Unitarian Universalism
An early logo of the Unitarian Universalist Association which includes a flaming chalice, its most widely used symbol.
TypeLiberal religion[1][2]
OrientationMix of Protestant, Liberal, Progressive, and Pluralist[1][2][3]
ScriptureOfficially none;[2] religious principles and moral teachings are drawn from the Six Sources[4]
FounderMembers of the American Unitarian Association and the Universalist Church of America via consolidation[2][5]
OriginMay 1961[5]
Separated fromChristianity[2]
Congregations1,048 worldwide
Number of followers148,232 members of Unitarian Universalist Association congregations in the United States; 800,000 identify as Unitarian Universalist worldwide (including the U.S.).[6]

Unitarian Universalism (otherwise referred to as UUism[1] or UU)[7][8][9] is a liberal religious movement[1] characterized by a "free and responsible search for truth and meaning".[10][11] Unitarian Universalists assert no creed,[2] but instead are unified by their shared search for spiritual growth.[1][3][12] Unitarian Universalists do not have an official, unified corpus of sacred texts[2] but rather draw inspiration and guidance from the six sources: personal experience, prophetic utterances, world religions, Jewish and Christian teachings, humanist teachings, and spiritual teachings.[4] Unitarian Universalist congregations include many atheists, agnostics, deists, and theists; there are churches, fellowships, congregations, and societies around the world.[1][12]

The roots of Unitarian Universalism can be traced back to Protestantism[2][13] and liberal Christianity;[1][2] more specifically, it can be traced to Unitarianism and Christian Universalism.[2] Unitarian Universalists state that from these traditions comes a deep regard for intellectual freedom and inclusive love.[3][12] Congregations and members seek inspiration and derive insight from all major world religions.[1][12][14] The beliefs of individual Unitarian Universalists range widely; they can include, but are not limited to, religious humanism,[1][2][12][15] Judaism,[4] Christianity,[4] Islam,[16] Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Taoism, syncretism,[1] neopaganism,[1][12] atheism,[1] agnosticism,[1] New Age,[1][12] omnism, pantheism, panentheism, pandeism, deism, and teachings of the Baháʼí Faith.[17]

The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) was formed in 1961 through the consolidation of the American Unitarian Association, established in 1825, and the Universalist Church of America,[5] established in 1793.[2] The UUA is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts; and serves churches mostly in the United States. A group of thirty Philippine congregations is represented as a sole member within the UUA. The Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) became an independent body in 2002.[18] The UUA and CUC were two of the seventeen members of the now defunct International Council of Unitarians and Universalists (1995-2021).[19]


This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources in this section. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (June 2011) (Learn how and when to remove this message)

Puritan roots and Congregationalist background

Main articles: Calvinism, Congregational church, Pilgrim Fathers, and Puritanism

Further information: Congregationalism in the United States and History of Christianity in the United States

Unitarian Universalism was formed from the consolidation in 1961 of two historically separate Christian denominations, the Universalist Church of America and the American Unitarian Association,[5] both based in the United States; the new organization formed in this merger was the Unitarian Universalist Association.[20] At the time of the North American consolidation, Unitarians and Universalists diverged beyond their roots in liberal Christian theology. They draw from a variety of religious traditions. Individuals may or may not self-identify as Christians or subscribe to Christian beliefs.[21] Unitarian Universalist congregations and fellowships tend to retain some Christian traditions, such as Sunday worship with a sermon and the singing of hymns. The extent to which the elements of any particular faith tradition are incorporated into personal spiritual practice is a matter of individual choice for congregants, in keeping with a creedless, non-dogmatic approach to spirituality and faith development.[22]

New England Unitarians evolved from the Pilgrim Fathers' Congregational Christianity, which was based on a literal reading of the Holy Bible. Liberalizing Unitarians rejected the Trinitarian belief in the tri-personal godhead: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost/Spirit. Instead, they asserted a unitary notion of God. In addition, they rejected the doctrine of original sin, moving away from the Calvinism of the Congregationalists.[23]

New England Universalists rejected the Puritan forefathers' emphasis on the select few, the Elect, who were supposed to be saved from eternal damnation by a just God. Instead Universalists asserted that all people will eventually be reconciled with God.[23] Universalists rejected the hellfire and damnation of the evangelical preachers, who tried to revive the fundamentalist Christianity of the early Pilgrim fathers.[24]


Main articles: Universalism and Christian universalism

Universalists claim a long history, beginning with several Church Fathers, though some modern scholars question whether these church fathers taught the defining doctrine of Universalism (universal salvation).[25][26][27]

This core doctrine asserts that through Christ every single human soul shall be saved, leading to the "restitution of all things" (apocatastasis). In 1793, Universalism emerged as a distinct denomination of Christianity in the United States, eventually called the Universalist Church of America.[28] Early American advocates of universal salvation such as Elhanan Winchester, Hosea Ballou and John Murray taught that all souls would achieve salvation, sometimes after a period resembling purgatory.[29] Christian Universalism denies the doctrine of everlasting damnation, and proclaims belief in an entirely loving God who will ultimately redeem all human beings.[30][31]


Main article: Unitarianism

Historically, several forms of Nontrinitarianism have appeared within Christianity. The term may refer to any belief about the nature of Jesus Christ that affirms God as a singular entity and rejects the doctrine of the Trinity, as affirmed by the mainstream Christianity: a consensus of Christian bishops at the First Council of Nicaea in 325. Nontrinitarianism was especially prevalent during the theological turmoils of the Protestant Reformation. A Spanish physician, Michael Servetus, studied the Bible and concluded that the concept of the Trinity, as traditionally conceived, was not biblical. His books On the Errors of the Trinity and Christianismi Restitutio caused much uproar. Servetus was eventually arrested, convicted of heresy, and burned at the stake in Geneva in 1553.[32]

The term "Unitarian" entered the English language via Henry Hedworth, who applied it to the teachings of Laelio Sozzini and the Polish Socinians. Unitarian churches were formally established in Transylvania and Poland (by the Socinians) in the second half of the 16th century.[33] There, the first doctrines of religious freedom in Europe were established (in the course of several diets between 1557 and 1568, see Edict of Torda) under the jurisdiction of John Sigismund, King of Hungary and Prince of Transylvania, the only Unitarian monarch. The early Unitarian church not only rejected the Trinity, but also the pre-existence of Christ as well as, in many cases, predestination and original sin as put forward by Augustine of Hippo, and the substitutionary atonement of Christ developed by Anselm of Canterbury and John Calvin. There were several different forms of Christology in the beginnings of the Unitarian movement; ultimately, the dominant Christology became psilanthropism: that Jesus was a man, but one with a unique relationship to God.

