Are you a youth leader? Do you want to be? This page offers resources to assist youth leaders as well as opportunities for youth to expand their leadership experience and be recognized for their work.
Looking for leadership training opportunities? Visit our Events and Trainings page.
- Luminary Leaders
This program sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) is a new initiative for youth leaders. Get recognized for the work you’ve already done and get plugged into new opportunities as they become available. All youth leaders at all levels are welcome to be part of the program.
Opportunities for Leaders
- In Your Congregation
There are all kinds of ways to provide leadership in your congregation - like in your youth group. Talk with your advisor and/or religious educator about partnering to facilitate youth group. You can use Bringing the Web to Life (a youth ministry leadership development curriculum) to help other youth in your group develop their leadership.
Another great place to start is becoming a member. If your congregation doesn't have any youth members, show them why it's important.
You can even get involved with the congregation's governance by joining the board or a committee in an area that interests you - worship, finance, stewardship, or a ministerial search. If your congregation has never had a youth on a committee before, use this helpful tool and ask an advisor or other adult to partner with you to make the case.
- Youth Caucus Staff
Selected annually for one- and two-year terms, the Youth Caucus Staff plans and delivers the Youth Caucus programming at each year's General Assembly.
- Youth Observers
Each year youth are elected by youth across the country to serve as Youth Observers to the Board of Trustees. Learn more about the youth currently serving and how you could be a Youth Observer in the future.
- Associational Committees
Youth can also serve on various committees on the Associational level. One way to join a committee is through the Nominating Committee, which nominates candidates for elected positions. Another way is through the Committee on Committees which appoints members to the various committees of the Board. If you're interested in these opportunities, contact Bart Frost at yayadirector [at] uua [dot] org and we'll connect you.
Resources for Leaders
- Ethics: The UUA Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries uses this Code of Ethics for Youth in Leadership (PDF) for its youth leaders at events like General Assembly. It is offered as a sample to help you draft your own.
- Training: Bringing the Web to Life is a free, downloadable curriculum for congregations that can develop leadership skills and deepen faith for you and the youth in your group. The sessions are built to be co-facilitated by youth and adults in partnership.
- Support: Contact your regional staff who provide congregational support to find out about youth leadership development schools where you can learn and grow in a more intensive setting while networking with other UU youth in your area.
Conference Planning and Community Building for Youth
- Youth conferences ("cons") and other overnights are popular ways for youth to bond, explore topics in greater depth than possible during a regular meeting, and share a spiritual experience with youth from other nearby congregations. Here's how to plan yours.
- The UUA Youth Ministry Grant Programs support Unitarian Universalist high-school aged youth with opportunities to grow in faith, deepen in spirit, develop skills, experience leadership and engage in service and justice work.
- Five Fundraising Ideas (PDF) offers suggestions for youth group fundraising efforts.
- Ask your congregation and your region for additional, local grants and sponsorships.