|Ministerial Formation Network|
What is the Ministerial Formation Network?
The Ministerial Formation Network (MFN) is a joint UUMA/UUA program designed to support every aspirant and candidate for our ministry, no matter where they live or which seminary they attend. A team representing the UUMA, UUA, Meadville Lombard and Starr King designed the network, after receiving a charge following a meeting of more than twenty denominational leaders from around the continent last fall who have a passion for ministerial formation. The group found consensus around two decisions - that the network should be led/managed by the UUMA, in collaboration with the UUA, and it should be wholly distinct from the Ministerial Fellowshipping process. Click here to view the Oct 2016 Informational Webinar.
What are the elements of the Ministerial Formation Network?
Beginning in the fall of 2017, every aspirant and candidate for the Unitarian Universalist ministry will be eligible to participate in the network. We promise to offer three things to each participant: discernment support, collegiality, and training and education. Discernment support will be provided by thrice yearly discernment “circles” led by fellowshipped and trained UUMA members. Collegiality will be provided informally through chapters and clusters and formally by at least one gathering each year in a chapter, regional or continental setting. Training and education will be offered at least two times a year on topics that most don’t receive in seminary and will be provided mainly through webinars and occasional in-person settings.
How will the Ministerial Formation Network be managed?
The Associate Executive Director (AED) of the UUMA, Rev. Melissa Carvill Ziemer, is responsible for management and leadership of the MFN. The AED will work closely with Rev. David Pettee, the Ministerial Credentialing Director of the UUA, and will convene a coordinating team representing UUA staff, the UUMA’s Collegial Development Team, UUMA chapters, and people who have experience with “in-care” systems or other ministerial formation support. We plan on having Chapter Liaisons that will work with the AED on connecting aspirants and candidates with the network. These liaisons will be selected by the coordinating team and will receive a small stipend for their work. Discernment Group Leaders will be recruited throughout the UUMA and will also be selected by the coordinating team. Questions, concerns and counsel regarding the details of ministerial fellowship will continue to be handled by the Ministerial Credentialing Office.
How is the Ministerial Formation Network being financed?
The MFN is being financed by three sources initially - grants from the Panel on Theological Education, the St. Lawrence Foundation and the UUMA budget. We anticipate these grants to continue for the early years of the program and expect to generate new sources of funding as the network is developed. To supplement the grant funding, we will also charge participants a nominal fee.
What will it cost?
When will the Ministerial Formation Network start?
The Ministerial Formation Network Coordinating Team is in the process of inviting participants and leaders to apply for the pilot program. We will begin recruiting chapter liaisons and discernment circle leaders later this year to begin working in Spring 2017 in preparation for the continental rollout in Fall 2017.
How do I apply to the Pilot Ministerial Formation Network?
Who do I contact if I have questions?
Please contact Melissa Carvill Ziemer at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.