Call me funny, but some kind of structure in the ministerial formation meta-curriculum is a good thing. Indeed, that’s what you get in a theological education, and your accredited seminary isn’t going to let you go with an M.Div. without a basic education.
But that gets back to what’s basic.
This isn’t going to be popular, but the Unitarian Universalist Association is a denomination, at least “denominationish”, and that’s the Universalist inheritance. Not “denominationy” in all places, but certainly in the realm of ministerial formation. The member churches don’t just “associate” for common mission, the corporate unity (“Unitarian Universalism”) credentials ordination candidates and ministerial transfer. That’s why ministers serving churches have the right to vote at General Assembly; it isn’t all about the congregation. The much feared MFC? A pretty clear carry-over from the old Universalist Central Fellowship Committee. (Plainly, I wish the old Universalist fellowship committee power was still around. It had fellowship power over churches, which equalized power.)
Since that’s the case, it seems to be that the UUA should be very clear about formation standards. A firmer standard, and not one just held by the seminaries. With most ministerial students not going to Meadville/Lombard or Starr King, that seems right.
OK: is that scary? Then, if not that, then churches that choose to ordain need to take their reponsibilities seriously and establish standards for themselves. Seriously.
But here’s a standard to work with.