What is Unitarian Universalism?
"Nurture your spirit; help heal the world."
Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religious tradition that was formed from the consolidation of two religions: Unitarianism and Universalism. The Universalist Church of America was founded in 1793 and the American Unitarian Association, in 1825. After consolidating in 1961, these faiths became the new religion of Unitarian Universalism through the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA).
Unitarian Universalist Origins: Our Historic Faith speaks to the courageous UU history and how this movement laid the foundation for our strong voice for social justice and liberal religion, both past and present.
An Eyes-Wide-Open Faith!
Unitarian Universalists are people of all ages, many backgrounds and many beliefs. We are brave, curious and compassionate thinkers and doers. We create spirituality and community beyond boundaries, working for more justice and more love in our own lives and in the world. Hear now our story as shared by the UUA.
A Faith Without Certainty
Liberal theology is not for the faint of heart. It points us in a general direction without telling us the specific destination. It refuses to make our commitments for us, but holds us accountable to the commitments we make. The liberal religious tradition is an invitation, not a mandate. It invites us to live with ambiguity without giving in to facile compromise; to engage in dialogue without trying to control the conversation; to be open to change without accepting change too casually; to take commitment seriously but not blindly; to be engaged in the culture without succumbing to the culture’s values. Liberal religion calls us to strength without rigidity, conviction without ideology, openness without laziness. It is an eyes-wide-open faith, a faith without certainty. Paul Razor,
“Faith Without Certainty – Liberal Theology in the 21st Century
Different Beliefs, Shared Values
Guided by seven Principles and six Sources, we celebrate an expansive spirituality that brings together people of different beliefs but shared values. "Revelation...is ever unfolding" (Rev. Marilyn Sewell). All are welcome at the table of awe, question and illumination—gateways to wisdom and transformation, personally and for our world.
Our Seven Principles
Member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association join around a shared commitment to “our Seven Principles”. These principles guide us as both a fellowship, and as individuals.
We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote:
- The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
- Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
- Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
- A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
- The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
- The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
- Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
Our Six Sources
As Unitarian Universalists, our living tradition draws from many sources:
- Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;
- Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;
- Wisdom from the world’s religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;
- Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;
- Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit;
- Spiritual teachings of Earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.