UU Urban Ministry

Rev. Joseph TuckermanThe UU Urban Ministry dates back to 1826, when Reverend Joseph Tuckerman established a ministry-at-large with the dual focus of empowering Boston’s most underprivileged citizens and transforming the spiritual consciousness of its most privileged residents. He sought to achieve both through education, direct service and advocacy rather than through charity alone. Tuckerman believed that a dedicated ministry could provide the education and skills that would enable people to overcome poverty, and also allow the privileged to have a deepened understanding of poverty through personal involvement. Rev. Tuckerman is recognized as a pioneer in social work as well as a precursor to the social gospel movement. The UU Urban Ministry continues to embrace his philosophy of direct engagement and uniting communities.

Over its 180-year history, the Urban Ministry has created many channels to conduct its work in addressing social issues, including settlement houses and chapels, affordable housing, community centers and service programs. Today, approximately 50 Unitarian Universalist congregations provide both financial and volunteer support, viewing this ministry as one of their social action arms in Boston.