VISION: We are a Spiritual Community committed to authenticity and the expression of love and support for each other in living an awakened and enlightened life.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What are Unity’s basic beliefs? • 5 Basic Unity Principles
Unity is positive, practical Christianity. It teaches the practical application in everyday life of the principles of Truth taught and exemplified by Jesus Christ, as interpreted in the light of modern-day experience by Unity School of Christianity and the Association of Unity Churches. Unity is a way of life that leads to health, prosperity, happiness, and peace of mind. The Association of Unity Churches, in cooperation with Unity School of Christianity, has established centers of study and worship throughout the world where people study and practice the Unity way of life.
We believe that all people are created with sacred worth. Therefore, we recognize the importance of serving all people within the Unity family in spiritually and emotionally caring ways. We strive for our ministries, publications, and programs to reach out to all who seek Unity support and spiritual growth. It is imperative that our ministries and outreaches be free of discrimination on the basis of race, gender, age, creed, religion, national origin, ethnicity, physical disability, or sexual orientation. Our sincere desire is to create spiritually aware organizations that are nondiscriminatory and that support diversity.
In our effort to reach out to all people as did our Way-Shower, Jesus Christ, we support: the modification of our facilities to make them accessible to all people, regardless of physical challenges; the translation of our materials into Braille and other languages; and respect for the wonderful variety of human commitments and relationships.
We encourage ministers, teachers, and others within Unity to honor the strength of diversity within their spiritual communities. It is with love and in celebration of our unity, in the midst of our wondrous diversity, that we affirm this position.
What are the basic tenets of the Unity teachings?
First: God, Divine Mind, is the Source and Creator of all. There is no other enduring power. The nature of God is absolute good; therefore, all manifestations partake of good. What is called “evil” is a limited or incomplete expression of God or good. Evil’s origin is ignorance.
Second: We are spiritual beings, ideas in the Mind of God, created in God’s image and likeness. The ideal expression for every human being is the pattern every person is seeking to bring forth. Each individual manifests the Christ in his or her own unique fashion. The perfect expression of the Christ is, therefore, different for each person.
Third: Jesus was a special person in history who expressed perfection and thereby became the Christ, or Jesus Christ. He was a Teacher who demonstrated the importance of thoughts, words, and deeds in shaping the life and world of the individual.
Fourth: Jesus’ teaching was based on prayer, which to Him was conscious communion with God. Preparation for prayer involves the use of the spoken word, the creative power of God, which is made practical through denials and affirmations. Unity teaches that repeated use of statements of Truth (denials and affirmations) establishes right patterns of thinking, feeling, and acting. This is one way individuals use the creative power of God to take dominion over mind, body, and affairs.
Does Unity believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ?
Yes, Unity teaches that the spirit of God dwelt in Jesus, just as it indwells every person; and that every person has the potential to express the perfection of Christ, as Jesus did, by being more Christ-like in everyday life.
What are Unity’s distinctive characteristics?
Unity students are encouraged to align with the spirit of the Christ within for personal guidance and direction that will best enhance their spiritual growth. The Unity ministry provides a safe and sacred space for study, participation, fellowship, support, transformation and awakening to the joy of living in God’s world. Each Unity ministry is supported by the freewill offerings of those who share its vision. Unity affirms the freedom of each individual to advance spiritually according to his or her own level of understanding. Respect for and faith in the spirit of God in every person makes it unnecessary to set down fixed creeds or impose limiting beliefs. Each individual is encouraged to follow the Unity teachings in determining personal responses in his or her life.
What is the Association of Unity Churches?
The Association of Unity Churches is comprised of approximately 915 member ministries and satellite ministries on the North American Continent; through the World Outreach Department of Unity School there are approximately 65 international ministries informally affiliated with the Association of Unity Churches. Each ministry is under the leadership of a licensed or ordained Unity minister, or authorized spiritual leader.
