Strategic Plan 2019 – 2024


Unitarian College exists to grow our faith from the inside by providing outstanding education and development which enhances leadership, deepens faith and nurtures fellowship.

Strategic Aims

1. To develop a broad and balanced curriculum that all Unitarians can access
We do this by:

  • Developing courses, workshops and experiences for all our key target groups – Ministers, Lay Leaders, Adults and Children/Young People which deepen Unitarian experience, meet spiritual needs and develop practical and spiritual leadership within our communities
  • Gathering feedback from Unitarian communities about development needs
  • Utilising teachers and trainers from amongst our own communities and inviting external experts to work with us
  • Using a range of delivery methods including residential experiences, day workshops, locally run courses, online training and fun activities

2. To become financially sustainable
We do this by:

  • Raising live giving through a network of Associates who support the mission and values of Unitarian College
  • Raising live giving from Unitarian clusters and groups such as congregations, District Associations and Unitarian Trusts
  • Developing a capital base through the transfer of funds from other Unitarian sources
  • Investigating ways to develop commercial income such as utilising apprenticeship or other government funding and selling courses commercially to other interested parties
  • Bidding for project income from Unitarian, other religious and/or government funds

3. To ensure all Unitarians are well informed about the work of the College
We do this by:

  • Creating a simple and informative web presence and social media feeds
  • Using the Unitarian media to regularly communicate with our communities about the work of the College
  • Communicating with Associates through a quarterly bulletin
  • Attending gatherings of Unitarians to update people on the progress of the College

4. To ensure all our delivery is of high quality
We do this by:

  • Maintaining an Academic Board which will scrutinise the curriculum and delivery of the College
  • Gathering feedback from students on the quality of their experiences and suggestions for improvement, using third parties where needed
  • Maintaining rigorous assessment practice as laid out in our assessment principles; using formative and summative assessment processes, internal and external verification, observation of practice, peer review and professional dialogue as detailed in our schemes of work
  • Ensuring that all our work is observed and validated by impartial others at appropriate intervals to ensure consistency of delivery and a high quality student experience

5. To recruit, retain and develop an excellent staff team
We do this by:

  • Recruiting team members who share our values
  • Using appreciative performance management techniques to challenge and reward staff performance
  • Paying attention to the wellbeing of our staff team
  • Paying colleagues appropriately for work done, as well as engaging and encouraging voluntary effort from others
  • Ensuring all colleagues have a clear professional development plan to develop new skills and update their practice

6. To maintain strong governance, good financial practice and excellent administration systems
We do this by:

  • Maintaining a College Board with appropriate Unitarian, financial and educational expertise that is able to appropriately challenge the staff team to achieve the College’s objectives
  • To conform to best practice in charity law and accounting, utilising the expertise of the General Assembly in return for a reasonable fee
  • To keep clear and transparent records, conforming with best data protection practice
  • To ensure that decision making, financial records, curriculum development and general business is recorded accurately and transparently so as to be useful to future colleagues and to reassure our stakeholders and investors

Charitable Objects

  1. The promotion of religion in accordance with the principles, ethos and values of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches
  2. The advancement of education for ministers and lay leaders through the provision of formal training courses and other courses and events to prepare ministers and lay leaders for this role
  3. The encouragement of religious harmony, equality and diversity through the provision of courses and other learning and development opportunities for communities and individuals of all ages

Visual representation of our strategy

Our Values

  • Learning and development is at the heart of all we do
  • Student success is our absolute focus
  • All are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve
  • We collaborate to achieve our best work
  • We celebrate our successes
  • We look after our wellbeing and foster a culture of challenge and care
  • We act transparently and openly to develop trusting relationships
  • Worship and spiritual deepening flows through all we do
  • All our work is devoted to the betterment of the Unitarian denomination in the UK

Our courses & events

Ministry Training & Inquiry Session July 2024

Unitarian College trains those accepted by the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches for Unitarian Ministry.

On 31st July a  zoom meeting is being held to answer questions about the application process. 

Worship studies course

Lay Worship Leadership Foundation Course Sept 2024

Our 8-week online Lay Worship Leadership Foundation Course is being offered to those who would like to lead worship across the country with their unique voice .

Junior Weekend Oct 2024

A fun, residential, Unitarian experience for young people aged 7-11 years at The Nightingale Centre, Great Hucklow.


"Unitarian College has opened up a path to Ministry that was previously unavailable for me."
Ministry student

"I feel incredibly supported and valued by Unitarian College."
Ministry student

"The courses are student-centred, thorough and intellectually and spiritually nourishing."
Ministry student

Photo of student Arek Malecki with Rev Jo James minister of Mill Hill Chapel in Leeds"The formation of the Unitarian College has opened up the possibility of ministry training to people like me, who otherwise would not have been able to study due to the confines of the modern life. As a modern institution UC is very much in touch with the reality. The training programme is tailor-made to fit each student’s individual circumstances. The content of the course is incredibly rich, covering a vast spectrum of topics, using various methods of teaching and student engagement. The ministry training programme perfectly balances being “down to earth” on one hand, and “looking up to the heavens” on the other, placing emphasis on the practical application of the acquired skills, knowledge and insights in the 21st century British Unitarian congregations. The staff went above and beyond to ensure that we still get the same rich learning experience under the restrictions posed by Covid.

But UC is much more than just an educational establishment. It’s a support network for those embarking on a journey of professional ministry. It’s a space where we, students, learn just as much from each other as we do from our tutors. It’s a space where new friendships are made and future professional relationships are formed."

Arek Malecki - Ministry student

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