Seven Unitarian Universalist music professionals will be honored this month at the Service of the Living Tradition at the Unitarian Universalist Association’s annual General Assembly, for completing a new credentialing program for UU music leaders.
In a related development, credentialing requirements were revised this spring for another group of UU professionals—religious educators—to create more ways of achieving credentialing.
With the addition of music leaders, the UUA now offers credentialing to three UU professional groups: ministers, religious educators, and musicians. Credentialing for religious educators and musicians is voluntary.
The Rev. Beth Williams, Religious Education and Music Leadership Credentialing director in the Ministry and Professional Leadership Staff Group of the UUA, said the credentialing program for music leaders will help music to become more of a ministry in churches. “Music leaders will be equipped to serve as resources for the congregation not only in music, but across a wider spectrum,” she said. “The course will also help music leaders understand their role in sustaining culturally and racially diverse congregations.”
“Musicians come to UU churches in many different ways,” said Keith Arnold, president of the UU Musicians Network and minister of music at Jefferson Unitarian Church in Golden, Colo. “Credentialing will help all of them. They will learn about UU history and values, leadership, song leading, even developing a budget. Credentialing will give them a uniform context in which to do music ministry.”
Credentialing for music leaders can be accomplished by taking coursework offered at three annual conferences of the UU Musicians Network. The cost is $350 annually, plus costs of traveling to and attending the conference. Some coursework may be waived if the candidate has extensive experience, said Williams. The program includes training in history, UU polity and theologies, and UU identity.
Candidates for music credentialing are required to be........
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