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Our Unitarian Universalist Principles and Sources

Unitarian Universalist congregations affirm and promote seven Principles. We also share a “living tradition” of wisdom and spirituality, drawn from many sources.

The seven Principles and six Sources of the Unitarian Universalist Association grew out of the grassroots of our communities, were affirmed democratically, and are part of who we are. 

Principios y Fuentes en Español

Principles in Kids' Language

Our Principles

Unitarian Universalists hold the Principles as strong values and moral teachings. As Rev. Barbara Wells ten Hove explains, “The Principles are not dogma or doctrine, but rather a guide for those of us who choose to join and participate in Unitarian Universalist religious communities.”

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

Sources of Our Living Tradition

Rev. Kathleen Rolenz said, “Throughout history, we have moved to the rhythms of mystery and wonder, prophecy, wisdom, teachings from ancient and modern sources, and nature herself.” Worshipping in our congregations you may hear a reading or perspective shared from any one of these sources from which our living tradition is drawn:

  • 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;
  • Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;
  • Wisdom from the world's religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;
  • Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;
  • 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;
  • 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.

Learn More

Our Principles are also part of the foundation of Uniitarian Universalist Association (UUA) governance. Read them as they are written in our UUA Bylaws.

Delve into Unitarian Universalist beliefs and perspectives, read through our frequently asked questions, visit a congregation near you, and discover Unitarian Universalism!

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This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Monday, November 24, 2014.

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