Unity’s Five Principles

Just as there are principles of nature that govern our physical existence, there are also Spiritual Principles that are immutable and unchanging. In Unity, we teach there are five “immutable and unchanging” principles that guide our lives and facilitate our transformations. When we discover these principles and practice them in our lives, we awaken to an entirely different way of being. The five principles at the foundation of Unity’s teachings are:


  1. There is only One Power and One Presence in the Universe and in my life, God the Good, Omnipotent.
  2. We are Spiritual Beings created in God’s Image. The Spirit of God lives within each person; therefore, all people are inherently good.
  3. We create our life experiences through our thoughts and feelings.
  4. There is Divine Power in meditation and affirmative prayer which increases our awareness of our oneness with God.
  5. Knowing and understanding these Spiritual Principles, also called Truth, is not enough. We must live them.

Unity is a positive, practical, and progressive approach to Christianity based on the teachings of Jesus, coupled with the power of affirmative prayer. Unity honors the universal truths in all religions and respects each individual’s right to choose a spiritual path.

Unity seeks to apply the teachings of Jesus, as well as the teachings of other spiritual masters that similarly resonate. We affirm the power of affirmative prayer and help people to experience a stronger connection with God in their lives. We emphasize the practical, everyday application of spiritual principles to help you live a more abundant, meaningful life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Unity a Christian church?

The short answer is “Yes.” Unity teachings offer a positive Christ-centered path that is spiritual, rather then religious. Grounded in beliefs centered in Love, rather than fear, we support individuals in living spiritually centered lives while cultivating a consciousness grounded in the awareness of God’s presence and power in all circumstances. In this sense, Unity is decidedly Christian. However, Unity also teaches there are many paths to God consciousness, and Unity honors the universal truths inherent in all religions and spiritual traditions. As a result, Unity deeply respects the right of each individual to choose his or her own spiritual path.

How does Unity view The Bible?

In Unity, The Bible is the main textbook. It is the primary source of all knowledge, wisdom and spiritual insight. In its holistic sense, The Bible is the story of the unfolding of mankind’s consciousness over time. The biggest distinction between Unity’s view of The Bible and those of many traditional Christian denominations is that Unity views The Bible from a metaphysical perspective. This means Unity is more concerned with the deeper symbolic and metaphorical meanings in The Bible that hold practical wisdom for living a spiritual life, and less concerned with debating the veracity of literalist interpretations. This does not mean that Unity believes The Bible does not contain literal truth. Rather, it means that Unity believes that scripture comes alive when we are able to metaphysically interpret The Bible in symbolic and metaphorical ways. Doing so allows us to better understand the evolving consciousness of mankind and to lay hold of the wisdom The Bible contains as a practical and helpful guide for life in the 21st century.

What are Unity’s basic teachings?

The best way to address this frequently asked question is to simply state The Five Core Principles of Unity, as articulated on the Unity Church of the Hills website:

  1. There is only One Power and One Presence in the Universe and in my life, God the Good, Omnipotent.
  2. We are Spiritual Beings created in God’s Image. The Spirit of God lives within each person; therefore, all people are inherently good.
  3. We create our life experiences through our thoughts and feelings.
  4. There is Divine Power in meditation and affirmative prayer, which increases our awareness of our oneness with God.
  5. Knowing and understanding these Spiritual Principles, also called Truth, is not enough. We must live them.

That’s it. If Unity has any “dogma” in its teachings, the Five Principles encapsulate it. There is nothing else to know or believe in. Unity teaches that cultivating a consciousness with the Five Principles as the foundation is all that is required. The spiritual understanding reflected in the Five Principles is enhanced through reflective prayer and meditation. If additional wisdom or insight becomes necessary, the Spirit of God through the Christ within will provide. This is nothing more, but also nothing less, than Jesus himself demonstrated in his life and through his teachings.

Does Unity believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ?

Yes, Unity does believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ. Like Jesus, Unity teaches that the spirit of God lives within each and every person. Jesus reminds us in his teaching that we are created in the “image and likeness” of God, that we are therefore divine also and are heirs to the kingdom of Heaven within. Jesus taught that each person has the potential to express the fullness of the individualized Christ within. As we are able to demonstrate more and more of our own Christ potential in our daily lives, we become more Christ-like in our expression of the divinity we share with Jesus.

What is the relationship of Unity to other churches?

As a worldwide movement, Unity primarily serves as a vehicle for instruction, inspiration, and prayer support for spiritual seekers. Regardless of religious affiliation or spiritual tradition, Unity deeply respects all paths that lead to God-centered Truth and the spiritual awakening that results. As a result, Unity freely shares its teachings with all churches and is open to sharing spiritual truth found in other traditions as well.

Is there any connection between Unity and Unitarianism?

This is a very common question. The short answer is “No.” There is no connection between Unity and Unitarianism. While there may be some shared truths as common ground between the two, Unity and Unitarianism are distinct organizations, each with its own set of beliefs and practices.

History of Unity

The Beginnings of the Unity Movement

The Unity movement was founded by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore in 1889 as a healing ministry based on the power of affirmative prayer and positive thinking to help in the creation of a more prosperous, abundant reality.

Charles & Myrtle Fillmore

Charles & Myrtle Fillmore

The Fillmore’s regarded Jesus as the great example rather than the great exception, interpreted the Bible metaphysically, and taught that God is present within everyone.

In the history of the Unity Movement, including Silent Unity, there is a rich tradition of healing, universal love, and abundant prosperity grounded in the profound truths found in the teachings of Jesus. Since its beginnings in 1890 when The Society of Silent Help (Silent Unity) was formed, millions of lives have been blessed, healed, and transformed through the practice of Unity’s simple, yet powerful, Truth Principles and Faith Practices.

