Faith Without Borders: Associational Leadership

Global map showing the lights of civilization.

Congregations that have developed and support leaders who share the blessings of commitment to international engagement with Unitarian, Universalist, or Unitarian Universalist (U/U) institutions and other congregations are engaging in associational leadership.

Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations are invited to use the following check-list as a way of evaluating the inclusion of Associational Leadership in their international engagement.

  • Our congregation is involved in the institutional structure and development of an international U/U organization.
  • Our congregation spreads the word about the transformation it has experienced from its international engagement by visiting other congregations or gatherings and telling its story.
  • Our congregation is a mentor to other congregations.
  • Our congregation will consider becoming a mentor congregation.
  • Our congregation serves as a voice for the international responsibility of UU congregations and the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA).

If your congregation fulfills one or more of these examples of Associational Leadership, you’re well on the way towards integrating this aspect of international engagement.

Please consider choosing one or two additional elements to grow into over the next 1-3 years.

If there are other ways in which your congregation is involved in international Associational Leadership, please share them with the UUA’s International Resources Office (IRO).

Associational Leadership Resources

  1. A list of U/U organizations that have an international focus can be found in the affiliations section of These organizations vary greatly in terms of mission, programming, staff resources and budget. Some of them have been operating for decades, others have been only recently created. Please contact the IRO for suggestions about offering leadership to these organizations.
  2. Your congregation can help to raise awareness about successful international engagement by sharing its story. The IRO assists in this by including congregational profiles on and by bringing these stories to congregations we consult with. If your congregation would like assistance in sharing its story of international engagement more widely, please contact the IRO.
  3. The IRO seeks to match congregations with successful international ministries with congregations who are becoming involved in Faith Without Borders. If your congregation is ready to mentor another congregation that has an international vision, please contact the IRO.
  4. Congregations that have developed international ministries that are effective and based upon best practices can provide a very important voice in our Association. Share your commitment and vision with District representatives, UUA leaders, and the directors of international U/U organizations.