About Unitarian Universalism
We are Unitarian Universalists, people of many backgrounds who have different beliefs, but shared values. Together, we offer a guided path towards a better you and a better world. Get to know us in this short animated video.
Copyright Unitarian Universalist Association
What is Unitarian Universalism (UU)?
Unitarian Universalism is based on two aspects of early Judeo-Christian history: Unitarian, the belief in one God, not the Trinity, and Universalism, the belief in universal salvation. Both faiths played a key role in the founding of America. They joined to become the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (UUA) in 1961.
We, as Unitarian Universalists (UUs), have a covenant – an agreement with each other- but no creed we must believe in. We come from, identify with and draw inspiration from, many religious and philosophical traditions. We welcome diverse beliefs. Such diversity draws us into rich discussions on spiritual and philosophical topics.
All UUs share these principles:
- The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
- Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
- Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth;
- A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
- The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process;
- 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.
As UUs, we also share another value: Free Pulpit and Free Pew. These concepts of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and its member congregations are necessary for having a covenantal relationship.
To preserve the covenant and ensure the free search for truth, the pulpit must be free. When the religious community lends the pulpit, it does so with the knowledge that the speaker is free to present from personal knowledge and experience though differing from what others in attendance may believe. In reciprocation, the speaker will respect the trust of the congregation by speaking responsibly from genuine conviction.
In Unitarian Universalism the church does not regulate thoughts or beliefs. Individuals are free to pursue their own truth and theology. Within our religious community, the concept of Free Pew protects against religious oppression by preserving both individual and collective rights to speak, communicate and obtain knowledge in the pursuit of truth. To that end, Free Pew additionally calls all to act affirmatively to protect the rights of others to think and believe freely, especially those with whom we disagree. This creates a bond within the community that transcends differences created by creeds, doctrines or beliefs and preserves the covenant.