University Bible Fellowship - About UBF
Origin and Purpose
The first UBF conferenceOrigin
 The University Bible Fellowship was founded on September 1, 1961 in the midst of national turmoil following the 4/19 nation-wide demonstration and the 5/16 coup d'etat. At the time, Korean college students who were supposed to be the future leaders of the country fell into deep despair due to the social instability and the deteriorating value system of the times. At that time, Dr. Samuel Lee (1931-2002) was ministering to college students in the Daein Church, in Kwangju after graduating from a Presbyterian seminary. Dr. Lee met Missionary Sarah Barry who volunteered to come to Korea to help this war-devastated country. She was sent by the Board of World Missions of the Presbyterian Church, U.S.-Southern, and is currently working at the Chicago U.B.F. as a world representative.

They shared a common belief that the best way to help Korea and the world was to plant faith and hope for the future in the hearts of college students with a life-giving spirit, that they would grow to be future leaders. To this end, they began to pray with the prayer topic, "Bible Korea, World Mission," and studied the Bible with college students. This was the beginning of the University Bible Fellowship.

 The University Bible Fellowship is a non-denominational, evangelistic campus organization focused on raising disciples of Jesus who can live sacrificial lives for the gospel and contribute to society and their nation by preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to college students and young people. U.B.F. serves world evangelism by raising lay missionaries and sending them throughout the world. For this purpose, U.B.F. teaches the Bible to college students and young people and helps them to live according to the teachings of the Scriptures and to practice the world mission command of Jesus (Acts 1:8). The University Bible Fellowship is a mainline evangelical organization and is dedicated to the task of student evangelism.

I. Letters from Christian Leaders

John H. Armstrong

About John H. Armstrong
June 5, 2007

General Secretary
Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability
440 West Jubal Drive, Suite 130
Winchester, VA 22601

Dear Madam/Sir:

I write this letter of recommendation for the University Bible Fellowship (UBF). I have known the work of UBF first-hand for several years. I have personally watched them deal with various issues and faithfully seek to proclaim the gospel, especially through small house churches near college campus settings. The ministry lives by biblical principles and strives faithfully to obey Christ in all things.

UBF has been the recipient of some criticism and I have investigated some of these matters firsthand. I find the charges against UBF to be essentially baseless. Most of them are rooted in culture and practices that some Americans do not like. They have proven themselves to be honest in their relationship with me and have also shown the clearest financial and moral integrity at every point. I am happy to be associated with UBF and many of their North American leaders. They have treated me with respect and demonstrated real biblical religion.

UBF openly seeks to improve its mission and practice faithfully and thus it remains in contact with a number of notable Christian leaders in North America who are outside their movement. They wholeheartedly accept the Word of God as the basis for their ministry and their theology is consistently within the parameters of orthodox historic Christian faith.

I would be more than happy to answer any questions that you may have as you process the request of UBF for membership in ECFA.

Sincerely in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,

John H. Armstrong
The original copy (PDF)
Sung-Kyu Choi
Chun-Yill Park
University Bible Fellowship is an evangelical fellowship and has made great contributions to campus mission in Korea. It has never tried to display its activity to others but already has 15,000 leaders in 75 chapters in Korea alone, and has sent 1,247 self-supporting missionaries to more than 77 countries in the world.

Considering the great contributions of U.B.F. in the moral education of campus students, raising up spiritual leaders for the future, enhancing the national glory in sending out missionaries, and the number and quality of the leaders already raised up, I am sure that U.B.F. will continue to contribute to the campus evangelical movement in Korea as we1 as to the national glory.

It does much for the relief work such as helping the North Korean patients with tuberculosis, supporting the Turkish refugees after the earthquake, and helping the Afghanistan refugees after the war. I am sure that U.B.F. is raising future leadership materials and contributes a lot for the good of the society.

