Comparative Congregationalisms

Many religious communities organize with a different structure than congregational polity. Although we often conflate it with liberal thought, that is not a necessary link. We can look at other denominations to see the strengths and weaknesses of other ways of organizing, and thus better understand our own.

  1. "Ten people of Jewish faith can form a congregation and legitimately call themselves a synagogue. Forming a Unitarian Universalist congregation is much more complicated."
  2. "All three denominations—the United Church of Christ, the American Baptist Convention, and the Union of American Hebrew Congregations—form strong associations to further their purposes. . . . For the UUA the question is whether we have a vision that makes associating worth the effort and cost."
  3. "The Unitarian Church in Transylvania and the Universalist Church of the Philippines provide two models of the ability to be a faithful Unitarian or Universalist in non- congregational ways."


  • What experience have you had with churches or synagogues which have a different polity?
  • What do you see as the strengths and weaknesses of those other forms of church organization?