Michelle Favreault

Assistant Professor of Liberal Religious Education and Liturgy

Faculty, Part-time Core Faculty

This is what I remember:  I was an undergraduate in love with the theater and sparkling lights and song.  For a big lecture hall class, I wrote a paper called “Get Me to the Church On Time (for the second act)” comparing the wedding scenes in Fiddler on the Roof and Brigadoon.  I could see then, without a vocabulary of “liturgy” or “transformational learning” that great ritual changes the whole world.

Fast forward to now:  I have the joy of working with people expressing hope and resilience by learning and loving through the celebrations and sorrows of life. My work at Starr King School for the Ministry, focuses on semester-long courses in liberal religious education, congregational life, worship arts and entrepreneurial leadership.  I work with students, faculty and staff to develop our Tuesday Chapel times and other ritual celebrations for our community.  As part of the core faculty, I serve as an advisor to students and have been involved with our parish ministry internship program and connecting the Unitarian Universalist Minister’s Association to students in leadership formation at the GTU.

I am a Unitarian Universalist Minister, ordained by the Starr King Unitarian Universalist Church in Hayward, California. In two decades of professional religious leadership I have served congregations in Massachusetts and California, and as staff for the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Pacific Central District.   Ask me about the Boston Red Sox and I will offer you theological reflection on loyalty, suffering and redemption.  And to return to the love of the stage, I was once a part of the same theater group as Louisa May Alcott (our work did not overlap) and that is another story for another time.

In my East Bay community, I am involved in arts, interfaith and a variety of children/ family service organizations.   In my coaching and consulting practice, I work with creative individuals and groups experiencing spiritual growth in times of transition.  What that really means is I help people uncover their callings and celebrate big changes built on foundations of courage, authenticity and companionship.   And I take lots of pictures and lead others in groups exploring photography as a spiritual practice.

Recent Courses:

  • Sowing Seeds of Gladness: Church Planting and Entrepreneurial Leadership
  • Unitarian Universalist Religious Leadership in Congregation and Community Contexts
  • Writing the Rites: Liturgy and the Church Year
  • Between Sundays:  Congregational Life and Leadership
  • Teacher and Prophet
  • Leadership, Liturgy and Learning:  Embodied Ritual

Read a feature article about Professor Favreault’s work in Leadership, Liturgy, and Learning: Embodied Ritual.