UUA Bylaw Amendment: Section 7.13. Religious Education Credentialing Committee

Ballot Result from General Session III
This by-law amendment passed. It received more than 2/3 vote of support.

By-Law Amendment to Section 7.13. Religious Education Credentialing Committee

Option Votes
In Favor of Amendment 1973 (96.3%)
Against Amendment 75 (3.7%)
Total 2180
Abstain 132 (6.1%)

Update 6/20: This bylaw amendment was removed from the Consent Agenda and will return to its original place on the agenda (General Session III - Friday 6/21).

Update 6/12: This bylaw amendment will now be part of the consent agenda.

Bold indicates insertion ; [brackets indicate deletion.]

Rationale: The Religious Education Credentialing Committee would like the option to increase the number of members of its committee should the need arise to do so. The following change is proposed to allow flexibility in the committee’s composition, while making the bylaw language consistent with that of the Ministerial Fellowship Committee.

877 Section 7.13. Religious Education Credentialing

878 Committee.

879 The Religious Education Credentialing Committee shall consist of

880 no fewer than seven members appointed by the Board of Trustees as follows:

881 (a) three members, none of whom is a parish minister, minister

882 of religious education, community minister, a credentialed

883 religious educator, or a director of religious education,

884 appointed by the Board;

885 (b) one member who is a parish minister or community minister,

886 appointed by the Board;

887 (c) one member who is a minister of religious education,

888 appointed by the Board’

889 (d) one member who is a Credentialed Religious Educator at the

890 highest level granted by the Religious Education

891 Credentialing Committee, appointed by the Board; and

892 (e) one member nominated by the Board of the Liberal Religious

893 Educators Association and appointed by the Board of

894 Trustees.

895 The Committee shall have jurisdiction over religious education

896 credentialing with the Association as provided in Article XII thereof.

897 The Board of Trustees shall designate a person who is not a

898 member of the committee to be its Executive Secretary and keep its

899 records.


What does this committee actually do? How often do they meet? What are their powers exactly as relates to individual congregations and how their religious education is conducted? Do they supervise publications as well?

This seems pretty basic; there is no change to method of appointment, terms, etc., so I don’t see the harm in an increased number of members. OTOH, if there is a controversy in which the committee splits 3:4, would one group or the other start looking for new members to strengthen their position? That is about the only potential concern I have.

This seems to just be a desire to match the Fellowshipping Committee. There is no justification provided, nor any indication of when or why the Committee might need to be increased. It is left entirely to the UUA Board. It would be more appropriate to propose a bylaw change when the need arises and could be justified. I recommend a NO vote.

Please vote yes on this proposal.

I’m pretty sure my religious educator colleagues would agree. Giving this committee the flexibility to have more when there are a lot of religious educators waiting for a credentialing interview is a good thing.

No this isn’t some power grab by the board or committee. The actual power of this committee is quite limited to professional religious educators.

And note: Credentialing interviews are in spring. (Having them in fall would be just awful for religious educators’ yearly calendars.). If there was an urgent need, in order to wait for GA to temporarily increase the committee, professional religious educators would need to wait at least a year because of the normal GA and Credentialing schedules.

And it just doesn’t have to happen that way.

Flexibility isn’t a power grab. It’s helping committees do their work better and more efficiently on behalf of all of us.


Just to be clear, like this committee deals with zero of that.

It’s a committee that gives Credentialing status to religious educators. That’s it. I guess their biggest power is in setting what topics a DRE should be competent in for credentialing as small changes there can lead to big changes in training for religious educators, but credentialing is also extremely optional for religious educators.

But really this committee only affects professional UU religious educators to give us a professional certification. If having more people on it helps make the process more efficient, that’s only a good thing.


I’m not clear on one thing about this bylaw amendment. The current bylaw says that the committee consists of 7 members, and goes on to specify them (3 who aren’t ministers, etc.; 1 parish minister; 1 RE minister; 1 credentialed religious educator; 1 nominated by LREDA).

The amendment changes that to say that the committee consists of no fewer than 7 members but doesn’t specify in which of the 5 categories in the current bylaw the additional members would be in. So if this passes and the Board decides that it makes sense to add a member, would the additional member be: someone who isn’t a minister, a parish minister, an RE minister, a credentialed religious educator, or someone nominated by LREDA? In other words, could the Board appoint someone regardless of which of these categories they fall into, or would they have to appoint someone in one of these categories in particular? And if so, which one?


That is a very interesting question; the ratio of roles should remain the same or similar to avoid giving too much influence to any one group. In other words, if 3 new ministers are added, then there are 7 ministers and 3 nonministers, shifting the balance. Though I was supportive of this at first, without clarification on that point, I fear it is premature to approve this.

Does anyone know how to oppose a consent agenda? I’ll see what I can track down before next week, but if someone has it handy, it would be appreciated. I think that Laura’s point is worthy of discussion.

I’m a credential religious educator and I fully support this bylaw change. Allowing for flexibility in the credentialing committee means that more religious educators are given the opportunity to appear before the committee and earn credentials. Having trained and credentialed religious professionals is a positive thing for our RE programs, our families, our children, and the future of our faith.


It’s in the forum topic where the consent agenda was announced: General Assembly 2024 > GA Business > Consent-Agenda. But short version: When the Moderator asks if anyone would like to remove this item from the consent agenda, you request to remove it by going the the Pro Line. If someone request the removal the Moderator asks if anyone will join the request. If at least 9 other delegates join the request, the item is removed from the consent agenda and restored to the regular agenda.

I haven’t made a decision, but I was a little surprised that this was added to the consent agenda. I don’t object to the proposal, I am just not sure it belongs on the consent agenda.

The bylaw modification puts no limitation on the qualifications of any members beyond the seven already described. If the RECC members decided that they needed an additional member, they would ask for someone from one of those categories, or something altogether different. Then, the Appointments Committee would interview candidates and make a recommendation to the Board. And then the Board would vote on the recommendation.


I don’t know how to answer this concern. There is no intent to shift any balances. This is simply a request to add other skilled individuals, if needed. As the way that we do religious education (or religious exploration) is changing and dynamic, some of the old models for RE need to be replaced. This bylaw change allows the RECC to respond to those changes.


We added it to the consent agenda because it seemed a non-controversial request. There were no proposed amendments to this bylaw change submitted to the mini assembly. It seemed a good opportunity for the delegates to have the experience of using the consent agenda.

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Thanks for the replies, Charles! I realize that there is nothing intentional at this time, but I am wondering about avoiding unexpected consequences in the future. Perhaps an amendment to ensure that the goal is to retain a balance similar to current?

Thanks; I might make such a request if I think others would also be interested to have some discussion on this item.

Thank you for responding, Charles.

Maybe I am misunderstanding what a consent agenda is in this context. We usually use it in our church board meetings for reports that were included in the meeting packet that don’t require the board to take action. I’m all for not taking more of the GA’s time than necessary for any item.

Amy Pemberton

I have seen it used for votes that are considered noncontroversial, but I disapprove of such use, especially with such a large gathering—the late-ish appearance of the question indicates that it is possible that there are folks who are still thinking about the agenda, whether just seeing it or not, and from past experience we have seen people arrive at GA without knowledge of the agenda items.

Just to be clear, I’m not opposing the amendment. I just wanted to understand what the intention was.