FAQs for Participants

Are there info sessions?

Yes! Please see recordings on our media page. Learn how to hold UU Wellspring sessions online, UU Wellspring opporutnities to meet with a group online in your congregation or with Unitarian Universalists around the world!

What happens in the small groups?

The small groups create a sacred time when the stories of our lives can be heard. The small-group format is based on the principles of deep listening outlined by Parker Palmer in his book “A Hidden Wholeness.” The format of the groups includes chalice lighting, check-in, silent reflection, conversation about that week’s readings, and a “so what” section that challenges participants to identify how the thoughts discussed can be put into faithful action. We have years of experience facilitating UU Wellspring online, so if your congregation is looking for an online opportunity, UU Wellspring will support you as you gear up, start and lead the program!

What is spiritual practice? What is the benefit?

Spiritual practice is one of the features of UU Wellspring. Spiritual Practice is any activity that is approached with attention and regularity and with the intention of connecting with ourselves, the holy or something larger than ourselves. Almost any activity can be a spiritual practice if it is approached in this manner. We engage in spiritual practice to open our hearts, to renew our souls, and to give us the courage to live into our beliefs.

What is spiritual direction? Why is it required?

Spiritual directors support people in discovering how love is moving in their lives. They help people create the space necessary to hear the voice of the spirit. Importantly, they also help people discern themes in their lives. This article in the UU World describes it beautifully. FAQ  on Spiritual Direction for UU Wellspring. Note for religious professionals: there is a scholarship fund for religious professionals from the UUMA who are seeking spiritual direction.

How do I find a spiritual director?

Your UU Wellspring facilitator will either provide a list of spiritual directors in your area from which to choose or, you may also search out your own spiritual director. The Unitarian Universalist Spiritual Director’s Network (www.uusdn.org) and Spiritual Directors International (www.sdiworld.org) are helpful resources. Note that the UU Spiritual Director’s Network includes a page devoted to UU Wellspring, so that anyone who appears on that page know about the UU Wellspring program. More information can be found here. This handout also provides suggestions beyond a certified spiritual director.


We recommend interviewing more than one potential director before choosing someone to work with. The second year spiritual directors in training at the Rowe Spiritual Direction Program and other training programs may be able to provide pro bono direction beginning in November of each year. Please contact director@uuwellspring.org if you are interested. Some participants, after taking UU Wellspring, decide they would like to become religious professionals, such as spiritual directors, ministers, religious educators and other staff roles in our Unitarian Universalist Faith. Here is a flyer to explain more.

What types of readings are required?

Resources in the UU Wellspring inc curriculum include segments of books, TED talks, sermons written by a variety of ministers, YouTube videos and other types of resources. We have updated and diversified the materials over the past year.

What is the cost of this program to individuals?

Individuals participating in congregational programs are not responsible for registration fees–your congregation pays that. Individuals are responsible for the cost of spiritual direction, which is in the range of $25-$150/hour. Most spiritual directors work on a sliding scale basis. Participants also usually purchase the books that are part of the curriculum. Many churches have scholarship programs to help ensure that UU Wellspring is accessible to all, regardless of financial situation.

If you are taking the program online outside of your congregation, the registration is a sliding scale of $100-$400 for the year, along with the above expenses.

What time commitment is required for participants?

Participants must attend a day-long opening retreat for the first-year program. However, our online groups attend a shorter, 4-hour retreat onlien. Small groups meet for two hours every two weeks. An hour of spiritual direction is suggested each month. In addition, participants spend a variable amount of time in reading, reflection, journaling, and individual spiritual practice.

Who leads UU Wellspring groups?

Groups are led by facilitators from your congregation who might be religious professionals or lay leaders. Facilitators often have participated in UU Wellspring groups prior to leading a group, except if it is the first year. Our online programs for individuals pay seasoned UU Wellspring religious professionals to lead the programs.