MFC questions blog

Nate Walker, an M.Div. (Union) and intern at White Plains, has started a new blog with past questions dreaded by ministerial fellowship candidates in their interview with the Ministerial Fellowship Committee. He’s posting a few a week and looking for comments and discussion.

Perhaps this would be a good time for those of us in fellowship who vowed that we would make sure it was different for those followed us to go and add some wisdom to the questions.

I rather pity the candidates, as the questions, in toto, reflect an academic form of TofUUism. That is, representing a religion that takes on the flavor of the (loudest) congregants and other religions, but has nothing to say for itself. (And the reason I think the “I’m not hyphenated, I’m just a Unitarian Universalist” crowd/majority is so full of bunk.)


By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.


  1. I too am interested in what you mean when you criticize “I’m not hyphenated, I’m just Unitarian Universalist.” As a someone newer to UUism (going on four years and still figuring a lot out!), I think I don’t always understand exactly what is meant/implied. Also, as someone who will go before the MFC (at least that is the plan!) eventually, I am interested to hear more about thoughts about what should be different. I also wonder if your feeling from the UUmins2b blog about taking on the flavor of other religions is because there are so many world religions questions which were some of the first listed?

  2. I can’t speak for Scott, but I am increasingly skeptical of the “I’m not hyphenated” crowd. More often than not, I find it used as a rhetorical screen which is deployed (yes “deployed” like a weapon) to supress the Christian foundations of Unitarianism and Universalism. Quite often I find the non-hyphen claim paired with an idea (conscious or sub-conscious) that UUism is a new world religion seperate from (and perhaps superior to) Christianity.

    This new world religion idea is increasingly in vogue, and I think it is an outrageous claim for about 300,000 people (globally) to make. That is where I begin to smell possible “bunk”.

  3. Oh, I think I get what you and, perhaps Scott, are saying. I agree that the idea of UUism being a sort of new “World Religion” is not quite reasonable. But, I wonder if I would fall into the “I’m not hyphenated crowd” in the sense that I identify as UU and not as, for instance, Christian religiously and a UU denominationally. I recently read a letter circulated by the minister in TX where he referred to the seven principles as the seven banalities, which I found to be really hurtful (or maybe disrespectful is a better word) because I take those very seriously as central to my Unitarian Universalist faith. I cherish the Unitarian and Universalist roots of our tradition, but I think there are lots of us that don’t necessarily identify with either of those parts of our history. I’m happy to have Christians in Unitarian Universalism, though, and certainly don’t mean to imply that there is a problem with Christianity as a path to the divine. I just don’t think it is the only path.

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