The CUA is pleased to announce the ordination of Andrew Cleburne Young! As an American living in Japan, this was the first online ordination celebration for the CUA.
He was born in San Antonio, Texas, and spent most of his adult life in Austin, Texas with his wife and family. He first felt the call to ministry in 2010, and he formally began his ministerial formation process in 2012 with the Unitarian Universalist Association.
During his first two years in seminary at Starr King School for the Ministry – a Unitarian Universalist seminary in Berkeley, California – he learned about the Universalist Church of America, one of the churches that had merged in the mid twentieth century to form the Unitarian Universalist Association. The more he studied Christian Universalism the more he realized that his calling was to Christian Universalist ministry and not Unitarian Universalist ministry.
After joining Grace North Church in Berkeley, Andrew left the Unitarian Universalist Association and joined the United Church of Christ. He later transferred to Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Austin, Texas to complete his seminary training. From the fall of 2015 he served first as the ministerial intern and then as the assistant minister at Trinity Church of Austin, a congregation of both the United Methodist Church and the United Church of Christ.
In 2017 he graduated and was approved for ordination by the United Church of Christ. However, that summer Andrew received a job offer in Tokyo, Japan, and he and his family decided to move there to pursue it. Since the United Church of Christ does not ordain ministers outside the United States, his ordination process was put on hold when he moved to Tokyo.
In 2019 Andrew joined the Christian Universalist Association, an international organization that is the spiritual successor to the Universalist Church of America. He was ordained by the same organization on Sunday, August 30th, 2020.
In early 2020, after the outbreak of COVID-19 forced many churches to move to online services, there was a need within the Christian Universalist Association for an online Universalist church that anyone could be a part of regardless of where they lived. Andrew started Community Universalist Church to fill this need.
Andrew is especially interested in systematic theology, Christian Universalist theology, Christian mysticism, liturgical practices, ecumenicism, inter-religious dialog, and issues around diversity and inclusion in the church.