Discernment Circle Training

In response to the report Widening the Circle of Concern, congregations are rethinking aspects of congregational life that reinforce systems of oppression so that our congregations might become welcoming and diverse communities of communities that prioritize inclusivity and purpose.

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.

Training fee: $30 per participant

Take This Training (Note: You will redirected to a separate website, UU Institute, which is managed by the UUA.

How To Take Trainings from the UU Leadership Institute

Register for trainings at UU Institute. Once you register you will get an email with a confirmation link that you need to click to activate the account. (You may need to check your spam folder. Please add uuinstitute.org to your safe senders list.)

You can then go back to the site and go to the electives option in the trainings menu and scroll down until you find the class and click on it. You must take part 1 first (which is free), then once approved, you can proceed to part 2 (which costs $30).

There is a a full video tutorial on how register for the site, purchase a training and how to navigate the trainings.

About the Authors

Renee Ruchotzke

Rev. Renee Ruchotzke (ruh-HUT-skee) is a Congregational Life Consultant and program manager for Leadership Development.

Patricia Infante

Patricia Hall Infante is a lifelong Unitarian Universalist who grew up in a large New York City congregation. Her first career as a contract negotiator was put on hold while she took the job of full-time mother to two wonderful boys (an investment that continues to pay dividends)....

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