The Music Leadership Certification Curriculum

Music Leadership Certification Program Benefits

Music Leadership Certification Program Benefits

The curriculum through which candidates develop professional skill and knowledge in Music Skills and Resources, Unitarian Universalist (UU) Heritage and Values, and Leadership and Interpersonal Skills is delivered by the program through a series of six core courses and additional professional development opportunities. The courses are usually offered at the Association of Unitarian Universalist Music Ministries (AUUMM) annual summer conference in a rotation of two courses offered each year. In addition, a Professional Development Day (PDD) is offered, usually preceding the conference. For the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 church years, the MLCC adapted coursework to meet online.

The courses and the Professional Development Days are mandatory.

Core Courses​​

Due to the Coronavirus, the 2020 and 2021 AUUMM Conferences were canceled and much of our coursework has shifted online. 

  • Spring 2021 Online: Spiritual Care Training for Congregational Leaders
    This program covers material for the pastoral care and professional ethics competencies for the Music Leadership Certification Program in 2020-21. The program includes the online coursework for “Spiritual Care Training,” which addresses pastoral boundaries and covenantal relationship with supervisors, deep presence, mental health, professional ethics , self care, and other topics. Participants will review the AUUMM Code of Professional Practice and complete a final paper or project that evidences proficiency with the materials covered in this class. Topics around anti-oppression and anti-racism will be woven into the discussions over the course of the program.
  • Summer 2021 Online: Toward a Multiculturally Competent Music Ministry 
    This course is designed to support the role and best practices of the music leader in a multiracial, multicultural, and theologically diverse Unitarian Universalist congregation. As a doorway for deepening the congregation’s commitment to the inherent worth and dignity of every congregant, the course supports music leaders in helping the congregation to explore, name, and integrate its values in service of compassion, justice, and inclusion. We will explore such questions as: What is the music leader’s role in communicating and embodying the core messages of Unitarian Universalism? How are music leaders called to enter into the current conversations and actions in our Unitarian Universalist movement around dismantling white-supremacy culture in our institutions?
  • Winter/Spring 2022 Online: Developing and Managing a Music Program 
    In this course, we will survey the practical aspects of developing and managing a dynamic music ministry. We will explore resources from the Association of UU Music Ministers and elsewhere, but our greatest resource will be each other. In addition to discussing the ‘nuts and bolts’ that make up our music programs, each participant will explore and discuss the culture that exists within his/her faith community. Programs tend to succeed when we understand who it is we are serving as music leaders.
  • Winter/Spring 2022 Online: Music and Worship
    This course will develop the music professional’s ability to create transformational worship as part of a collaborative team. By the end of the class, the participant will have an increased understanding of the role and function of music in worship and how to access appropriate resources within a Unitarian Universalist setting.
  • Summer 2022 Conference: Leadership of Congregational Singing
    This course will develop strong, effective, and inspiring leadership of hymns/songs for congregational singing. Through the use of both practical and written assignments, candidates will use a wide range of musical styles and techniques to help them broaden and deepen the worship experience of the congregations they serve. (program subject to change)
  • Summer 2022 Conference: Leading a Rehearsal
    This class will focus on elements of leading a choral rehearsal including warm ups, teaching and introducing new music to singers, working with a variety of singers, score preparation, troubleshooting and polishing music, timing and pacing your rehearsal for success, and creating a positive atmosphere in rehearsals. This will be a hands-on class.

Professional Development Day

What does it mean to be a music leader in UU congregations? What skills and knowledge are needed beyond excellent musicianship and best practices in professional conduct? The annual Professional Development Day (PDD) is meant to help hone the skills that round out those necessary for an enriching and successful music ministry, and will address some aspect of the following UU professional development topics:

  • UU Theology and History
  • Congregational Structure
  • Interpersonal Leadership

PDD is currently offered the day before the AUUMM conference begins. The course is divided into three sessions: two plenary sessions for Music Leadership Certification Program candidates and interested conference registrants, and a seminar for candidates only.​

Fall 2021: Interpersonal Leadership by CB Beal. Details forthcoming.