Great Britain

Main article: History of Unitarianism

Further information: English Dissenters and History of Christianity in the United Kingdom

Influenced by the Socinian doctrine of the Polish Brethren, the Unitarian minister Samuel Clarke (1675–1729) revised the Book of Common Prayer, removing the Trinitarian Nicene Creed and references to Jesus as God.[34] Theophilus Lindsey also revised the Book of Common Prayer to allow a more tolerant, free Unitarian interpretation. Neither cleric was charged under the Blasphemy Act 1697 that made it an "offense for any person, educated in or having made profession of the Christian religion, by writing, preaching, teaching or advised speaking, to deny the Holy Trinity". The Act of Toleration (1689) gave relief to English Dissenters, but excluded Unitarians. The efforts of Clarke and Lindsey met with substantial criticism from the more conservative clergy and laity of the Church of England. In response, in 1774, Lindsey applied for registration of the Essex House as a "Dissenting place of worship" with the assistance of barrister John Lee.[35] On the Sunday following the registration—April 17, 1774—the first true Unitarian congregation discreetly convened in the provisional Essex Street Chapel. In attendance were Lee, Joseph Priestley and the agent of the Massachusetts Colony, Benjamin Franklin.[36] Priestley also founded a reform congregation, but, after his home was burned down in the Priestley Riots, fled with his wife to America, where he became a leading figure in the founding of the church on American soil.[37]

Once laity and clergy relaxed their vehement opposition to the Doctrine of the Trinity Act 1813, which finally allowed for protections of dissenting religions, the British and Foreign Unitarian Association was founded in 1825. It has its headquarters in Essex Hall, successor to Lindsey's Essex House.[38] Two that have been significant in national life are the Cross Street Chapel in Manchester and,[39] Newington Green Unitarian Church in north London.[40] Unitarian congregations in Britain meet under the auspices of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches. There are 170 communities of Unitarians across Britain.[41] The Chief Officer of the British Unitarians was Liz Slade as of 2020.[42]

United States

Main article: History of Unitarianism

Further information: Congregationalism in the United States and History of Christianity in the United States

In the United States, the Unitarian movement began primarily in the Congregational parish churches of New England, which were part of the state church of Massachusetts.[43] These churches, whose buildings may still be seen in many New England town squares, trace their roots to the division of the Puritan colonies into parishes for the administration of their religious needs.[44] In the late 18th century, conflict grew within some of these churches between Unitarian and Trinitarian factions. In 1805, Unitarians gained key faculty positions at Harvard. In 1819 William Ellery Channing preached the ordination sermon for Jared Sparks in Baltimore, outlining the Unitarian position. The American Unitarian Association was founded as a separate denomination in 1825.[45] By coincidence and unknown to both parties, the AUA was formed on the same day—May 26, 1825—as the British and Foreign Unitarian Association.[46]

In the 19th century, under the influence of Ralph Waldo Emerson (who had been a Unitarian minister)[47] and other transcendentalists, Unitarianism began its long journey from liberal Protestantism to its more pluralist form.[48]

Integration, 1825–1961

After the schism in the Congregational Churches resulting in the foundation (1825) of the American Unitarian Association, some of those churches remained within the Congregational fold and became member congregations of the Congregational organization (later the United Church of Christ), while others voted to become Unitarian. Some of the latter eventually became part of the Unitarian Universalist Association (formed in 1961) during a consolidation of the Unitarian and Universalist churches. Universalist churches in contrast followed a different path, having begun as independent congregations beyond the bounds of the established Puritan churches entirely. The UUA and the United Church of Christ cooperate jointly on social justice initiatives such as the Sexuality Education Advocacy Training project.[49]

In 1961 the American Unitarian Association (AUA) was consolidated with the Universalist Church of America (UCA), thus forming the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA).[50] In the same year, the Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) formed.[51] The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) was given corporate status in May 1961 under special acts of legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the State of New York.[52]

In 1998 the Canadian Unitarian Council and Unitarian Universalist Association dissolved their financial accord, although they continue to cooperate.[51] The CUC had come into being at Meadville Lombard Theological School in 1961. However the continual decline of denominational churches and the almost complete failure of the Universalist movement in Canada had caused the formation of the Council to prompt a plan to merge with the UUA. Opposition to Liberal religious freedom relaxed, so that by 2002 it was agreed to increase autonomy and funding. The amalgamation proved troublesome for the Canadians, a small minority largely ignored, with only 45 congregations and 5,200 members – the Americans were insensitive to cultural differences.[53]

Beliefs and practices

Diversity of beliefs and scriptures

Unitarian Universalism is a religion marked by freedom, reason, and acceptance.[54] As such, Unitarian Universalists practice a non-creedal religion that does not require one to believe in any particular belief or doctrine.[55] Rather than sharing common beliefs, Unitarian Universalists are united by a common history, the affirmation of each person's individual spiritual quest, and a covenant to uphold the community's shared spiritual values. As such, Unitarian Universalists vary greatly in their beliefs, and Unitarian Universalist congregations are often defined by a plurality of beliefs.[56]

Unitarian Universalists are encouraged to engage in their own unique spiritual journey and to follow their conscience in what beliefs to hold. Unitarian Universalism is seen as compatible with other spiritual paths, and individual Unitarian Universalists are encouraged to engage in their own spiritual journey, whatever the path. Unitarian Universalists are not required to renounce previous faith traditions to join a Unitarian Universalist congregation. As a result, individual practitioners may simultaneously identify as Unitarian Universalists, as well as other faith traditions.[56]

Although Unitarian Universalism draws its roots from Christian sources, contemporary Unitarian Universalists in North America view their religion as multifaith and drawing on a variety of sources, both religious and secular. Unitarian Universalism encourages its members to draw on the world's religions as well as the words and deeds of prophetic people as inspiration for their spiritual journeys.[57] Although members are cautioned to be aware of possible cultural appropriation of traditions that do not belong to them, Unitarian Universalists are encouraged to find wisdom in a diverse spectrum of religions, customs, and cultures from around the world.[58]


Part of the covenant among Unitarian Universalist congregations in North America is a list of six sources that contemporary Unitarian Universalism draws from. Although the list, first adopted in 1984 and revised in 1995 and 2018, is not meant to be exhaustive, it lists some major influences on modern Unitarian Universalist practice, including:

  1. 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;
  2. Words and deeds of prophetic people which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;
  3. Wisdom from the world's religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;
  4. Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;
  5. 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;
  6. 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.[59]

Humanism and beliefs about divinity

Although the predecessors of Unitarian Universalism, Unitarianism and Universalism, find their origin in unorthodox beliefs about the nature of the Christian God, modern Unitarian Universalists hold a variety of views about the nature and existence of deity. Most Unitarian Universalist congregations take no formal stance on whether or not a god or gods exist but leave it up to individual members to decide for themselves what they believe. Unitarian Universalists may be atheists, agnostics, and theists.[60] Among those Unitarian Universalists who use language of divinity, both monotheism and polytheism are common, and Unitarian Universalists hold a variety of beliefs about the nature of the divine.[61] [62]

The diversity of beliefs about divinity in Unitarian Universalism can be accounted for because of the influence of religious humanism on the movement in the late nineteenth century. Although Unitarian Universalists believe that anyone can be a Humanist, regardless of their position on the use of language of divinity, the rise of religious humanism within Unitarian Universalism enable members to be able to further question the existence and nature of the divine through its encouragement towards reason. [63] Fifteen of the thirty-four signers of Humanist Manifesto I were Unitarians and one was a Universalist. Unitarian Universalists were also a significant presence among the signers of Humanist Manifestos II and III.[64]

Today, the majority of Unitarian Universalists in North America identify as Humanist. Although Humanism is seen as an evolving philosophy where the limits of science and reason are recognized, its tenets continue to play a large role in the thought of Unitarian Universalist congregations. Unitarian Universalist Humanists hold that the naturalism of their Humanism encourages individuals to recognize the awe, beauty, and wonder of the natural world and recognize the interdependence between humans and other beings.[63][64][65]


In the absence of shared beliefs, Unitarian Universalists often see their religion as a covenantal (as opposed to a creedal) one. Unitarian Universalists see covenants as the promises that bind congregations, communities, and individuals together in community. In Unitarian Universalism, covenants are mutual promises among individuals and communities about how they will behave and engage with each other. Covenants help create trust and care among Unitarian Universalists and in their congregations.[66]

Rather than creating things people have to do, covenants in Unitarian Universalist communities create freedom by helping members know what to expect from each other. In the words of Unitarian Universalist minister Alice Blair Wesley:

