Ways of Being a Multisite Congregation
Branch and Campus Models
Branch and Campus (sometimes called "satellite") models are the most common. They emerge as a congregation grows another site (campus) or reaches out to an existing congregation to offer support (branch). A "hub church" anchors the network, offering support to sister communities or creating a new sister "site" that extends reach. Examples of this form include First Unitarian Church of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Jefferson Unitarian in Golden, CO and First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego, CA.
Yoked Congregation Models
Yoked congregations are bound by shared staff and shared programming. Each congregation retains their own budget, bylaws and church board. By joining forces to create a larger staff team or to achieve a full-time ministry, the mission of each congregation is enhanced. An example is the yoked partnership of the UU Church of Canandaigua, New York and The First Unitarian Church of Rochester, New York.
In partnership models, an existing congregation partners with or creates a distinct covenanted community. The motivation of these congregation is expanded mission. New populations are reached and innovative ministries are developed. Examples of such partnerships include Sanctuary Boston and First Church in Boston as well as AWAKE Ministries out of the UU Church of Annapolis, Maryland
Merged or Networked Models
Merged or Networked models seek to create "one church in multiple locations." These sites share everything! -their staff, programming, budget, by-laws, board, and most importantly, their mission. This deep interdependence and shared identity enables greater impact and achieves a higher profile in the community they serve. First Unitarian Universalist of Houston, Texas is an example.