Report of UUA Trustees
Ministerial Fellowship Committee
Board Liaisons to MFC
David Friedman – UUA Trustee, St. Lawrence District
Rev. Jose Ballester – UUA Trustee-at-Large
The Ministerial Fellowship Committee (MFC) gathered at the Club Quarters Hotel in
downtown San Francisco from December 2nd – 6th, 2009, and the following report
highlights the activities of the MFC that may be of particular interest to the UUA Board
Summary of Candidates Seeking Preliminary Fellowship:
We saw a total of 22 candidates (10 men and 12 women) with a wide range of ages,
though age 35-45 being predominant. One candidate was born in 1929 and one was born
The Committee grants the following Categories:
o I (“good to go!”)
o II (cleared for fellowship providing contingencies are met)
o III (individuals the MFC would like to see again following additional work on
o IV (discouraging the candidate from further preparation for ministry)
o V (no potential for ministry)
The attached table summarizes the MFC decisions at our December 2009 meeting, but in
summary we granted 13 I’s, 5 II’s, 3 III’s, and 1 IV.
As to renewals, we granted 11 first renewals (6 parish and 5 community) with 3 red flags.
We granted 6 second renewals ( 4 parish and 2 MRE’s) with 2 red flags. Ten final
renewals were granted (8 parish and 2 community) and 1 candidate was continued in
present state (CPE).
From working group
i) We will be posting RSCC Policies and Procedures on the UUA web site, in the
interest of transparency.
ii) We changed (softened) a requirement so that “Aspirants must have scheduled
their RSCC interview prior to the commencement of their internship”.
(Although we prefer that candidates see the RSCC before commencing
internship, this simply does not work for students in a number of seminaries
which expect students to commence internships in the beginning of the first
semester of their second year.)
Accomplished the task of granting waivers where appropriate, returning to and
removing from fellowship ministers, as needed.
i) Added a list of suggested resources in a new sexuality section of the MFC
encouraged reading list & resources on the uua.org website.
ii) Further discussed interview procedures and questions and launched a subgroup
to further explore this topic and bring suggestions back to the next meeting of
iii) Extended the notification rules for fellowship termination, currently applicable
to those in final fellowship, to those in preliminary fellowship. The rule thus
The Committee shall inform all ministers and congregations, by letter, of
cases of fellowship termination when Rule 24b or c or Rule 16 a applies and
shall publish such terminations in the UU World.
iv) Added a sexual health competence which states:
Candidates are expected to be knowledgeable about sexual issues in
ministry, including sexuality education, BGLTQI issues, sexuality concerns
of adults and adolescents for pastoral care and public witness. Candidates
are expected to demonstrate a commitment to sexual justice in our
Association and in society. One sexual harassment prevent learning
experience is required.
v) Added specificity to OWL on the required reading list to be clear that one of
the two required readings needs be OWL 7-9.
vi) Adjusted the required reading list to now also include:
Balancing Acts (an online guide, published on www.uua.org, on keeping
children safe, and addressing offenders) &
A Time to Build: Creating Sexually Healthy Faith Communities
(downloadable online from www.religiousinstitute.org).
The committee appreciated the yeoman effort of Rev. Debra Haffner in accomplishing
the work necessary for the committee to be able to adopt much of what is included above.
(Items iii-vi were voted in by full MFC.)
Unfortunately the time spent by the working group in readying the above caused any
significant discussion on the topic of an MFC conflict of interest policy, to be postponed
to the March meeting of the MFC.
Additional reportable items:
i) The committee said good by and thanked for service, Rev. Carolyn Owen-
Towle and Abbey Tennis who completed 8 years of service on the MFC.
ii) An hour and one-half long continuing education/engagement session on “The
Interview” was led by Earl Koteen, retired as an HR professional. PBI,
Performance Based Interviewing, provided the content of this meeting segment.
iii) The meeting ended with about 50 minutes of conversation with Tamara
Payne-Alex, “project manager” for the UUA Board-initiated effort for a team
to examine all of the Association’s credentialing processes, and report back
with suggestions for improvement.
SCHOOL MFC DECISION/ CATEGORY
I II III IV V Total
Starr King 3 1 4
Meadville Lombard 4 4 1 9
Harvard 1 1
Andover Newton 3 -- 2 -- -- 5
Other - non UU 2 1 3
Total candidates 13 5 3 1 0 22
(One candidate listed under Meadville Lombard, has a seminary degree under
“other” but expects to graduate ML in 2012)