"...authentic human freedom is of necessity, lawful freedom, and because we receive the possibility of freedom as a gift of the way things are, an authentic covenant is: a glad promise to live freely together, insofar as we are able, in accordance with the laws of reality that make our freedom possible. This is true whether the agreement is between just two, as in a union of marriage, or whether the agreement is among millions, as in a free nation, or whether the agreement is among members who gather to be a free congregation."[67]

The use of covenants in Unitarian Universalist community dates back to 1646 and the creation of the Cambridge Platform by the Congregational churches of colonial New England, some of whom would later become Unitarians, predecessors of modern Unitarian Universalists. The Platform was the first formal declaration of the principles of church order and governance in colonial North America.[68] Today, many Unitarian Universalist congregations create their own covenants, often called covenants of right relations, to formally layout the principles of their congregations.[66]


In the United States, members of the Unitarian Universalist Association covenant together via the seven Principles and Purposes, a part of article II of the Unitarian Universalist Association's bylaws. These Principles and Purposes are statements of shared values that Unitarian Universalist congregations agree to uphold:

  1. The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
  2. Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
  3. Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
  4. A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
  5. The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
  6. The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
  7. Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.[69]

These principles, first adopted in 1960 and later revised in 1984 and 1985, proved so popular that many Unitarian Universalists see them as a wisdom source in and of themselves and a guide for participation in Unitarian Universalist congregations.[69][70]

In June of 2024, the UU National Assembly will vote on whether to keep or replace the 7 principles.[71]

In Canada, members of the Canadian Unitarian Council affirm the existing seven principles but, along with many individual congregations in the United States, adopted an eighth principle: "Journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions."[72][73]

In the Philippines, where Unitarian Universalism is much more theistically oriented, member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Philippines affirm the seven principles of their North American counterparts in addition to their own first principle, "There is God. God is love."[74]

Proposed New Principles in United States

In June of 2024, the US UU General Assembly will vote on replacing the 7 Principles with new language.[75]


Unitarian Universalism believes that actions taken to make the world a better place are more important than what a person actually believes, as espoused by a common slogan in Unitarian Universalist congregations, "Deeds, not creeds." They hold that belief divorced from action does not change the world, and that good intentions often leads to a worse situation in the long term. Unitarian Universalist thinkers have long recognized the need to bring belief and action together, and encourage their members to go into the larger world and improve it.[76][77]

Because of this importance of action, Unitarian Universalists have long been involved in social, economic, and environmental justice movements, both through organizations created by Unitarian Universalists and through local, regional, national, and international grassroots organizing. Many Unitarian Universalists see this work as inseparable from their Unitarian Universalist faith, and see their participation in justice movements as a deeply important part of their religious faith.[76][78]

Historically, Unitarian Univeralist's predecessor denominations, Unitarianism and Universalism saw members involved in abolitionism, women's suffrage, pacifism, temperance, and prison reform.[76] Today, Unitarian Universalists are deeply involved in causes such as racial justice and the Black Lives Matter movement,[79] LGBT movements,[80] feminism and women's rights,[81] immigration justice,[82] reproductive rights,[83] climate justice,[84] and economic inequality.[85]

Worship and practices

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources in this section. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (June 2011) (Learn how and when to remove this message)

Diversity of practices

The Unitarian belief that reason, and not creed, defines the search for truth, and the Universalist belief that God embraces all people equally has led to the current Unitarian Universalist belief that truth and spiritual meaning can be found in all faiths. This is reflected in the wide array of spiritual practices found among Unitarian Universalists today. Many Unitarian Universalist congregations include Buddhist-style meditation groups, Jewish Seder, Yom Kippur and Passover dinners, iftaar meals (marking the breaking of Ramadan fast for Muslims), and Christmas Eve/Winter Solstice services. Children's and youth's religious education classes teach about the divinity of the world and the sanctity of world religions. One of its more popular curricula, Neighboring Faiths (formerly Church Across the Street), takes middle and high school participants to visit the places of worship of many faith traditions including a Hindu temple, a Reform or Orthodox synagogue, and a Catholic church.

There is great variety among Unitarian Universalist congregations, with some favoring particular religious beliefs or forms of worship over others, with many more home to an eclectic mix of beliefs. Regardless of their orientation, most congregations are fairly open to differing beliefs, though not always with various faith traditions represented to the same degree.

Diversity of congregations

There is a wide variety in how congregations conceive of themselves, calling themselves "churches", "societies", "fellowships", "congregations", or eschew the use of any particular descriptor (e.g. "Unitarian Universalists of San Mateo"). Many use the name "Unitarian Universalist", (and a few "Universalist Unitarian"), having gradually adopted this formulation since consolidation in 1961. Others use names that reflect their historic roots by keeping the historical designation "Unitarian" or "Universalist" (e.g. "First Unitarian Church"). A few congregations use neither (e.g. Unity Temple). For some congregations, the name can be a clue to their theological orientation. For others, avoidance of the word "church" indicates a desire to distance itself from traditional Christian theology. Sometimes the use of another term may simply indicate a congregation's lay-led or relatively new status. However, some Unitarian Universalist congregations have grown to appreciate alternative terms such as fellowship and retained them even though they have grown much larger or lost features sometimes associated with their use (such as, in the case of fellowships, a traditionally lay-led worship model).[86]

Also of note is that there are many more people who identify as Unitarian Universalist on surveys than those who attend Unitarian Universalist congregations (by a factor of four in a recent survey),[87] reflecting those who have never joined (and lapsed members) but nonetheless consider themselves part of the Unitarian Universalist movement.

Elevator speeches

In 2004, UU World magazine asked for contributions of "elevator speeches" explaining Unitarian Universalism.[88] These are short speeches that could be made in the course of an elevator ride to those who knew nothing of the religion. Here are examples of the speeches submitted:

In Unitarian Universalist congregations, we gather in community to support our individual spiritual journeys. We trust that openness to one another's experiences will enhance our understanding of our own links with the divine, with our history, and with one another.

— Jonalu Johnstone, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma[89]

Most Unitarian Universalists believe that nobody has a monopoly on all truth, or ultimate proof of the truth of everything in any one belief. Therefore, one's own truth is unprovable, as is that of others. Consequently, we should respect the beliefs of others, as well as their right to hold those beliefs. Conversely, we expect that others should respect our right to our own beliefs. Several UU's then, would likely hold as many different beliefs. Other beliefs they may hold in common are a respect for others, for nature, and for common decency, leading to a particular caring for the poor, the weak and the downtrodden. As a result, issues of justice, including social justice are held in common among most.

— Gene Douglas, Harrah, Oklahoma[90]

It's a blessing each of us was born; It matters what we do with our lives; What each of us knows about God is a piece of the truth; We don't have to do it alone.

— Laila Ibrahim, Berkeley, California[89]

Worship and ritual

As in theology, Unitarian Universalist worship and ritual are often a combination of elements derived from other faith traditions alongside original practices and symbols. In form, church services might be difficult to distinguish from those of a Protestant church, but they vary widely among congregations.[50]


The most common symbol of Unitarian Universalism is the flaming chalice, often framed by two overlapping rings that many interpret as representing Unitarianism and Universalism (the symbol has no official interpretation). The chalice itself has long been a symbol of liberal religion, and indeed liberal Christianity (the Disciples of Christ also use a chalice as their denomination symbol[91]). The flaming chalice was initially the logo of the Unitarian Service Committee during the Second World War. It was created by Austrian artist Hans Deutsch. The holy oil burning in it is a symbol of helpfulness and sacrifice.[92]

Nevertheless, other interpretations have been suggested, such as the chalice used by the followers of Czech Jan Hus, which was supposedly reverential of Eastern Orthodox traditions; although Hus's early National Church was intrinsically an evangelical Protestant. In some agnostic historiographies the flaming chalice displayed a vague resemblance to a cross in some stylized representations, relying on the sepulchral traditions of the Hospitallers.[93] Many Unitarian Universalist congregations light a chalice at the beginning of worship services. Other symbols include an off-center cross within a circle (a Universalist symbol associated with the Humiliati movement in the 1950s, a group of reformist, liturgically minded clergy seeking to revive Universalism).

