Green Sanctuary Congregation logo

Almost 30% of all Unitarian Universalist congregations are accredited Green Sanctuaries, representing their hard work and ever-ongoing action to bring their congregational culture into greater alignment with environmental justice as an expression of faith, through social action, worship, education, and sustainable living.


The Program Process

The Green Sanctuary Program is a five-stage process, usually carried out over 1-3 years, in which a team of people create an action plan to help their congregation progress in four areas: environmental justice, worship and celebration, religious education, and sustainable living.

Far more than a study curriculum, the program helps congregations take part in transformational activities that:

  • Deepen ties to UU faith and our seventh principle, bringing congregational culture into greater alignment with environmentally sustainable practices.
  • Empower congregations, families, and individuals to embrace and integrate effective stewardship of the Earth into their daily lives.
  • Grow the environmental justice movement among people of faith by inviting congregations to engage in partnership beyond their congregational walls.

All program resources are freely available online through the Unitarian Universalist Association.



The Green Sanctuary Program materials have been revised six times, increasingly incorporating an environmental justice lens that helps congregations center justice in their work and take bold action grounded in the realities, needs, and leadership of front-lines communities.

Congregations that were accredited more than five years ago are strongly encouraged to go through a re-accreditation process.


History and Support

The Green Sanctuary Program was created by UU Ministry for Earth (then named the Seventh Principle Project), which published the first edition of the handbook in 1991. In 1999, it was transformed into a formal certification program.

In 2008, UUMFE partnered with the Unitarian Universalist Association to manage the direct support and accreditation process, while UUMFE continues to resource congregations for the work through tools like “Our Place in the Web of Life,” our presence at the annual UUA General Assembly, and our support of the Environmental Justice Practitioner’s network and other activist circles. UUMFE leaders also serve on the Green Sanctuary Advisory Board.

Direct support for the program is provided by Rev. Karen Brammer, UUA Green Sanctuary Program Manager, See below for her introductory video to the program, or check out a message from her about what the Green Sanctuary Program means in today’s world. Please be touch with Rev. Karen with questions and for support in beginning the program!

Stories and More Resources

Find out how other UU congregations have engaged with the program, see what accredited Green Sanctuaries are up to, and access more UUMFE Green Sanctuary resources.