The emphasis in Unity organizations is on spiritual activities, such as worship services, healing meetings, prayer groups, counseling, study classes, and youth development, including Sunday school and programs for young people of all ages. Since acknowledging God’s presence in each person is part of Unity’s spiritual purpose, social functions are also an important part of Unity organizations.
Unity is the world headquarters for the Unity movement founded by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore. After Myrtle Fillmore’s remarkable healing utilizing prayer and affirmations, many who were seeking help became interested in how she accomplished this healing. From small prayer circles in living rooms, Unity grew. The first issue of UNITY magazine was published in 1889. The teaching of the practice of prayer, through classes and correspondence, led to the establishment of Silent Unity, Daily Word, Spiritual Education and Enrichment, and Ministerial Education. Through its threefold ministry of prayer, publishing, and education, Unity serves millions of people in more than 150 countries. Unity publishes inspirational magazines, books, audio and videocassettes, CDs, and pamphlets for adults and children.
As one can see, the Unity movement did not start as an organized religion or church. Over time, people requested a more formal community in which they could worship and practice Unity principles. This lead to the development of more structured places for people to worship and study. The Association of Unity Churches evolved to support this important aspect of the Unity movement.
What is the relationship of Unity to other churches?
Unity puts into practice a true ecumenical approach. Unity sees itself as a vehicle for instruction, inspiration and prayer support for spiritual seekers, regardless of their religious affiliation. Rather than a denomination, locked in tight parameters that restrict, Unity views itself as an ever-expanding expression of love, light, and peace. Therefore, it freely shares its teachings with all churches. Unity believes in the oneness and freedom of all people. Emphasis is always on the similarities rather than the differences in the human spiritual expression.
Is there any connection between Unity and Unitarianism?
No, there is no connection, although there is sometimes confusion because of the similarity of the names. Each is a distinct organization with its own set of beliefs and practices.
What does Unity teach about sin & salvation, heaven & hell?
Sin is our separation from God in consciousness, caused by our belief in the “devil” or a power other than God, the good. This belief leads to our unwise use of our God-given powers and abilities. Salvation is now–not something that occurs after death. It happens whenever we turn our thoughts (repent) from fear, anxiety, worry, and doubt, to thoughts of love, harmony, joy, and peace. The “fall” takes place in consciousness whenever we fall into negative habits of thinking.
Heaven and hell are states of consciousness, not geographical locations. We make our own heaven or hell here and now by our thoughts, words, and deeds.
Is Unity an offshoot of Christian Science?
No. Unity and Christian Science, as well as many other New Thought groups, had their beginnings in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Many of the leaders in these groups studied under the same teachers. There are similarities in the teachings of Unity and Christian Science, including the importance of prayer, the practice of spiritual healing, and some fundamental theological points. Also, both have great publishing operations. However, the application of principles, the methods of teaching, and the organization of the two movements are quite different.
What does Unity mean by metaphysical interpretation of the Bible?
Metaphysics refers to searching for an underlying philosophical or theoretical principle. In the context of the Bible, this means going beyond a literal interpretation of the words to find the deeper truths. Truths that we can apply today so that we may live the essence of the message of love exemplified by our way shower Jesus, the Christ.
Charles Fillmore, cofounder of the Unity movement, wrote the Metaphysical Bible Dictionary as a major resource for bible students and metaphysicians to aid them in their quest to keep the teachings of the Bible fresh and relevant. It “sets forth in simple language the inner, esoteric meanings of scriptural names.” It is a fascinating resource!
What about diversity? We believe that all people are created with sacred worth. Therefore, we recognize the importance of serving all people within the Unity family in spiritually and emotionally caring ways. We strive for our ministries, publications and programs to reach out to all who seek Unity support and spiritual growth. It is imperative that our ministries and outreaches be free of discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender, age, creed, religion, national origin, ethnicity, physical disability or sexual orientation. Our sincere desire is to ensure that all organizations are nondiscriminatory and support diversity.