Other symbols include a pair of open hands releasing a dove.[94]

Services of worship

The Unitarian Meeting House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Shorewood Hills, Wisconsin.

Religious services are usually held on Sundays and most closely resemble the form and format of Protestant worship in the Reformed tradition.[50] Services at a vast majority of congregations follow a structure that focuses on a sermon or presentation by a minister, a lay leader of the congregation, or an invited speaker.[95] Sermons may cover a wide range of topics. Since Unitarian Universalists do not recognize a particular text or set of texts as primary or inherently superior, inspiration can be found in many different religious or cultural texts as well as the personal experiences of the minister.

The service also includes hymn-singing, accompanied by organ, piano, or other available instruments, and possibly led by a song leader or choir. The most recent worship songbook published by the denomination, Singing the Journey[96] contains 75 songs and is a supplement to the older Singing the Living Tradition which contains readings as well.[97] Hymns typically sung in Unitarian Universalist services come from a variety of sources—traditional hymn tunes with new or adapted lyrics, spirituals, folk songs from various cultures, or original compositions by Unitarian Universalist musicians are just a few. Instrumental music is also a common feature of the typical worship service, including preludes, offertory music, postludes, or music for contemplation.

Pastoral elements of the service may include a time for sharing Joys and Sorrows/Concerns, where individuals in the congregation are invited to light a candle or say a few words about important events in their personal lives. Many also include a time of meditation or prayer, led by the minister or service leader, both spoken and silent. Responsive readings and stories for children are also typical. Many congregations also allow for a time at the end of the service, called "talk back", where members of the congregation can respond to the sermon with their own insights and questions, or even disagree with the viewpoint expressed by the minister or invited speaker.

Many Unitarian Universalist congregations no longer observe the Christian sacraments of baptism, communion, or confirmation, at least in their traditional forms or under their traditional names. Congregations that continue these practices under their more traditional names are often federated churches or members of the Council of Christian Churches within the Unitarian Universalist Association (CCCUUA), or may have active chapters associated with the Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship or similar covenant groups.[98] "Child dedications" often replace more traditional infant baptisms (such "dedications" are sometimes practiced even in "orthodox" Christian communities that do not baptize infants for theological reasons). Annual celebrations of Water Communion and Flower Communion may replace or supplement Christian-style communion (though many pluralist and Christian-oriented congregations may celebrate or otherwise make provisions for communion on Christian holy days).[99] Confirmation may be replaced by a "Coming of Age" program, in which teenagers explore their individual religious identity, often developing their own credo. After they have completed exploring their spiritual beliefs, they write a speech about it which they then personally deliver to the congregation.

Services can vary widely between congregations, and can incorporate dancing, contemporary music and poetry, readings taken from secular fiction or original works by congregants.[100]


Historical politics of Unitarians and Universalists

Main articles: Unitarianism and Universalist Church of America

In the 19th century, Unitarians and Universalists were active in abolitionism, the women's movement, the temperance movement, and other social reform movements. The second women's rights convention was held at the First Unitarian Church of Rochester, New York. Additionally, four Presidents of the United States were Unitarians: John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Millard Fillmore, and William Howard Taft.[101]

Politics of Unitarian Universalists

Main articles: Christian left and Progressivism in the United States

A Unitarian assembly in Louisville, Kentucky.[102]

Historically, Unitarian Universalists have often been active in political causes, notably the civil rights movement,[103] the LGBT rights movement,[104] the social justice movement, and the feminist movement.

Susan B. Anthony, a Unitarian and Quaker, was extremely influential in the women's suffrage movement. Unitarian Universalists and Quakers still share many principles. It is therefore common to see Unitarian Universalists and Quakers working together.

Unitarian Universalists were and are still very involved in the fight to end racism in the United States. John Haynes Holmes, a Unitarian minister and social activist at The Community Church of New York—Unitarian Universalist was among the founders of both the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909 and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), chairing the latter for a time. James J. Reeb, a minister at All Souls Church, Unitarian, in Washington, D.C., and a member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, was clubbed in Selma, Alabama on March 8, 1965, and died two days later of massive head trauma. Two weeks after his death, Viola Liuzzo, a Unitarian Universalist civil rights activist, was murdered by white supremacists after her participation in the protest march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. The Selma to Montgomery marches for voting rights are best known for Bloody Sunday, which refers to March 7, 1965, the most violent of the three marches.

The past head of the Unitarian Universalist Association 2001–2009, William G. Sinkford, is African-American, making Unitarian Universalism one of the first traditionally white denominations to be headed by a member of a racial minority.[105]

While political liberals make up a clear majority of Unitarian Universalists, the movement aspires to diversity, and officially welcomes congregants regardless of their political views. Politically conservative Unitarian Universalists point out that neither theological liberalism nor the Principles and Purposes of the UUA require liberal politics. Like the beliefs of Unitarian Universalists, politics are decided by individuals, not by congregations or the denomination.

Ibram X. Kendi presenting his new book How to Be an Antiracist at Unitarian Universalist Church located in Montclair, New Jersey, on August 14, 2019

Several congregations have undertaken a series of organizational, procedural and practical steps to become acknowledged as a "Welcoming Congregation": a congregation which has taken specific steps to welcome and integrate gay, lesbian, bisexual & transgender (LGBT) members. Unitarian Universalist ministers perform same-sex unions and now same-sex marriages where legal (and sometimes when not, as a form of civil protest). On June 29, 1984, the Unitarian Universalists became the first major church "to approve religious blessings on homosexual unions."[106] Unitarian Universalists have been in the forefront of the work to make same-sex marriages legal in their local states and provinces, as well as on the national level. Gay men, bisexuals, and lesbians are also regularly ordained as ministers, and a number of gay, bisexual, and lesbian ministers have, themselves, now become legally married to their partners. In May 2004, Arlington Street Church, in Boston, Massachusetts, was the site of the first state-sanctioned same-sex marriage in the United States. The official stance of the UUA is for the legalization of same-sex marriage—"Siding with Love". In 2004 UU minister Debra Haffner of The Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing published An Open Letter on Religious Leaders on Marriage Equality to affirm same-sex marriage from a multi-faith perspective. In December 2009, Washington, D.C., Mayor Adrian Fenty signed the bill to legalize same-sex marriage for the District of Columbia in All Souls Church.

Unitarian Universalists for Polyamory Awareness engages Unitarian Universalist ministers and other leaders to educate them on polyamory.[107] At the 2015 UUA General Assembly, the Association's non-discrimination rule was amended to include the category of "family and relationship structures";[108] the UUA has yet to take specific follow-up action on this, however.

Many congregations are heavily involved in projects and efforts aimed at supporting environmental causes and sustainability. These are often termed "seventh principle" activities because of the seventh principle quoted above.