May 31, 2005


Executive Secretary
The original copy (JPG)
Robert Coleman
About Robert Coleman
Dr. Marvin Newell
Cross Global Link
P.O.Box 398
Wheaton, IL 60189-0398

Dear Dr. Newell,

I have been asked to write a recommendation letter for the Univeristy Bible Fellowship, a missionary organization applying for membership in Cross Global Link. It is a pleasure to respond to their request.

My knowledge of UBF is not extensive, but I have known some of thier leaders, and have talked with a number of their missionaries at some conferences where I have spoken. My impressions have always been positive. What stands out to one is their sense of mission and commitment to the Great Commission. They take seriously Christ's command to "make disciples of all nations." Whatever I may think about their disciplined way of going about it, no one can fault the sincerity of their motive or the obedience of their lifestyle.

As you can see, my assessment of the movement is one of gratitude. May God help us all to learn from each other and to follow more faithfully in the steps of Jesus.

Yours Sincerely,
Dr. Robert Coleman
Distinguished Professor of Discipleship and Evangelism
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
The original copy (PDF)
William R. Glass
NAE Headquarters
Attn: Kyle Fisk
11025 Voyager Parkway
Colorado Springs CO 80921

June 24, 2007

Dear Mr. Fisk,

I am writing on behalf of University Bible Fellowship at the request of Pastor Jacob Lee, who has been a friend of mine and pastor of the UBF church in College Park, Maryland. I had the privilege of meeting with him, teaching at his church as well as at the Leadership conference last September in Cincinnati, Ohio. As a result of my interaction with him as well as other leaders, I am convinced that UBF is a solidly conservative Christian fellowship which adheres to the traditional fundamentals of the faith. They hold conservative Christian cultural values as they relate to biblical values and truths. We were very impressed with the leaders, both from Korean and non-Korean roots, as we met formerly and informally with them.

There can be no doubt that UBF is conservative evangelical in doctrine and conservative in Korean values of leadership and mentorship. Unfortunately, some have misunderstood their Korean cultural roots, as part of their leadership style, and have wrongly associated them with cultic practices. Nothing can be further from the truth. They are very loyal, humble, and highly respectful to those in authority – qualities that are weak in many American “conservative” churches. My wife and I were impressed with their discipline and commitment to reaching University students and faculty. The fellowship as a whole and individual churches within, are reaching a segment of our society that has been generally ignored by most conservative churches. They exemplify the unity we have in our diversity in Christ. My wife and I are glad that we were able to take the time to meet with, minister to, and actually see the fruit of their ministry for Christ around the world.

I very highly recommend them into membership and inclusion to the NEA family. They would be a tremendous asset to your organization.

Rev. William R. Glass, M.Div., Th.M.
Pastor: Mid-Shore Community Church
Adjunct Professor: Capital Bible Seminary
The original copy (PDF)
Joon-Gon Kim
The University Bible Fellowship(UBF) is an evangelical campus mission organization which has enormously contributed for campus evangelization in the following ways:

Firstly, UBF has raised up many spiritual leaders who have mature character and faith through one-to-one Bible study and discipleship training. These disciples of Jesus have been influencing the community, acquiring good reputation as light and salt of the world.

Secondly, UBF has raised up many self-supportive missionaries who have been sent all over the world and serve campus mission in their respective mission field. Currently, over 1,400 self-supportive missionaries are working in about 80 countries.

Thirdly, UBF strives hard for the relief work, helping the North Korean patients with tuberculosis, supporting the Turkish refugees after the earthquake, and helping the Afghanistan refugees after the war.

UBF is coworking with C.C.C. in many complementary ways for the campus mission.

I hereby recommend URF as an exemplary University Student Mission Organiz,ation for the above-mentioned reasons.

