Advanced Step

For WSC and USC students, this step includes further and deeper study of the four Intermediate Step Modules, introduces four new Modules, and is similar to the former CLPCW course.

The Modules are:

  1. Unitarian theology/thought. (Compulsory)
  2. Unitarian history-local/broader. (Compulsory)
  3. Biblical studies.
  4. Earth Centred Spirituality.
  5. Intergenerational Worship
  6. Meditation & Contemplative Practices
  7. Women and Religion in a Unitarian Context
  8. World Religion within a Unitarian Context

For WSC students the step is suitable for those wishing to conduct worship regularly.  It would be a useful preliminary for Lay Pastor or Ministerial training.

For USC students the step further develops their knowledge and understanding of Unitarianism.

The first two listed modules are compulsory and have six assignments each. Students are free to choose which other modules they wish to complete. However, they must complete at least three assignments per module. It is possible to do six assignments for Biblical Studies, Earth Centred Spirituality, and World Religions, but only three for the other three. Students must complete a total of twenty-four (24) written assignments.


  • This Step is provided nationally mainly by distance learning. In addition, daylong or short residential sessions may be provided by the Course Tutors and suitable others either as freestanding events or as part of the UALM Annual Conference.
  • There is a Course Tutor for each of the Modules. Each Tutor has been approved and recognised by the Local Leadership Strategy Group.
  • The designated Course Tutor assesses written work for both courses.

WSC students are expected to find their own suitably qualified or experienced assessor for the Conduct of Worship element.  Assessment forms are available from the Course Administrator, or as a PDF here.

Time Limit:

There is an expectation that each module of the course would be completed within nine months with the possibility of extension negotiated through the Course Administrator.


WSC students

  • Written work: submit six fully scripted services with appropriate readings, chalice lighting words, welcoming, benediction, prayers, sermon and hymns for each of the two compulsory modules, and three services for each of the four others. (N.B. It is possible to choose to do six services each for Biblical Studies and Earth Centred Spirituality). These should show a greater depth of understanding and knowledge than at the Intermediate Step.
  • Conduct of Worship: Deliver six services, including at least ONE from each module chosen, from the twenty-four submitted as written work. These should be assessed by an appropriate person e.g. a minister or recognisedlay leader/preacher/pastor. Assessor feedback sheets are available from the Course Administrator.

USC students

Submit six essays for each of the two compulsory modules, and three essays for each of the four others, showing greater depth of understanding and knowledge than at the Preliminary Step.  (N.B. It is possible to choose to do six essays each for Biblical Studies and Earth Centred Spirituality).  Each assignment should be between 2000 – 3000 words.

Assessment Criteria for Advanced Step

Each assignment is graded according to agreed criteria, which are available as a PDF from the Course Administrator. As a rough rule of thumb, grades A to D constitute a pass, with A being excellent, B being very good, C being quite good, and D being acceptable.

The purpose of offering grades is not to intimidate, but to encourage, students, and to give them an indication of the level at which they are currently working.  If a student is unhappy with the grade they have been given, they are invited to contact the tutor concerned in the first place, and then the Course Mentor.

Each assignment is graded individually, and purely for the student’s information. The grades will not be included on any modular or final certificate.