Position Description – May 2015

{Download PDF version here}

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta (UUCA) is a faith community of almost 700 members and 300 friends in metro Atlanta. Its mission is to change lives by encouraging spiritual journeys which combine personal growth with social justice awareness and action.

The Associate Minister position is perfectly in tune with UUCA’s mission and vision. To learn more about this, check out Senior Minister Rev. Anthony Makar’s sermon entitled, “A House Which Becomes a Home” here. 

Position Title:            Associate Minister of Lifelong Learning and Growth

Position Type:           Full-time

Position Purpose:     To hold and fulfill the vision of a congregation that nurtures people’s spiritual health, growth, and healing from cradle to grave. The Minister of Lifelong Learning and Growth (MLLG) is fully conversant in the psychological, developmental, interpersonal, and spiritual issues and challenges of people across the lifespan. Based on this, the MLLG works with staff and volunteers in sustaining and enhancing our Pastoral Care and Religious Exploration programs which, combined, support people’s wellness and wholeness in holistic, integrated, and innovative fashion.

Position History:       In the most recent past, the professional leadership of UUCA’s Pastoral Care program and its Religious Exploration program has fallen under different staff. The Associate Minister led the former, together with several other programs. A full-time DRE led the latter and was exclusively devoted to it. Among other things, this tended to create a “silo effect”; pastoral care for children, youth, and families has been provided within the RE program, whereas pastoral care for the rest of the congregation has happened through our Lay Ministry program under the leadership of the Associate Minister. The Minister of Lifelong Learning and Growth position represents an opportunity for UUCA to improve pastoral care support for its children, youth, and families while, at the same time, enriching its Religious Exploration programs by grounding them more fully in an understanding of the psychological, developmental, interpersonal, and spiritual issues and challenges of people across the lifespan.

To support the MLLG in his/her volunteer recruitment efforts, UUCA has hired a full-time Director of Congregational Life who has, as a primary responsibility, developing and running a centralized volunteer system.

Reports to: Senior Minister

Supervises: Directly supervises paid Religious Exploration staff, which is currently the Children’s Programs Coordinator (20 hours/week, hoping to increase this to 25 hours/week starting in 2016), the Youth Programs Coordinator (25 hours/week), and other paid staff, including the nursery room workers.

Duties and Accountabilities: The following statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this job. However, these statements are not exhaustive and cannot anticipate all possible duties and requirements which may arise in the course of things.

Religious Exploration Ministries

A leader who is passionate about the spiritual wellbeing of children, youth, and adults and is capable of supporting and enhancing a dynamic and innovative all-ages learning community

  • Leads and manages our Lifespan Religious Exploration Program, including Children’s RE (approximately 200 children), Coming of Age (15 eighth graders), Youth Group (20 – 50 high school students), and Adult RE (participant number unknown).
    • Supervises RE staff and volunteers;
    • Supports and guides the work of our RE Ministry Teams;
    • Collaborates with the Director of Congregational Life in enhancing RE volunteer recruitment, training, support, and appreciation;
    • Ensures the selection and development of consistently excellent program curricula;
    • Prepares and oversees the RE Program budget;
    • Teaches selected classes in the Adult RE Program;
    • Coordinates the RE Program calendar with the larger UUCA calendar;
    • Maintains a high degree of visibility and accessibility to members of the UUCA community, particularly on Sundays.
  • Weaves anti-racism, anti-oppression, and multiculturalism into the Religious Exploration program at UUCA as a central strand. Part of this includes serving as staff liaison to the EnterCulture Team, which supports UUCA in its journey towards becoming more multicultural, just, and open.
  • Enhances the visibility of all aspects of the Lifespan RE Program as well as its integration into the larger UUCA community. Works with our Communications and Marketing Specialist (and others) in developing publicity materials that communicate news about the program as well as stories of how the program is changing people’s lives.
  • Envisions and implements growth in our RE Program that positions it to be more effective for families and individuals whose life circumstances are becoming increasingly different from those that traditional RE programs were originally designed to serve.
  • Participates actively in LREDA, GA and other professional organization meetings.
  • Other duties as assigned by the Senior Minister.