May 6, 2005
Founder and President
The original copy (JPG)
George Harton

About George Harton
Dr. George Harton
July 9, 2007

To whom it may concern,

Jacob Lee, Pastor of the University Bible Fellowship Church in College Park, Maryland, asked me to provide a written testimony to my interaction with UBF as UBF seeks membership in the NAE. I am currently serving as the Academic Dean of Capital Bible Seminary (CBS) in Lanham, Maryland. I graduated with a BA degree from Princeton University in Germanic Languages and Literature. I also hold degrees from Grace Theological Seminary in Indiana (Master of Divinity) and from Dallas Theological Seminary in Texas (Master of Sacred Theology and PhD). I served as a pastor from 1969 to 1981 of churches in Pennsylvania, Alabama and Texas and as a professor at CBS from 1981 to present (Academic Dean since 1995). I am writing from an individual, not an institutional perspective.

Summary of interaction with University Bible Fellowship
My association with UBF began in the summer of 2004 when Jacob Lee responded to an email that I sent to a large group of students who had taken courses at CBS but who had not enrolled for several semesters. Jacob wrote back asking whether any faculty member would be available to speak at a conference in November 2004 that his church was hosting. I accepted the invitation myself and participated in about six hours of the conference. I heard faculty from other mid-Atlantic universities give presentations on David Brainerd and Harry Ironside. I spoke on the conference theme of the Word of God. I also responded to questions during an extended question and answer session. Over lunch and into the afternoon I interacted with dozens of participants. Not much was said either about the church or about UBF, but everyone wanted to interact about the Bible. It was an exhilarating experience for me and I felt very much at home in their midst.

The following spring (2005) I initiated an email to Jacob Lee informing him that I was scheduled to travel to Seoul, Korea at the invitation of Korea Bible University (KBU) to speak during their Founder’s Week. He encouraged me to contact a certain John Jun while there so that Mr. Jun could come to hear my lecture and perhaps bring others. However, one of my Korean hosts at KBU called Mr. Jun and arranged for me to go to UBF headquarters in Seoul where I gave my lecture to about 50 UBF staff members via translator. We once again had an extended Question and Answer session followed by a dinner meeting with about 10 of the UBF leaders including John Jun. Here I learned about UBF as an organization and their missionary vision and tent-making model in many countries of the world. The interest in the Word, the commitment to the Great Commission, the dedication to Christ of the staff, and the free exchange and interaction made this another exhilarating experience. I learned that John Jun would be ending his tenure as UBF Director for Korea and moving to Chicago to succeed Sarah Barry as General Director of the organization.

In the summer of 2005 Jacob Lee asked for help in training three dozen UBF people conducting Bible studies at the University Maryland on how to disciple the students. An adjunct CBS professor accepted his invitation to conduct a series of monthly training sessions in the fall. Jacob Lee also asked me to speak again at the 2005 November conference, but I recommended he ask one of the other CBS faculty members instead. A New Testament professor accepted speaking on Postmodernism. Also in the summer of 2005, I read the completed application for admissions by Sarah Wang. Sarah’s testimony was thrilling to read. She had been led to the Lord in China by a UBF missionary and had gone on with the Lord. She wrote her PhD dissertation on the temptation of Jesus and had been hired by a Chinese University to serve as a Professor of Religion. Now they wanted her to receive formal training in Christian theology! Her financial sponsors were UBF names I now recognized, Sarah Barry from Chicago and Jacob Lee from College Park, Maryland.

In November 2005 I attended a few hours of the regional UBF fall conference and spent some time with Jacob Lee and John Jun who was visiting. Within days I was forwarded an email that had come to Capital Bible Seminary from a former member of UBF accusing UBF of being a cult and requesting that CBS not allow itself to be used by UBF to make this alleged cult appear legitimate. I chose not to investigate these accusations personally. I had already had some extended first-hand interaction with UBF and found nothing in them to support the cult allegations. I conferred with the other two faculty members who had ministered (and were still ministering). We all had the same response that UBF is doctrinally sound but culturally different. One of the bases for the cult allegations are the church’s active participation in arranging marriages of their members. We witnessed this first hand as UBF was involved in Sarah Wang’s decision to marry Phillip Brown, whom she had met in China before coming to the USA to study. Several in the CBS family were not familiar, nor comfortable, with the church’s active involvement in Sarah’s decision to marry, but she affirmed that her decision to marry was indeed her own.

