|From the Associate Executive Director|
The early 1980’s. That is when, David Pettee tells me, he can find the earliest reference in the MFC minutes to a desire for a robust formation support program for people preparing for the UU ministry. I am very excited to tell you that the time for launching such a program has finally come! Beginning on May 1, we are accepting enrollments in the new Ministerial Formation Network, which is a collaboration between the UUA and UUMA and which has been created with input from many leaders. We have been piloting the program this year and have recently made several changes to the design, which we believe will make the program even better.
The MFN is designed to provide formation support to people preparing for the Unitarian Universalist ministry from aspirant status through preliminary fellowship. Aspirants and candidates who enroll in the program will each be offered three critical types of support: discernment support, collegiality and supplemental education.
People who enroll will be able to choose whether they prefer to receive their discernment support either from an individual vocational advisor or in a group setting. We offer two options for discernment support because we know that one size doesn’t fit all. Collegiality is woven throughout the program and the centerpiece is a retreat experience with other participants and minister leaders. The supplemental education will primarily fall in the categories of practical arts, spiritual formation and Unitarian Universalist identity. We are working hard to ensure that we bring an anti-racist, anti-oppressive lens to all elements of this program.
Pending the positive outcome of a vote from the membership of the UUMA at Ministry Days this year to extend UUMA membership privileges to those in aspirant status, this program will be offered free of charge to all eligible members of the UUMA. Instead of charging an enrollment fee, participants will support the program by paying their UUMA dues. Sensitive to those with financial struggles, opportunities for dues waivers will be available as well.
To learn more about all the details and to enroll please visit http://www.uuma.org/page/mfn
If you have been thinking about becoming a minister leader in this program, you can indicate your interest on the same page.