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Benefits of the Religious Education Credentialing Program

What Are the Program Benefits for a Religious Educator?

  • Personal self-esteem and sense of professional accomplishment for the religious educator as requirements are met and credentials achieved.
  • Clear guidelines for professional development.
  • Knowing they have been evaluated and are seen as a religious education professional not only by congregation and peers, but also by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA).
  • More long-term professional viability in religious education. A clear path of institutionally acknowledged achievements of increased professionalization and development of non-ordained religious educators will help to increase the length of their tenure with congregations and within the profession of religious education.
  • Guidance in professional development from a specially trained and experienced religious educator who serves as a mentor.
  • Greater potential for collegial relationships. It is our recommendation that governance structures and accountability relationships relating to religious educators who have achieved status in the Religious Education Credentialing Program remain as they have been delineated by individual congregations. However, it is our belief that the program requirement of adherence to professional ethics guidelines and other rules and policies modeled on the Ministerial Fellowship Committee, as well as enhanced professional development guidelines and Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA) good offices services (available to LREDA members), will allow for greater potential for collegial relationships between those lay religious educators who have completed the program and their ministerial colleagues.
  • Salary recommendations that reflect credentialed achievement. The most recent basic salary recommendations of the UUA Committee on Compensation, Benefits, and Pension include additional recommendations for those who have achieved status in the Religious Education Credentialing Program.
  • Institutional support and meaningful recognition of achievement. This includes: LREDA Credentialing scholarship funds for those participating in the program; acknowledgement in the UUA directory; Credentialed Religious Educators celebrated at Service of Living Tradition began in 2004.

What Are the Program Benefits for a Congregation?

  • Stronger, more vital religious education programs as religious educators integrate their professional learnings into their congregations.
  • Assurance that a religious educator who has achieved status in this program has met professional development standards in religious education and is held accountable to professional ethics guidelines by the UUA.
  • Potential for deepened collegial relationships among staff members.
  • Professional training or self-study and demonstrated professional leadership ability and experience in the many areas of religious education leadership. (Credentialed Religious Educator, Associate Level = Basic level of knowledge and competency; Credentialed Religious Educator = Working knowledge and above average competency; Credentialed Religious Educator, Master Level = comprehensive knowledge, masterful competency):
    • RE program administration, including volunteer management
    • UU lifespan religious education curricula and programs
    • History and philosophy of UU religious education
    • Human and Faith Development
    • Learning theories and teaching methods
    • Sacred texts
    • Multi-age worship
    • UU history and polity
    • UUA initiatives such as anti-racism/anti-oppression/multiculturalism, safe congregations, and ethics and congregational life
    • Stewardship
    • Organizational development
    • Conflict management
    • Right relations and professional ethics
    • Systems theory
    • Spiritual life, self-care and renewal
    • Written and oral communications
    • Ability to work collaboratively
  • A religious educator with a greater ability to serve as a resource to congregation (parents, families, children, youth, lay leadership, ministerial colleague) in the many areas of religious education leadership.
  • A religious educator with theoretical knowledge and demonstrated ability to put knowledge into practice—creativity, and ability to go beyond pre-packaged programming.
  • A religious educator who has been evaluated and is recognized by the UUA as a professional.
  • Recognition by the UUA as a congregation that supports and values the highest levels of professional excellence in religious education.
  • A religious educator with a greater incentive for professional development.
  • A religious educator with more professional confidence.
  • A religious educator able to take on broader responsibilities in the congregation.