UU Studies Network 2023 Convocation

The UU Studies Network Convocations bring together mutually supportive academic and independent scholars, students, religious professionals, and laypeople who contribute to the intellectual, ecclesial, imaginative, and liberatory study of Unitarian Universalism.


Thu, Mar 23, 2023, 5:00 PM –
Sun, Mar 26, 2023, 12:00 PM CDT

View Conference Schedule (updated March 21, 2023)

Register for Convo 2023 (Eventbrite page)

View the flyer for UUSN 2023 Convocation


Meadville Lombard Theological School 
180 N. Wabash Ave. Suite 700 Chicago, IL 60601

Refund Policy

Registration is through Eventbrite. Refunds up to 7 days before event. Eventbrite’s fee is nonrefundable.

About this event

Widening the Circle of UU Studies, the inaugural international gathering of the new Unitarian Universalist Studies Network, will encourage presenters and attendees to engage across multiple and intersecting disciplines with the 2020 Report of the Commission on Institutional Change, Widening the Circle of Concern (Boston: UUA, 2020) which analyzes structural and systemic racism in Unitarian Universalism.

Widening the Circle of UU Studies will include presentations from a variety of disciplines and perspectives that explore the imaginative, congregational, intellectual, and liberatory study of Unitarian Universalism. Beyond presentations, Widening the Circle of UU Studies will include an optional Thursday-afternoon field trip to Chicago area attractions, panels addressing a wide variety of topics, social hours and communal lunches and dinners, and a talk from our distinguished speaker, Rev. Dr. Natalie Fenimore.

View Conference Schedule (updated March 21, 2023)


Keynote speaker

Rev. Dr. Natalie FenimoreRev. Dr. Natalie Fenimore is Lead Minister and Minister for Lifespan Religious Education at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock in Manhasset, NY, past President of the Liberal Religious Educators Association, and a former member of the UUA Commission on Institutional Change and a former VP of the Board of Trustees for Starr King School for the Ministry, and member of the UUA Commission on Institutional Change. Rev. Dr. Fenimore is an author of Unitarian Universalist Religious Education Curriculum and Religious Education Renaissance Modules, meditations and readings. She is a contributing author in “Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity and Power in Ministry” and “UUA Commission on Institutional Change: Widening the Circle of Concern.” Her Doctor of Ministry area of study is Narrative Theology with an emphasis on Story and Faith Development for African American Unitarian Universalists.

Sunday Service

Leader: The Reverend Dr. Jay Atkinson

Jay Atkinson retired in 2011 from 32 years in Unitarian Universalist parish ministry,while teaching occasionally on the adjunct faculties of Meadville and Starr King. He is now a research scholar at Starr King, with interests in UU history, process theology, and social/economic justice.


Music Ministry: Amanda Thomas – Mezzo soprano 

Amanda Thomas is a retired UU music director and a member of Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Oak Park, Illinois. She has been an active UU for 22 years, and has served on the Board of Trustees for the Association of UU Music Ministries and on the UUA’s Music Leadership Certification Committee. Amanda is now serving as a Troubadour and offering services as a freelance soloist, music/choir consultant, choral conductor, workshop facilitator, worship leader, vocal instructor and respite music director. Amanda believes we can each find our own joy through music, and as UU’s each travel their own path to a free and responsible search for truth and meaning, Amanda enjoys the monumental task of creating ways to inspire and feed the souls of all individuals through music.



Registration opens on Jan. 16, 2023. Registration is through Eventbrite at the link below:

Register for Convo 2023 on Eventbrite page.

Registration is on a sliding scale, and a day pass is also available for in-person participation on Friday.

Registration for In-Person Participation closes on March 16, 2023.

Registration for Online Participation closes on March 23. 2023.


Hotels are not included in your registration, but special rates have been arranged with Hotel Julian and Hotel Monaco. Please use the links below to book a reservation as a reduced price.

Hotel Julian2 minute walk to Meadville Lombard. From $142.69 per night. Reserve room here.

Hotel Monaco. 2 minute walk to Meadville Lombard. From $139 per night Reserve room here.

COVID Protocol

  • Proof of vaccination is required (including eligible boosters), with exemptions as needed. Please bring your ID and your vaccination card to campus.
  • Masks are required.
  • Disinfecting wipes and additional masks will be available. Please use them.
  • Facilitators and participants should take all recommended precautions before traveling. We strongly encourage travelers to purchase travel insurance and have a contingency plan should you contract Covid during your time in Chicago.


View Conference Schedule (updated March 21, 2023)

Register for UU Studies Network 2023 Convocation

We hope to see you there!