About Us

God’s chosen way of transforming the world is his church.  UWM helps leaders to establish and build up the church as God’s missional people in their nations.  Advancing their capacity and vision is our calling.

UWM was born in 1946 as the vision of a group of local churches in Ohio that “united” to do world mission together.  Today, we have a global staff of over 400 in 49 countries, serving alongside national partners to impact more than 90 nations.

We facilitate partnerships of missionaries, churches, businesses, and donors alongside trusted ministry partners around the world.

Different Leaders.  Different Church.  Different World.

Our vision is to see a vibrant church, led by well-equipped local leaders, in every city and neighborhood of the world.

We envision people in every nation standing in awe at the witness of a biblically faithful church proclaiming Jesus Christ as Lord and living the counter-cultural values of his Kingdom. 

 We envision churches known by their love and truthfulness, by their holiness and compassion, and for pouring themselves out for the good of their neighborhoods. 

This kind of church requires local leaders who are formed theologically, practically, and spiritually so that they serve in the Way of Jesus Christ. 

Different Leaders.  Different Church.  Different World.

To equip leaders, establish churches, and engage in holistic ministry by partnering with the church globally.

Equipping Leaders
God-delighting leaders that embrace biblical depth, servanthood, missional spirituality, and community.

Establishing Churches
World-surprising churches marked by love and unity, working for mercy and justice, and making disciples that serve Christ in every endeavor.

Caring for kids at Viento FrescoEngaging in Holistic Ministry
Sharing Christ’s compassion and truth in word and deed with men, women, and children that need it most.

      1. Seek God First
        We seek God’s Kingdom, presence, and sanctifying work in us as foundational to our lives and ministries.
      2. Serve Partners Well
        We desire the flourishing of our partners as brothers and sisters in Christ and co-workers in the gospel.  We are only as successful as our partners.
      3. Commit to Community
        We strive for healthy relationships and create communities that display grace, affection, humility and mutual support.
      4. Live Boldly
        We are moved to action by Christ’s call and the deep needs of his world.  We embrace change and innovation to accomplish God’s will in our generation.
      5. Surprise By Love
        We seek the good of all people and choose Jesus’ way of love and servanthood even when it is difficult.

Missional Spirituality
We believe the gospel offers a relationship with God that is received by grace through faith, and that the Holy Spirit changes us from the inside out as we walk with God.  We seek intentional pathways for growing in authentic relationship with God as we serve on mission with Christ, and we nurture this spirituality in the leaders we equip.  We try to see all people through developmental eyes and integrate spiritual formation into all our ministries, leading to self-awareness, dependence upon Christ, healthy relationships, and life-giving service.

 

Global Partnership
We affirm the Lausanne movement’s theme of “mission from everywhere to everywhere,” and we seek to demonstrate a cooperative, Kingdom mindset in all we do.  We are compelled to partner with other Christians to express our unity and to accomplish God’s mission of renewing the whole world, which includes establishing the church and making disciples among all the peoples of the earth.

 

Local Church
We believe that the church is God’s primary instrument for bringing the gospel of Christ to the world and making disciples of all nations.  When local churches live as Kingdom communities of love and reconciliation, holiness and compassionate service, there is no greater apologetic for the gospel on earth.  We partner with many types of missional organizations, but in everything we aim to inspire, strengthen, and multiply healthy, biblical churches.

 

Integral Mission
Jesus showed compassion for people’s spiritual, physical, and social needs, and the whole of Scripture indicates God’s concern for the materially poor as well as the spiritually poor.  We seek to integrate the biblical priorities for evangelism and for mercy and justice.  We join with our partners to engage contextually appropriate holistic ministries, and seek to reproduce churches and disciples with a passion for evangelism and social action.

 

Innovation
We are committed to an innovative culture that continually pursues new ways of doing mission and accelerates ideas that could advance the gospel.  We believe it likely that the best innovations for mission in the future will come as the fruit of deep relationships in the global body of Christ, and a commitment to do mission together.  Our founders were men and women who believed that the Holy Spirit was an “innovative Spirit,” and we follow their example of boldly going where the Spirit leads.

