UBF Shepherd Training Model

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The group employs all kinds of training methods, often invented on the fly. The new recruits are guided by a personal shepherd through six specific stages. The goals and length of time is varied per student depending on their individual situation. The stages are strikingly common across more than 30 UBF USA chapters I have observed in person. In the 1970's and 1980's this training often utilized harsh discipline for disobedience to the shepherd, including but not limited to locking a person in a room for days, standing in ice cold water for hours, and walking barefoot for over 5 miles, all to teach obedience. Recently these harmful training practices have been stopped in many UBF USA chapters. The "shepherd training" continues however.

Sheep Training

(up to 5 years)

Stage 1: Birthing (1 to 9 months)
Goal – commit to bible study
Starts after first bible study
Stage 2: Rooting (1 to 2 years)
Goal – adopt the UBF worldview
Starts after Sunday service attendance
Stage 3: Growing (1 to 2 years)
Goal – pursue more training
Starts after sharing Life Testimony

Shepherd Training

(2 to 4 years)

Stage 4: Disciple Training (about 1 year)
Goal – identity as “Shepherd X”
Starts after joining common life
Stage 5: Soldier Training (1 to 2 years)
Goal – obedience to UBF authorities
Starts after college graduation
Stage 6: Leader Training (about 1 year)
Goal – loyalty for life
Starts after Marriage by Faith (arranged marriage)

Official UBF Training Diagram


More information