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UBI provides biblical, evangelical and practical training for the development of servant leaders.

For over eighty years, God has used Union Bible Institute to teach his word and assist in the development of Christian leaders.

UBI remains committed to the unchanging message of the Bible and the preaching of the gospel. At the same time, we realise that the application of the message and methods we use must meet the needs of the times in which we live.

Whether you want to study part-time in the evenings, or commit the next few years of your life to immersing yourself in God’s word, the UBI community welcomes you.


Union Bible Institute’s purpose is to develop Christ-like servant-leaders who are committed to Christ and His Great Commission.

This is accomplished in the following ways:

The Word of God: By thoroughly grounding prospective Christian workers in the Word of God so that they will be able to understand its basic content and apply its principles to their lives and ministries

Spiritual Transformation: By prayerfully depending on God to use us to continue and accelerate the process of transformation that He has already begun in our students.  By guiding the students, through teaching and mentoring, in the development of their character, that they may become more like Christ.

Academic and Ministry Excellence: By providing both theoretical and practical training in leadership and ministry skills, while modelling the humble attitude of a leader as one who serves.

Worship of Christ: By exalting Christ through music, prayer, testimony, and every aspect of the life and the curriculum of the school, and through challenging our students to commit themselves wholeheartedly to Him

Missional Focus: By exposing students to the need of worldwide evangelization and involving them where possible in cross cultural ministry, yet seeking also to equip them for ministry in their own culture.


As an inter-denominational institution, the curriculum is based on the following fundamental truths:

  • The Trinity
  • The divine inspiration and authority of the Scriptures
  • The divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, bodily resurrection and personal return
  • The efficacy of His death on the cross
  • The personality of the Holy Spirit
  • The fall of man and his lost estate by nature
  • Justification by faith
  • The personality of Satan


The Union Bible Institute – an interdenominational institution – first opened its doors in 1942 with a
total enrolment of 21 students. This first group of students included nine students who came from the
Dumisa Bible Training School when it closed down. These students came from fourteen different
denominations. The medium of instruction was isiZulu and the students were men only. A separate Bible
training school for women, called the “Women’s Division”, was established in Swaziland in 1947. In
1964, the “Women’s Division” was moved from Swaziland to join the men at UBI in Sweetwaters. The
women continued to be taught separately from the men while on the same campus. As time went on
the two schools merged and they became one institution, training both men and women. English was
also added as a medium of instruction. Today students can choose to learn the Higher Certificate in
Theology and Diploma in Theology in isiZulu or English.


Principal Rev Xolani Abednigo Nkosi grew up in Soweto.  He graduated from UBI in 2000 with a Diploma in Biblical Studies.  He went on to earn a B.Th Honours from International College of Bible and Mission in Roodepoort in  2012 and a Master of Theology from  Baptist Theological College in  2016.  He is currently enrolled in a Doctor of Theology  program at South African Theological Seminary (SATS).  He worked with Tshwane Leadership Foundation and as a pastor before returning to UBI in 2013 to become a lecturer and later Deputy Principal.  He became Principal at the beginning of 2023.  He is married to Makhosazane Nkosi, with three children and one grandchild, and continues to pastor part-time.


Union Bible Institute is registered with the Department of Higher Education and training as a private higher education institution under the Higher Education Act, 1997, Registration Certificate No 2010/HE08/011.