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BTC: Grounding and Growing our Prophetic Ministries
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About the Program:

The Beyond the Call 3 Design Team is excited to share that we have contracted with Matthew Armstead and Rev. Rhetta Morgan, under the auspices of Training for Change, to serve as consultants in the development of BTC 3 and lead facilitators for the program. You can learn more about Matthew and Rev. Rhetta and Training for Change by clicking on their names. Rev. Elizabeth Nguyen, Senior Strategist for Side with Love will join Matthew and Rev. Rhetta as one of our core facilitators.


Participants in this program will be part of an 18 month learning community that will help you develop and deepen your skills in the practice of prophetic ministry. Knowing that folks with different identities have different learning and spiritual needs, we are committed to creating robust opportunities for identity-based caucusing to engage with the material.  Thanks to generous support from the Unitarian Universalist Funding Program and the Panel on Theological Education, we have been able to reduce the cost for this program from the true cost of participation as well as increase scholarship funds available for participants.  


The overall goal of this intensive continuing education program is to equip and nurture clergy leadership for effective prophetic ministry.

 In this program, participants will be expected to:

  • go deep together on understanding their identities and the power of story

  • take seriously their own spiritual formation and engage spiritual practices for nurturing courage and resilience

  • map themselves in the context of social movements and various theories of change so they understand what their most useful contributions can be

  • gain knowledge and develop skills for effective prophetic ministry and practice using new skills in their particular ministry setting

  • engage in deep power analysis and develop a coherent theory of change that is clearly rooted in Unitarian Universalist theology, which will strengthen their capacity to be practical theologians

The way we will do our work is just as important as the work we will do.  In this program, participants will:

  • develop a strong, enduring cohort with peer and mentor relationships who can offer unwavering support and rigorous feedback during BTC3 and beyond

  • receive coaching or mentoring for their ministry in between retreats

  • engage in a high process challenge experience to foster skills

  • be part of an intersectional cohort and commit to learning from one another

  • commit to sharing skills and knowledge with other colleagues through coaching and other forms after the program ends

How will my ministry be impacted?

This program will begin with mobilizing the power of identity and story. Participants will be invited to reflect on their own identities and the difference they make in their work, their theologies of justice making and the skills and gaps that exist in their justice ministry as they begin the program. As the program develops, participants will have a chance to build courage and spiritual muscle by practicing taking risks together, and by developing a power analysis and practical theology of social change. As the program concludes, participants will have a much clearer understanding of the difference they are most effectively positioned to make, more skills and insight to help them in their work and a deep sense of resilience and connection to sustain them for the long haul.

As members of the UUMA, “we are united in our call to serve the spirit of love and justice”…. as we “aspire to grow in wholeness and bring hope and healing to the world.” This program will provide participants with a process to facilitate your growth and a community to support you in your efforts. When this program ends, we hope participants will be more grounded in our theology, more connected to our movement and more equipped to help lead the change our values call us to create. 

During the three retreats over eighteen months, participants will receive a deep dive in several skills of prophetic ministry and build sustaining relationships of mutual support and feedback. Participants will receive support for their ministry between retreats.

Who is eligible?

All UUMA members in final fellowship (with some exceptions for members with advanced experience in the work of prophetic ministry in Preliminary Fellowship) who wish to dedicate themselves to serious in-depth study are encouraged to apply to Beyond the Call programs. Participants are expected to already be rooted in justice work in their own communities. Participants are also expected to be committed to and experienced in anti-racist, anti-oppressive, multicultural practice of ministry. Attendance at all retreats, small group monthly conference calls or coaching sessions, and community-rooted work are required. Students are asked to commit to be mentors/coaches in the area of study after completing the program. The application deadline for this program has passed.


Beyond the Call (BTC) is a program jointly developed by the UUA and UUMA in 2012, which is designed to provide UUMA members a chance for in-depth study, ongoing collegial reflection and engagement in a critical area of advanced ministerial competence. The focus of the first BTC program was Preaching and the Worship Arts and the second was on Entrepreneurial Ministry. 

About the Facilitators:

Matthew Armstead is a community builder, facilitator, and cultural organizer in Philadelphia, PA, and he is a core trainer with Training for Change. He has worked with diverse groups of people from Occupy Wall Street activists to Ivy League university students and led sessions on a variety of topics, such as anti-oppression, strategic planning, community outreach, peer counseling, nonviolent direct action, training of trainers, and organizational development. He has designed workshops on raising class awareness among students, building toward racial justice with college administrators, utilizing conflict with LGBTQ community leaders, and direct action campaigning with Black Lives Matter organizers.

Dedicated to social change, Matthew develops curricula based on the framework of interlocking oppression with the goal of increasing people power. He is passionate about using music, theater, and dance to learn from groups and create dynamic change. Until 2016 was coordinator for the grassroots, nonviolent direct action campaign, Earth Quaker Action Team. Recent workshops Matthew facilitated for faith leaders include, Anti-Racist Organizing, Answering the Call to Radical Faithfulness, Roles in Social Change Movements, and Spiritual Grounding for Civil Disobedience.

Rev. Rhetta Morgan’s work encompasses spirituality, activism and creativity, contributing to transformation towards a more just community and world. She was an international professional singer for many years before completing studies at One Spirit Interfaith Seminary in NY, becoming an ordained Interfaith minister in 2009. Some highlights of her work:

  • Founder of Ecclesia Spirit, an inclusive, interfaith spiritual community, which has met monthly for the past seven years. Frequently, leads services exploring racism from a spiritual perspective. Monthly gatherings focus on the intersection of spirituality and activism.
  • Founder of the While We Wait Project. Here she provides spiritual and emotional support to loved ones of incarcerated individuals. A Leeway Art for Change grant sponsors this project.
  • Facilitator for the Anti-Defamation League, A World of Difference Institute. Helping participants to recognize bias, understand the benefits of diversity, improve intergroup relations, and confront racism, anti-Semitism, and all other forms of bigotry.
  • Speaker for the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration's Multiculturalism and anti racism committee, offering insights on the intersection of spirituality and activism, as well as engage in conversation about racial justice.

Rev. Rhetta is very active in the Philadelphia area, using music she writes and sings to inspire and heal. Alongside ministerial work at Ecclesia, she uses her voice to create inclusive sacred space, recently this included performing for the Town Hall on Incarceration and Gender hosted by the Leeway Foundation + Bread and Roses Community Fund.

Rev. Rhetta is a board member of Earth Quaker Action Team and has worked as a spiritual anchor for Philly Thrive, PILOTS’ student organizers, MAYPOP, The New Economy Coalition and Protecting Our Waters. Some of her most meaningful work is mentoring and counseling activist leaders, encouraging self-care and what she calls a spiritual tool box to aid against despair, overwhelm and depression.

Rev. Elizabeth Nguyen roots for the Wisconsin Badgers, lives in Boston, and is is learning all the time about courage, singing, cowardice and prayer. She is the Senior Strategist with Side with Love. She is a queer Vietnamese-American and proud Midwesterner.  She organizes faith communities to support frontline justice work and has supported many campaigns over the years. She tries to honor what she has been taught through youth organizing, LGTBQ justice and abolition work. She supports the work of Unitarian Universalist Community Cooperatives, the Diverse Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries the Climate Disobedience Center, and  Beantown Society as a board member. 


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