While Americans in general were troubled with the problems of a great civil war, a group of concerned Friends in the little town of Westfield, Indiana, had other preoccupations. They were deeply interested in the education and spiritual well-being of their young people. Thus, in 1860 a two-story brick building was erected with great sacrifice to house the Union High Academy. The first class sessions were held on January 7, 1861. This was one of the first institutions of secondary education in this area. Here young people were educated in a Christian atmosphere. Many of the graduates became ministers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, and leaders of their generation.
With the establishment of public schools, the enrollment of Union High Academy began to diminish. It appeared that the doors would have to close after fifty years of operation. However, the Friends in the area were still interested in the education of their young people. Some had the vision of a training school for ministers and missionaries as well as an academy. God, in His providence, brought William M. Smith to Westfield. Being very unimpressed with the prospects of operating such a school in this location, Brother Smith was inclined to refuse the offer made by the school committee, but then God spoke. That settled the question, and Union Bible Seminary was founded in May, 1911.
In 1980 Union Bible Seminary was moved to a completely interdenominational basis, in order to fully move out of the Friends background and into the larger Holiness movement. While we appreciate our Friends heritage, we now serve all denominations. The name was officially changed to Union Bible College in June, 1989. This change more accurately portrays its mission in training Christian young people on a college level. UBC has played a very important role in the advancement of the Holiness Movement. Many successful pastors, missionaries, and Christian workers have been graduates of UBC. The training of men and women in the Word of God has been and continues to be the strength of the church and the hope of a dying world needing the Gospel; UBC plays an integral part in such ministry.