Sabbatical – Philippines

Congregational Journey Contact Form

This is an opportunity to learn about Unitarian Universalism in the Philippines in both a rural and an urban context, and to engage in skills-sharing and community building with colleagues of the UU Church of the Philippines (UUCP).  Explore how Unitarian Universalism exists and functions in the cultural context of the Philippines, in an environment in which few members have economic privilege. Discover what it can mean for you (and perhaps your congregation) to be in ‘spiritual solidarity’ with Filipino UUs.

General Outline

The staff and leaders of the UUCP seek to further develop their skills in effective ministry  and have identified these specific areas:

  • Nurturance of the UU faith through teaching and articulation of theological concepts
  • Youth and Young Adult Ministry
  • Project development, management and community work
  • Church administration, leadership and financial management

Experienced UU ministers and DREs are invited to apply to spend anywhere from three weeks to four months with the UUCP, providing skill development in these and other areas for approximately 20-hours per week. Contexts will include worship services, traditional classes and less formal discussion groups. The unique skills that a successful applicant brings to this ministry will also be integrated.
The organizing and implementing body for this program is the UU Church of the Philippines’ Religious Education Committee. The UUCP will provide sabbatical program participants with housing and local transportation. Other expenses will be the responsibility of the applicant, with some financial assistance available from the UU College of Social Justice on request.


The primary location for this opportunity is Dumaguete City, though travel to other locations in-country is possible and encouraged. The length of stay is variable according to your needs, with a minimum of three weeks and a maximum stay of four months. Specific dates must be arranged with our partners. The UU Church of the Philippines provides a small apartment for visiting religious leaders, which is attached to the UUCP Headquarters.


In order to learn more about the Philippines and our UU congregations there, we recommend the resources listed below.

In Our Image, by Stanley Karnow

Maglipay Universalist, by Rev. Fred Muir; a book on UUism in the Philippines

UUA blogs about the UU Church of the Philippines

UUCSJ’s Study Guide, a resource for cross-cultural engagement

For more information about this placement, contact Eric Cherry, Director of the UUA International Office.

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As news of the  COVID-19 virus unfolds, we at the College of Social Justice are assessing next steps. While we are all in a state of uncertainty, we are acting with caution for the well-being of our participants, partners, staff, and most vulnerable community members.

With the guidance of the UUA, UUSC, and recommendations from the CDC, and in communication with our friends and partners, we have decided to postpone all CSJ in person programing (youth visits, journeys, etc) through May 2020. Those participants have been notified and we are grateful for the understanding, love, and support we have received in response.

These are the only programs that have been postponed for now, but things may change as we receive more information. We are also thinking of creative ways to bring more of our programming online and would love to hear ideas from you!

 We are all in community together and we are grateful for the ways in which you choose to show up, bear witness, and take action for the communities and partners we serve. Please be safe and if there is anything that we can do to be supportive of you, don’t hesitate to reach out.