The Lord has been so kind to Union this last year. We continue to grow, and the Lord is cultivating our impact around the world. Our Learning Communities are multiplying, gifted faculty and staff have joined our campus family, our student body is growing, and the Lord has blessed the beginnings of Union-Mission in astonishing ways.  Most of all, by God’s provision and your generosity, we’ve seen more and more leaders delighting in God and being sent out to grow churches around the world.

Union in the U.S.A.

From our beginnings in South Wales, our vision has always been international. We’ve been delighted then, that this last year has seen our first US Learning Community established in Tulsa, O.K. Despite being a large city blessed with many churches, Tulsa lacks any accessible training for evangelical ministry. Future leaders looking to train face the dilemma of whether to go it alone through often-solitary online study or move their families elsewhere. This has impacted local churches leaving them without well trained leaders to help them grow in mission to the local community. We were thrilled then to step in. As Justin Schell (Tulsa Lead Mentor) tells us, the Tulsa Learning Community now means future leaders can train alongside brothers and sisters in community, whilst continuing to serve the local church in Tulsa.

God is giving us the opportunity to serve the American church in this new way.  Since Tulsa, we now have potential openings in Colorado and Tennessee with more interest besides. Please pray that as the demand is growing, we’d be able to keep enabling Learning Communities to multiply across the USA. If you want to read of these Learning Communities in action, Justin describes a day in Tulsa

To support our work in the USA, we have set up the Union Foundation. This will allow us to serve the US church as we work to establish more Learning Communities. This last year has also seen our president, Michael Reeves, lecture at several national US conferences. This October he was privileged to give the Gheens lectures at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Union Mission

At the heart of Union, is our desire to see Christ’s church flourish as it presses on in mission. Since we launched Union-Mission, God has used it to do just that. With your support, the partnership of donors, like-minded organisations and trusts, we’ve been able to distribute £480,000 to church planters across the UK and Europe since 2017. These funds have resourced 46 church planting projects in Macedonia, London, Italy and elsewhere and we’re delighted to see these projects flourishing. Leonardo De Chirico and Reid Karr tell us of the recent launch of one such project supported by Union-Mission. 

Funding is vital for mission in today’s world. Yet money alone is not enough. In an increasingly secular culture, the church needs leaders who are equipped with the theological skills to engage people relevantly. This joined up mission is what we are aiming to do. Through our partnership with AT-3 (Alliance for Transatlantic Theological Training), we’ve been equipping church planters with theological training to help the local church grow. Peter Mason, an American who trained with Union through AT-3, tells us how the experience has equipped him to serve in a rural church in Suffolk, U.K. 

The Union Family

At Union, we enjoy living out our adoption into God’s family. That means we long to be more than just an organisation or institution, we long to be a family who delight in God and share our lives with one another. Chika, a new BA student from Nigeria, tells us how she’s been welcomed in to the Union family.

Each year the Union family gathers together at our September conference. This year brothers and sisters from as far as Newfoundland, Italy and Greece came to pray, eat and grow together. The conference focussed on the meaning of evangelical identity in ministry and training. To see what was discussed, you can watch the lectures here.  

Union School of Theology

This past year has brought some significant changes for UST. We have become a partner institution of The Open University, who now validate our GDip, BA and MTh programmes. Also, our PhD programme is now done in collaboration with the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Free University of Amsterdam), who are world leading researchers in Reformed theology. These two partnerships enable us to offer training that is personally formative and academically robust. 

As God is developing the breadth and scale of Union, we’ve recognised the need to keep investing in our faculty and staff. We’ve been blessed to have been joined by Steffen Jenkins, lecturer in Biblical Studies and Greek, and Jonathan Thomas, a local to Wales who has come aboard as Pastoral Dean. These new lecturers bring local and international experience to our family and are already having a significant impact in improving our academic teaching and discipling. We’ve also added to our staff with the appointment of Stephen Unwin as our Communications and Development Officer. A previous BA student, he brings experience of education and communication, as we seek to grow more leaders for Christ’s church.

Through your support, we’ve been able to invest in our South Wales campus. As well as developing our buildings, we are also developing our classroom technology. We are currently installing a virtual suite which will enable us to connect the campus to our Learning Communities so that lectures and research seminars can be delivered live across the world.

God has blessed us with new openings for Learning Communities. Along with new Communities in Cambridge, Manchester, Doncaster, Newcastle and West Cumbria, we’re excited to have started a partnership with London City Mission (LCM). LCM is one of the most effective urban missions in Europe and we are helping to equip their church workers as they reach out to London’s least reached people. As well as multiplying our Learning Communities, we’ve also launched two intensive programmes; the Priscilla Programme, in partnership with Church Society, for equipping women for serving in their local churches, and the Youth and Families course.

“We’ve been partnering with UST with our South Wales Learning Community for the past 3 years. What attracted us to Union was a sense of shared values; the emphasis on biblical, gracious, and Christ-centred theology, with the aim always being the growth of his church. These values continue to motivate our partnership today. We’ve been delighted to see how the Learning Community model has enabled the training of future pastors and church planters from within our own church. We’ve also had students from other churches studying with us who are keen to receive the kind of sound, challenging and profoundly encouraging training Union provides. Our Learning Community then is not only serving our church, but the wider church too.  This model is doing for us what nothing else I know of can: bringing the rigour and quality of the academy into the frontline of the local church.” - Tom Clewer, Pastor in South Wales

Union Publishing

Union Publishing continues to produce resources which help Christians enjoy God and serve his church. We know of missionaries listening discreetly to podcasts in hostile countries, pastors studying papers for sermon preparation and friends reading articles together on Skype. As well as our online resources, sales of our little book series now total 113K copies.

As well as producing Union resources, our faculty have also published several books. This year saw the release of Michael Reeves’ book ‘Spurgeon on the Christian Life’ in the popular Crossway series. We are currently working on new Union books which will be published by Crossway with worldwide distribution. The first will be written by Michael Reeves, with more authors included for future books.

“Friends, thank you so much for how you’ve stood with us this year. With your support we’ve now grown to 25 locations, we’ve raised up more leaders than ever before, we’re hearing how personal reformations are happening in people’s lives - none of this could have happened without you. We have plans for new growth, for raising up more leaders, for resourcing more church planting projects, and we’d love if you would stand with us in these things for the cause of Christ.”

Michael Reeves

President of Union

To give to this work click here For US giving click here