Underground University

Underground University

Underground University

Underground University

UU 학교

Underground University isn’t just a school that teaches North Korean defectors how to do North Korean ministry—it’s a school through which North Koreans actually do North Korean ministry. Rather than waiting for Reunification, UU students take steps toward reunification by ministering to their own people—North Koreans who have defected, been sex trafficked, or who have been sent out to work in order to make money for the NK regime in countries around the world.


[2021.04] [18-150-10301 (2021) UU] [UUUTS Class] (85) [Sanitized].jpg
UU student Mrs. S realized she had heard about persecuted Christians when she was in NK

Recently we shared a video with both our UT and UU students entitled “Bible Route to North Korea.” In this video, we share the footage we received from nine North Korean underground Christians who were martyred in 2007 along with their families (a total of 30 people).

Several of our UU students shared memories they had related to the underground church when they were in NK.

Looking at the video, one of our UU students, Mrs. S recognized one of the areas. She was in that same area in 2007 at the same time when the video would have been taken. The video helped to jog her memory. During that time, Mrs. S worked in a shop and some of her customers were guards in the state security prisons. Mrs. S learned from the guards that some people were caught for smuggling Bibles around that time. When the guards questioned them and asked if they believed in God, they said “Yes.” This surprised the guards because, if they had only said, “No”, they would not have been punished. Furthermore, the guards said that, no matter how hard they beat the believers, they did not recant, and still prayed to God in their cells. This made the guards curious about the Bibles.

Another student, Mr. G, said that, when he was in NK, he had a certain friend. The friend was not a Christian, but, on a trip to China, this friend went to church and received a Bible. Even though he was not a Christian, when he went back to NK, he was caught with the Bible and was pressured by the authorities. He could not stand the pressure and ended up committing suicide by jumping off of a building.

Mrs. H said that, before she came to UU, she had no idea there were people in the underground church in North Korea. As she thought about it, however, she did remember the story of one underground Christian. A person that she knew in North Korea went to prison for theft. When he came out, he went to China. There, in China, he received a Bible. When he tried to take the Bible back with him into NK, he was discovered and ended up being executed by firing squad.


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A UU student sings a hymn from VOMK’s NK hymnal “Nation’s Echo”.

Mr. L is one of our UU students who has been drastically transformed over the years that he has been involved with UT and UU. God has made him into a completely different person.

Five years ago, when Mr. L first started UT, he was unable to stop talking about his traumatic past events. He was also deeply involved in politics and invested in political power rather than the power of God. But, now, he has become a good Christian father and husband, as well as a deacon in his church. It is amazing to see the work of the Holy Spirit in his life, and he has become an influential leader in the NK department of his church.

During these past semesters, we have given Mr. L an increased responsibility and put other students under his care as a group leader. These other students happen to also attend the same church as him. Mr. L. demonstrated the character of a shepherd as he led the other students, kindly helping them to find scriptures in the Bible, and helping explain the teaching to them.

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UU student Mrs. S realized she had heard about persecuted Christians when she was in NK

A few weeks ago, Mr. L was volunteering to package newsletters at the VOMK office when he received a call from an NK woman in his church named Mrs. K. A few month’s earlier, she fell and hurt her hip joint. On this particular day, she was feeling alone and kept talking about dying, so Mr. L left quickly to go be with her. As Mr. L sat with her in her small apartment and tried to comfort her, she refused to be comforted and wrote her will. Mr. L was very concerned about her, and visited her every day even though others from his church did not.

Unfortunately, while Mr. L was away, Mrs. K attempted suicide by overdosing on sleeping pills. Mr. L stayed with her as she was brought to the hospital and revived. He served as her guardian as she was discharged from the hospital. Mr. L continued to minister to her as she was re-hospitalized and admitted to a mental hospital, where she currently is staying.

Although Mr. L is only a lower-ranking leader in a small department of the large megachurch he attends, God is working greatly through him to take care of His flock.

Mr L has already completed his UU graduation requirements. From the next quarter, he will serve as a UU intern. He will have his official graduation ceremony at the end of the year.

Prayer Requests for this project

  • Pray for resolution of conflicts among students – Please pray for the resolution of conflicts among our UU students and interns. Particularly, two students keep repeating a pattern of having conflicts and resolving them numerous times in the same week. Please pray that God will continue to grow them through this process, increase their love for one another, and keep them from giving up on attending UU.


  • Pray for our new UU/UT Daejeon location – We have been so blessed to have new NK students that have a desire to learn God’s word and be missionaries to their own people. Pray for our staff and current UU students (from Seoul) as they reach out to NKs in the Daejeon region of SK (2.5 hours South of Seoul).

About Underground University

1. We train and deploy students for ministry to North Korea today.

We do “works of mercy field trips” each month where we practice sharing our bread, opening our homes, healing and comforting, visiting and remembering, and other disciplines with North Korean defectors and South Korean outcasts. Students are required to minister to NKs internationally before they graduate. That puts them in a very small category of experienced NK ministers!

2. There is an emphasis on hearing and doing the word.

This is not only a field ministry training program. There are homework assignments and quizzes for every class session. Students memorize large amounts of scripture weekly, in keeping with the tradition of the North Korean underground church. Each of our tracks, like Persecution Theology (using In The Shadow Of The Cross), is serious study. We hold ourselves and our students to a seminary standard in theology while offering and requiring more practical theological participation than many South Korean seminaries.

3. Rooted in mentoring.

1 Timothy 3:1-5 shows that the key to effective missionary service is learning to be an effective minister in one’s own family. That can only be learned life-on-life, and that has made UU a one day classroom experience supplemented by a six day supervised life experience—one that continues well beyond their graduation.

Alumni mentor existing students by acting as examples, coaches, and understanding elder brothers and sisters. This is proving to be a crucial missing piece in both enabling more thorough instruction and also creating greater connection with our alumni.


  1. 북한 고아들을 고아원에 보내면 안 되는 이유 – Voice of the Martyrs Korea

    Says February 19, 2019 at pm 3:29

    […] UU 학교 […]

    • Ruth+Thomas

      Says August 14, 2021 at pm 5:58

      Praying for you. Thanks for the information and prayer pointers.
      Ruth Thomas

      • Pastor Tim

        Says August 16, 2021 at pm 9:56

        Thank you Ruth!! God Bless ~ Pastor Tim

  2. The New Wave of Christian Persecution in China is Producing a New Wave of North Korean Missionaries from the Most Unusual Backgrounds | Do the Word

    Says March 27, 2019 at am 10:33

    […] years we and our Underground University (UU) North Korean missionary students have evangelized North Korean workers sent abroad to make […]

  3. Elliot

    Says November 01, 2019 at am 4:29

    What can we do here in the United States to help the North Koreans learn about Jesus our Lord?

  4. Rosalba Mendoza

    Says March 20, 2020 at am 8:35


    I am interested in joining in this mission. How can I do?

  5. Rosalba Mendoza

    Says March 20, 2020 at am 8:36


    I am interested in joining whit this mission.

    How can I do?

    • vom staff

      Says March 21, 2020 at pm 3:03

      Thanks Rosalba! We sent you an e-mail. God Bless ~ Pastor Tim

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