The Renewal Process for Ministers in Preliminary Fellowship
To advance into Full Fellowship, all Ministers in Preliminary Fellowship are required to three approved renewals. Each renewal is evaluated following one of the three annual Ministerial Fellowship Committee (MFC) meetings. Deadlines for renewal submissions are below.
Deadlines for Submissions
- July 1st for renewal decisions in November*
- November 1st for renewal decisions in February*
- February 1st for renewal decisions in May*
* Dates are subject to change.
Where to Submit
Ministers are required to submit their forms by email to the Ministerial Formation Specialist at mfc [at] uua [dot] org. Please contact the Ministerial Formation Specialist if you are unable to submit electronically.
Ministerial Formation Specialist
Ministries and Faith Development
Unitarian Universalist Association
24 Farnsworth Street
Boston, MA 02210
Required Evaluation Forms: A complete application for renewal must contain the following:
- Parish or Community Ministry Cover Page (includes congregation /organization profile information)
- Board of Trustees/Supervisor Evaluation
- Self Evaluation (includes Professional Development Plan)
- Committee on Ministry (CoM)/Ministerial Formation Team (MFT) Evaluation
- Mentor Form
- A copy of the affiliating congregation's agreement or covenant(for community ministers only)
As a guide to completing evaluation forms, we recommend that:
- The evaluations from your Board and your CoMs/MFTs be consensus reports from each group. You should not submit evaluations from each person. Please identify the members of your CoMs/MFTs.
- The column "area for growth" be used to indicate areas where additional study would be helpful.
- Comments should reflect on positive areas of ministry as well as areas of needed improvement.
- Supervisors should indicate their name and title.
All forms are available for download.
From the MFC Rules
13. Preliminary Fellowship
When the Committee determines that the candidate is qualified to pursue Ministerial Fellowship, the Committee shall grant the candidate Preliminary Fellowship status.
A. Renewal of Fellowship
A person in Preliminary Fellowship shall be reviewed approximately every year from the date of hire or call. To be eligible for review, the minister must be engaged in compensated ministerial activities which constitute fifty-percent or more of a typical work schedule for a renewal period of 10 to 12 consecutive months. The Committee will also consider, for review, compensated ministerial activity which constitutes at least twenty-five percent of the typical work schedule (430 hours per year) if the renewal period is at least 24 consecutive months in duration.
This requirement may, at the Committee's discretion, be waived when it determines that the ministerial service is substantial enough to warrant eligibility for review.
B. Renewal Requirements
Each renewal review must include the following:
- A self-evaluation
- An evaluation completed by one’s supervisor or supervising committee (i.e. Board of Trustees, supervising minister, supervisor, etc. In ministries where one does not have a supervisor, a supervisory committee or relationship must be established for the purpose of evaluation.)
- An evaluation from one’s Committee on Ministry. For community-based ministers, an appointed Ministerial Formation Team may be appointed to serve this function. The Ministerial Formation Team should include members of a congregation and appropriate representation from the institution or agency being served by the minister. If the minister is not employed by an institution or agency, then composition of the Committee on Ministry must be approved by the Professional Development Director of the UUA.
- A professional development plan
- A form completed by the minister’s mentor confirming that the minister is in a mentoring relationship.
- A copy of the agreement or covenant with one’s affiliating congregation. (Community ministers only.)
Following any review, Preliminary Fellowship may be renewed, continued in present status, terminated or a determination made to move the candidate to Full Fellowship.
C. Renewal Period
A person has up to three years to establish a ministry that is eligible for renewal of fellowship and submit an application for renewal of fellowship. Once a person begins working in ministry that is eligible for renewal of fellowship, one must submit an application for renewal of fellowship annually. If a person stops working in ministry, the minister may remain in that renewal period for up to three years before either entering Inactive Status or applying for a waiver from the Committee. If a waiver is granted to extend the renewal period, the extension will be for one year.
D. Community Minister Renewals
All ministers serving community settings must during Preliminary Fellowship receive affiliation with a UUA or CUC member congregation. Affiliation involves a formal connection to a congregation and recognition of the community minister as performing a ministry. Affiliation should include a vote of the Board and having a covenanted relationship with the congregation’s minister(s), if there is one.
E. Continuity of Ministry of Preliminary Fellowship
To receive Full Fellowship, a minister must have been granted at least two renewals from the same congregation or organization. Where, however, the minister has been accepted into the Accredited Interim Ministry training program and is making expected progress toward completion, each year of interim ministry may be counted.