About Uniting Mission & Education
Uniting Mission & Education was formed in 2012, and brings together the work of the Board of Mission and the Board of Education.
Uniting Mission & Education (UME) is an arm of the Uniting Church in Australia, NSW/ACT Synod.
UME staff are here to assist the Church to provide education, theological insight, strategy, research and resources for leadership, discipleship, ministry and mission to serve Christ who rules and renews the Church and seeks the reconciliation of creation. Our approach is to encourage a creative and pioneering spirit; to contextualise; to be a prophetic voice; model what we are about; and engage in reflective practice.
From the Synod Bylaws… The objects of UME are to:
- assist the Church and equip the Synod to provide education, theological insight, strategy, research and resources for leadership, discipleship, ministry and mission to serve Christ who rules and renews the Church and seeks the reconciliation of creation”;
- promote theological, missional and spiritual reflection and activity across the life of the Synod;
- encourage and advocate for creative and life- giving mission and ministry practice appropriate to the context;
- advocate on educational issues and oversee the provision of educational services;
- engage in research, resource development and education for mission and ministry;
- actively promote collaboration in mission and education across the Synod and the councils of the Church.
Responsibilities and Functions
UME will seek to encourage and grow the Church’s witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and, in the exercise of its objects, will:
- work with other boards, Church agencies and networks, Presbyteries, Congregations, faith communities, other Synods, the Assembly and other denominations to serve Christ and further the participation of the Church in the mission of God;
- seek to develop a comprehensive vision of what is required for ministry in the ongoing life of the Synod;
- assist the Synod to engage in serious and ongoing theological and missiological reflection to grow disciples and leaders who have the capacity to reflect deeply on faith and life and develop initiatives where the gospel can speak creatively into different local contexts;
- provide, in collaboration with other groups of the Church and other partners, educational resources, facilities, processes and consultancy to equip, challenge and support the people of God personally and corporately with innovative programs, skills and attitudes so that they will grow in wisdom and live out their faith by exercising their particular ministries within the Church and the world;
- facilitate leadership development opportunities, support and networks for lay and ordained leaders, focusing on current theological, mission, evangelism, discipleship and leadership issues for the Church and community, in consultation with Presbyteries and other partners
- develop and implement Synod policy and strategy on issues relating to mission and education, discipleship and leadership formation;
- provide facilities for mission and education through the ministry of Uniting Venues including the Centre of Ministry;
- oversee and consult with Church schools in their continuing provision of educational opportunities and advocate in relation to Church schools and public education;
- provide education for lay and ordained ministries;
- create space and opportunity to develop respectful relationships between the various bodies which are involved in mission and education to allow the Church to respond through theological conversation and shared practice to emerging needs in mission and education;
- provide services to applicants and candidates for Specified Ministry;
- assist and encourage the Church in the development of policies and practices that promote and enhance cross-cultural relationships and the development of a multicultural and multilingual church;
- support the work of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress and ministry with Aboriginal people;
- be responsible for the work of the United Theological College (The College);
- as much as is possible, collaborate with other bodies of the Church in planning, policy development and the performance of its tasks;
- enhance the mission and education work of the Church and, in particular, the Synod;
- manage, on behalf of the Synod, such funds as the Synod may determine and undertake such other tasks as the Synod may direct.
On behalf of the Synod UME will:
- service the Synod Mission Resource Fund and the Synod Promotions Fund Committee in conjunction with other related agencies of the Synod. (funds discontinued by Synod)
- oversee the management of the National Church Life Survey (NCLS) in conjunction with its other partners.
- oversee the ongoing work and development of the (Synod Mission Resource Fund program), Special Religious Education (SRE), Vulnerable Persons Protection, new initiatives and congregational development, theological education, lay ministry and discipleship formation, continuing education, leadership development, rural, multicultural, youth and children’s ministries and Uniting Venues.
- oversee the operation of Church schools, Wesley College, the United Theological College, Camden Theological Library, Church Archives, The Pastoral Counselling Institute, Tertiary Ministry, Uniting Network, Uniting Church Adult Fellowship, the Rural Ministry Unit, Synod Multicultural Ministries, the Leadership Institute and the Day Mission Support Group.