Social Principles and Resolutions

The Social Principles (¶¶ 160-166) provide our most recent official summary of stated convictions. The Resolutions recorded in the Book of Resolutions expand on the Social Principles. These Resolutions are the official statements of The United Methodist Church.

The Social Principles urge us not only to make a difference in the world and to live differently in the world but also and as urgently to build a different kind of world than the one we have now.

The Social Principles are a call to all members of The United Methodist Church to a prayerful, studied dialogue of faith and practice.

Social Principles Preface

The 2016 Book of Discipline says the Social Principles, “Are a prayerful and thoughtful effort on the part of the General Conference to speak to the human issues in the contemporary world from a sound biblical and theological foundation.” The Social Principles are a product of prayer, but they also lead us to fervent prayer. The Social Principles begin with holy conferencing by people of faith at General Conference, but they must be practiced to have lasting value.

At their best, the Social Principles and the Book of Resolutions articulate our ethical aspirations for what a durable, common good looks like in our public policies and personal commitments, as we a world-wide church and as United Methodist Christians, love God with our whole heart, mind, soul and strength and love and desire for our neighbors what we desire for ourselves.

You can purchase copies of the Social Principles from Cokesbury here.

Revision of the Social Principles

The General Conference entrusts to the General Board of Church and Society responsibility to implement the Social Principles (¶ 004, 2012 Book of Discipline). In order that we may faithfully implement the Social Principles in the worldwide United Methodist Church, Church and Society seeks a process that will theologically and ethically strengthen their world-wide relevance and encourage greater implementation of the Social Principles.

The 2012 General Conference approved legislation to carry out consultations to update the United Methodist Social Principles.

The first step in this process was to convene listening sessions on the Social Principles by region and to consider a process for the revision of the Social Principles 2016-2020 based on the findings from the listening sessions.

From May 2017-March 2018, Church and Society - in collaboration with seven writing teams - will complete a revision of the Social Principles for consideration by the 2020 General Conference. The teams will produce a revised version of the Social Principles that reflects a strong theological foundation in a more focused and globally-meaningful form that encourages every United Methodist and every congregation to read and apply the Social Principles through education and advocacy efforts.

Click here to read the draft of the revised Social Principles and submit comments.

Living Our Principles

Living Our Principles is a video series produced by the United Methodist Church General Board of Church & Society that explores how people put our faith into action in everyday life. The narratives and partnership represented in the six episodes illustrate ways people of faith live out their values and convictions.

To watch all episodes, please visit our YouTube channel. DVD copies of the series are available for purchase in our store.

Click here to access the curriculum accompanying the six-part Living Our Principles series.

If you would like to host a screening of the Living Our Principles series, contact Neal Christie at