Lack of formal creed

In May 2004, Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn ruled that Unitarian Universalism was not a "religion" because it "does not have one system of belief", and stripped the Red River Unitarian Universalist Church in Denison, Texas, of its tax-exempt status. However, within weeks, Strayhorn reversed her decision.[109]

Confusion with other groups

There are separate movements and organizations who hold to classical Unitarian or Christian universalist Christian theology and neither belong to the Unitarian Universalist Association nor consider themselves Unitarian Universalists. The American Unitarian Conference and the Christian Universalist Association are the two most significant organizations representing these theological beliefs today. Christians who hold these beliefs tend to consider themselves the true Unitarians or Universalists and heirs of the theological legacy of the original American Unitarian Association or Universalist Church of America, and they do not wish to be confused with Unitarian Universalists. The Unity Church is another denomination that is often confused with Unitarian Universalism.[110]

Boy Scouts of America

Main articles: Boy Scouts of America membership controversies and Religious emblems programs (Boy Scouts of America)

In 1992, the UUA published statements opposing the BSA's policies of discriminating against homosexuals, atheists, and agnostics; and in 1993, the UUA updated the curriculum guidance of its "Religion in Life" emblems program for young people in scouting to include criticism of the BSA policies.[111] On account of the published criticism, in 1998 the BSA withdrew its recognition of UUA's Religion in Life emblem program. Subsequently, the UUA removed the objectionable material from the program curriculum and the BSA renewed recognition of the Religion in Life program. Later, the UUA issued internal, supplemental material to emblems-program workbooks that included general statements critical of discrimination on bases of sexual orientation or personal religious viewpoint. When the BSA learned of those (internal) statements it again withdrew recognition of the UUA Religion in Life emblems program.[112]

In 2004, the Unitarian Universalist Scouters Organization (UUSO), a group not affiliated with the UUA, established their "Living Your Religion" emblems program for UU-BSA scouts.[113] Without the knowledge or approval of the UUA, the program was approved by the BSA Religious Relationships committee in 2005. Upon being notified of the UUSO program the UUA issued a statement (March 16, 2005) clarifying that UUSO was not an affiliate organization of the UUA and asserting that, contrary to reports otherwise, UU congregations were still awarding the UUA Religion in Life emblem to their youth members in BSA Scouts—which emblems then were worn on the Scouts' uniforms without complaint from the BSA. Further, the statement made clear that the UUA still maintained its criticism of both the BSA's ongoing discrimination against gay Scouts and gay Scout leaders and the BSA requirement of a religious litmus test for membership.[114][115]

Later events made these issues moot: In 2013, BSA opened its membership to gay youth, followed by opening membership to gay adults in 2015, which policy changes resolved the main UUA objection to supporting BSA. The UUSO dissolved in 2015 and by 2016, via a memorandum of understanding, the UUA religious emblems program was again formally recognized by BSA.[116]


Language of reverence

During the presidency of William Sinkford, debate roiled the Unitarian Universalist (U.U.) movement over his call to return to, or to re-create, an authentic Unitarian Universalist "language of reverence."[117] Sinkford suggested that as Unitarian Universalists abandoned traditional religious language they would relinquish, to others, religion's words of power. These other religionists would proceed to dictate their meanings of religious words and language, including scripture, in the public sphere. He advocated that Unitarian Universalists should regain their proper seat at the interfaith table by making this language their own. In response, others saw his idea as an effort to return Unitarian Universalist congregations to more orthodox Christian worship patterns. Indeed, some were concerned that it might be a call to oppose the growing influence among UUs of humanism and atheism, the adherents of which would be made unwelcome within the community. Sinkford denied such motives, citing the words of Unitarian Universalist humanists as examples of what he meant by "language of reverence".[118]

The growth of humanism among Unitarian Universalists stemmed in part from the congregational commitment to reach a universal audience while educating U.U. folk in biblical literacy, many of whom were born into families that eschewed or minimized religious or moral catechisms. (In addition to humanists, these people comprehend atheists and theists, agnostics, skeptics and seekers, non-member affiliates, the religion-alienated and others among the larger UU congregation.) The debate saw the publication of a book by the UUA Beacon Press, written by former UUA President John Buehrens[119] and titled Understanding the Bible: An Introduction for skeptics, seekers, and religious liberals.[120] Meant to serve as a kind of handbook to be read alongside the Bible, it provides interpretative strategies from a liberal religious perspective for the reader to engage in conversation about the Bible—what it says and what it means today. Positive engagement is intended rather than to relinquish all public conversation to others over interpretation of the Bible. Another important work by Buehrens, with Forrest Church, is A Chosen Faith: An Introduction to Unitarian Universalism,[121] in which the authors present the many sources of the Unitarian Universalist faith.

Borrowing from other religions

Main article: Syncretism

The "borrowing" of religious rituals from other faith traditions by Unitarian Universalists was discussed at the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly in 2001 during a seminar titled "Cultural Appropriation: Reckless Borrowing or Appropriate Cultural Sharing" by the Religious Education Dept, UUA.[122][123] Of particular discussion was the borrowing rituals and practices that are sacred to specific tribes or using spiritual practices without real context.


Main articles: Racism in the United States and Racial segregation of churches in the United States

Internal controversy over the hiring of the UUA's Southern Region Lead (a white man from outside the region was hired rather than a Latina woman who resided within the region) led to resignations and apologies in 2017. UUA President Peter Morales, the denomination's first Latino president, resigned amid criticism of his failure to address the diversity controversies.[124][125] The three co-presidents who took over commissioned a "racism audit" to address white supremacy within the denomination.[126] In April 2018, The Washington Post reported that the UUA "in the past year has been asked to help resolve 15 congregational conflicts involving religious professionals of color".[127]




Australia and New Zealand

North America



Number of members

As of 2020, the UUA had 1,027 Unitarian Universalist member congregations in the United States[132] and some congegrations outside the US.[133] In 2011, it had two congregations in the U.S. Virgin Islands, 19 in Canada, six in other countries, plus 28 multi-denominational member congregations: 17 in MA, four in IL, three in NH, two in VT, and one each in ME and Washington, D.C. Seven of the ten U.S. states with the most congregations are also among the most populous states; the state with the most congregations and members is Massachusetts; Vermont is No. 1 relative to its total population.[134] As of December 2023 there are 42 Unitarian Universalist congregations and emerging groups in Canada affiliated with the CUC.[135]

In 1956, Sam Wells wrote, "Unitarians and Universalists are considering merger which would have total U.S. membership of 160000 (500000 in the world)".[136] In 1965 Conkin wrote, "In 1961, at the time of the merger, membership [in the United States] was 104,821 in 651 congregations, and the joint membership soared to its historically highest level in the mid-1960s (an estimated 259000) before falling sharply back in the 1970s ...".[137] According to the 2008 Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches, the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations claimed 214,738 members in 2002.[138]

In the United States, the American Religious Identification Survey reported 629000 members describing themselves as Unitarian Universalist in 2001, an increase from 502000 reported in a similar survey in 1990.[139] The highest concentrations are in New England and around Seattle, Washington.[140]

The U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, conducted in 2007 by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and featuring a sample size of over 35000, puts the proportion of American adults identifying as Unitarian Universalist at 0.3%.[141]

The 2001 Canadian census done by Statistics Canada put Canadian Unitarians at 17,480,[142] and the September 2007 membership statistics from the CUC show they had at that time 5,150 official members.[143] In 2015, the CUC reported 3,804 members.[144]

