Reverend Pippin Achieves Ministerial Milestone: Full Fellowship

The former Settled Minister Search committee was pleased to receive the following message from Rev. Pippin shortly before Thanksgiving:

“I just learned some happy news and wanted to share it with you. After many months of effort, you recommended that UUFA call a UU Minister in Preliminary Fellowship. And now, you have a UU Minister in Full Fellowship!”

Achieving Full Fellowship is an important step for UU Ministers. The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) calls the decision to enter the ministry “a life-changing and fulfilling profession”, but also acknowledges the extensive commitment developing ministers require. To become a UU Minister, individuals must:

● Obtain Masters of Divinity degree from an Association of Theological Schools accredited seminary which typically involves 2 years of post-graduate work;
● A career assessment from an approved center which involves intensive career, psychological, and interpersonal testing and evaluation by Board Certified Psychiatrists/Psychologists.
● A completed unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). Rev. Pippin completed an extended CPE at Palmetto Health Richland and the UU Congregation of Columbia, SC.
● A completed internship, which Rev. Pippin completed at the UU Congregation of Fairfax with an additional year including leadership in the youth program, stewardship, and intergenerational co-leadership;
● And a successful interview with our national credentialing body, the Ministerial Fellowship Committee (MFC).

And that is just for starters! After completing the above requirements that typically take 3-5 years, Minister’s may be invited into Preliminary Fellowship. Once entering Preliminary Fellowship, Ministers must form a Committee on Ministry from within their ministry context. This Committee on Ministry observes the minister, meets with them monthly, and provides evaluations each year. In addition, ministers in Preliminary Fellowship must develop an extensive professional development plan which includes continuing education, skill building, reflective counseling with a Minister in Full Fellowship and that is approved by the MFC. Each year the Committee on Ministry, the Board of the congregation or group the minister services, the minister’s mentor, and the minister all submit evaluations that are then carefully reviewed by the MFC each year for a minimum of three years. Only then is a minister in Preliminary Fellowship eligible to be considered for Full Fellowship.

Rev. Pippin’s achievement of Full Fellowship was celebrated during the Dec. 4th Sunday Service with a huge round of applause and the presentation of a beautiful new stole made by Karen Holmgren from the Settled Minister Search Committee and the UUFA congregation.

Join us in celebrating this milestone with Rev. Dr. Pippin Whitaker!

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