About the Universal Life Church
The Universal Life Church (ULC) is a non-denominational religious organization that brings together
people from all walks of life. We embrace individuals across the spiritual spectrum; anyone who
wants to join our body of faith is welcome to do so. Further, the ULC is proud to open its doors to
all people, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, or any other defining
characteristic. Since the organization's founding, we've provided legal ordination to over 20
million ministers worldwide.
The ULC has only two core tenets that ministers must uphold:
- Do only that which is right.
- Every individual is free to practice their religion however they like as long as their
do not impinge upon the rights or freedoms of others and are in accordance with the law.
The ULC champions religious freedom, social justice, and spiritual expression. We never waver in our
conviction that performing spiritual duties is a right that all should share, and we will always
stand up for our minister-members in this regard. Furthermore, we’ve made it our mission to spread
these freedoms far and wide, empowering people of all walks of life to take up the work of ministry
on their own terms, and in ways that make the most sense for them.
Whether that means worshipping one God, or many gods; whether you choose to perform one spiritual
ceremony a year or twenty – we stand with you. In short: the ULC welcomes you just as you are,
whoever you are and hopes to empower you to explore your faith however you see fit.
The Universal Life Church Ministries (ULCM) is philosophically descended from some of the ideas of
with the Universal Life Church founded in the 1950s by Kirby Hensley. Today, ULCM has no links to
that organization, although it holds in common some of those same beliefs.
Our church seeks to create a large tent for people of all different spiritual beliefs and backgrounds
to thrive beneath. This peaceful coexistence of faith traditions is dependent upon certain founding
ideals that guide everything we do. For example, by rejecting the strict rules and requirements
common among more traditional religious organizations, the ULCM encourages people to pursue their
own spiritual paths – free of unwanted impositions.
This means welcoming members from across the spectrum of spiritual beliefs, whether Jewish or
Atheist, Christian or Hindu, Muslim or Pagan. The ULCM very intentionally has no hierarchy, nor does
it ask its members to follow arbitrary demands for the sake of tradition, such as taking religious
tests. Our belief is that everyone is equal, and it’s important to treat people that way.
Woven into this guiding belief is the wider battle for equality and justice the ULC has been proud to
spearhead. The Church has secured crucial wins for religious freedom by standing up for its members
and demanding the rights bestowed upon them are fully recognized.
ULC ministers were also closely involved with the movement for marriage equality and were proud to
officiate some of the first same-sex weddings following that important victory.
The Future of the ULC
We plan to continue to ordain ministers to empower people to take control of their own spiritual
life. The ULC also fights for the rights of its ordained ministers to ensure that everyone has the
right to religious freedom. The battle to ensure that people in all 50 states are allowed to become
ministers never ends under the United States' antiquated legal system.
Our ministry will also continue to support marriage equality and fight for the rights of people to
marry any individual they choose. Obergefell v Hodges was a major victory, but those freedoms won
should not be taken for granted.
Celebrating love is a great way to keep this top of mind. For example, in December of 2012, the
Universal Life Church hosted a first-of-its-kind mass wedding event for members and ordained
ministers of the ULC. At this "December to Remember", 20 couples — both gay and straight — were
joined together in matrimony in front of their universal family.
We hope to provide a voice to those whose freedoms are being violated, not only in the United States,
but around the world. We would love to have you join us in our quest for universal peace, because
it's only in our togetherness that positive change can be achieved.
We are all children of the same universe.
The ULC supports many organizations that work for oppressed or underrepresented individuals.
We are very proud of the work and victories that we've helped to win in areas such as
religious freedom and the legalization of same-sex marriage. We are proud to donate to these
causes and help be a force for change. In line with our motto that “we are all children of
the same universe,” the ULC supports a range of charitable organizations that strive to make
the world freer and more equal for all of Earth’s citizens.
Legal Battles Won by the ULC
Over the years, the Universal Life Church has made it part of its mission to defend the
rights and freedoms of its ministers. And with those efforts have come many important
victories! By choosing not to back down and to fight for that which is right, the ULC – and
its ministers – have helped to secure a better future for all who value freedom and
We hold no deity (or deities) over another – in our view, all belief systems are equally
valuable. In fact, our researchers have determined that all of the faiths in human history
are, over time, condensing into our one universal faith. Furthermore, as a member of the
ULC, there are no loyalty tests or rings to kiss. We never demand allegiance from our
members, and we eschew the tithing practices used by most traditional churches.
For Our Ordained Ministers
Although some people get ordained in order to perform weddings for friends or family members, there
is a lot more to being a ULC minister than simply officiating weddings. We offer a whole host of
resources to help our ministers better understand the many options available to them. In addition,
anybody that requires a minister for their event can use the
Find a Minister
tool on Get Ordained™ to search for a minister that is best able to suit their needs. ULC ministers
frequently celebrate baptisms, officiate at funerals, and become leaders of faith in their own
communities. Here on our website, ministers can find:
Our Newsletter: The Visionary
The Universal Life Church Ministries is proud to regularly publish a newsletter focusing on
the latest developments around topics like religion, marriage, and culture that all our ministers
are eligible to receive.
If you haven’t yet subscribed, you can do so here: https://www.themonastery.org/newsletter
A December to Remember
In December of 2012 the Universal Life Church hosted a first-of-its-kind mass wedding event for members and
ordained ministers of the ULC. The historic Sanctuary building in West Seattle was outfitted for a crowd of
hundreds, and ULC brothers and sisters from around the globe flocked to the celebration. At this "December to
Remember", 20 couples — both gay and straight — were joined together in matrimony in front of their
universal family. The event was initially planned to celebrate the legalization of same-sex marriage in
Washington State, but — like the ULC — was open to people of any sexual orientation or specific
ideology. The chain of weddings started at 10 AM and the celebrations carried on throughout the day and into the
night! The event was a testimony to the power of love and the triumph of our universal brother and sisterhood
over all else. The couples weren't charged anything for their use of the venue, and their guests were provided
with complimentary food, drinks, flowers, and cake sponsored by the Universal Life Church Monastery and its
partners in the event — Foodz Catering, The Sanctuary at Admiral, and JB White Entertainment Services.