Notable members

Main article: List of Unitarians, Universalists, and Unitarian Universalists

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Casebolt, James; Niekro, Tiffany (March 2005). "Some UUs Are More U than U: Theological Self-Descriptors Chosen by Unitarian Universalists". Review of Religious Research. 46 (3). Cham, Switzerland: Springer Verlag: 235–242. doi:10.2307/3512553. ISSN 2211-4866. JSTOR 3512553. S2CID 147127153.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Willsky-Ciollo, Lydia (2015). "Epilogue: Seeking Authority in Contemporary Unitarian Universalism". American Unitarianism and the Protestant Dilemma: The Conundrum of Biblical Authority. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books. pp. 241–245. ISBN 978-0-7391-8892-7. LCCN 2015952384.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ a b c Hoop, Katrina C. (Spring 2012). "Being a Community of Individuals: Collective Identity and Rhetorical Strategies in a Unitarian Universalist Church". International Review of Modern Sociology. 38 (1). International Journals: 105–130. ISSN 0973-2047. JSTOR 43499872.
  4. ^ a b c d Muck, Terry C. (2016). "Mission Trajectories in the Twenty-First Century: Interfaith Roads Best Traveled". In van Engen, Charles E. (ed.). The State of Missiology Today: Global Innovations in Christian Witness. Downers Grove, Illinois: IVP Academic. p. 187. ISBN 978-0-8308-5096-9. LCCN 2016037715. The Unitarian Universalist Association, a Christian denomination, seeks wisdom from six sources: personal experience, prophetic utterances, world religions, Jewish and Christian teachings, humanist teachings, and spiritual teachings.
  5. ^ a b c d Harvard Divinity School: Timeline of Significant Events in the Merger of the Unitarian and Universalist Churches During the 1900s
  6. ^ "UUA membership rises for first time since 2008". November 2018. Retrieved 26 September 2020.
  7. ^ "Believe". Introduction. United Kingdom: Unitarian. Archived from the original on 5 June 2014.
  8. ^ "Unitarianism and Unitarian congregations". South Africa: Unitarian. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  9. ^ "Unitarian Universalist Principles and Sources". Canadian Unitarian Council. Archived from the original on 31 October 2014. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  10. ^ "4th Principle: A Free and Responsible Search for Truth and Meaning". Unitarian Universalist Association. Retrieved 11 August 2021.
  11. ^ "7th Principle: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part". UUA. 15 September 2014.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g Lee, Richard Wayne (Winter 1995). "Strained Bedfellows: Pagans, New Agers, and "Starchy Humanists" in Unitarian Universalism". Sociology of Religion. 56 (4). Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press on behalf of the Association for the Sociology of Religion: 379–396. doi:10.2307/3712196. ISSN 1759-8818. JSTOR 3712196. LCCN 93642782. OCLC 30932266. S2CID 170915346.
  13. ^ Buehrens, John A. (8 March 2010). "Sacred Texts in Unitarian Universalism". UUA.org. Retrieved 28 February 2022.
  14. ^ "Unitarian-Universalism". Adherents. Major religions ranked by size. Archived from the original on 20 April 2013. Retrieved 19 April 2013.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  15. ^ Murry, William R. (2017). "History and Core Beliefs: One Hundred Years of Unitarian Universalist Humanism". In Gibbons, Kendyl L. R.; Murry, William R. (eds.). Humanist Voices in Unitarian Universalism. Boston: Skinner House Books. pp. 3–9. ISBN 978-1-55896-783-0. LCCN 2016039272.
  16. ^ "Muslim Unitarian Universalists". 15 September 2014.
  17. ^ Our Minister, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Los Gatos, 6 September 2013, archived from the original on 1 December 2020, retrieved 2 February 2015
  18. ^ "CUC-UUA Transition – Canadian Unitarian Council". cuc.ca. Archived from the original on 19 February 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
  19. ^ Daniel McKanan, "Unitarianism, Universalism, and Unitarian Universalism", Religion Compass 7/1 (2013), 15.
  20. ^ Unitarian Universalist Association: How we Began Archived 2016-10-01 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ John Dart, ed. Surveys: 'UUism' unique Churchgoers from elsewhere Archived 2008-11-22 at the Wayback Machine. Christian Century
  22. ^ "UUA: Welcome Primer" (PDF). Unitarian Universalist Association, Skinner House Books. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 August 2009. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  23. ^ a b "UUA: History". Unitarian Universalist Association. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
  24. ^ "UUA: History: Hosea Ballou". Unitarian Universalist History and Heritage Society. Archived from the original on 21 February 2020. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  25. ^ Westminster Origen Handbook
  26. ^ Ludlow, Morwenna. (2000). "Universal Salvation: Eschatology in the thought of Gregory of Nyssa and Karl Rahner". New York; Oxford University Press.
  27. ^ Stone, Darwell. (1903). Outline of Christian Dogma. New York: Longmans, Green & Co. p. 341.
  28. ^ "History of Unitarian Universalism". UUA.org. 9 October 2014. Archived from the original on 4 February 2010.
  29. ^ William Latta McCalla (1825). Discussion of universalism. p. 105. "THIRD UNIVERSALIST ARGUMENT. As it is a fact that many Universalists advocate a sort of purgatory, a concise notice will be taken of those texts which are erroneously thought to countenance that doctrine."
  30. ^ "Church Lays Corner Stone In New Hampshire". 21 July 2012.
  31. ^ "Google Sites". sites.google.com. Archived from the original on 6 March 2017. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  32. ^ "Michael Servetus Institute; Times that Servetus lived". Miguelservet.org. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  33. ^ Harris, MW. Unitarian Universalist Origins: Our Historic Faith
  34. ^ "Chris Fisher, A Brief History of Unitarian Christianity, retrieved July 18, 2008". Americanunitarian.org. Archived from the original on 7 March 2011. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  35. ^ Rowe, Mortimer. "1959_StoryEssexHall.pdf". London: Lindsey Press.
  36. ^ Rowe, Mortimer (1959). "The History of Essex Hall". Chapter 2 – Lindsey's Chapel. Lindsey Press. Archived from the original on 7 March 2012. ... in the early months of 1774 a little group of persons – Lindsey and his chiefpledged supporters – turned the corner out of the Strand into Essex Street and stood looking at a building near the top of the street, a building which alone kept alive the proud name 'Essex House'
  37. ^ Silverman, Sharon Hernes (24 September 2011). "Joseph Priestley". Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Retrieved 24 September 2011. ...eleven homes and two chapels in Birmingham were destroyed ... on April 8, 1794, Joseph and Mary Priestley set sail for America ... his 1796 lectures on "Evidences of Revelation" led to the formation of the First Unitarian Church in Philadelphia
  38. ^ Rowe, Mortimer (1959). "The Story of Essex Hall" (PDF). Lindsey Press. Retrieved 25 December 2017.
  39. ^ "Theology of Unitarianism". Archived from the original on 26 December 2017. Retrieved 25 December 2017.
  40. ^ "Newington Green Chapel under threat after 300 years?". 25 October 2016. Archived from the original on 26 December 2017. Retrieved 25 December 2017.
  41. ^ "Community Without Creed". Archived from the original on 26 December 2017. Retrieved 25 December 2017.
  42. ^ "Staff | Unitarians". www.unitarian.org.uk. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  43. ^ Paul Erasmus Lauer, Church and state in New England (Johns Hopkins Press, 1892) p. 105. Retrieved September 20, 2009.
  44. ^ Bob Sampson, Seventy-three Years In the Unitarian-Universalist Church of Nashua, July 16, 2006 Archived March 6, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved July 18, 2008.
