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How to Start Your Own Community of Practice

In 5 (somewhat) Easy Steps

1. Find Other Interested Congregations

Once you have a team from your congregation, you can then contact neighboring congregations to self-organize a UU Leadership Institute “Community of Practice.”

2. Recruit potential peer hosts

If you don’t have local UUA Congregational Life Consultant organizing the event, you will need 1 or 2 experienced and trusted lay leaders to lead the in-person sessions. They do not need to be from the same congregation. Training and materials will be provided. Information on the commitment for this role is on this webpage:

Photo by Lori Sirtosky

Photo by Lori Sirtosky


There is also an application, which will be reviewed by the UU Institute Dean:


3. Schedule your Saturday Session

Our in-person Saturday “Communities of Practice” provides an environment that fosters deep conversation and sharing of ideas and insights. The day includes case studies (where participants can bring your “expertise” from their online courses) and other small group work.

Select the date for your in-person including the location based on your Peer host and host congregations’ availability.

There is some flexibility in the dates, but try to have it late in the “semester.

4. Contact the UU Institute Dean

Send your dates to the UU Institute Dean info@uuinstitute.org and verify that you have committed Peer Hosts.  Your Community of Practice will be added to the UU Leadership Institute website and calendar, the district calendar and newsletters. You will also be sent pdf files of brochures that you can use to advertise in your congregations.

5. Register and Enroll!

Members of your congregational teams create their own accounts for the online course:


Your local UUA Congregational Life Staff can help with registration for the in-person parts.