Resolutions of the United Church of Christ

The United Church of Christ is a Christian denomination. Periodically, bodies within the United Church of Christ issue resolutions for various reasons. These statements may or may not be representative of the United Church of Christ. This article documents notable resolutions from the various formal bodies of the United Church of Christ.

David Roozen, director of the Hartford Institute for Religion Research who has studied the United Church of Christ, said surveys show the national church's pronouncements are often more liberal than the views in the pews but that its governing structure is set up to allow such disagreements.

Resolutions about denominational statements

The 2001 "Mutual respect within the faith community " resolution passed by General Synod XXIII "calls upon all levels of the United church of Christ, the national covenanted ministries,conferences, associations, and individual congregations of the denomination to be sensitive to the needs and concerns of a church with such a diverse population and difference of theological beliefs and to identify representatives or groups issuing statements to indicate that they speak only on behalf of themselves or their groups and not on behalf of or for the entire 1.4 million members of the United Church of Christ."

A proposed resolution being submitted by the Faithful and Welcoming Renewal group to General Synod XXVI "seeks to "address the concerns of congregations that may be considering withdrawal from the United Church of Christ by reaffirming our classical and centrist theological heritage and by explicitly including in our extravagant welcome those members and churches considering themselves to be evangelical, conservative, orthodox, or traditional in theological outlook" This resolution "acknowledges the existence of a broad spectrum of thought on contemporary issues of theology and ethics, and advocates fair representation of ECOT and centrist points of view alongside liberal and progressive points of view in all settings of the United Church of Christ, including official gatherings and publications" and "calls upon all settings of the church to consider prayerfully its policies and statements in terms of their impact on the unity and future of local churches, associations, and conferences in the UCC."

General Synod Resolution Overview

The denomination's churchwide deliberative body is the General Synod, which meets every two years. The General Synod is composed of delegates elected from the Conferences (distributed proportionally by conference size) together with the boards of directors of each of the four covenanted ministries (see below, under National Offices).

While General Synod provides the most visible voice of the "stance of the denomination" on any particular issue, the covenantal polity of the denomination means that General Synod speaks to local churches, associations, and conferences, but not for them. Thus, the other settings of the church are always allowed to hold differing views and practices on all non-constitutional matters.

General Synod considers three kinds of resolutions:

2015 - Thirtieth General Synod held in Cleveland, Ohio


2013 - Twenty-ninth General Synod held in Long Beach, California

2011 - Twenty-eighth General Synod held in Tampa, Florida

2009 - Twenty-seventh General Synod held in Grand Rapids, Michigan

2005 - Twenty-fifth General Synod XXV held in Atlanta, Georgia

General Synod 25 Minutes

Note: The numbered links to resolutions, are to resolutions as proposed. The links to "Minutes" are the links to the official GS 25 Minutes, which document reports the resolutions as passed. Direct links to pages within the GS 25 minutes file do not work with some combinations of versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer and Adobe Reader.

2003 - Twenty-fourth General Synod XXIV held in Minneapolis, Minnesota

2001 - General Synod 23 held in Kansas City, Missouri


1999 - Twenty-second General Synod XXII held in Providence, Rhode Island

1997 - Twenty-first General Synod XXI held in Columbus, Ohio

It was recommended that the Office for Church Life and Leadership along with Conference and Association Church and Ministry Committees; 1. emphasize that the call to Ordained Ministry includes a call to teach as well as to pastor and 2. develop clearer guidelines on how this calling to teach informs expectations in the training and standing of Pastors;

1995 - Twentieth General Synod XX

1993 - Nineteenth General Synod XIX

1991 - Eighteenth General Synod XVIII held in Norfolk, Virginia

1989 - Seventeenth General Synod XVII

1987 - Sixteenth General Synod XVI

1983 - Fourteenth General Synod

1981 - Thirteenth General Synod

1977 - Eleventh General Synod

1975 - Tenth General Synod

1973 - Ninth General Synod held in St. Louis, Missouri

pp. 42-43 of minutes

1971 - Eighth General Synod

1969 - Seventh General Synod

1967 - Sixth General Synod held in Cincinnati, Ohio

1963 - Fourth General Synod

In 1963, the 4th General Synod called upon the United Church of Christ to be "radically committed" to "uproot intolerance, bigotry, and prejudice within our own living and to replace them with goodwill and the determination to strike down immediately the barriers which divide [people] on account of race.

1961 - Third General Synod

The Constitution of the United Church of Christ was declared in force by the Third General Synod on July 4, 1961 . The Bylaws were also adopted by the Third General Synod


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