  45. ^ Fisher, Chris (1 September 2004). "A Brief History of Unitarian Christianity". The 19th Century. American Unitarian Conference. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 24 September 2011. Many churches that were Congregationalist split off and became Unitarian. In 1825, the movement grew large enough that an organization, the American Unitarian Association, was formed
  46. ^ Rowe, Ch. 3: "Thus was brought to birth, triumphantly, in 1825, The British And Foreign Unitarian Association. By a happy coincidence, in those days of slow posts, no transatlantic telegraph, telephone or wireless, our American cousins, in complete ignorance as to the details of what was afoot, though moving toward a similar goal, founded the American Unitarian Association on precisely the same day—May 26, 1825."
  47. ^ Ralph Waldo Emerson Archived 2012-09-28 at the Wayback Machine. Harvardsquarelibrary.org. Retrieved on 2010-09-29.
  48. ^ Engaging our theological diversity (PDF). The Commission on Appraisal of the Unitarian Universalist Association. May 2005. ISBN 978-1-55896-497-6.
  49. ^ "Comprehensive Sexuality Education". Social Justice » Reproductive Justice. Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations. 23 August 2011. Retrieved 24 September 2011. The Unitarian Universalist Association has long been an advocate of age-appropriate, medically accurate, comprehensive sexuality education
  50. ^ a b c Sias, John, 100 Questions that Non-Unitarians Ask About Unitarian Universalism (PDF), UU Nashua
  51. ^ a b Accord History, CA: CUC, archived from the original on 20 September 2010, retrieved 29 September 2010
  52. ^ "Bylaws and rules". Governance and Management. Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations. Retrieved 5 July 2017. Unitarian Universalist Association was given corporate status in May 1961 under special acts of legislature of The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the State of New York.
  53. ^ Harris, pp. 90–92.
  54. ^ Bray Mcnatt, Rosemary (3 June 2019). "Our Faith". In Frederick-Gray, Susan (ed.). The Unitarian Universalist Pocket Guide (6th ed.). Boston: Skinner House (published 3 May 2019). pp. 4–5. ISBN 978-1-55896-826-4.
  55. ^ "Beliefs & Principle". Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  56. ^ a b Bray Mcnatt, Rosemary (3 June 2019). "Our Faith". In Frederick-Gray, Susan (ed.). The Unitarian Universalist Pocket Guide (6th ed.). Boston: Skinner House (published 3 May 2019). pp. 3–4. ISBN 978-1-55896-826-4.
  57. ^ "Unitarian Universalism Develops". The Pluralism Project. Harvard University. 2020. Retrieved 16 December 2022.
  58. ^ James, Jacqui (2001). "Reckless Borrowing or Appropriate Cultural Sharing?". Unitarian Universalist Association. Retrieved 16 December 2022.
  59. ^ "The Sources of Unitarian Universalism". UUWorld. Unitarian Universalist Association. 17 March 2015. Retrieved 17 December 2022.
  60. ^ "Existence of a Higher Power in Unitarian Universalism". Unitarian Universalist Association. Retrieved 17 December 2022.
  61. ^ Rasor, Paul (ed.). "Unitarian Universalist Views of God". Unitarian Universalist Association. Retrieved 17 December 2022.
  62. ^ Beckett, John (24 October 2019). "Why Unitarian Polytheism Is Not An Oxymoron and Other Issues With Religious Institutions". Ancient Oaks: Musings of a Pagan, Druid, and Unitarian Universalist. Patheos. Retrieved 17 December 2022.
  63. ^ a b Willcox, Kris (15 February 2017). "Humanism at 100: Across a century of change, Humanism has continued to evolve". UUWorld. Unitarian Universalist Association. Retrieved 17 December 2022.
  64. ^ a b Saxon, John L. Thank God for Humanism (PDF) (Speech). Worship Service. Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 December 2022. Retrieved 17 December 2022.
  65. ^ Schulz, William F. (1 November 2003). "Our humanist legacy: Seventy years of religious humanism". UUWorld. Unitarian Universalist Association. Retrieved 17 December 2022.
  66. ^ a b UUA Congregational Life (23 April 2019). "A Comprehensive Guide to Congregational Covenants". Unitarian Universalist Association. Retrieved 16 December 2022.
  67. ^ "Unitarian Universalist Views of God" (PDF). The Minns Lectures. 2001. pp. 5–6. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 December 2022. Retrieved 16 December 2022.
  68. ^ "Congregational Polity 101". Harvard Square Library. Retrieved 16 December 2022.
  69. ^ a b "The Seven Principles". Unitarian Universalist Association. Retrieved 16 December 2022.
  70. ^ Ross, Warren R. (November–December 2000). "Shared values: How the UUA's Principles and Purposes were shaped and how they've shaped Unitarian Universalism". UUWorld. Unitarian Universalist Association. Retrieved 16 December 2022.
  71. ^ "Save the Seven Principles". Save the 7 Principles. February 2024. Retrieved 9 April 2024.
  72. ^ Ng, Vyda (28 November 2021). "Shared values: CUC Approves 8th Principle on Dismantling Racism and Systemic Barriers to Full Inclusion". Canadian Unitarian Council. Retrieved 16 December 2022.
  73. ^ "Ministry and the 8th Principle". Unitarian Universalist Association. 17 December 2020. Retrieved 16 December 2022.
  74. ^ Santos-Lyons, Joseph (1 March 2020). "A new generation of UU leaders in the Philippines". UUWorld. Unitarian Universalist Association. Retrieved 17 December 2022.
  75. ^ "Proposed Revision to Article II" (PDF). February 2024. Retrieved 9 April 2024.
  76. ^ a b c "Social Justice". Unitarian Universalist Association. Retrieved 17 December 2022.
  77. ^ Gregg, Carl (1 March 2020). "Deeds Not Creeds, Behavior Is Believable". Carl Gregg: Pluralism, Pragmatism, Progressivism. Patheos. Retrieved 17 December 2022.
  78. ^ "Justice & Inclusion". Unitarian Universalist Association. Retrieved 17 December 2022.
  79. ^ "Black Lives Matter and Building a Movement for Racial Justice". Unitarian Universalist Association. Retrieved 17 December 2022.
  80. ^ "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Justice". Unitarian Universalist Association. Retrieved 17 December 2022.
  81. ^ "Women's Rights: Action of Immediate Witness". Unitarian Universalist Association. 1 July 2003. Retrieved 17 December 2022.
  82. ^ "Immigrant Justice". Unitarian Universalist Association. Retrieved 17 December 2022.
  83. ^ "Reproductive Justice". Unitarian Universalist Association. Retrieved 17 December 2022.
  84. ^ "Climate & Environmental Justice". Unitarian Universalist Association. Retrieved 17 December 2022.
  85. ^ "Economic Justice". Unitarian Universalist Association. Retrieved 17 December 2022.
  86. ^ See for examples: Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northern Westchester and Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens.
  87. ^ "Largest religious groups in the United States of America". Adherents.com. Archived from the original on 20 August 2018.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  88. ^ UU World Magazine. Unitarian Universalist Association. July/August 2004. [1]
  89. ^ a b "Affirmations: Elevator speeches". uuaworld.org. Unitarian Universalist Association. Retrieved 24 February 2007.
  90. ^ Karen Johnson Gustafson (November 2006). "Dear Ones". Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Duluth Newsletter. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 24 February 2007.
  91. ^ "The Chalice". Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Archived from the original on 12 January 2012. Retrieved 21 January 2012.
  92. ^ Adapted from the pamphlet "The Flaming Chalice" by Daniel D. Hotchkiss. "The History of the Flaming Chalice". Unitarian Universalist Association. Retrieved 24 February 2007.
  93. ^ Harris, Mark W. "The A to Z of Unitarian Universalism". London: Scarecrow Press.
  94. ^ Steve Bridenbaugh. "UU Chalices and Clip Art". Unitarian Universalist Association. Archived from the original on 20 July 2008. Retrieved 12 April 2008.
  95. ^ Commission on Common Worship (1983). "Common Worship: How and Why; The contribution of Von Ogden Vogt". Leading Congregations in Worship: A Guide. Unitarian Universalist Association. Archived from the original on 17 February 2007. Retrieved 24 February 2007.
  96. ^ Singing the Journey. 2005. ISBN 1-55896-499-1.
  97. ^ Singing the Living Tradition. Beacon Press. 1993. ISBN 1-55896-260-3.
