Upward Bound Youth Statement of Faith

All those who participate in the ongoing work, witness, and ministry of Upward Bound Youth shall be in agreement with this Statement of Faith and Statement of Doctrinal Distinctives. Furthermore, these statements are not an exhaustive description of the breadth of our beliefs. As noted in Number 2 below, the Bible itself, is the ultimate authority concerning Upward Bound Youth’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, and our Board of Directors is Upward Bound Youth’s final interpretive authority on the Bible’s interpretation and application. In order to qualify for employment, office, membership on the Board of Directors, Aim for Ministry Mentoring Program, and volunteer positions, each participant shall cheerfully pledge his or her agreement with and commitment to this foundation for faith and practice.

1. WE BELIEVE there is only one God, creator of heaven and earth. God is Spirit, and is above all powers and all created things. He is eternal, self-existing in three divine Persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – each fully God but distinct from each other. God is a God of love, grace, holiness, justice and mercy. Further, He is all-powerful, all-knowing, unchanging, and infinitely perfect in all His character, and has revealed Himself in nature, history, and in the acts and words preserved in the Holy Scriptures.1

2. WE BELIEVE that the Holy Scriptures, the Bible, composed of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament, to be the inspired, infallible Word of God, inerrant in the original autographs, sufficient in it’s disclosure of God’s will for man, and is the sole and final authority concerning truth, morality, the proper conduct of the human race, faith, and doctrine.2

3. WE BELIEVE in the full deity and humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood and His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right of hand of the Father where he intercedes for us as our great High Priest and in His personal return in power and glory. We also believe that Jesus Christ is the only mediator between man and God and there is no other name by which man can find salvation.3

4. WE BELIEVE that man was created in the image of God, sinned, and thereby incurred both spiritual and physical death; consequently, all men are sinners by nature and practice, under condemnation and incapable of a right relationship with God apart from divine grace. We believe that God is not willing that any should remain lost in sin.

5. WE BELIEVE in the person of the Holy Spirit, sent forth from the Father, that convicts mankind of sin, righteousness and judgment, and through the proclamation of the gospel, renews our hearts, persuading and enabling us to repent of our sins and confess Jesus Christ as Lord. By the same Spirit we are led to trust in divine grace, become justified by faith alone in Christ’s atoning sacrifice and are forgiven of our sins. We are adopted into God’s family and the water baptism is an image of our union with Christ in His death and resurrection. The Holy Spirit indwells the born-again believer, comforting and guiding them into truth while empowering them and sanctifying the lives of the redeemed.5

6. WE BELIEVE that the universal church, founded at Pentecost, consists of all true believers and that the local church, united in the bonds of love, guided by multiple leaders, supported by wise stewardship of God’s people are established for the purposes of worship, instruction, mutual edification and worldwide witness. The Sacraments of the church are Baptism and the Lord’s Supper (communion). Baptism is for those who repent and believe and have shown evidence of a new life. Communion is to be observed by the born-again believer after careful self-examination according to Scripture.6

7. WE BELIEVE that the consummate purpose of God’s redemptive purpose will be the resurrection of all people, living and dead: the believer, having been redeemed by the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the presence of God to live and reign with Him forever; the unbeliever, having died or living impenitent and unreconciled to God, to eternal condemnation in the lake of fire (hell)prepared for the devil (who is still working in this world to destroy the souls of men) and hisangels.7

Statement of Doctrinal Distinctives

Also, based on my confession and acceptance of the Statement of Faith, I am committed to honoring God by obeying the two Greatest Commandments, loving God and loving my neighbor, and based on that commitment and derived from the inspired, infallible, inerrant and authoritative Word of God in Scripture, I profess the following as necessary for living the gospel: We Believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of in estimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to stand for, defend, protect and value all human life.8

We Believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect and dignity. Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the Doctrinal Distinctives and Statements of Faith of Upward Bound Youth.9

We Believe in the spiritual unity and equality of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.10

We Believe that the Lordship of Christ requires us as disciples to seek daily to conform our actions, thoughts, and desires in obedience to Him.  

