The Fifth Principle Project is an organic grassroots initiative to gather into community Unitarian Universalists who want to reinvigorate the right of conscience and renew the democratic process in the governing of our denomination.

5th Principle: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large

The project was started by individual Unitarian Universalists, Jay Kiskel and Frank Casper, who had become increasingly alarmed by a drift in denominational dialogue away from a common community grounded in our seven Unitarian Universalist Principles to a more authoritarian topdown leadership model.  We came to understand that this drift has roots in the decisioning structure of the denomination as defined by undemocratic language in the bylaws of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA).

We assume that all our leaders work with honest zeal and are motivated by best intentions.   However, the very nature of the denomination’s decision structure isolates our leaders from the both the diversity of voices and the energetic spirit of the members of the autonomous congregations that the Association was formed to serve.

Our desire is to provide a mechanism where other Unitarian Universalists who want a more active voice in the direction of our denomination can engage with other UUs.  With this dialogue we hope to persuade UUs who have been only “loosely affiliated” with denominational affairs to become “engaged advocates” who will be the engine driving UUism to be the model of an open, loving, diverse, supportive and caring faith community.  Only by exercising our collective voting power, can we have a voice in setting the direction of our faith movement.


Goals of the Fifth Principle Project

  • Provide for the  regional election of members of the UUA Board of Trustees
  • Re-establish local clusters of congregation within regions
  • Support the implementation of  recommendations from the December 2009 Fifth Principle Task Force

The Fifth Principle Project is not affiliated with any UU congregation or UUA office.

UU Seven Principles

  • 1st Principle: The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
  • 2nd Principle: Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
  • 3rd Principle: Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
  • 4th Principle: A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
  • 5th Principle: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
  • 6th Principle: The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
  • 7th Principle: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

Source: UUA Seven Principles