Bylaws & Administration

Bylaws image

While few enjoy the administrative side of ministry, having a solid foundation and operational framework in place for your ministry is imperative for success and peace of mind.  Below are some UWM-approved resources to assist you when establishing and periodically reviewing/streamlining operations.

The UWM Member Support Team is available to review these documents and coach ministries in developing bylaws that support them in the spiritual business of ministry.

UWM recommends a ministry bylaw review every three (3) years.  



Each state's non-profit incorporation forms/process is different.  Here is some information to help get you started:  

Instructions to Apply for Non-Profit Incorporation

Ministry bylaws are an important component of ministry governance. They constitute a binding agreement between the members of the ministry and the board of trustees. Effective bylaws provide clarity of purpose and explicit structures for managing the business of the organization. It is also advisable for the ministry bylaws to define the ministry’s relationship to Unity Worldwide Ministries (UWM).

To serve our ministries, UWM has created a bylaws template for ministries to use in creating bylaws. It was created by our Bylaws Ministry Team which is made up of individuals with extensive knowledge and experience regarding bylaws.  In addition, this template has been reviewed by our UWM legal team and our UWM parliamentarian.  This template contains their wisdom and expertise, and constitutes a highly effective tool for our ministries to use in designing their bylaws. We encourage all ministries to make use of this valuable tool.

The Member Support Team is available to review ministry bylaws and coach ministries in developing bylaws that support them in the spiritual business of ministry.

UWM Recommends a bylaw review every three (3) years.

Following the extensive use of online meeting applications during the coronavirus pandemic, many spiritual communities are looking at the continued use of virtual technology for board, committee, and membership meetings.  Before making that change, you should ask three questions:   

  1. Do our bylaws provide for electronic meetings?

  2. Do our bylaws give all authority to the board between meetings of the membership?

  3. Does our state nonprofit code provide for electronic meetings?

Bylaws FAQs

Assemble a bylaw review team.  (Four is a good number.)

Plan on 10-12 weeks to do this comfortably, meeting once a week. Assign a scribe to edit as the team discusses and deliberates each section.

Review each section of the template compared to your current ministry bylaws. Write down or email us at with questions as you go.

Once your revisions are complete, send the proposed bylaws to the UWM Member Support team for review. We can make sure that you haven’t missed something important. Following the Member Support team review, consider the suggestions and clarifications provided.

Schedule a membership meeting or include voting in the proposed bylaws on your annual meeting agenda. Share the proposed bylaws with the membership. (Electronically is best.)

Offer one or two Q&A sessions before the vote where members can ask questions. (Edit as necessary.) Then notify your active voting membership to come together to vote on the proposed bylaws.

Vote and sign into action your newly approved bylaws.

Celebrate a job well done!

The current UWM Ministry Bylaws template can be found here:

Bylaws Template for a Unity Ministry

Here are some additional resources that you may find helpful in the day-to-day operations of your ministry:


UWM Policies Page


Self-Directed Learnings

Effective Board Meetings:  How to Get Home Before Midnight

Annual Meetings:  A Blessing or a Curse?