Brieft History of UKDW


Established in 1985, Duta Wacana Christian University (UKDW) is a further development of Duta Wacana Theological Seminary (STT Duta Wacana) founded in 1962 as a result of the merger of Jogjakarta Theological Academy and Bale Wiyata Theological School, Malang.

STT Duta Wacana was established to improve the quality of education for church ministers. In 1982, STT Duta Wacana joined the Assosiation for Theological Education in South East Asia (ATESEA) to further improve its education quality. Moreover, from this association, STT Duta Wacana received the highest accreditation in South East Asia.

Founded by five church synods, namely Javanese Christian Church (GKJ), Indonesian Christian Church Central Java (GKI Jateng), Indonesian Christian Church East Java (GKI Jatim), East Java Christian Church (GKJW), and Evangelical Church in Java (GITJ), in later years, STT Duta Wacana gained support from more church synods i.e. Christian Church of Sumba (GKS), Indonesian Christian Church West Java (GKI Jabar), Muria Christian Church in Indonesia (GKMI), Pasundan Christian Church (GKP), Protestant Christian Church in Bali (GKPB), Protestant Church in Western Indonesia (GPIB) , and Christian Church of Southern Sumatra (GKSBS) joined in.

These churches realized that to answer the need of higher education according to national development, STT Duta Wacana must be expanded. Thus, on October 31, 1985 UKDW was established. In the first year, Department of Management under the Faculty of Economics and Department of Architecture under the Faculty of Engineering were established. In 1986, Department of Informatics Engineering under the Faculty of Engineering was started. In 1987, Department of Environmental Biology under the Faculty of Biology was established. In 1991, UKDW establish Master Program in Theology. In 2000, the Faculty of Economics started Department of Accounting and in 2005, the Faculty of Engineering started Department of Information System and Department of Product Design.

In 2006, UKDW together with Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), State Islamic University Sunan Kalijaga (UIN) established a consortium that offer  Ph.D program namely Indonesia Consortium for Religious Studies (ICRS). In 2009, UKDW the Faculty of Medicine was established. In 2010, the Faculty of Theology started its doctoral program and in 2014 Master Program of Conflict and Peace Studies. In 2015, the Faculty of Architecture and Design established Master of Architecture. In 2016 Faculty of Business established Master of Management. In the same year, UKDW established Department of English Education.

Currently, UKDW has seven faculties (Theology, Architecture and Design, Biotechnology, Business, Information Technology, Medicine, Education and Humanities) with seventeen departments including Theology, Master of Theology, Master of Conflict and Peace Studies, Doctoral Program in Theology,  Ph.D. Program in Religious Studies, Architecture, Product Design, Master of Architecture, Management, Accounting, Master of Management, Biology, Informatics, Information System, Medicine (Undergraduate and Profession Program), and English Education.

Laying the Foundation of Duta Wacana – 1900s
Dirk Bakker and the Christian Duta Wacana University
Freek L. Bakker

Everyone going through the Jalan Dr. Wahidin in Yogyakarta passes the buildings belonging to the Universitas Kristen Duta Wacana (UKDW – Duta Wacana Christian University). Those who are older still remember the oldest buildings constructed in the first decade of the 20th century, which were much smaller. None of them had two floors. Everything was happening on the ground floor. The buildings consisted of a school building with classrooms and an administrative office at the front side and behind it in the middle of the territory a so-called pendopo, an open hall covered by a roof on pillars surrounding the space within the building. This pendopo was surrounded by series of rooms where students were living. At both sides of this complex some spacious villas were found where the teachers were living. Of this complex only the tennis court is left. Every year the founding of the university is celebrated on 31 October. It is said that the ukdw was established on 31 October 1906, but it is doubtful whether this is the right date. In fact, the new school in Yogyakarta was a follow-up of a previous educational institute, the Keucheniusschool located in Purworejo. This school was founded to educate Javanese Reformed Christians to become assistants (helpers) to the Dutch missionaries, but in practice the staff did not succeed to provide education exceeding the learning aims of a common primary school. Therefore the Synod of the Gereformeerde Kerken in Nederland, (Reformed Churches in the Netherlands) decided in 1902 to reform the school and move it to Yogyakarta. They chose for this city because it was one of the centers of genuine Javanese popular culture and life. The school buildings were already finished in 1905. The new school would consist of two departments. In the first department Javanese Reformed Christians would be trained to become assistants to help in the schools and the medical clinics and hospitals the missionaries had founded. This department resembled a primary school. The second department was to train assistants for the propagation of the gospel. Only people who had acted as helper were permitted to follow courses in the second department. On 4 May 1904 the Dutch missionary, Dirk Bakker was appointed to become a teacher at the second department and on 8 November 1904 Dirk Koelewijn (1869-1936), the director of a primary school in Koog aan de Zaan in the Netherlands, was appointed to become a teacher at the first department. Dirk Bakker was already in the Dutch Indies working as a missionary in Kebumen since 1900. The first department was officially opened on 31 January 1905.

Dirk Bakker and his colleague, Dirk Koelewijn, were officially installed as teachers on 30 August 1906. At this opportunity Bakker presented the curriculum of his educational plan. The course would consist of lessons with an introduction to and exegesis of both the Old Testament and New Testament, knowledge of the Bible, church history, canon (church) law, dogmatical theology, ethics, archeology, elenctiek (the art of refuting the teachings of other religions), and practical theology. Eight persons would follow this course which lasted two years. No new students were admitted till the whole course was finished because a part of the second year consisted of practical training in giving sermons and religious instruction (catechesis) and in visiting patients in hospitals. Then a new course would be started which new students could apply to. The course would be given in Javanese. It started on 6 September 1906, so the education of the second department had already started for some weeks on 31 October 1906. Therefore the conclusion is justified that the real dies natalis of the ukdw should be 30 August or 6 September 1906, as the second department can be regarded as the first attempt to create a more academic area exceeding the teachings aims of the primary schools. In this section of the school the Javanese students were initiated in the discipline of theology and in the house of academia. Another option for the dies natalis is the date of the foundation of the Keucheniusschool in February 1891 as the school in Yogya was still named Keucheniusschool.

Read More Dirk Bakker & UKDW

UKDW has a mountain-like symbol in the shape of a pentagon with black as its base color, as the symbol of Pancasila. Inside this mountain-like pentagon, there is the symbol of Bible in white color framed in black, to symbolize the Biblical faith. The white boat framed in black and a black cross is the symbol of ecumenical life. The yellow and gold rice grains also the white and green cotton sprigs symbolize the University’s participation in national development. The candle and its white light, the white dove framed in black, they symbolize the confession that only the Holy Spirits’ work will make it all happen. In the bottom part of the symbol, DUTA WACANA is written in black on a beige-colored ribbon which means the messenger of the Word.