Caring Ministries

A pastoral leader who empowers our members to create a community of warmth and caring for all ages

  • Coordinates our Lay Minister program (with the support of the Senior Minister) and ensures periodic training experiences.
  • Envisions and implements positive growth in our pastoral care program; is creative and innovative in this regard.
  • Arranges or facilitates programs for the congregation and wider community on psychological, interpersonal, and spiritual issues that challenge families and people of all ages. Coordinates with the Director of Congregational Life on the creation and management of small or mid-sized groups that support people as they go through life transitions.
  • Provides direct pastoral care to congregants, as appropriate.
  • Other duties as assigned by the Senior Minister.

Worship Leadership

A strong preacher and worship presence who complements the skills and perspectives of our Senior Minister.

  • Provides a significant leadership role in worship by preaching at least 10 times per year (more as feasible and appropriate) and serves as liturgist as appropriate.
  • Serves on the Worship Team; takes the lead in organizing services which emphasize multigenerational participation. Works with the Worship Team in organizing RE related worship services (Youth Service, Coming of Age Rites of Passage & Youth Bridging Services, and Children’s Chapel Services).
  • Oversees the worship program in the absence of the Senior Minister.
  • Performs weddings and memorials for members and others seeking UUCA’s ministerial services, as assigned by the Senior Minister. Participates in child dedication rituals held during worship.
  • Participates in special worship services like L’Chaim’s High Holy Days, the Moravian Love Feast, Christmas Eve services, and others.
  • Other duties as assigned by the Senior Minister.

Meetings, Reporting and General Administration

Someone capable of working within an interdependent web of leadership, who tends to the administrative needs of the institution.

  • Creatively collaborates with the Senior Minister in developing strategic plans for changing lives. Is a beloved colleague and confidant in the work of the professional ministry at UUCA.
  • The Associate Minister is a member (along with the Senior Minister and Business Administrator) of the congregation’s Executive Team, and serves as Acting Senior Minister in the absence of the Senior Minister.
  • Attends regular meetings that enable effective coordination with staff, program leaders, program volunteers, and the Board.
  • Upholds the staff and congregational covenants of UUCA.
  • Other duties as assigned by the Senior Minister.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • The candidate must be in fellowship (preliminary or final) with the UUA.
  • Education and Experience: Our Associate Minister of Lifelong Learning and Growth should possess extensive knowledge and experience as suggested by all the areas of duty and accountability listed in the previous section. With regard to our Religious Exploration ministries in particular: Strong ability to relate to and communicate with children, youth and adults; conversant with educational methodology for various styles of learning and for all age groups; has an articulated philosophy of education and congregational life and knowledge of congregational dynamics; has familiarity with UU curricula and history.
  • Skills: All the traditional ministry skills: in preaching and worship, religious education, pastoral care, social witness, administration. Ability to manage large, diverse, and complex programs; effective leadership and interpersonal skills; collaborative, team-building management style; excellent oral and written communication skills; creative problem solving skills; ability to work effectively with volunteer boards and committees; ability to recruit and support an active network of volunteers; tactful and mature with a good sense of humor; ability to plan, monitor, and evaluate budgets; ability to manage and empower people; ability to organize, plan and implement activities appropriate to further organizational goals; desire to be sensitive to the fulfillment of a mission within a faith community; and proficiency with Windows-based computers and productivity software including word processing, spreadsheets, email and desktop publishing.

Other Requirements:

  • Ability and willingness to work flexible hours and extra time on an as-needed basis, involving extra hours during the week, Sundays, and Holidays.
  • Requires the ability to move freely in and out of different small-group settings (offices, meeting rooms, businesses).
  • Normal workday includes working in a climate-controlled building; must be able to routinely work sitting or standing at a computer workstation 50% of normal workday.

Salary:            Commensurate with experience and credentials, in line with UUA Fair Compensation Guidelines and UUCA Fair Compensation Standards.

Benefits:         Reflecting UUA guidelines. Employer pays health insurance (for employee coverage) and contribution to the UUA retirement plan (once eligibility is met). Long-term disability coverage is available. Other paid time off as provided for under UUA Guidelines.

Professional Expenses:       An annual budgeted allocation.

Interested candidates should send a resume to Rev. Makar directly at anthony.makar@uuca.org.


A sermon from our Interim Associate Minister, Rev. Jane Thickstun: