Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religious tradition that was formed from the consolidation of two different forms of the Christian faith: 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).
Both Unitarians and Universalist have roots in the earliest days of Christian history. Congregations formed under the Unitarian name in Europe hundreds of years ago and are still alive in every continent in the world. Universalism was proclaimed by the Church Father Origen in the third century, and Universalist Christians have been organizing for centuries. For more information about global Unitarianism and Universalism click here.
Both religions have long histories and have contributed important theological concepts that remain central to Unitarian Universalism. Originally, all Unitarians were Christians who didn't believe in the Holy Trinity of God (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost), but in the unity, or single aspect, of God. Later, Unitarian beliefs stressed the importance of rational thinking, a direct relationship with God, and the humanity of Jesus. Universalism emerged as a Christian denomination with a central belief in universal salvation; that is, that all people will eventually be reconciled with God.
Since the merger of the two denominations in 1961, Unitarian Universalism has nurtured its Unitarian and Universalist heritages to provide a strong voice for social justice and liberal religion.
To learn more about the history of Unitarian Universalism, please see the pamphlet, "Unitarian Universalist Origins: Our Historic Faith."