Unitarian Universalism (UU or UUism) is a liberal religion that takes a strong place of foundation in the history of the United States. America is a perfect spawning ground for newfound religions, and with its inception founded on the principles of religious freedom, religious communities like the Unitarian Universalists have thrived in the country. 

Core to the American identity is is the religious liberty that has expanded since its founding. The Christian Church—along with many other religions—were able to find new paths to worship, from religious movements combined with anti-racism, secular religious movements, the expansion of humanist movements, and anything in between, Americans would join together in creating new beliefs and leading new movements across America. Other religions like Judaism would also find distinct movements within the United States, and the commitment to faith of all kinds stands to this day. 

It is through the means of diversity that a sense of justice, belief, and faith is delivered via religion in the United States. Through religious liberty, experimentation in community and congregation, and sheer innovation, some of the world's newest and most interesting religions can be found throughout North America.

Find Answers to Common Questions

  • What is Unitarian Universalism?

    Unitarian Universalists believe in a search for truth without a specific creed. Members are instead unified by spiritual means, discarding the need for any sacred text for a more streamlined approach to spirituality. Departing from Protestant roots, Unitarian Universalists follow six sources of spirituality: personal experience, world religions, Jewish and Christian teachings, humanist teachings, prophetic utterances, and spiritual teachings. 

    Perhaps this more relaxed religious structure is what attracts so many to Unitarian Universalist churches, in which congregations are made up of fellowships of atheists, deists, theists, agnostics, and more. Many of the American founding fathers subscribed to deism, and the popularity in America is no coincidence. A strong belief in intellectual freedom is core to the religion, whose members and community address the goal of inclusive love by deriving insights from other major religions like Hinduism or Catholicism. 

    Unitarianism and liberalism are paired together, as liberal religion often promotes a rational, individualist, and faith-based belief system that is focused on group liberation. This attitude towards religion departs from more established orthodoxies and maintains opposite views from fundamentalists. Instead, the UU community has been consistently critiqued by other sects of Christianity as a relativist belief. Evangelicalism, for one, was created in response to Unitarianism, viewing the religion as non-creedal and non-Christian. 

    The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship believes in worship of all kinds and can affirm value in any religious practice. Although liberal religions are often confused with liberal political stances, there is no right-wing versus left-wing within liberal religions.

  • How Did Unitarian Universalism Begin?

    Unitarian Universalism can be traced back to Protestantism and Liberal Christianity. UUism was conceived in 1961 under the Unitarian Universalist Association. This organization combined both the American Unitarian Association and Universalist Church of America. Although UUism retains some aspects of Christianity, with the UU Church congregation coming together for Sunday worship that includes hymns and sermons, the UU congregation maintains a nondogmatic approach to faith.

    Universalist beliefs perhaps led to the Unitarian core tenets, as Christian Universalists believed that, through Christ, all would be saved. This approach to Christianity deviates from most, in which following the way of Jesus Christ was the only way to be saved.

    Unitarianism also heavily deviates from most Christian sects with an anti-Trinitarian view, which disregards the holy trinity: a stark departure from most branches of Christianity, which uphold the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, decided upon during the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD. Unitarianism and the Unitarian Universalist congregation finds its roots in Poland, where the first religious freedom laws were created in Europe. Unitarians held not only a rejection of the holy trinity, but also of the acknowledgement of Jesus Christ as God. They believed, rather, that Jesus was a man with a special relationship to God. Like these movements, Universalism in America taps into American spirituality through religious liberalism without adhering to dogmatic views.