Immersion Experiences for UU Leaders

Leadership Schools offer an immersion learning experience that can be transformational. Schools range from whole weeks to long weekends to online versions. Each school has its own culture and format, some offered by regions and some offered nationally.

THRIVE: Leadership School for Youth of Color

Join other Unitarian Universalist Youth of Color (People of African Descent, Caribbean, Native/American Indian, Asian and Pacific Islander, Latina/o and Hispanic, Middle Eastern/Arab, and Multiracial) for a five-day gathering to deepen connections to community, place and purpose. Thrive participants will be guided by experienced co-facilitators as we worship, feast, play, explore the communities we come from, engage the histories of the communities we visit and practice the transformative leadership skills into which we are called by our histories, faith and communities.

Learn More about Thrive for Youth

THRIVE: Leadership School for Young Adults of Color

Thrive for Young Adults

THRIVE: Leadership School for Young Adults of Color

Thrive Young Adult serves Unitarian Universalist (UU) young adults of color (People of African Descent, Caribbean, Native/American Indian, Asian and Pacific Islander, Latina/o and Hispanic, Middle Eastern/Arab, and Multiracial), ages 18-35.

"For UU YAs of color, being connected with other UU YAs of color doing anti- racist work and racial justice organizing is an incredible opportunity. It reminds us that we are not alone." —Thrive YA alum


Summer Seminary for Youth

Summer Seminary is a program where Unitarian Universalist youth explore the possibilities of bringing their UU faith alive in the world through ministry. Focused on personal discernment and collective inquiry of diverse forms of ministry including parish, lay, community, religious education and music ministry, this program offers youth the opportunity to learn about life as a religious professional, explore what it means to minister in a secular world and connect with other youth passionate about Unitarian Universalism.

Learn More About Summer Seminary for Youth

Pacific Western Region Leadership Experience

This program is ideal for incoming or already serving board members or any other congregational members planning to serve or already serving in a leadership role. Religious professionals may also attend. We encourage congregations to send teams of at least two people to attend.

The goal of the program is to give participants the experiences, understandings, knowledge, and practical skills necessary to become spiritually grounded leaders able to lead change in their congregations in order to help those congregations become the most vital Unitarian Universalist congregations possible.

Learn About the PWR Leadership Experience

Pacific Western Region Metamorphosis Youth Leadership Camp

A five-day community building and training space for high school youth interested in leadership, activism, and spiritual growth. In the process of deeply listening, through exploration and learning, students and staff examine Unitarian Universalist Religious History and Values, Worship Skills, Spiritual Practices, Leadership Development, and Counter Oppression, with each lesson purposefully incorporating the lenses of activism, advocacy, and the building of Beloved Community.

Learn About the PWR Metamorphosis Youth Leadership Camp

MidAmerica Region Midwest Leadership School

Led by lay and ordained staff with a deep understanding of UU congregations, MWLS

  • develops both youth and adults into congregational leaders
  • provides leadership tools and skills
  • deepens Unitarian Universalist identity

This is an extremely intense week of workshops, discussions, intimate small groups, worship preparation, personal theological exploration and growth.

In exchange for wholehearted commitment to a strenuous schedule, MWLS offers a life-changing and congregation-nourishing opportunity.

Learn About the MidAmerica MWLS

MidAmerica Region Youth Midwest Leadership School

This is an intentional community and learning experience. It equips young UUs with a foundation that deepens their religious development and expands their ability to contribute, both in their Unitarian Universalist community and beyond.

Youth Leadership School is designed to be an intensive learning experience. The days will be long, varied and demanding, with little free time. The community we create together will be safe, supportive and fun—aiming to give each participant as full a sense of his or her own developing leadership skills as is possible in one short week.

Learn About the MidAmerica Region Youth MWLS

Southern Region Leadership Experience

The Southern Region hosts several Leadership Experiences (LEs) each year; one residential and some extended over the course of multiple weekends. All LEs provide a full five days of Unitarian Universalist leadership for teams from congregations.

Our Leadership Experiences are full-immersion experiences. Participants are invited into a covenanted religious community that is a living expression of Unitarian Universalist core values.

Learn about the Southern Region Leadership Experience

Central East Region of the Unitarian Universalist Association (map)

Central East Region

Central East Region Leadership Experience

The UU Leadership Team Institute—or UULTI—has been replaced by the Core Courses of the UU Leadership Institute. Local Immersion weekends are available by request for clusters of congregations. Contact Rev. Renee Ruchotzke if your cluster is interested.

Central East Region River Rising Summer Youth Immersion Experience

At River Rising Youth will spend a week creating community and learning to care for that community spiritually, pastorally and physically. They will have conversations about how Unitarian, Universalist and Unitarian Universalist values influence their own sense of purpose and work on articulating their own faith based values. We’ll approach leadership as a continual process of self reflection, group processing and practice work. And we’ll have a lot fun just hanging out and playing together!

The school is taught by pairs of youth and adult Guides. Youth Guides are experienced leaders. A typical day at River Rising will consist of youth led worships, silent reflection time, small group discussions, team based cooking projects, games and activities to teach leadership skills, and of course necessary free time.

Learn About Central East Region's River Rising

Center for Congregational Spirituality

Spiritual Leadership in Communities of Faith: A Contemplative Retreat

Built on the foundation of spiritual direction/guidance/companioning, the retreat emphasizes bringing the benefits of the practice into three spheres: your personal spiritual life, the life of your faith community, and the wider world. Each day the retreat, you’ll learn to integrate the art and practice of spiritual direction into your life and ministry through a daily routine of contemplative worship, engagement with the history and practice of spiritual direction, opportunities to participate in individual and group spiritual direction, and time for reflection—both individually and in community.

More on Retreats by the Center for Congregational Spirituality