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.