LeaderLab
Main Content

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.

Effective Leadership Development teams focus on recruiting and relationship building. By using our suite of four leadership development trainings, you can spend less time on content and more on connection. 

Training materials are divided into modules, available “on demand” as pre-recorded presentations with additional reading materials, discussion questions and other resources.

The LeaderLab design team monitors discussion sections in these trainings.

Note: Each training has a $30 fee.

Time Commitment

Centered Leadership 1 and 2 take about 16-20 hours each. Together, they are equivalent to a week-long leadership school. 

Congregations can use these trainings in a 16-week semester format (Fall and Spring) so that a module is “due” every other week. Leadership Development Teams can then offer live session after each module to discuss the provided questions and/or do an exercise or case study.  

Centered Leadership Part 1

The first in our suite of Leadership Development Trainings, Centered Leadership Part 1 is designed for people considering leadership, who are beginning to lead or who have leadership experience in contexts other than Unitarian Universalist faith communities.

We will cover:

  • how covenant is the center of UU faith
  • how our congregational polity works
  • how we can create strong, healthy communities
  • a deeper understanding of being a committed member of our congregations and the wider UUA
  • how being a member of a congregation is a “lab” for building Beloved Community

Centered Leadership Part 2

The second in our suite of Leadership Development Trainings, Centered Leadership Part 2 is designed for people who are brand-new to leadership or have been a leader for decades.  This training is ideal for your leadership team to develop a common language and enable you to lead toward health and vitality.

We will explore:

  • dynamics of the interconnection of human relationships in congregations
  • how congregations can develop ways of developing the collective creative and emotional intelligence of the members as a system
  • how your own sense of purpose and your centered presence can have a positive impact
  • how a shared sense of purpose and  group emotional intelligence can unleash creative synergy
  • how to reflect on your own spiritual center
  • how to develop some intercultural agility.

Claiming Our Spiritual Leadership

The third in our suite of Leadership Development Trainings, Claiming Our Spiritual Leadership offers deep spiritual grounding for all leaders.

Spiritual Leadership is not reserved for religious professionals or lay leaders. It is an orientation and practice by which every one of us creates, sustains, and restores Beloved Community. Community in which each person experiences belonging, equity, and well-being regardless of identity, role or rank. We need Spiritual Leadership everywhere: our homes, schools, places of work, neighborhoods, communities. As covenanted communities, congregations are perhaps especially suited to nourish and support it.

Consider taking this training if you and your congregation are looking for ways for congregational life to be:

  • less about volunteer chores and more about soulful engagement with your faith;
  • less about the worry of not having enough volunteers, money or time and more about finding energy and meaning in the gifts already present; and
  • less about the business of church and more about the transformative power of communities living their values in ways that challenge dominant culture — both within and beyond the congregation.

Strategic Leadership

The fourth in our suite of Leadership Development Trainings, Strategic Leadership is for board members, staff, program council members, ministry executive teams, finance committees, bylaws review committees, strategic planning committees, committees on ministry and any other leaders who need to think strategically.

You will:

  • gain a deeper understanding of how to focus your congregation on mission, by building trust
  • learn to develop a cohesive leadership team
  • learn about stewardship
  • learn about strategic planning
  • explore annual goal setting and ministry assessment
  • learn the basics of congregational governance.

Adaptive Leadership

The fifth in our suite of Leadership Development Trainings, Adaptive Leadership is designed for experienced lay leaders and professional staff who are looking to help their congregations face challenges without easy answers.

The “Adaptive Leadership” framework, pioneered by Harvard’s Dr. Ronald Heifetz, is more than a toolbox of tips. It will change the way you think about your own leadership and will equip you to lead through any change, welcome or unwelcome.

Course materials are divided into modules, available “on demand” as pre-recorded presentations with additional reading materials, discussion questions and other resources.

For the best results, take this course with several other congregational leaders as a team. You will use the concepts and strategies taught in the course to address a real case study from your own congregation with the instructor.


Additional Trainings for Deepening

Along with the Core Trainings, we also recommend a few key trainings that can help leaders deepen in ways that will help transform their congregation:

Co-Creating Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity in our Congregations

How do we interact across difference in a way that promotes diversity, inclusion and equity in our congregations that builds deep relationship and an inviting congregational culture?

Intercultural Organizational Development Consultant Beth Zemsky shares how we can use a tool called the Intercultural Development Continuum as part of faith development in our congregations.

About the Author

UUA Congregational Life Staff Group

The regional Congregational Life staff are congregations' local connection to the UUA. All of the program Congregational Life staff have expertise in most aspects of congregational life and each also has a few program areas of expertise. See the...

For more information contact conglife@uua.org.