The Mountain’s breathtaking views evoke a sense of wonder. The Mountaintop Retreat and Learning Center is at an elevation of over 4200 feet and straddles the Eastern Continental Divide, featuring a four-state panoramic vista, great sunsets, meteor showers, and spectacular views of the surrounding Nantahala National Forest. Rare native plant and wildlife habitats, including a rare stand of ancient wind-worn dwarf white oaks, are just a few components of this rich and diverse ecosystem in the Appalachian Mountains and the Southern Blue Ridge escarpment.

The Mountain is a year-round retreat and learning center that designs, facilitates, and hosts programs and retreats for people of all ages and faiths. The Mountain’s mission is to embrace the diversity of life, creating an environment to energize people to work for positive change. Further, The Mountain strives to provoke insight and incite humane, sustainable social change through reflection, experiential education, and meaningful action. The Mountain was founded in 1979 by a group of Unitarian Universalists in the Southeast. Check out their website more information on The Mountain.

Transportation: The closest airport is Asheville, NC, about 1 ½ hours from the retreat center. Atlanta is about 2 ½ hours away.

Please—Do not book flights until you have received confirmation of your registration!!

Shuttles can be arranged to the conference center from Asheville airport for approximately $50 each way. Once the conference is confirmed, information will be provided about booking flights at times that facilitate shared shuttles.


To Register: Complete the registration form (Word, preferred format) (PDF) and email it to Mail your $150.00 deposit to:

Margaret Montore
Ministry and Professional Leadership
Unitarian Universalist Association
25 Beacon Street
Boston, MA, 02108

Do not book flights until you have received confirmation of your registration.

To apply for a scholarship: You must register by March 15 and complete the Continuing Education Grant application (Word, preferred format) (PDF) and send it as an attachment to

Questions? Contact Jory Agate, or call (617) 948-6453.