Elevate your UU experience. Take the leadership leap.

What Is MWLS?

Part of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s nationwide network of leadership schools, MidWest Leadership School is a week-long intensive program in leadership and group dynamics. Led by lay and ordained staff with a deep understanding of UU congregations, MWLS

  • develops both youth and adults into congregational leaders
  • provides leadership tools and skills
  • deepens Unitarian Universalist identity


This is an extremely intense week of workshops, discussions, intimate small groups, worship preparation, personal theological exploration and growth.

In exchange for wholehearted commitment to a strenuous schedule, MWLS offers a life-changing and congregation-nourishing opportunity.

NEW FOR 2017: We will be at Luther College in Decorah Iowa. More details will be posted here soon.

Who Is MWLS For?

Youth School

An opportunity for youth entering grades 9-12 to develop leadership skills, MWLS - Youth School operates at the same time as MWLS - Adult School. Some activities, such as multi-generational worship experiences, are shared between the schools. 

Adult School

Are you currently—or soon to be—in an active lay leadership role? Do you want to know more about consensus building or conflict management, congregational growth, or social justice issues? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then MWLS - Adult School is for you!

Registration is open to applicants from member congregations in the MidAmerica Region (formerly Central MidWest, Heartland, and Prairie Star Districts) and to seminary students not yet in candidate status.


JULY 9-15, 2017 (Sunday–Saturday)

  • Both schools use the same arrival and departure times, though the daily calendars are unique.
  • Plan to arrive between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m., Sunday, for check-in and campus tours. (No early check-ins)
  • Except in extraordinary circumstances, late arrivals will not be admitted to school.
  • Re-convene at 5:00 Sunday for dinner, orientation, and worship.
  • Meals and activities are scheduled from 7 am to 9 pm daily, with breaks available between classes and activities.
  • Depart at noon on Saturday.

Your Commitment

The week long experience is designed as an integrated curriculum. Each person who enrolls contributes to the learning experience. 

This is an intense week with little free time, filled with intellectual and emotional rigor.

Participants are expected to make a commitment to the formation of this intentional community, to stay the entire week, and to attend all scheduled classes and gatherings.


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Beloit College Campus
Beloit, Wisconsin

MidWest Leadership School is held on the beautiful campus of Beloit College in southern Wisconsin. The turtle, which is the symbol for Beloit College, is also the symbol for MWLS. There are several sacred burial mounds on the campus. For many native American cultures, the turtle symbolizes the planet Earth and a combination of strength, persistence, and the need to stick your neck out to get somewhere!

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youth-leadership-school-logo-green-250wYOUTH 14-18 years of age have YOUTH Midwest Leadership School!
Click the turtle to find out more.