Theme-Based Ministry

People clap and sing at a worship service at General Assembly

Theme-based ministry, sometimes called theme-based church, helps create multigenerational connections as people of all ages explore common themes in age-appropriate ways. Theme-based ministry extends faith development beyond Sunday morning. Families can continue the conversation in the car ride home or over the dinner table; small groups that meet during the week can go deeper with the theme.

This model can be used with any sized congregation. We’ve seen it work in congregations with a worship attendance of 35 and in congregations with a worshipping community of 900+ with a full complement of theme programs taking place throughout the week.

Why Theme-Based Ministry?

  • Offer worship experiences with depth
  • Ensure a balance of theological and religious learning
  • Better integrate spiritually connected programming across the lifespan
  • Weave a central thread throughout all church programming
  • Build a cohesive theological understanding
  • Find common language and common symbols
  • Embrace a practical theology you use in everyday life
  • Meet the very real challenge of today’s busy families and intermittent church attendance
  • Give focus to your music and arts staff

Read more on Why do Theme-Based Ministry?


Image of butterfly transformation.

Theme-Based Ministry Resources

Theme-based ministry is happening in more and more congregations throughout our movement as a powerfully engaging way of focusing the life of a congregation on monthly themes through worship, religious education, small groups and other activities.

Compare Themes from Different Programs and Subscription Services

Search UUA Website Resources by Theme

Learn More About How and Why to Do TBM From Other UU Leaders

  • Theme-Based Ministry: A Keystone Habit: Practical Tips for Theme-based ministry (2015 Regional Workshop Recording) The Rev. Scott Tayler looks at a number of theme-based church models and discusses how to tweak those models to fit our own settings.
  • Deepening Our UU Faith through Theme-Based Ministry (2014 General Assembly Workshop Recording) The Rev. Matthew Johnson, Sheila Schuh (CRE) , Rev. Jan Taddeo, and Kathy Smith share their experiences with Theme-Based Ministry and tips on how to get started.