Leadership Training by Congregational Role

This is a growing library of training materials for various congregational volunteer roles including board members, committee chairs, treasurers, ministry team leaders, teachers, etc.

This page is a work in progress! We will be adding additional training materials as time and other resources allow!

Core Leadership Trainings

Every leader needs basic skills such as healthy communication, systems thinking, spiritual grounding and an understanding of the dynamics of conflict. Each of these trainings go deeper and deeper to help develop these skills.

Note: Each training has a $30 fee

Take the Core Leadership Trainings

Board Member Training

12-Part Free Self-Guided Training

Use this 12-Part training to onboard new board members, to use as a monthly board in-service training, or for a quick reference during board meetings.

Take the LeaderLab Training for Board Members

For Large Church and Strategic Boards

Offered as a “next level” training for boards that understand their basic role in the congregation, or

Antique brass magnetic sundial compass on top of a map.

for Policy or Strategic boards in larger congregations, The Strategic Board offers a deeper dive into:

  • The board as fiduciary agents who have a deep commitment as stewards of the mission and vision of the congregation.
  • The board as spiritual leaders who enter deep discernment conversations with self-awareness, courage, and humility.
  • The board as strategic thinkers who understand congregations as organic systems, and understand the need for strategic planning and feedback loops.
  • The board as change agents who are savvy about how to help the congregation transform in times of change and disruption.

Take the Strategic Board Training

Note: This training has a $15 fee

Finance Committee Training

A library of resources and best practices for your congregation's finances.

This training is free.

Access the Training Resources in "Money Matters"

Personnel Committee Training

A library of resources and best practices for your congregation as an employer.

This training is free.

Explore the Library of Personnel Committee Resources

Small Group Ministry Facilitator Training

Small Group Ministry--also called Covenant Groups, Chalice Circles, or various other names--is a time-tested and flexible way to connect members and friends and help to deepen their Unitarian Universalist faith. This training contains tips and tools for Small Group Facilitators.

This training is free.

Explore the Small Group Ministry Facilitator Training.

Lay Spiritual Care Training

This robust training has been created for non-ordained congregational leaders (usually lay leader and/or paid staff) who have been endorsed by other leaders in the congregation (the minister, or the board in lay-led congregations). It may also be used as a part of professional credentialing for non-ordained staff such as religious education or music professionals.

Note: This training has a $30 fee

Take the Training for Lay Pastoral Care Providers

Worship Associate Training

Screenshot of a light-skinned woman with shoulder-length brown hair in front of a bookcase with a bouquet of peonies on it.

Worship Theory and Practice

Worship for Transformation online training by Erika Hewitt and over a dozen accomplished worship leaders

This training for Worship Arts teams offers a deep dive into what makes worship transformative. Based on the theology of Creative Interchange, this training is for teams who have the honor of co-creating meaning while shaping the worship experience of the congregation. The recorded conversations are followed by Erika’s reflections and additional learning tools for Worship Teams to develop tools and frameworks to craft meaning-full, sensory-rich, and holistic worship experiences.

Note: This training has a $30 fee

Sermon Seminar

Book cover for The Shared Pulpit

The Shared Pulpit: A Sermon Seminar for Lay People book by Erika Hewitt

This book offers complete workshop to help lay people gain experience writing and preaching a full-length sermon for their congregation. This easy-to-use guide for both facilitators and participants provides a step-by-step lesson plan for eight sessions. Workshop members learn about the theory and theology of preaching, then practice writing and speaking with authenticity, gradually building toward composing quality 20-minute sermons.

Preaching Without a Script

The Rev. Stephen M. Shick

Speaking By Heart: The Spiritual Practice of Unscripted Public Speaking by Stephen M. Shick

One of adrienne maree brown's principles of Emergent Strategy is "less prep, more presence." This book guides the reader into an embodied practice of preaching with presence and connection with the congregation.

