This is an on demand version of a class that was previously offered in our regular format. There will not be process circles or any instructor interaction for this version of the course and you may proceed through the modules at your own pace and not need to wait for the next one to open. Course materials will remain on the site until the course is retired.
This course represents 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
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.
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.
The Rev. Dr. Susan Ritchie 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 . Her book, “Children of the Same God: the Historical Relationship Between Unitarianism , Judaism and Islam” was published by Skinner House in 2014. She is currently working on “Unitarian Pirates of the Caribbean: Issues in UU Polity.”