Thane and Laura Ury
In 2004, Thane and Laura Ury joined One Mission Society, appointed to teach at the United Wesleyan Graduate Institute (UWGI) in Hong Kong, and since 2011, they have been on loan to Asbury University.
Thane grew up in the Far East, and in the mid-’80s, he and Laura pastored at the Chinese United Methodist Church in Chinatown, New York. While in Chinatown, Thane felt the tug to pursue more studies and later accepted a teaching post in the Religion and Philosophy Department at Bethel College. Thane began teaching at Bethel in 1989, started doctoral studies in 1992, and defended his doctoral thesis in 2001. For 15 years, he taught Old and New Testaments, apologetics, philosophy, and systematic theology at Bethel. He holds a bachelor of science degree from Asbury University, an M.Div. from Asbury Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in systematic theology from Andrew University. In addition to teaching at Bethel, he has taught by adjunct in Canada, Costa Rica, France, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, Romania, Singapore, and Trinidad. But his favorite classroom has always been in East Asia. Thane spends 5-6 months in East Asia each year, while working on Asian matters for the balance of the time in Wilmore.
Laura grew up the child of Salvation Army officers, earned a B.A. in art from Asbury University, has illustrated three published books and has had work published in the War Cry, the official publication of the Salvation Army. She has taught art for many years, both privately and in the Granger Christian, Bethel College, and Hong Kong International Christian School art departments. She continues to be involved in women’s ministries, as well as adding paint to canvas just about every day. In 2015, she completed her MFA in painting from Academy of Art University, San Francisco.
Currently, the Urys are seconded to (but not salaried by) Asbury University, with Thane serving as scholar-in-residence for Intercultural Studies at the university. This involves writing, research, some recruiting in East Asia, and teaching, but mostly focuses on a handful of Asia-related initiatives. Laura serves as assistant in every turn, and they both designed Asbury’s East Asia Semester Abroad. This includes their accompanying the Asburians for the entire 14-week experience. They also lead Bible study groups for the students who come from East Asia to attend Asbury, which fits their ongoing passion to disciple the disciple makers and leaders for the Asia of tomorrow.
The Urys have four children. Cameron pastors near Akron; Bethany serves as a missionary to the hill tribes in northern Thailand; Bryce is a freelance videographer and filmmaker; and Lauren is in her last year of university studies, earning a BFA.