We Believe God wonderfully creates each person with an immutable biological sex – male or female –and that these two distinct, complementary sexes together reflect the image and nature of God.12

We Believe God designed marriage as a unique conjugal relationship joining one man and one woman in a single, exclusive, life-long union, and God intends sexual intimacy to only occur within thatrelationship.13

We Believe that any form of sexual immorality (including, but not limited to, adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, or use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God.14

We Believe that God has endowed all humans with the natural, and inalienable right of religious freedom to believe, pursue truth, and live within ordered liberty such that no civil government may justly infringe upon it.15

We Believe that active obedience to the Word of God in Scripture is essential for a vibrant and joyful life in Christ and, without it, the light of our understanding of Christ will be hindered and our witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ and the grace of God will be compromised. If a state of unrepentant sin remains, our growth in knowledge and understanding of Jesus Christ will suffer and the outward testimony of Christ will be tarnished.16

We Believe that God, through His Son, Jesus Christ, calls all of us to deny ourselves, take up our cross, pursue truth and follow Him and that, in exchange, He promises abundant life.17

We Believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of Upward Bound Youth as a ministry that teaches Biblical truth, a Christian world-view and provides programming to minister these principles and the love of Jesus Christ while being a role-model of Christ’s ministry and life in the communities it operates, it is imperative that all persons employed by Upward Bound Youth in any capacity, or who serve on the Board of Directors or as an officer of the corporation or participate as an intern or volunteer agree and abide by these Statement of Faith and Doctrinal Distinctives.18

