Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religious tradition that was formed from the consolidation of two religions: Unitarianism and Universalism. In America, the Universalist Church of America was founded in 1793, and the American Unitarian Association in 1825. After consolidating in 1961, these faiths became the new religion of Unitarian Universalism through the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA).
The defining beliefs of Unitarian Universalism as a religion is a matter of individual experience, and that, therefore, only the individual can decide what to "believe." As a result, while Unitarian Universalists have no required creed, they treat as a sacred value complete and responsible freedom of speech, thought, belief, faith, and disposition. Unitarian Universalists believe that each person is free to search for his or her own personal truth on issues, such as the existence, nature, and meaning of life deities, creation, and afterlife. UUs can come from any religious background, and hold beliefs and adhere to morals from a variety of cultures or religions.
In the USA, where Unitarian Universalism is a major religion, the movement deepened it’s social justice work in the 1970s by actively supporting the rights of gay and lesbian people, publishing the Pentagon Papers, working within their denomination to support feminism and to combat racism and oppression. The 1980s began more than a decade of denominational spiritual reflection, which resulted in reframing religious principles and acknowledging the shared sources of faith. 2001 marked the point when there were more female Unitarian Universalist ministers than male ministers. Unitarian Universalism continues to encourage women’s leadership in our congregations and larger community.
Unitarian Universalists believe that what binds them together as a faith community is not a creed, but a belief in the power and sacredness of covenant based on unconditional love. That love is enough to hold together such variety derives from their Universalist heritage, which affirms a universe of all-inclusive love.