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Religious Education for the Lifespan

We teach the inherent worth and dignity of all beings, so we work for justice, equity, and compassion in human relations. We are all moral agents, capable of making a difference in the world, so we teach about challenging structures of oppression and promoting the health and well-being of the earth. We take seriously the Golden Rule and the call to let our lives preach louder than our words.

Grounded in both the Unitarian story of freedom, reason, and tolerance, and the Universalist story of faith, hope, and love, we teach that no one person, philosophy, or religion holds all the truth.

We believe faith is a journey. Beliefs can change, values can deepen, understandings can broaden as we each grow and change.

(Excerpted from the Unitarian Universalist Pocket Guide.)

What We Offer through the Lifespan

As children and adults develop their own beliefs and learn to meet their own spiritual needs, Unitarian Universalism provides ample opportunity to explore and reflect, within a nurturing community.  Learn more about our offerings for young children (through grade 5), older children (through grade 8), youth (grades 9-12), young adults (18-35), and adults.

For all ages, we emphasize:

  • Ethical growth—internalizing enduring values like justice, equity, and compassion, and gaining tools to act on them in everyday life.
  • Social growth—connecting with peers and people of all ages on a deeper level. Finding acceptance among people who see beyond the superficial.
  • Spiritual growth—feeling a connection with the sacred within, among, and beyond us.

Religious education programs include more than classes.

On a Sunday you might find the preschoolers singing songs about kindness, the 2nd graders engaging with a story about loss and bereavement, the 5th graders talking with a Muslim couple about Islam, the 7th graders learning about responsibility in a lesson from our progressive sexuality education program, and the high-school youth raising money for the local homeless shelter.

Many programs incorporate social justice activities, worship opportunities, service trips, fellowship and fun.

Professional religious educators administer many of our congregations’ lifespan programs. Parents and other members of the congregation often lead them, too. Teaching can be a very fulfilling way to deepen one’s own faith.

Children’s religious education programs are typically offered on Sunday mornings, and high school youth and adult programs are usually offered on afternoons or evenings.

What Programs Might You Find?

Congregations are free to choose what programs they offer, so you’ll find a different mix at each congregation you visit. The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) provides faith development resources through the Tapestry of Faith series. Additional resources are available from the UUA Bookstore, including the Our Whole Lives comprehensive sexuality education programs.

To experience Unitarian Universalism firsthand, we invite you to visit a congregation near you!

For more information contact religiouseducation @ uua.org.

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

Last updated on Tuesday, November 25, 2014.

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Learn more about the Beliefs & Principles of Unitarian Universalism, or read our online magazine, UU World, for features on today's Unitarian Universalists. Visit an online UU church, or find a congregation near you.

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