What is Unitarian Universalism?

Unitarian Universalism creates change: in ourselves, and in the world.

Seven days a week, UUs live their faith by doing. Whether in community with others or as an individual, we know that active, tangible expressions of love, justice, and peace are what make a difference.

Unitarian Universalist congregations are committed to Seven Principles that include the worth of each person, the need for justice and compassion, and the right to choose one’s own beliefs.  Our congregations and faith communities promote these principles through regular worship, learning and personal growth, shared connection and care, social justice and service, celebration of life’s transitions, and much more.

Our faith tradition is diverse and inclusive. We grew from the union of two radical Christian groups: The Universalists, who organized in 1793, and the Unitarians, who organized in 1825. They joined to become the UUA in 1961. Both groups trace their roots in North America to the early Massachusetts settlers and the Framers of the Constitution. Across the globe, our legacy reaches back centuries to liberal religious pioneers in England, Poland, and Transylvania. Today, Unitarian Universalists include people of many beliefs who share UU values of peace, love, and understanding. We are creators of positive change in people and in the world.


Unitarian Universalist are united in our broad and inclusive outlook, and in our values as expressed in our Eight Principles. We are united in shared experiences; open worship services; our work for social justice; our work to include the marginalized; our expressions of love.

Together we unite to create a Beloved Community.


UUCSF adopted the 8th principle at its June 2021annual meeting. The UU 8th Principle states:

“We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote: journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.”

We live out these Principles within a “living tradition” of wisdom and spirituality drawn from sources as diverse as science, poetry, scripture, and personal experience.  The Six Sources our congregations affirm and promote:

  • 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 people 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.


“We Need a Religion” By Scott Alexander

In a world with so much hatred and violence,
We need a religion that proclaims the inherent worth and dignity of every person.
In a world with so much brutality and fear,
We need a religion that seeks justice, equity, and compassion in human relations.
In a world with so many persons abused and neglected,
We need a religion that calls us to accept one another and encourage one another to spiritual growth.
In a world with so much tyranny and oppression,
We need a religion that affirms the right and conscience and the use of the democratic process.
In a world with so much inequity and strife,
We need a religion that strives toward the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all.
In a world with so much environmental degradation,
We need a religion that advocates respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
In a world with so much uncertainty and despair,
We need a religion that teaches our hearts to hope, and our hands to care.