Our Ministers

Rev. Julia Hamilton

Lead Minister
(805) 965-4583 ext. 222

“The world is too dangerous for anything but truth and too small for anything but love.” -William Sloane Coffin

I am thrilled to be serving the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara as your Lead Minister. I joined this wonderful congregation in 2011, starting as the Assistant Minister and now finding myself settling here and extending our horizons together. Prior to arriving at USSB, I served as the Executive Director of the Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of New Jersey. A lifelong Unitarian Universalist, I earned my Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School in 2008, completing a trajectory that started when I led my first worship service at the age of 13, at my home congregation in New Orleans. I am passionate about bringing our values to life in the world and have co-authored two adult education curricula focusing on justice and our tradition: UU Tapestry of Faith “Resistance and Transformation: UU Social Justice History”, and the UU College of Social Justice “Study Guide for Service Learning”.

Before ministry, I lived in New York City and Los Angeles, working in theater and television – and a few restaurants along the way.  I received my B.A. in 1998 from UCSB with a degree in Theater Arts.  My husband Adam, my daughter Cassia, and a cat named Smeagol are the others in my household.

I am continually inspired by the smart, caring, dedicated and delightful people in our congregation, and I am honored to walk with you on this journey through life. Please let me know if you would like to set up an appointment for coffee (or tea!) and conversation – I have office hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays.



Assistant Minister
(805) 965-4583 ext. 244

At the beginning of September 2015, I began serving as the Assistant Minister for Congregational Life and Learning at the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara. Before arriving in Santa Barbara I completed a yearlong hospital chaplain residency in Minneapolis, MN, after a year as the Intern and Campus Minister for the Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis, CA, and three years as the Director of Religious Exploration for the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists. I earned my Masters of Divinity degree at Starr King School for the Ministry in the Graduate Theological Union, and my undergraduate degree is a BA in Anthropology and Environmental Studies from Bryn Mawr College (outside of Philadelphia). Before seminary I was a nature educator, environmental advocate, and artist all over the country (as far away as Juneau, AK; Boston, MA; Albuquerque, NM; and a mountaintop retreat center outside of Highlands, NC).

Like Rev. Julia, I am a lifelong Unitarian Universalist. Born and raised in Knoxville, TN, I have been passionate about anti-racism work, arts and worship, religious community, LGBTQ rights, the history of Unitarianism and Universalism, and similar topics since I was a young teenager. Currently I am honored to serve on the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Commission for Social Witness, a responsibility that makes me particularly busy during our Association’s annual General Assembly.

In my time away from church I love hiking, reading novels where everything ends well, theater, and visiting my friends and family. Two years ago my spouse Ashir and I adopted an English Cocker Spaniel named Galahad, and you may see me walking him around the neighborhood. Feel free to say hi! He’s easily distracted but loves everyone.

I am eager to get to know members of the congregation, and am more than happy to sit down with you to talk, or get coffee, or take a turn in the Alice Peck Park Garden. I am usually in the office Tuesday through Thursday during the day, but can arrange to meet you at a time that works for you.

Minister Emeritus: Rev. Ken Collier (2001-2007)

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