Our history has three significant strands—that of United World Mission, the Latin America Mission, and Overseas Council. 

United World Mission was born in the heart of a local church pastor in Dayton, Ohio.  Dr. Sydney Correll and his wife, Helen, led their church on evangelistic and compassion trips to India, Africa, and Latin America.  They established a Bible School and local churches in Cuba, with a vision to see Cubans go as missionaries to Latin America.  Their vision attracted seventeen like-minded churches in Ohio that “united” for world mission.  In 1946 they incorporated as United World Mission (UWM) and began to grow into a global interdenominational ministry with a passion for church planting, ministry training, and ministries of compassion and development.

Since the early 1990s, UWM has focused on partnership with the national church around the world.  UWM leaders made an intentional shift in the missionary role from “doing” to “facilitating,” especially by equipping and capacity-building, rather than by leading and directing.  An era of partnering was born.

The Latin America Mission was born in the hearts of Harry Strachan, a Canadian-born Scot and his Irish-born wife Susan who felt God’s missionary call to Argentina.  In 1921, the Strachans moved from Argentina to San José, Costa Rica, where they founded what would later be called the Latin America Mission.   The Latin America Mission was innovative, inter-denominational, and bold in its efforts to bring the whole gospel to all of Latin America.

Evangelism and social concern were always integrated in the LAM, which became known for “integral mission.

In 1971, control of all LAM ministries was legally transferred to Latin partners.  The LAM’s conviction was that the future of the gospel in Latin America was with the Latin Church, and missionaries needed to serve Latin vision and under Latin leadership.  An era of partnering was born.

Overseas Council was born of the vision of several businessmen in Indianapolis.  While attending a building dedication of the Seoul Theological Seminary (STS) in 1974, they noticed the inability of students to pay for their seminary studies.  The group returned home, determined to raise scholarship funds for STS, and Overseas Council for Seoul Theological Seminary was born!  Within five years, the ministries of Overseas Council expanded beyond scholarships for Korean students to include various programs and strategies for assisting seminaries and men and women in many nations who were called to Christian ministry.  By 2017, Overseas Council was helping provide excellent theological education to equip Christian leaders through 130 seminary partners in 70 nations.

A United Mission & Vision

In January 2014, the Latin America Mission joined the UWM family.  Overseas Council did the same in January of 2018. The combination of the three organizations presented synergistic opportunities for advancing global Kingdom work through partnering for leadership development, church planting, and holistic ministry.

Today, under the leadership of Dr. John Bernard, United World Mission has a global staff of 400 serving as residents in 49 nations with partners that are impacting over 90 nations.  United World Mission seeks to help leaders to establish and build up the church as God’s missional people in their nations and beyond.

United World Mission has adopted the Statement of Faith of the World Evangelical Alliance.

We Believe

  • …in the Holy Scriptures as originally given by God, divinely inspired, infallible, entirely trustworthy; and the supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct…
  • One God, eternally existent in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…
  • Our Lord Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh, His virgin birth, His sinless human life, His divine miracles, His vicarious and atoning death, His bodily resurrection, His ascension, His mediatorial work, and His Personal return in power and glory…
  • The Salvation of lost and sinful man through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ by faith apart from works, and regeneration by the Holy Spirit…
  • The Holy Spirit, by whose indwelling the believer is enabled to live a holy life, to witness and work for the Lord Jesus Christ…
  • The Unity of the Spirit of all true believers, the Church, the Body of Christ…
  • The Resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life, they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.”

In addition to our Statement of Faith, we affirm the Lausanne Covenant (1974) and look to it for wisdom and guidance in our faith and practice.  

As a Member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), United World Mission is audited annually by a certified public accounting firm. Audited financial statements are available on request. United World Mission is a 501(c)(3) organization and contributions are tax deductible for U.S. income tax purposes.

Contributions are solicited with the understanding that United World Mission has complete control and discretion over the use of all donated funds. This is to ensure that your gift is fully tax deductible under Internal Revenue Service rulings.