About the UCC
Learn more about our denomination.
The United Church of Christ (UCC) is a distinct and diverse community of Christians that come together as one church. We believe God is still speaking, that faith must join with action, and that unity and diversity are equally essential values throughout the body of Christ.
Congregations and local churches are the basic unit of life and organization within the UCC. Each congregation is autonomous, with the freedom to discern and select its internal structure and procedures, form of worship, membership processes, etc. Think of the congregation as a single scene in a book, play, or movie: there’s a beginning and ending, unique characters, and specific dialogue and interactions, but it doesn’t stop there.
Associations are regional gatherings of congregations with the authority to authorize pastors and grant ministerial standing. These would be like a chapter or act, composed of multiple scenes all moving the story forward together.
Conferences encompass affiliated associations, typically within a geographical region. A conference conducts administrative duties and provides support to local congregations and associations. This can look different in every conference depending on the needs of local churches. Conferences may provide counsel, assist local churches and ministers with search and call processes, establish and maintain conference offices, conference centers, institutions, and other agencies that encourage individual and congregational growth and welfare, or conduct meetings, retreats, clinics, workshops, and continuing education events. A conference is like a compilation of many scenes or chapters into a cohesive narrative.