Governance and Management

The Canadian Unitarian Council consists of Unitarian and Universalist member congregations. The member congregations are the legal stakeholders of the Council and the CUC Board of Trustees is accountable to them.

Governance Process

The Board is accountable to the member congregations of the CUC and uses the model of policy governance created by John Carver. This model enables the board to focus on the larger issues, to delegate with clarity, to oversee the Executive Director’s job without micro-managing, to rigorously evaluate the accomplishment of the CUC, and to truly lead the organization.

CUC’s By-Laws

CUC’s Charitable Purposes

The Statement of Purpose of the CUC guides its work and provides the framework within which the CUC functions as a charity in Canada, The CUC’s purpose is to promote Unitarian Universalism, Unitarianism and Universalism, in Canada and internationally, by:

  • Affirming and promoting the principles, practices, and traditions of the Unitarian Universalist, Unitarian and Universalist faiths;
  • Supporting the development and growth of Unitarian Universalist, Unitarian and Universalist religious communities;
  • Nurturing, supporting and enhancing religious communities and other groups to work together on mutual concerns for the benefit of the community; and
  • Providing basic necessities of life, including food, clean water, clothing, medical and dental care and supplies, shelter, and education, tuition, and school supplies to those in need.

Structure of the Council

The Canadian Unitarian Council consists of member congregations, who have chosen to participate in a national faith organization together. The Council is accountable to these member congregations who are the “legal owners” of the organization.

In addition, the CUC has relationships with UU communities, considered “moral owners,” which include UU youth, young adults, ministers, religious educators, lay chaplains, social responsibility groups, and associate members.


Board of Trustees

The Council, represented by delegates from member congregations, elects regional representatives to a Board of Trustees at the Annual General Meeting each May.

  • Board Policy Manual (pdf)

Strategic Priorities and Goals

Strategic Priorities are approved annually at the Annual General Meeting. Each year the CUC Board of Trustees reviews the goals against needs and what has been accomplished.

The CUC ensures that it has resources to maintain its own sustainability in order to advance the cost-effective achievement of the following four primary goals:

  1. Strengthen and nurture community resilience so our congregations and Unitarian Universalist communities are connected to each other, and thrive spiritually, theologically, organizationally, economically, and socially in a diverse, multi-generational context;
  2. Enhance religious exploration and spiritual growth grounded in the vision, principles, sources, and aspirations of the Canadian Unitarian Universalist (UU) movement;
  3. Advance socially responsible actions to live out our vision of interdependence, love, and justice to bring benefit to Canadian and global communities;
  4. Strengthen local, regional, national, and global networks of collaborative and interdependent UU congregations and communities.

Within these Goals, these are the strategic priorities:

  • Ensure sound financial management, including sustainable revenue generation, to continue the work of building vital Unitarian communities;
  • Strengthen the national fabric of our UU community by
    • Nurturing and enhancing innovation and sustainability;
    • Enhancing and optimizing connections and relationships among UU communities in intentionally inclusive ways; and
    • Ensuring that the CUC and its congregations and communities are well positioned to welcome and embrace those who seek Unitarian Universalism.
  • Advance these social justice initiatives:
    1. Truth, Healing and Reconciliation
    2. Enact the 8th Principle: Individual and communal action that accountably dismantles racism and systemic barriers to full inclusion in ourselves and our institutions
    3. Environmental justice
    4. Refugee support
  • Develop, curate and focus on Canadian resources to advance religious exploration and spiritual growth in a multigenerational context.

Affiliate Relationships

Affiliates are organizations which have principles or beliefs comparable to those of the CUC, and which engage in similar goals and activities. The CUC and each Affiliate enter into a mutual relationship guided by a covenant.

CUC Staff

The CUC Board appoints an Executive Director (ED) who is the Chief Executive Officer of the organization. The Executive Director hires staff and recruits volunteers in order to undertake the tasks of the CUC.


Nominating Committee

The CUC’s Nominating Committee is responsible for identifying and nominating prospective members of the CUC Board.

Task Forces, Study Groups, and Committees

From time to time, the Board may establish a task force or an ad hoc or on-going committee to help it do its job. The Council, by vote of the delegates at an AGM, may also establish a Task Force or Study Group to examine a particular subject.