Serving with Grace Lay Leadership as a Spiritual Practice
Erik Walker Wikstrom
From Skinner House Books
Discover how to experience congregational work as an integrated element in a fully rounded spiritual life.
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, compensation consultants, and regional staff throughout the search process for all types of ministers: assistant, contract, developmental, interim, or settled.
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; Amy Szen, Administrator; Rev. Patrice Curtis, Transformational Interim Ministries Director; and Christine Purcell, Transitions Program Manager (email@example.com)
- Congregational Life field staff support, all regions: Christine Purcell, Transitions Program Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org)
All ministers and search teams in consideration for settled and developmental ministry matches should submit their rankings to the transitions office on or by 27 March so we can let everyone know about their best match alignment for offer date (30 March).
This year, as an experiment, we are asking everyone to do this using a form. We are doing this in order to ask an additional question about the discernment process. We would like to know if search teams are checking in with regional staff, provided/initial references, and/or developed references and if ministers are checking in with regional staff, interim/transitional ministers, assistant/associate/community ministers who are currently serving with the congregation, and/or ministers who served with the congregation in the past. We will update the search handbooks with this updated request for next cycle if this process yields useful information.
To share your rankings with the transitions office, please use the appropriate form below:
- Ministers (both for developmental and settled positions)
- Search Team (settled ministry)
- Search team (developmental ministry)
Transitional Ministry Annual Seminar - April 24 - 28th, 2023
Visit Transitional Ministry Seminar 2023 for schedule information and registration.
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, once you have been in touch with regional staff and/or the Transitions Program Manager about the types of ministry search which would be best or are available to your congregation, send an email to email@example.com to initiate your search. Include your congregation’s full name, city, and state, and the name and email for your contact person.
- 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 for non-ordained staff, 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 06/2022)
- 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)
- Ministerial Agreement (full-time called), August 2021 light revision: UUA/UUMA Recommended for Full-time Senior, Lead, and Solo Ministries (Word, 20 pages) or (PDF, 20 pages)
- Virtual Ministry Considerations: Addendum to Recommended Ministerial Agreement (Word)
- Form to Record Changes from Recommended UUA/UUMA Agreement (Word)
- UUA Recommended Ministerial Agreement for Interim Ministries (Word) or (PDF), March 2022 Light Revision
- Recommended for Developmental Ministers (Word) or (PDF), April 2022
- 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
- Ordination and Installation Handbook (PDF), by Rev. Erika Hewitt
- 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.