Within the Unity Worldwide Ministries, you will discover a consistent story that resonates within each ministry. It is a story of practical faith, affirmative prayer, positive healing, dynamic prosperity, and universal love. These attributes and traditions are the cornerstone of Unity.

Unity Church of the Hills is Born

One of the foundational teachings in Unity is that everything in existence within the physical world first began in the realm of Divine Mind as an idea. This holds true also In the history of Unity Church of the Hills, which had its beginnings in the early 90s as an idea in the minds of Fred and Joan Howes.

Before moving to Austin, Fred and Joan owned and operated a printing business in Warren, Michigan. One of their customers was The Church of Today, a Unity church, founded by Rev. Jack Boland. At that time, The Church of Today was perhaps the most dynamic and vital Unity Church within the entire movement. Lenore Scott, one of UCOH’s pioneering co-ministers, was on staff at Church of Today and had hired Fred and Joan to do the printing for the church.

As Fred and Joan began servicing The Church of Today, they started reading some of the materials they were printing and became very interested in the programs being offered. To Fred and Joan, The Church of Today was offering a new, positive approach to life that inspired them to learn more.

They began attending The Church of Today to learn more about Unity’s teachings, and ultimately became members. Some years later, they moved their printing business to Austin to be closer to their families. Not finding a Unity Church in Austin that rivaled the one they had left behind in Michigan, they began dreaming of starting one. They wrote to the Association of Unity Churches and asked about the possibility of founding a Unity Church in Northwest Austin. Unbeknownst to them at the time, Lenore Scott, and her husband, Ron, were in ministerial school, and well on their way to becoming ordained Unity ministers.

As they neared the end of their ministerial studies, Ron and Lenore received an invitation from Fred and Joan to travel to Austin to meet with a group of like-minded folks seeking to pioneer a new Unity church in Austin. While the meetings were very positive, the Ron and Lenore still had to complete their studies and could not follow through at the time. After they were ordained, Ron and Lenore reconnected with the Howes to see if there was still interest. After confirming that the interest was still high, Ron and Lenore made the move to Austin to found what would become Unity Church of the Hills.

The Early Years

Upon arriving in Austin, Ron and Lenore found great support and enthusiasm from the early founders, and everything began falling into place. On November 12, 1995, UCOH held its first Sunday Service in the high school cafeteria of Grisham Middle School in Northwest Austin. UCOH remained at Grisham Middle School for about a year before signing a five-year lease and moving to Williamson Square, a strip center on Anderson Mill Road, less than a mile away from UCOH’s present and permanent home.

During its five year tenure at Williamson Square, the UCOH community began to grow and thrive. Before long, the community leaders began visioning and planning for a newly constructed, permanent home. After searching for suitable properties all around Northwest Austin, the perfect site was discovered less than a mile away, a deal was struck to acquire the property, and construction plans commenced. Just as the five-year lease was expiring, construction of the new Unity Church of the Hills facility was completed on a beautiful 9-acre campus with the first Sunday Service being held on October 7, 2001.

UCOH Gets A New Senior Minister

In March of 2007, after serving as UCOH’s co-founding ministers and providing exceptional spiritual leadership for 12 years, Ron and Lenore Scott completed their ministry service and returned to Michigan to be close to their family once again. A few short months later, Rev. Steve Bolen arrived at Unity Church of the Hills to assume the role of interim minister while UCOH conducted a search for a new Senior Minister. After a thorough national search and consideration of outside candidates, the UCOH Board decided to extend an offer Rev. Steve who assumed the Senior Minister position in December 2007.

Rev. Steve served as UCOH’s Senior Minister for nearly 10 years before his retirement in June 2017. Under his leadership, the UCOH community grew and the campus was expanded to accommodate the growth. Among other accomplishments during his tenure, Rev. Steve oversaw the construction of the Unity Oaks annex building and the creation of a world-class labyrinth. Much beloved by the UCOH community, upon his retirement, UCOH’s Board of Trustees bestowed upon Rev. Steve the honorary lifetime title of Minister Emeritus.

Since his retirement, Rev. Steve has continued to make himself available to UCOH, serving as mentor and consultant to his successors, Revs. Brian and Kristen Grandon, who served UCOH from July 2017 to December 2019, a tenure that saw UCOH begin to further develop its online presence and expanded its livestreaming capacities. As UCOH began its search for a new permanent minister to succeed the Grandons, the COVID pandemic hit, which stalled the search for a good while, and also resulted in UCOH becoming a virtual church from March 2020 until May 2021.

A New Era In UCOH’s History Begins

During that period of transition, UCOH had a series of short term interim ministers including Rev. Steve, Dr. Ras Smith, a CSL Minister from Colorado, and Rev. Aliza Bloom Robinson, a transitional Unity Minister who shepherded UCOH during its search for a new permanent. Also during this period, UCOH celebrated its 25th Anniversary as a Unity Ministry in November 2020, even as it continued its search for a new permanent minister. That search was successfully concluded in the spring of 2021 when, after a long search, Unity Minister, Rev. Sheree Taylor-Jones accepted the role as UCOH’s Senior Minister. Rev. Sheree’s tenure officially began in May 2021, and she served as Senior Minister of Unity Church of the Hills until January 2023.

In May 2023, Unity Church of the Hills welcomed Rev. Cynthia Vermillion-Foster as Transitional Minister. A Transitional Minister offers specialized consulting that supports a ministry in navigating change and transition. 

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