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Congregational Membership in the Unitarian Universalist Association

Procedures for Admission

A new congregation becomes a member of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) when the UUA Board of Trustees approves its application. The Board votes on new congregation applications at its meetings that occur in January, April, June, and October of each year. Your application and supporting materials need to be received at least four weeks prior to the next Board meeting. Below is the schedule of upcoming board meetings and due dates for your completed application:

Application Due Dates

Your application is due at the UUA prior to scheduled Board of Trustee meetings:

  • October 16-19, 2014 (application due by Sept. 15, 2014)
  • January 15-18, 2015 (application due by Dec. 1, 2014)
  • March 4-8, 2015 (application due by February 14, 2015)
  • June 24-25, 2015 (application due by May 15, 2015)

If you determine that your group is not quite ready to become a Congregational Member of the UUA, read about Emerging Congregations.

Application Materials

Submit the items below with the application (PDF, 7 pages) to the Growth Services Program Manager in Congregational Life at the UUA (please see the address at the foot of this page). The application process is complete when the original of all application materials is received at the UUA's Boston office, and a copy is received at your UUA district office.

  1. A complete list of all charter members (to be completed on the enclosed form or one based on it). The UUA Bylaws require congregations to have 30 adult charter members to be considered for affiliation.
  2. A copy of your congregation's bylaws. A resource for drafting congregational bylaws is Your Congregation's Bylaws: a Guide to Effective Writing and Revising. (PDF, 89 pages
  3. A copy of your congregation's Articles of Incorporation. The UUA requires that all new congregations be incorporated in their state, province, or region before affiliating with the Association. As a result of the varying incorporation laws in different areas, it may be necessary for your group to contact a local attorney familiar with non-profit incorporation procedures. In filing the Articles of Incorporation, it will be necessary to fulfill UUA procedures for Admission-Rule 3.3.5 (f) which states: &quotA congregation shall include in its articles of incorporation or other organizing documents a clause providing that the assets of the congregation will be transferred upon dissolution to the UUA. With the prior written approval of the UUA Board of Trustees, the congregation has the option of naming a UUA affiliate organization (such as district, camp, conference center or other congregation), as the recipient of the congregation's assets.&quot
  4. A check made payable to the Unitarian Universalist Association for its Annual Program Fund (APF), and pro-rated for the UUA fiscal year in which your congregation joins; and the pro-rated period begins in the month of the date of the application for UUA Membership. The UUA fiscal year is July 1st to June 30th. The Fair Share has been approved by the UUA Board of Trustees and is as follows:

    2008/2009 $56
    2009/2010 $56
    2010/2011: $56
    2011/2012: $58
    2012/2013: $58
    2013/2014: $60
    2014/2015: $60

  5. To determine the correct amount, use the following example as a guide: A congregation of 30 members, whose application is dated March 1, 2009, would be asked to provide a contribution of $560 along with the application. Full Fair Share would be $1680 (30 members times $56). The monthly Fair Share for the congregation in this example is $140 ($1680 divided by 12 months). March—June is four months at $140 per month for a total of $560.00. Therefore, the Fair Share for a congregation of 30 members that requests membership in March 2008 is $560 for the remainder of the UUA's fiscal year that ends June 30, 2009.

    NOTE: Fair Share is the minimum amount that your congregation is requested to contribute each UUA fiscal year in support of the Association's work. Although a “corporate” contribution, since the congregation is the Association member, it is calculated on the basis of the total membership your congregation reports the preceding February on the “UUA Member Society Annual Certification Report and UUA Directory Update” form. The UUA Board of Trustees determines the method for calculating Fair Share as well as the amount. In the above example, the congregation's Full Fair Share for FY2009 would be $1680: 30 members at $56 each for the July 1, 2008, to June 30, 2009. In coming years, when planning your congregation's budget, please take Full Fair Share for the fiscal year into account.

    If your congregation's fiscal year does not coincide with that of the Association and you would like assistance in budgeting for your APF contribution—or have any other questions—please contact the APF Office (617) 948-6512 or -6513 or email apf @ For additional information, you can also check the APF web pages.
  6. The UUA requires four recommendations written in support of the congregation. You must include a letter from a nearby minister, your Regional Lead, your District or Regional President, and a UUA Growth Specialist. Sample letters are included in the addendum (PDF, 16 pages).

    The application form included in this congregational membership document is the only application that will be considered for congregational membership with the UUA. However, you may produce your own list of charter members based on the one enclosed. For your application to be considered, all materials need to be received by the UUA by the due date. A checklist is included in the application form.

When Your Application is Received

After your application has been received, the Growth Services Program Manager will:

  • notify the new congregation if the application is not complete;
  • send your APF check directly to the APF bank lock box. The bank notifies the APF Office, which credits your congregation with the contribution after the affiliation process is complete.
  • send the completed application to the Office of the Chief Operating Officer, which puts your application on the agenda for the upcoming Board of Trustees meeting.

After the Board votes, your congregation will receive a letter of acceptance as a member of the Unitarian Universalist Association.

If you have any questions regarding this process or need further assistance, please contact Brent Jurgess.

Where to send your completed Congregational Membership in the UUA Packet:

Brent Jurgess
Congregational Life
Unitarian Universalist Association
24 Farnsworth Street
Boston, MA 02210

Find out more about the Annual Program Fund.

For more information contact congstewardship @

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

Last updated on Wednesday, July 30, 2014.

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