Membership Committee Trainings

From Visitor to a Full Spectrum of Member Engagement

This training looks at membership as a spectrum: From fostering a culture of connection to belonging, then to integration and eventually leadership.

Facilitator: Lori Emison Clair

Note: This training has a $15 fee

Take the Path to Membership Training

Widening the Welcome: Greeter Training

Our mandate as Unitarian Universalists is to build Beloved Community in our congregations, and learning to draw our circles of welcome wider and wider is a growth opportunity for our churches. In this course you’ll have an opportunity to learn how to learn and practice to be ever more inclusive of all who enter your doors. Take it yourself or run it for your whole greeting team or congregation!

This course is designed to follow the outline of the Widening the Welcome Workshops offered by the Central East Region Staff in 2021-22. You can take your entire team through this course by going through each module in order. If you don’t have a team, you can do this course on your own.

Note: this training has a $30 fee.

Take the Greeter Training Widening the Welcome

Man taking money out of a wallet

Stewardship / Fundraising Trainings

Several free trainings are available for your Stewardship Team:

Right Relationship Team Training

Creating beloved community requires intention and practice. Our covenants articulate our intention, but how do we live into the practice? Right Relations Teams (also known as “Healthy Congregations Teams”) are lay leaders entrusted to help the congregation practice faithful communication and creative conflict based on values of mutuality and consent.

This robust training has been developed for congregational teams who will be helping their congregations (or other covenantal communities) live into their covenants. Team members access the training materials on their own, then come together for practice sessions using materials provided.

Note: This training has a $30 fee

Take the Right Relationship Team Training

Committee on Shared Ministry Training

Here are the latest insights, ideas, tools, and permission to do the work of the Committee on (Shared) Ministry effectively from Congregational Life Staff.

Topics include qualities of CoM members, assessment of both the minister and the ministries as a whole, dealing with conflict, and working towawrd congregational vitality.

Resources for Committees on Ministry

Safe Congregation Team Training

Our congregations strive to be safe and welcoming places to all. It is impossible to make a congregation 100% safe; however, there are steps that you can take to make your congregation safer while still creating a supportive space for learning, growth, and challenge as well as actively working for the inclusion and safety of all people.

This training provides resources for religious educators, ministers and other congregational leaders to prevent and address violence, abuse, harassment, inappropriate behavior, and other threats to safety.

Note: This training has a $15 fee

Take the Safer Congregations Team Training

Discernment Circle Training

Many congregations are exploring Dynamic Governance (also known as Sociocracy) as an existing model that offers a way to be inclusive while still being effective. Many intentional communities and progressive organizations have adopted this as a governance model.

Instead of recommending that a congregation adopt Sociocracy as a top-down governance change, we are suggesting that congregations start by trying out discernment circle practices for complex decisions in their committees and teams.

This training (a work in progress!) is offered to congregational teams so that they can learn, practice and introduce circles to their congregations. The course is self-paced, with materials available on-demand. Practice sessions are offered by the facilitators.

Note: This training has a $30 fee

Take the Training to use Discernment Circles for Your Team or Committee

Volunteer Sustainability

Stop Recruiting, Start Retaining

Creating a zero recruitment culture requires a shift in priorities. Namely, volunteers must be valued over programs. Because good volunteers are not a renewable resource, it is imperative to celebrate and care for the ones who are already engaged. Retention should always take priority over recruitment. When the time is spent throughout the year on retaining volunteers, less time is needed for recruitment.

Note: This training has a $15 fee

Take the Training to Create a Culture of Volunteer Sustainability

Leadership Development Teams

Many congregations only think about developing new leaders around the time that the nominating committee is looking for potential board members. Instead, we recommend that congregations see leadership development as part of an arc of faith development that includes not just leadership skills, but also leadership sensibilities and faith development.

This training uses the 5 "I's" of Leadership Development: Identify, Invite, Inform, Involve, and Inquire.

This training is free.

Take the Training for Leadership Development Teams