Since 1984, Unitarian Universalist congregations have affirmed seven Principles and six Sources as values and guides.

As UUCS minister, Rev. Dr. Todd Eklof explains, “Our principles, as such, are not a binding set of beliefs, but a loose attempt to articulate some of the common values we tend to share as Unitarian Universalists.”

We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote:

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

These universal principles of respect, equality, openness, freedom, democracy, justice, and unity are not ours alone, but are mined from the wisdom of humanity as a whole, as found in those various sources of inspiration we call our Living Tradition.

The living tradition, which we share, draws from many sources:

  • 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.

During the 1984 Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) General Assembly, delegates adopted the Seven principles and six Sources into our denominational Bylaws.