Sending leaders to a Leadership Experience is an investment in the future of a congregation and in the future of Unitarian Universalism. Leadership Experience (LE) participants are more grounded in Unitarian Universalism and hear a deeper call to serve. They function at a high level and are able to inspire and invite others. Because this experience is so valuable for individuals, teams, and congregations, the Southern Region staff recommends that congregations build leadership development, in general, and send teams to Leadership Experiences, in particular, into their budgets.
Southern Region Leadership Experience Goals
- To grow religious leaders who are able and feel called to steward our Unitarian Universalist faith
- To support congregations by giving leaders the skills, tools, and framework they need to lead both the congregation of Unitarian Universalists and the formal organization of the church
- To strengthen Unitarian Universalism through healthy, vital congregations and communities that are the institutional incarnation of our core values
- To offer an experience of deeply covenantal community, spiritual study, and justice-making which serves as a vision of the Beloved Community
Leadership Experience in the Southern Region
The Southern Region Leadership Experience is a three-part, nine-month, online course designed to support leaders at all levels. The sections of the Leadership Experience must be taken in sequential order.
Section One: Primer Leadership Experience
The Primer section of the LE is a self-paced experience with recorded lectures, supplemental materials, and one live processing session. The topics covered in the Primer LE are UU Theology, Covenant, and UU History.
The Primer section of the Leadership Experience builds your foundation in and connection to Unitarian Universalism. This section is for newer members who would like a grounding in our shared faith AND for long-time members who would like to deepen their relationship with our shared faith as well as gain a fuller understanding of what it means to be an every-day Unitarian Universalist. All ages are welcome for these online offerings, and they are a wonderful augmentation to Coming of Age, Youth, Young Adult, and membership development programs in your congregation.
Congregations are encouraged to support their membership in participating through scholarships. There are no prerequisites for the Primer section. There are no nominations requirements or team requirements for the Primer section; individuals may register on their own.
The Primer LE cost is $45 per person. The 2023-24 Primer LE Processing Session dates are October 25 and February 7 (choose the option that best works for your schedule.) Register for the October 25, 2023, Primer LE processing session. Register for the February 7, 2024, Primer LE processing session.
Section Two: Essentials Leadership Experience
The Essentials section is a three-session experience with recorded lectures, supplemental materials, and activities between three live processing sessions. The topics covered in the Essentials section are Congregational Foundations, System Theory, and Dimensions of Faith Development.
Offerings in the Essentials section are for gaining critical skills for holding leadership positions within your congregation. They are for members who would like to increase their competency in congregational theory and management. The Essentials section events are particularly useful for board members, members of the Committee on Ministry or Committee on Shared Ministry, Staff, Religious Professionals, Religious Education Teachers, Youth Advisors, Committee Chairs, and members of your visioning or strategic planning team. All ages are welcome for these online offerings, especially any Youth representatives on your board or on your committees.
Congregations are encouraged to support their membership in participating through scholarships. A congregational TEAM of at least two individuals is suggested to attend the Essentials LE series.
Completion of the Primer LE is required to register for the Essentials LE.
The Essentials LE series cost is $90 per person. The 2023-24 Essentials LE will run from January 2024 to April 2024 (with live processing sessions on February 24, March 23, and April 20). Register for the 2023-24 Essentials LE(please note, spaces are limited and registration closes on February 1st).
Section Three: Breakthrough Leadership Experience
The Breakthrough section is a three-session experience with recorded lectures, supplemental materials, and activities between three live processing sessions. The topics covered in the Breakthrough section are Incarnational UU Theology, Covenant Beyond Walls, and Justice is what Love Looks Like in Public.
Completion of the Essentials LE is required to register for the Breakthrough LE.
The Breakthrough Leadership Experience helps your congregation breakthrough its old patterns and habits and fully incarnate Unitarian Universalism in your Beloved Community. The processing sessions will delve into UU Theology, its application to congregational life, and its implications in the public sphere.
The cost is $75 per person, and no nominations or teams are required for the Breakthrough section; individuals may register on their own.
Supporting Leadership Development in Your Congregation
Your Southern Region staff supports membership and leadership development in your congregation with these Leadership Experiences, Toolbox Webinars, Presidents’ Gatherings, and more. We also offer consultations for individual congregations and communities toward creating membership and leadership paths and building infrastructure in your congregation that grows your membership and leadership capacity. If you would like a consultation for your congregation, please fill out our Partnership Activation Form .