1 Deut 6:4; Jer 10:10; 1 Cor 8:4b; Eph 4:5-6; Gen 1:1; Ps 102:25; Job 11:7-9; Ps 86:8-10; John 4:24; Ps 90:2; Ps 102:26-27;James 1:17; Ex 3:14; Acts 17:24-27; Mat 3:16-17;\ Mat 28:19; 2 Cor 13:14; Ex 34:6-7; 1 John 4:8; Rev 4:8-11; Rev 15:4; Deut 32:4; Ps 18:30; Ps 147:5; Jer 32:17; Heb 4:13; Mat 19:26; Josh 2:10-11; Ps 19:1-4a; Ps 78:4; Isa 46:9-10; Acts 14:16-17; Rom 1:19-20; Heb 1:1
Ps 19:7-8; Pro 30:5-6; 2 Tim 3:16-17; Heb 4:12; 2 Pet 1:20-21; John 20:30-31; Acts 20:32; 1 John 1:3-4; Mat 5:18; John8:32-32; John 17:17; Eph 2:19-20; 2 Tim 1:13-14
Mat 1:22-23; Mat 28:17-18, 20b; John 1:1-4, 14; John 8:58; John 10:30; John 20:27-29; Rom 9:5; Phil 2:5-11; 1 Tim 3:16; Mat1:20; Luke 1:35; Heb 4:15; Heb 7:26; 1 Pet 2:22-23; Mat 4:23-24; Mark 4:39; John 11:43-44; Mat 1:21; Mat 20:28; John 1:29;Rom 5:6-8; 2 Cor 5:21; Heb 2:17; Heb 7:27; 1 Pet 2:24; Luke 24:39; Rom 6:9-10; Luke 24:50-52; Acts 1:9; Acts 2:33; Acts7:55-56; Heb 4:14; Heb 7:25; Heb 8:1-2; Mat 24:30-31; Acts 1:11; 1 Thes 4:16-17; Heb 9:28; Rev 19:11-16; Luke 10:22; John14:6; 1 Tim 2:5-6; John 3:36; Acts 4:12; Rom 10:13
Gen 1:26-28; Gen 2:16-17; Gen 3:6; Ps 51:5; Is 53:6; Rom 3:10-18; Rom 3:23; Rom 5:12; Eph 2:1-3; Rom 5:18; Eph 2:4-5;Eph 2:8-9; John 6:44; 1 Tim 2:3-4; 2 Pet 3:9; Ez 18:23
5 John 15:26-27; John 16:7-14; John 3:5-6; 1 Cor 12:3; Eph 1:13-14; 1 Cor 12:13; John 14:16-17; John 14:25-26; John 16:13-14; Rom 8:9; 1 Cor 3:16; 1 Cor 6:19; Gal 5:22-26; 1 Cor 12:4-11; Heb 2:4; Eph 5:18
6 John 10:16; John 17:20-21; Acts 2:44-47; Rom 12:4-5; Eph 2:13-22; 1 John 1:3; Acts 14:23; Acts 20:17, 28; Eph 4:1-6; Eph 4:11-13; 1 Thes 5:12-13; 1 Tim 5:17-18; Heb 13:17; 1 Pet 5:1-2; Mat 28:18-20; John 17:23; Rom 10:14-15; Eph 3:10; 1 Pet 2:9; Rev 7:9-10; Acts 2:38; Acts 8:12; Rom 6:1-4; John 6:53-56; 1 Cor 10:16-21; 1 Cor 11:23-29
7 Rev 21:1-5; Dan 12:2-3; John 5:24-29; Acts 24:15; 1 Cor 15:19-23; Phil 3:20-21; 1 Thes 4:15-17; Rev 20:11-15; Rev 22:3-5; 1Pet 5:8-9; Rev 12:7-12, 17
8 Gen 1:26-27; Ex 20:12; Ps 139:13-16; Pro 24:11-12; Job 31:15; Jer 1:5; Mat 19:14
9 Pro 14:21; Mat 22:37-40; Luke 6:27-36; Rom 1:14; 1 Cor 16:14; Gal 5:22-26; Col 3:12
10 Rom 10:12; 1 Cor 12:13; Gal 3:26-29; Eph 4:4-6; Phil 2:1-2; Col 3:11
11 Mat 7:21; Luke 9:23-24; Rom 12:1-2; Phil 2:5-8; Col 3:17; 1 John 2:6
12 Gen 1:27; Gen 2:18, 21-25; Gen 5:2; Mark 10:6; 1 Cor 11:11-12
13 Pro 5:15-21; Mat 19:3-9; 1 Cor 7:2-13; Eph 5:21-33; Heb 13:4
14 Lev 18:6-23; Lev 20:10-21; Rom 1:22-28; 1 Cor 5:1-5; 1 Cor 6:9-20; Gal 5:19-21; Eph 5:3; Col 3:5; 1 Thes 4:3-8
15 Josh 24:15; Acts 5:27-29; Rom 1:19-21; 1 Cor 14:5, 10-13; 1 Tim 2:1-4
16 Ps 119:105; Mat 5:13-16; Mat 7:24-27; Mat 18:15-17; John 14:21; Col 3:16; James 1:22; 1 John 1:6-7; 1 John 2:3-6
17 Mat 16:24-26; Mat 19:28-30; Mark 8:34-35; Phil 3:7-8; 1 Pet 2:21
18 Amos 3:3; 1 Cor 5:11; 1 Cor 10:20-21; 2 Cor 6:14; 2 Tim 2:1-2; Titus 2:1


About Us

Upward Bound is a nonprofit organization with the vision to teach the Truth of Scripture in accordance with our sincerely held religious beliefs in an effort to equip youth and their families in their spiritual, physical, emotional, and educational development.

To accomplish this, our ministry uses programs, retreats, camps, mission trips, and events. In addition, Upward Bound Youth supports and assists other charitable, 501(c)(3) organizations, and missions in pursuit of compatible missions and purposes as stated herein and as the Board of Directors may approve from time to time. Upward Bound Youth's direct and indirect involvement through other charitable organizations are global in their reach. Areas of the world impacted through UBY include Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central America, Eastern Europe, North & South America and the South Pacific region.

