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What We Believe

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”  - Mark 12:30-31

Core Beliefs

The following are the core beliefs of UPPC based on the foundational truths taught in the bible. All of our teaching and ministry is rooted in and flows out of these biblical doctrines.

Our Focus Statement

At University Place Presbyterian Church we strive to know, experience and be the love of Jesus locally, intentionally, spontaneously and tangibly. As part of the University Place and Tacoma communities for nearly 100 years, our commitment to loving God and loving others remains a constant during times of change.


Jesus started his ministry locally, on the way to taking it global. He showed time and again that he would rather walk through a local area - filled with people who did not share his faith - than take the long way around just to be with people who were more like him. There are 80,000 people within a five-mile radius who do not have a church home. UPPC desires to be the love of Jesus locally, caring for those around us.


Jesus came to us intentionally, with a mission to fulfill - the most important mission in history. A mission focused on his great love for us. As humans, we are intentional with the people we love. In fact, we show our love by being intentional. His mission for us was to go and make disciples of all the world; UPPC desires to be the love of Jesus intentionally by purposefully living and sharing the Good News with others.


Jesus helped people as their needs came up around him. He demonstrated his love for them right then and there. Likewise, we are called to be open to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. UPPC desires to be the love of Jesus spontaneously, ready to respond to unexpected opportunities to make a difference in the life of someone around us.


Jesus’ love is not merely theoretical, intellectual or internalized; it can be seen and felt in practice. Jesus fed the hungry, healed the sick, and comforted those who were hurting - he never hesitated to get hands-on with others that society had cast aside. The love of Jesus always bears fruit. UPPC desires to be the love of Jesus tangibly, making a difference in people’s lives that can be seen, heard and felt.

Our Code

As a Family of Faith, we...

Are in This Together

We comfort and care for our brothers and sisters in Christ, here and around the world.

Make Room

We value sacred space in a secular world - our gatherings are a place of Holy Spirit moments and great healing.

Love Kids

We honor children and youth - through spiritual growth and general nurture - as a foundation for all we do.


We celebrate music and the arts to lift our hearts, enhance our worship, and celebrate God's goodness with others in and outside the church.

Embrace Messiness

Guided by the word, embracing both spiritual truth and divine grace, as we share life's faith journey in all its messiness and all its glory, together.


We share our abundant blessings generously - through service and mission, talent and treasure.


Presbyterian Church (USA)

UPPC is a member of the PC(USA) denomination. The PC(USA) is the largest of several Presbyterian denominations. It traces back to 1793 and is now headquartered in Louisville, KY. Its constitution has two parts: The Book of Confessions  teaches what we believe and The Book of Order teaches how our church is organized.

Essential Tenets of Presbyterian Reformed Faith

Presbyterians as Christians (Shared beliefs with other Christians)
A. The mystery of a triune God
B. The incarnation of the eternal Word of God in Jesus Christ

Presbyterians as Protestants (Shared beliefs with other Protestants)
A. Justification by Grace through Faith
B. Authority of Scripture

Presbyterians as Reformed (Beliefs emphasized for Reformed Presbyterians)
A. God’s sovereignty
B. Election of God’s people for service and salvation
C. God’s covenant with chosen people
D. Faithful stewardship of creation
E. Recognizing human tendency toward idolatry and tyranny, which is sin
F. That God’s people work toward the transformation of society by seeking justice and living in obedience to the Word of God