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Qualifications of the Minister: Writing Congregational Bylaws

Although under congregational polity our congregations have the right and ability to call whomever they desire as their minister, some congregations choose to limit that choice by requiring that the minister be in fellowship with the Unitarian Universalist Association. Many see this requirement as a way to ensure that the minister meets the specific and general qualifications that the Association (through the Ministerial Fellowship Committee) has deemed necessary for recognition as a minister in good standing within our movement. Other congregations do not have such a provision in their bylaws but still follow the practice of calling a minister who is in fellowship.

Sample Provisions

Example 1: Any candidate for the position of Minister must hold fellowship in the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Example 2: The Minister shall be in fellowship with the Unitarian Universalist Association, or be an applicant for such accreditation.

Example 3: The Minister shall be and remain in fellowship with the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Example 4: The Minister of this Church shall have ministerial fellowship with the Unitarian Universalist Association. Race, color, disability, sex, affectional or sexual orientation, marital status, age, or national origin shall have no bearing on the choice or retention of a Minister.

Example 5: The voting membership shall have complete freedom in its choice of a minister, and this minister shall be in Fellowship with the Unitarian Universalist Association.

For more information contact growthresources@uua.org.

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Last updated on Thursday, February 7, 2013.

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