Our Statement of Faith and Doctrinal Distinctives:

Learn More

Founding Executive Director

The Word of God is what excites and motivates Richard to pursue a life of purpose. After graduating from Arizona State University with a degree in Accounting, he made a good career as a Chief Financial Officer for several real estate development firms in Phoenix. He found ways to share God’s love and truth as a lay minister and by starting a neighborhood outreach program. But God had bigger plans, calling Richard to leave the corporate world and enter full time ministry. In 1997, he and his family moved to Wooster to start Upward Bound Youth where they have housed and mentored many young adults. When he’s not preparing to teach, he is pondering ways to share the Biblical principle of pursuing (and practicing) the words spoken by Jesus: “the truth will set you free.” Richard enjoys walks with his wife and special moments with children and grandchildren. Though infrequent, watching or reading about extraordinary times and people throughout history is a pleasant pastime.
Margie has always had a mothering, yet adventurous spirit. Being the second oldest of eleven kids, she has loved having people in her home over the years. At seven years old, she said yes to going to live with extended family in Germany for six months. She hasn’t stopped saying yes to the adventures God has put in front of her, including packing up her life with four kids to move to Ohio for full time ministry. Margie has her associates in Early Childhood Education and has been a master planner for years of youth programs with UBY. Margie takes great pleasure in being an “Omi” to 11 grandchildren and the countless youth from the community. She is an avid painter and gardener, and is extra happy when she gets to use these skills for Youth Nights and with her grandchildren.

Co-Founder And Executive Assistant


Stephanie is passionate about stories–the ones we read and the lives we live–and is grateful for how God is weaving Redemption into all of His Creation. She has been involved with UBY from the beginning. As one of Richard and Margie’s children, she grew up seeing what a life of ministry looks like. Stephanie received her undergraduate degree from Bluffton University and her master’s from Ohio University. Prior to working with UBY, she spent eight years teaching high school English. This background has equipped her well for teaching at Legacy Bible Institute and in planning Youth Nights. Her husband, Cole, and their two daughters can be found alongside Stephanie at Youth Nights, making it feel very special that they get to grow up involved in UBY as well. In between momming and ministry, she loves baking, arranging flowers, and curling up with a good book.
Adam is a jack of all trades, which helps in getting things done around here! His time in the military and working various jobs gave him a foundation for hard work and team building, but more importantly, Jesus became his ultimate foundation. Adam loves getting to know people–especially those in need of a friend–and helping them find joy and success in life. His father heart can be seen in action on Youth Nights as his three sons tag along, and in how he mentors the young men throughout UBY. Adam and his wife Anita both come from big families, and they enjoy traveling around the U.S. and Canada to visit whenever they can. Whenever Adam gets the chance to be outdoors, especially to go hunting, he takes it.

Director of Operations

Director of Development and Human Resources

Krista loves working with children and making a positive impact on their lives. With a background in youth ministry, she has acquired valuable knowledge and skills that has prepared her for this rewarding journey. She has been employed with Upward Bound Youth since 2009 and this experience has allowed Krista to work closely with children from various backgrounds, ages, and cultures. She has had the privilege of organizing and leading engaging activities and transformative experiences that nurture personal growth, spiritual development, and emotional well-being. Through mentorship, teaching, and active listening Krista is committed to helping children discover their strengths, build resilience and cultivate a deeper relationship with God. In her free time, Krista enjoys playing strategy games, hanging out with her friends, and taking her two dogs on walks.
With over 15 years of experience in working with youth, Sam brings a wealth of knowledge in child development and program engagement. She pays attention to the small details ensuring a fun, safe environment where every child feels valued and included. Sam enjoys listening and is passionate about showing God’s love and helping youth uncover the depths of His character. Outside of UBY, you’ll find Sam outdoors---whether it’s hiking, kayaking or any activity that lets her soak in the beauty of God’s creation.



Judah was born and raised Phoenix, AZ, and moved to Ohio in 2008 to pursue Biblical Studies at Bluffton University. After graduating in 2010, he moved to Wooster to help with Upward Bound Youth and a small church outreach there. Judah has been involved in teaching and curriculum development with the Legacy Bible Institute since its inception in 2011. Judah and his wife Ana Marija are both very musically minded. They can often be found singing and playing instruments to encourage people in their community. They also love taking their new son on traveling adventures to see more of God’s creation and His children.

Our Affiliate Ministries

UBY is the engine that helps run these other ministries!
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