What is Unity?
Unity is positive, practical Christianity. It teaches the practical application in everyday life of the principles of the Truth taught and exemplified by Jesus Christ, as interpreted in the light of modern-day experience by Unity and the Unity Worldwide Ministries. Unity is a way of life that leads to health, prosperity, happiness, and peace of mind. Unity Worldwide Ministries 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 outreach 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 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 is Unity's Basic Teaching?
We believe it is useful to explore and apply Unity teachings based on one’s own spiritual understanding, which is enhanced through reflective prayer and meditation. The five basic ideas that make up the Unity belief system are:
- God is good and present everywhere.
- The spirit of God lives within each person; therefore, all people are inherently good.
- We enhance or negate our life experiences through our way of thinking.
- There is power in affirmative prayer, which increases our connection with God.
- Knowledge of these spiritual principles is not enough. We must live them.
Does Unity believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ?
Yes, Unity teaches that the spirit of God dwelt in Jesus, just as it indwells in 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 does Unity teach about sin, salvation, heaven and hell?
“Sin”- or “missing the mark”- 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 both states of consciousness, not geographical locations, and we are in one or the other depending on what we are focused on.
What is the place of the Bible in Unity?
The Bible is Unity's basic textbook. It is accepted as a body of history, as a moral and ethical teaching, and as a great literary work. Beyond this, Unity finds deep significance in the Bible through its metaphysical interpretation, wherein names of places and people and their experiences symbolize the unfoldment of human consciousness. Through the study of Unity, the Bible is made more meaningful to individuals. Scripture comes alive when it is understood as a clear and helpful guide for today's experiences. The Bible reveals the spirit of Truth and the word of God. Holy Spirit, working individually through those who study Scripture and listen within, is the final authority in spiritual awakening.
What is Unity Worldwide Ministries?
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.
Who are Unity students?
Unity students are those individuals who have found a deeper understanding of God, of themselves, and of their world through the practical methods presented in the Unity teachings. Often this has come about as a result of some very trying and seemingly hopeless experience. Unity students include many who are readers of the various publications; others attend Unity services and classes, finding in such attendance a spiritual "home" in which they are strengthened in their spiritual unfoldment. They are from all walks of life, and of all races, creeds, and nationalities.
Is Unity a denomination?
Some aspects of the Unity movement are denominational, and some are not. For example, there are more than 900 Unity churches and study groups affiliated with Unity's sister organization, Unity Worldwide Ministries. This is a denominational aspect of Unity. In addition, Unity Institute and Seminary, located at Unity Village, trains approximately 60 students every two years to be Unity ministers. This is also denominational. However, the majority of the work done by Unity involves prayer, publishing, and education services to people of all faiths. These nondenominational aspects include the prayer ministry, Silent Unity, Daily Word (Unity's nondenominational inspirational bimonthly magazine), retreats, and spiritual enrichment and education (SEE) classes that are open to everyone and teach Unity principles in nondenominational settings.
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. Many beliefs are held in common, including the importance of individual freedom in the quest for Truth. This very freedom, however, makes it difficult to determine the basic differences. In a very general way, it might be said that the two differ mainly in their beliefs regarding Jesus Christ and the Trinity. Unity places great emphasis on spiritual healing, while this is not practiced by Unitarians as a rule. In turn, Unitarians place great emphasis on social and political action.
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.