After thinking some more, and talking with a couple of you I do think the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association has at least two thing to offer that brightens it in my eyes, if not suages all my concerns: health and memory.
As a Unitarian Universalist institution, and as a manifestation of the ministerial college, the UUMA a lot of health in its members and in its comprehension overcomes the tendency of the ministers to cluster by interest. Most UU ministers are sensible, caring, and talented rather than being overweaning cranks as we’re sometimes stereotyped.
The other plus is its memory. Not only how things used to be, but what led to decisions that brought us where we are. Plus the experience of real-life ministry, without which seminary can be so much coursework. (I chose my “non-UU seminary” in part because North Texas had and has a lot of congregations with ministers.)
But I’m still worried about how its costs benefit its members, particularly those not serving parishes.