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Starr King announces online leadership course

"Seminary for the Laity" will offer courses for congregational leaders.
By Donald E. Skinner

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Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, Calif., will launch a new online certificate program in the fall of 2007 for Unitarian Universalist lay leaders and clergy, the school announced late last month.

The program, called Seminary for the Laity, will teach leadership skills for more effective engagement in congregational, denominational, and community life.

The program will feature flexible learning methods, including podcasts, video segments, and a learning community. Dr. Helen Bishop, who holds an Ed.D. in organizational leadership and has an extensive background working with Unitarian Universalist congregations, districts, and affiliated organizations, will direct the program.

Bowlan said the program will help students build skills in strategic planning, conflict management, establishing and working within a behavioral covenant, and developing social justice leadership in a Unitarian Universalist context.

The Rev. Kelly Flood, Starr King's vice president for advancement, said the courses "are designed to explore and expand lay leaders’ understanding of Unitarian Universalist theology, history, polity and leadership skills."

Seminary for the Laity is made possible, in part, by a $7,000 grant from the Unitarian Universalist Funding Panel. Tuition has not yet been determined.

Starr King is one of two schools dedicated to educating UU ministers. Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago is the other.

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