The health and vitality of our congregations depends in part on a good fit between a congregation and their minister. The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) helps to connect ministers searching for a position with congregations which want to find a minister.
The UUA offers information and resources to help congregants, ministers, regional transition coaches, compensation consultants, and regional staff throughout the search process for all types of ministers: assistant, contract, developmental, interim, or settled.
Congregations seeking ¾ or full time ministries receive support from both the UUA Transitions Office and UUA regional staff; congregations seeking ministries of less than ¾ time receive support primarily from regional staff.
Questions About Materials or the Search Process?
Please include your full name, your congregation’s full name (no acronyms), city, and state in all correspondence with the UUA Transitions Office and regional staff.
- Transitions Office: Rev. Keith Kron, Director, and Emily Cherry, Administrator (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Congregational Life field staff support, all regions: Christine Purcell, Transitions Program Manager (email@example.com)
Congregational Leaders and Ministers
Regarding All Active and Upcoming Searches
- Only use the old settlement system for accessing historical information. The new Ministry Search system is in use!
- Congregational leaders, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to initiate your search. Include your congregation’s full name, city, and state, and the name and email for your contact person. If you are initiating an interim ministry search, let us know if it will be full-time or a lower percentage of time and about the planned duration (two years is recommended).
- To view opportunity listings for ministers, religious educators, musicians, and other congregational staff, please visit the MinistrySearch Jobs Board. To post a position on the jobs board, use the Job Board Listing Request form.
- Congregations seeking or offering staff for collaboration may also post to the Congregational Collaboration Board.
These documents are essential reading for both lay leaders and ministers:
- The Settlement Handbook The comprehensive guide to the process of calling a minister for both congregations and ministers (updated 06/2021)
- Changes from 2020-2021 to 2021-2022 Settlement Handbook Iterations (PDF)
- The Transitional Ministry Handbook (PDF) The comprehensive guide for all transitional ministries (updated 2020)
- Changes from 2019-2020 to 2020-2021 Transitional Ministry Handbook Interations (PDF)
- Links-Only Version of the Transitional Ministry Handbook (PDF)
- The Second Ministry Search Handbook (Word) The comprehensive guide for all assistant/associate ministry searches (updated 2019)
- Settled Search Calendars 2021-2025 (Excel) (use tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet to flip to your specific search year)
- Interim Search Calendars 2019-2025 (Excel) (use tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet to flip to your specific search year)
- August 2021 light revision:
- UUA/UUMA Recommended Ministerial Agreement for Full-time Senior, Lead, and Solo Ministries (Word, 20 pages) (PDF, 20 pages)
- Virtual Ministry Considerations: Addendum to Recommended Ministerial Agreement (Word)
- Form to Record Changes from Recommended UUA/UUMA Agreement (Word)
- For INTERIM ministries beginning July 2019 or later:
- Benefit Transition/Coverage Continuation Form Courtesy of the Office of Church Staff Finances
- Interim Ministry Appraisal (Word)
To be completed by ministers and lay leaders, online, after 6 months; after 12 months; and for two year interims, again at the end of the second year
- Developmental Ministry Evaluation
To be completed by ministers together with the board annually
- Directory Update Form Please complete this form to note any staffing changes to be displayed on MyUUA.org
Resources here are of particular use to lay leaders shepherding their congregation through the ministerial transition.
- Notice of Ministerial Transition
Informs the Transitions Office and your Regional Transitions Program Manager that your congregation is going into ministerial search
- Board Checklist for the Search Process (PDF)
A list of board responsibilities from the time the board becomes aware of the need for a settled ministry search to the beginning of the next settled ministry (includes the interim search process, coaching fees, etc)
- Congregational Transition Interview (Word)
To be completed by congregational leadership with UUA Regional Staff when ministers depart
- Settled Search Support Request
To be completed by board chairs during the spring when settled ministry search committees are formed. This form arranges payment for the congregational portion of the support provided by UUA staff and volunteers throughout the search process (search committee retreat, Beyond Categorical Thinking workshop, new ministry start-up workshop)
- Responsible Staffing (PDF, 14 pages)
- Compensation Worksheet (Excel)
Assists in calculating total compensation for a ministerial position, based on UUA benefit guidelines
- Ministerial Compensation for Search Committees (PDF, 52 pages) (YouTube Version). PDF version of webinar hosted by The Transitions Office and the Office of Church Staff Finances.
- Notice of Call
To be completed by the governing board once the congregation’s call to a minister has been extended and accepted
- Transitions Support for Congregational Staff
These resources are useful for ministers in the midst of or considering a transition.
- Intent to Retire Form
Must be submitted in order for retirement to be recognized in UU World Milestones and at the General Assembly Service of the Living Tradition
- Ministerial Exit Interview (Word)
To be completed by departing ministers with UUA Regional Staff
- MinistrySearch Jobs Board
- How to Case a Church (PDF, 59 pages)
The classic (third edition) by Peter Spilman Raible
- Manual for Ordination and Installation Services in UU Churches (PDF, 24 pages) by Peter Spilman Raible
- After Running Through the Thistles the Hard Part Begins (PDF, 13 pages)
The Rev. Mark Morrison-Reed's reflections on the position of the former minister, with responses by Revs. Leon Hopper and Marge Keip.
- 2018 UUA/UUMA Recommended Ministerial Agreement (PDF, 23 pages). Note that the August 2021 version is a light edit, mainly for clarity and cosmetics.
- 2012 Joint Recommendations Concerning Ministerial Agreements (Word, 24 pages) (PDF, 21 pages) Background information for all ministerial agreements and sample letters of call for settled ministries. For ministries beginning in July 2019 or later, please use the agreement listed in the above "essential reading for both lay leaders and ministers"section.