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The UUMA Coaching Program
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What is the UUMA Peer Coaching Program? 

Peer clergy coaching is a way for you to work towards growth in your ministry.  No matter how long we have been serving, we never have every art of ministry completely perfected.  There are new things to learn, new contexts to explore and cultural changes ever unfolding with which we must grapple.  Over the course of our ministries we will need to be in discernment again and again as our ministry contexts change, our lives change and our particular work changes.  Unlike mentoring, which offers general guidance to emerging and beginning ministers, coaching is designed to focus on the particular areas you identify needing to develop for your own growth. Whether you want to practice a particular skill, apply a particular frame to your ministry setting, change a habit or discern the evolution of your call, coaching can provide clarity, encouragement, structure and accountability to help you grow.

When is the right time for you to get a coach?

  • Do you know where you want to go but need help getting there?
    A coach helps you craft a plan for your own development and accompanies you as you work toward your goals.  

  • Are you feeling stuck but aren’t sure why? 
    A coach listens deeply to you – helping you discover new insights.

  • Are you leading from your spiritual center? 
    A coach can help you re-center yourself and your ministry.

  • Is it time for you to transition? 
    If you are wondering whether it might be time for you to end your current ministry or are thinking about whether it is time for you to retire from ministry, a coach can accompany you in your discernment.

Coaching supports self reflection, gives the space to draw deeply on our inner resources as the coach listens carefully, and supports your chosen action plans.   If you are ready to name and claim your strengths and also to look honestly at your own developmental needs, coaching can help you deepen and strengthen your ministry.  Coaching is not therapy or spiritual direction and when you are in crisis is not the best time to begin working with a coach.  Coaching works best for people who have the energy and internal resources free to prioritize working toward concrete steps for growth in ministry.

Who is eligible?

Coaching is available to any UUMA Member in good standing and in Final Fellowship who can commit to working with a coach via telephone, video-call or in-person. We will be piloting expanding coaching services to ministers in Preliminary Fellowship.  From September 2017 to June 2018, we will accept referrals for people in Preliminary Fellowship from Rev. Alicia Forde, the UUA’s Professional Development Director.

What type of coaching is right for me?

We are pleased to be able to offer an expansion of our coaching program this year with more changes to come next year.  


The traditional coaching model includes 8 to 10 one-hour meetings with a peer coach, roughly once per month, held over the course of a year.  Most traditional coaching relationships will begin in September and end in June.  Some limited spots for traditional coaching at other times of year may be available.  Traditional coaching is best for people who:

  • are not 100% certain about their goals
  • have interlocking or complex goals 
  • know they work better with ample time to practice and integrate between coaching sessions

Fast-Track Coaching

Our new fast track coaching model includes 4 to 6 one-hour meetings with a peer coach.  The meetings are held every other week to provide intensive focus and can begin at any time of year.  Fast-track coaching is best for people who:

  • are quite certain about their goal
  • have a goal that is specific and achievable with focused support
  • know they work better with a shorter, intensive period of focus

How much does it cost?

Coaching sessions typically cost $75 per hour or more.  We are pleased to offer our peer clergy coaching program at a substantially discounted rate as a benefit of your UUMA membership. The cost for Traditional Coaching is $200 and the cost for Fast-Track Coaching is $150 – those rates are inclusive of all the sessions in each program.

How do I request a coach?

  1. Complete an initial Inquiry Form here.

  2. You will then have the opportunity to schedule an exploratory call with one of our Matching Coaches.

  3. We will do our best to make matches for those in the program within one month of completing the Inquiry Form


Testimonials from former coachees:

"The UUMA Coaching Program is the single most effective development activity I've undertaken for my ministry in many years. The program led me to make significant changes in how I design worship and preach, and also pointed me to additional training and resources. I recommend it to any colleague who seeks a one to one coaching experience."


"I didn't have any idea that being carefully listened to, affirmed and occasionally challenged by a highly experienced colleague would be so beneficial to my mid-career ministry.   I've had other coaching experiences,  and this was by far the best.  It truly exceeded my expectations."


"My UUMA Coach seemed like a gift from heaven! She helped me stay strong and call on my own resources during a hard year in ministry. It was great to have a colleague who had a little distance on the issues I was facing to test my ideas and responses with a committed listener."


"The UUMA coaching program brought a breath of fresh air to my ministry. Although I've been a minister for 25 years, my coach was able to provide fresh insights and areas of explorations for my ministry that I hadn't considered before. I'd highly recommend the coaching program for anyone needing a boost, or those simply wanting to continue to delve deeper into their ministry or personal areas of spiritual growth and development."


"My coach helped me realize i already knew enough, and was enough, to do this work better. The regularity of the meetings made me more aware of what I was trying to improve and helped it keep it before me in my planning and reflection. And my coach was a caring, respectful presence through a sometimes troubled year."


I am interested in serving my colleagues as a Coach. How do I become a UUMA Peer Coach?

Our next training for new Coaches may take place August 2018. Applications will be accepted in the spring of 2018. 

If you have any questions about the UUMA Coaching Program, feel free to contact us at 

Testimonials from our Coaches &Coachees about the UUMA Coaching Program


Testimonial: Ellen Spero
Testimonial: Buffy Boke and Kathy Sage 

Testimonial: Manish Mishra-Marzetti Testimonial: Kimi Riegel

Current Coaches





Nancy Arnold

Julie Forest            

Peter Friedrichs       

Karen Gustafson      


Laura Horton-Ludwig

Robert Janis-Dillon    

Darcey Laine


Wendy McNiven    


Elizabeth Miller

Margret  O'Neall

Linda Peebles


Diane Rollert 


Joshua  Snyder


Richard Speck

Ellen Spero

Sam Trumbore













Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, 24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210-1409
© 2016 Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association.