During the 2006-2007 several members of the College Park UBF church took classes at CBS and another adjunct professor accepted UBF’s invitation to speak both locally and at a regional meeting in Ohio. Another full-time professor accepted UBF’s invitation to preach at the church. Sarah Wang continued her studies at CBS as well as worshipped and served at the College Park UBF church.

Assessment of University Bible Fellowship
UBF has demonstrated its strong commitment to biblical authority. UBF has demonstrated openness to learning from non-Korean evangelicals (past and present) and is not a closed system. The constituents (faculty, students and missionaries) are uniformly gracious and committed to Christ. In CBS classes or listening to lectures by CBS professors, the UBF members are respectful and teachable. I applaud the commitment to Christ, the Bible, and missions I have encountered personally.

I have chosen not to investigate the allegations made against UBF by unhappy former members. I have not done so because I had a strong positive experience personally. I also know that there are unhappy former members of most churches. But I have not, because Capital Bible Seminary neither endorses nor boycotts individual local churches. As a nondenominational seminary, we enroll students from many different local churches and ecclesiastical groups. A number of these groups are further from CBS than UBF is doctrinally (UBF is more in the Presbyterian (Reformed) than the Dispensational tradition of CBS). Seminary faculty members do not give institutional endorsements of practices by individual local churches or groups of churches. Individual faculty members have freedom to accept or decline opportunities to minister outside the seminary and all of the interaction detailed above came from such freedom of choice by individuals, me included. Neither Capital Bible Seminary nor its undergraduate division, Washington Bible College, has any formal position for or against University Bible Fellowship. CBS continues to welcome UBF members who wish to take classes.

I have challenged UBF staff both locally and in Korea to grow in cultural adaptation to the contexts in which they minister around the world. In Korea during the question and answer time, I shared the experience my son and his friend had at the University of Maryland with a UBF member who invited them to a Bible study off campus. They were asked to get into the car of a stranger to go to the study. Both declined the invitation. I told the UBF group that in America this aggressive approach would be viewed by some as “kidnapping.” During dinner following the meeting, a UBF worker followed up my comment by saying that in Korea this works and is considered acceptable. I believe that UBF still has a way to go in developing cultural sensitivity to the American cultural context while they try to blend that with loyalty to their Korean roots.

May UBF never depart from its commitment to biblical authority while continuing to grow in its ability to contextualize its ministry to the building of the church to the glory of God. I know of no reason why UBF should not be reinstated as a member in good standing of the NAE.

His servant and yours,
Dr. George Harton
The original copy (PDF)
Scott Moreau

About Scott Moreau
NAE Headquarters
Attn: Kyle Fisk
11025 Voyager Parkway
Colorado Springs CO 80921

January 24, 2005

Dear Mr. Fisk,

I am writing on behalf of University Bible Fellowship at the request of Dr. Mark Yoon, who has been a friend of mine over the past eight years. Over the course of that time we have shared fellowship at numerous meetings, including several discussions on cultural values as they relate to biblical values and truths.

There can be no doubt that UBF is conservative evangelical in doctrine and conservative in Korean values of leadership and mentorship. To Americans used to autonomous independence and unfamiliar with Korean culture, the Korean-styled leadership structure that characterizes UBF seems overly hierarchical. Some have decided that it is cultish. However, within the Korean context that was the birthplace of UBF, such a structure demonstrates commitment, discipline, and integrity. The style of leadership and commitment that characterizes UBF can also be found among other highly-regarded Korean Christian ministries. For example, numerous Korean churches are lauded for having daily prayer meetings starting as early as 4:00 am. While this would be seen as extreme by some in the American context, to the Koreans this is a symbol of the extent of their commitment to Christ—and many missiologists note that the startling growth of the Korean Church in the 20th century may very well be attributed to this level of dedication.

