Unitarian Universalist Campus Community

Searching for truth, Supporting each other, Welcoming to all!



What Do Unitarian Universalists Believe?
Some Common Threads


This is a difficult question for many of us to answer, at least simply. In the Christian tradition--but not in many other world religions--a church is expected to have a written creed that is taught to the young and that is supposed to be taken on faith by all members.


However, Unitarian Universalism is not a form of Christianity nor do we have a simple creed. Unfortunately, this leads to suggestions that we are a church "where you can believe anything you want" or one that doesn't believe anything. That is an inaccurate charge and one that applies a very narrow understanding of what it means to be religious.


We embrace the ancient spirit of liberal religion. We believe that the quest for meaning and understanding is a lifelong process. We believe that all people are capable of this pursuit, but that no single human (or committee) is capable of divining the absolute truth in its entirety. A written creed implies that the search is over, that your mind and heart and experiences are irrelevant. Thus each Unitarian Universalist is on his or her unique path--yet we walk our paths in community. We learn from each other, not only from our ministers.


Some Unitarian Universalists find meaning in the Christian scriptures, and in the teachings and person of Jesus of Nazareth. Some Unitarian Universalists find meaning in the earth and mystery of nature. Some Unitarian Universalists find meaning in the life of the mind and critical reason. Our "scriptures" are as varied as humanity, and our individual conceptions of belief and faith are no less varied.


"How can you claim to be a church when you all believe different things?" But as paradoxical as it sounds, we do have common beliefs! We honor and respect each other's religious quests. We care for each other in community. Even if our understandings of religious questions are different, we agree that we have a right to hold them.


You cannot be taught to be a Unitarian Universalist. You can only become one through your own listening and study and observation and contemplation. Our Unitarian Universalist churches and groups offer you welcoming places in which to do so.


Paul Riedesel [adapted]

First Universalist Church of Minneapolis





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