Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills

Open minds, loving hearts, helping hands


Focus of Sabbatical: Professional Growth

Author Sarah Ahrens, Written Jan 14, 2015

My sabbatical will focus on three areas:

  1. Congregational Innovation
  2. Professional Growth
  3. Personal RenewalIn June 2014 I was accepted into the Unitarian Universalist Association’s religious educator credentialing program as a means of focusing my ongoing professional development.  Part of my sabbatical time will be devoted to reading and writing materials that are required for that process.  Below is some information on those items and some excerpts from the credentialing website.

work on the following three statements for credentialing portfolio, one per month

Apr: statement on my personal theology/religious philosophy

Feb: statement on my understanding of the meaning of faith

Mar: statement on my preferred pedagogy

The religious educator credentialing program is a means for religious educators to continue their professional development and be recognized for their levels of competency at the associate level, credentialed level, and master level.  A wealth of information can be found at the following website:

In short, those seeking to be credentialed have to demonstrate professional competency in a number of areas.  That competency is shown by what the religious educator has done within and beyond the congregation, participating in continuing learning opportunities, and reading a certain number of required and optional books.  Participants write summaries of what they learned from the books read, and write personal statements on pedagogy, meaning of faith, and personal theology.  All of these learning and work experiences are captured and summarized in the credentialing candidates portfolio.  The candidate meets with the credentialing committee to receive final approval for credentialing.