  98. ^ "Christians 2004". Archived from the original on 8 January 2009.
  99. ^ Jan K. Nielsen (6 October 2002). "Who is My Neighbor? A Homily for World Wide Communion Sunday". Archived from the original on 11 March 2007. Retrieved 24 February 2007.
  100. ^ Leo Rosten, ed. (1975). Religions of America: Ferment and Faith in an Age of Crisis: A New Guide and Almanac. New York: Simon and Schuster. pp. 268–269. ISBN 0-671-21970-7. OCLC 1093360.
  101. ^ "The Religious Affiliations of U.S. Presidents". The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. 15 January 2009. Archived from the original on 29 June 2013. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  102. ^ "First Unitarian Church of Louisville". Firstulou.org. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  103. ^ Smith, Amanda, Unitarian Universalist Church Has Rich Civil Rights History Archived 12 January 2020 at the Wayback Machine
  104. ^ UUA "Unitarian Universalist Policy and LGBTQ Issues" Archived 1 December 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  105. ^ Maxwell, Bill; 11 April 2008; "Leading the Unitarian Universalist Association, a faith without a creed"; St. Petersburg Times
  106. ^ "Unitarians Endorse Homosexual Marriages", UPI, The New York Times, 29 June 1984.
  107. ^ "UUPA". uupa.org. Archived from the original on 5 December 2019. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  108. ^ "Unitarian Universalist Association: Rule II, Section C-2.3.: Non-discrimination". Archived from the original on 18 May 2015.
  109. ^ "News Release From Carole Keeton Strayhorn". Window.state.tx.us. 24 May 2004. Archived from the original on 19 January 2008.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  110. ^ See "Why the American Unitarian Conference Had to Be Formed" Archived 17 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine and "What Is the Difference between Christian Universalism and Unitarian Universalism?" Archived 15 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  111. ^ Gustav Niebuhr (22 May 1999). "The Boy Scouts, a Battle and the Meaning of Faith". New York Times. Archived from the original on 12 December 2007. Retrieved 9 May 2007.
  112. ^ Isaacson, Eric Alan (2007). "Traditional Values, or a New Tradition of Prejudice? The Boy Scouts of America vs. the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations". George Mason University Civil Rights Law Journal. 17 (1). Retrieved 14 June 2015.[permanent dead link]
  113. ^ "Unitarian Universalist Scouters Organization". 5 March 2006. Archived from the original on 25 November 2020. Retrieved 11 April 2007.
  114. ^ "UUA and the Scouts: Statement from the Unitarian Universalist Association". Unitarian Universalist Association. 16 March 2005. Archived from the original on 31 October 2007. Retrieved 8 July 2007.
  115. ^ "Religious Emblems Programs Available to Members of the Boy Scouts of America". Boy Scouts of America. Archived from the original on 17 July 2007. Retrieved 8 July 2007.
  116. ^ "UUA Memorandum of Understanding". Unitarian Universalist Association. 24 March 2016. Archived from the original on 12 November 2020. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  117. ^ Gibbons, Kendyl L.R. (31 July 2006). "Human reverence: The language of reverence is the language of humanity". UU World: Liberal religion and life. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  118. ^ Higgins, Richard (17 May 2003). "Religion Journal; A Heated Debate Flares in Unitarian Universalism". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 April 2012.
  119. ^ Buehrens, John A. "Past Unitarian Universalist Association President John A. Buehrens on why even humanists should read the Bible". Beliefnet.com. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  120. ^ Buehrens, John A. (2004). Understanding the Bible: An introduction for skeptics, seekers, and religious liberals. Beacon Press. ISBN 0-8070-1053-7.
  121. ^ Buehrens, John A.; Forrester Church, F. (1998). A Chosen Faith: An Introduction to Unitarian Universalism. Beacon Press. ISBN 0-8070-1617-9.
  122. ^ "Cultural Appropriation: Reckless Borrowing or Appropriate Cultural Sharing" Archived 2008-09-06 at the Wayback Machine Reported for the Web by Dwight Ernest, July 24, 2001, Unitarian Universalist Association
  123. ^ "When Worship Becomes Cultural Misappropriation", September 15, 2007, UU Interconnections
  124. ^ Banks, Adelle (31 March 2017). "Unitarian Universalist president resigns amid diversity controversy". Religion News Service. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  125. ^ McArdle, Elaine (27 March 2017). "Critics see white supremacy in UUA hiring practices". UU World. Unitarian Universalist Association. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  126. ^ Gjelten, Tom (24 June 2017). "Unitarian Universalists Denounce White Supremacy, Make Leadership Changes". All Things Considered. National Public Radio. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  127. ^ Boorstein, Michelle (17 April 2018). "What happens when a church dedicated to fighting white supremacy is accused of it". The Washington Post. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  128. ^ Congregation Unitarian Universalist Archived 17 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine. Uupuertorico.org. Retrieved on 2010-09-29.
  129. ^ "Welcome!". Unitarian.org.nz. Archived from the original on 3 May 2011. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  130. ^ "UUA Membership Statistics, 1961–2020". Unitarian Universalist Association. 2021. Retrieved 1 September 2021.
  131. ^ "Unitarian Universalist Animal Ministry". Archived from the original on 2 February 2021. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  132. ^ "UUA Membership Statistics, 1961-2020". www.uua.org. Retrieved 8 February 2024.
  133. ^ "Unitarian, Universalist, and Unitarian Universalist (U/U) Global Headquarters and Churches". UUA.org. Retrieved 8 February 2024.
  134. ^ Walton, Christopher L.; Todd, Kathy (2011). "Unitarian Universalist congregations by state". weekly web magazine. Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations. Archived from the original on 31 March 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2011. Map includes 1,018 UUA member congregations in the United States using data collected by the UUA through February 2011, but does not include the Church of the Larger Fellowship which is headquartered in Mass. but serves a geographically dispersed community. The map does include multidenominational congregations affiliated with the UUA
  135. ^ "Find a Congregation". cuc.ca. Retrieved 8 February 2024.[permanent dead link]
  136. ^ Wells, Sam, ed. (1957). The World's Great Religions. Vol. 3 Glories of Christiandom. New York: Time Inc. p. 205.
  137. ^ Conkin, Paul K. (1997). American Originals: Homemade Varieties of Christianity. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press. p. 95. ISBN 0-8078-4649-X.
  138. ^ Lindner, Eileen W., ed. (2008). Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches 2008. Nashville: Abingdon Press. p. 381.
  139. ^ "The Graduate Center, CUNY". Gc.cuny.edu. Archived from the original on 24 October 2005. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  140. ^ "Unitarians as a percentage of all residents". Glenmary Research Center. Religious Congregations and Membership in the United States, 2000. Archived from the original on 7 March 2012. Retrieved 23 July 2012.
  141. ^ "U.S. Religious Landscape Survey". Religions.pewforum.org. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  142. ^ 97F0022XCB2001002 Archived 31 December 2006 at the Wayback Machine. 2.statcan.ca (2010-03-09). Retrieved on 2010-09-29.
  143. ^ "Membership – The More it Changes, the More it Stays the Same" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 January 2015. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  144. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 March 2016. Retrieved 3 April 2016.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

Further reading