Emerging Ministries

Tree sprout growing out of an egg shell.

Unitarian Universalist communities can take many forms. Here is an overview of what is possible when starting a new UU community.

We Are Here to Help

Unitarian Universalism changes lives for the better. Unitarian Universalists (UUs) want to spread our faith far and wide and share it generously with all who are seeking their spiritual home. So we support our emerging ministries: new groups or projects that are grounded in Unitarian Universalism and bring people together with intention.

Reach out to your UUA Regional Staff to help you navigate the possibilities.

Know Your Purpose, Find Your Partners

Starting an emerging ministry is sacred work and requires gathering core people, discerning your purpose and finding partners. A group needs a team of dedicated leaders who are committed to the project and to being in right relationship. Once gathered, these people must get clear about their purpose: what is the need this project will serve in the community and how will it work? Grounded in purpose, a group can then seek partners who share similar goals and will support the project. Partners such as existing UU communities, UU professionals, other faith communities, and local non-profits might offer funding, space, expertise, volunteers, publicity or collaboration on events.

Congregations, Covenanting Communities and Beyond

Several different roads with many types of vehicles all lead toward a sign that says "Next Exit: covenanted UU living."

Emerging Ministries take many forms.

  • Emerging Congregations, are working toward becoming member congregations in our larger association.
  • Communities too small to be a congregation who want to be in authentic relationship with our larger movement can become a Covenanting Community.
  • BLUU (Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism) offers BLUU Havens for groups of Black UUs who want to be centered in a Black expression of Unitarian Universalism.
  • Other forms include campus ministries, intentional living and missional communities.
  • Outreach ministry, such as in prison ministry and military outreach and similar programs also fit in this category.
  • Confused about these terms? See our glossary.

Learn More

Creating, sustaining and supporting emerging ministries means learning as you go!