As an American who lived abroad in Africa for a decade, and who has taught contextualization and intercultural communication for over 20 years, I see UBF as a thriving contextualized effort to develop a body of committed believers who desire to reach the world for Christ. The fact that so many Korean Christian groups (such as Campus Crusade for Christ Korea) fellowship with UBF and hold it in high regard supports this view.

Thus I highly recommend that UBF be seen as nothing more than a strongly-disciplined Christian ministry that makes high demands of its membership—and thus appropriate for inclusion in the NAE family. I would be happy to have further contact or discussion with you on this if it may be of assistance in your consideration of reinstating UBF to NAE membership.


Scott Moreau
Professor and Chair, Intercultural Studies Department
Editor, Evangelical Missions Quarterly
The original copy (PDF)
Ruth A. Tucker

About Ruth A. Tucker
4824 Abrigador Trail
Comstock Park, Michigan 49321 USA

April 1, 2008

To Whom it May Concern:

I am writing about my long-time friendship with the University Bible Fellowship, with headquarters in Chicago and ministry around the world.

I first became acquainted with the ministry of UBF in the 1980s when I was teaching at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. One of my students was Jun Ki Chung, who was taking doctoral work in Missiology while completing his Ph.D. under Dr. Martin Marty at the University of Chicago. Mr. Chung was also very involved in the leadership of UBF. Dr. Chung now serves as Professor of Historical Theology at Kwangshin University in Korea, while maintaining his close relationship with UBF.

In the 1990s, I had the privilege of giving lectures at UBF sponsored meetings. On one such occasion I met the Korean founder of the movement, Dr. Samuel Lee. What I remember most about the meeting was that the church was packed and folding chairs were needed to accommodate the crowd. I was sitting on the platform and I spotted Dr. Lee himself bringing folding chairs to the front and ushering people in to take those seats.

At that time I also met Sarah Barry, an American Presbyterian missionary who helped co-found the movement. I had an opportunity to talk quite extensively with her and ask to her questions about the growth of the organization as it spread worldwide. What impressed me most about her was her openness and honesty about problems that had developed and mistakes that have been made.

In the 1990s, I also presented a lecture for a UBF meeting in Toledo. As was true in my Chicago meeting, the audience consisted largely of students who were very eager to learn, to ask questions, and to challenge my perspective.

In 1997, I visited Korea, where I lectured at several meeting in various locations throughout the country. I was accompanied by local UBF leaders and by Dr. Chung, who served as my interpreter. I realized during that trip how influential UBF is in Korea and how many good connections the ministry has with other Korean ministries.

In 2006, I was pleased to host several UBF leaders in my home in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and once again I experienced a sense of warmth and friendship.

I recently lectured again in Chicago for a UBF sponsored meeting. I was pleased to discover that among so many new faces were also a large number of individuals I had become acquainted with more than a decade earlier. In many Christian organizations, there is a large turnover in leadership as key individuals come and go. But UBF has brought in new leaders, while retaining many who have served with the ministry for decades. Among those I had become acquainted with years earlier were Pastor Mark Yang, Pastor Ron Ward, Mother Sarah Barry, Dr. Jun Ki Chung, and Dr. John Jun, who is now the executive director.

Dr. Jun, who served as a medical doctor in the Korean Army, is a very efficient executive director. He has a lively, engaging, and warm personality and a quick sense of humor. As one of the first members of UBF, he knows the organization well, and seeks to lead through persuasion rather than power. He interacts with members as co-workers in an easy informal way, and plays as well as works alongside them. In fact he was telling how he tries to schedule tennis twice a week. I asked where he was able to find indoor courts for the winter months. He laughed and said they played on the nearby outdoor courts, sometimes clearing the courts with snow shovels.

As a seminary professor for twenty-five years, an author of seventeen books, an editor of the journal Missiology, and a past president of the Association of Professors, I have worked with many Christian organizations. UBF is one such organization that I have come to appreciate very much and would recommend to anyone who is seeking Bible training and fellowship and opportunities to serve.

Sincerely yours,

Ruth A. Tucker, Ph.D.
The original copy (PDF)
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