two old books, a chalice and an old style ink well with a quill in it sitting on a wooden table.
two old books, a chalice and an old style ink well with a quill in it sitting on a wooden table.
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Note: This training was originally offered in a semester format in 2017.

This training by the Rev. Dr. Susan Ritchie provides a deep dive into one of the hottest conversational topics in today’s Unitarian Universalist world:  our commitment to covenant.

Covenant: The Heart of our Polity

Why does covenant matter so much? A summary of current UU conversations; a quick refresher on the basics of congregational polity, where covenant is the central organizing principle; and a history of where it comes from.

The Theology of Covenant

From Robert Browne in the 16th century to James Luther Adams in the 20th, the theology behind covenant

Comparative Covenant

A comparison contrast on the use of covenant in Unitarianism versus Judaism, the United Christ of Christ, and the Convention of Baptists. Also, why the Universalists weren’t covenantal.

Historical Comparisons

From the Puritans to the Pirates—how covenantal theology and organization has manifested itself differently in different historical and cultural settings.

Covenant, Democracy, and Leadership

The relationship between congregational polity and American democracy; and what covenant has to say about the roles and responsibilities of leaders, both lay and clergy.

Current Practice and Future Vistas

How congregations currently work with covenants, and how the UUA might transform from a membership association to a covenanting one, in the very near future.

Susan RitchieThe Rev. Dr. Susan Ritchie is the director of the Unitarian Universalist House of Studies at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio. She has been the minister of the North Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Lewis Center, Ohio since 1996. She has also served on the UUA Board of Trustees, as UUA Secretary and as associate professor of Unitarian Universalist History and Ministry at Starr King School for the Ministry .
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