Crossing borders and broadening global perspectives

Meadville Lombard offers theological education that is globally inclusive and prepares students to serve in their own contexts and across borders. We work with international partners to provide students with opportunities to join liberal religious communities around the world in promoting justice, equity, and compassion, as well as welcoming international students to our programs.

Short-Term Program: U/U Global Conference

In partnership with the International Office of the Unitarian Universalist Association, Meadville Lombard offers a nine-month certificate program every year to four or five Unitarian, Universalist, or UU ministers and lay leaders from around the world who are interested in strengthening their leadership skills and discerning their spiritual path with the support of a global learning community. 

The program runs from August to May and follows a mixed schedule of work at home and in-person Intensive classworks (in January). Participants develop a project to serve a need in their community and work with a practice coach who has experience in the type of leadership they desire to develop, as well as meeting once a month as a cohort. 

This program utilizes Meadville Lombard’s Contextual Learning model, integrating theory and practice. It combines in-person and remote work along with activities that help students translate their learning to their local context.

If you are interested in learning more about this program, please contact us

International Immersion Learning

Students enrolled in Meadville Lombard’s degree programs are eligible to apply for three scholarships to strengthen their intercultural skills through immersion learning across borders. These scholarships aim to support our students in growing self-awareness, expanding their narratives, and exploring and learning from different communities.

If you are interested in any of the following programs, please contact us.

Tsubaki Grand Shrine

For two to three weeks, the recipient of this scholarship stays in the Tsubaki Grand Shrine in Suzuka, Japan, and develops a greater practical understanding of the Shinto tradition. Living with the community and participating in the daily life of the Shinto community provides rich opportunities for intercultural development and bridging borders.


Meadville Lombard, the UU Partner Church Council, the International Office of the UUA, and the Hungarian Unitarian Church offer a partial scholarship to one Master of Divinity students each year to travel to Romania for an in-depth encounter with Transylvanian culture, the birthplace of Unitarianism. The trip takes place either at Christmas, Pentecost, or during the summer for an experience at a youth summer camp. The recipient of this scholarship lives in the community and is there to learn by being of service, gaining an understanding of the Unitarian tradition in Transylvania.

Service Learning Trips for Religious Professionals

The UU College of Social Justice offers powerful service-learning trips for religious professionals, such as transformative journeys to the U.S.-Mexico border, trips to Nicaragua to learn about climate justice from grassroots Indigenous activists, and more. Meadville Lombard offers a partial travel scholarship to students who participate in one of these programs in conjunction with one of their academic courses.

UU College of Social Justice trips utilize a curriculum—which helps frame the trip and supports reflection afterward—that was developed in partnership with Meadville Lombard’s Fahs Collaborative, so the same Contextual Learning principles found here are infused into these service-learning trips. 

Master's Degree Programs

If you are a religious leader who lives outside of the United States, are passionate about justice-making, and are interested in learning how to lead effectively in our diverse, globalized world, we encourage you to explore our state-of-the-art master's degree programs. Meadville Lombard’s Master of Arts in Leadership Studies and Master of Divinity programs are taught in our low-residency Contextual Learning model, which makes them globally accessible, and our learning environment is culturally and theologically inclusive. Meadville Lombard alums and current students hail from Canada, Colombia, India, Japan, Kenya, Norway, the Philippines, South Africa, and Transylvania, in addition to the United States. Learn more about how to apply to our programs.