This liberal faith tradition is the result of the merger of two denominations, the Unitarians and the Universalists, to form the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) in 1961. Both denominations have their roots in the Jewish and Christian traditions. This union had been the hope of many Unitarians and Universalists for almost 70 years — the conversation about merger had begun in 1893 at the first Counsel of World Religions in Chicago, Illinois.
The Unitarians emerged from the many counter-reformation movements of the 1500s. The Unitarian religious birthplace is in Transylvania, where UUCM has a Partner Church today. They stressed the freedom of individual conscience and reason in matters of religious faith, thus dissenting from the prevailing Christian theology that believed in the divinity of Jesus. Unitarians instead honored Jesus as a teacher and prophet.
The Universalists, forming a distinct religious movement in England in the 1700s, were known for their belief in universal salvation, which led to acceptance of the notion that religious truths are universal and shared to some degree by all traditions. Universalists stressed the importance of service as an inherent part of religious practice.
Our roots in the United States are in the congregational movement and its protest against the "church of state" (Anglican) of the early 1700s.
Each Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregation is unique, reflecting the communities we serve. But all UU congregations share many common values and are guided by our Seven Principles.
Unitarian Universalists do not require that one ascribe to a religious creed to become a member of our congregations; rather, we believe there are many valid ways of understanding the Divine. Each individual is personally responsible to discover and affirm the path of their own truth. We organize ourselves around an ethical basis (how we live our truth), rather than a theological basis (how we know the Divine). Our members are free to believe what they must about the sacred and are challenged to make the world a better place for all by acts of compassion and works for justice.