By the 1930s several overseas missions had established a widely scattered presence throughout the vast region of pre-partition Punjab. Both the American Presbyterians and the Methodists had a number of small schools with only a few students and a couple of teachers. This situation might have continued unchanged if the Great Depression had not happened. It brought with it severe financial difficulties and hard-pressed mission managers thought it prudent to pool the resources of several small schools in order to manage a single larger school. This strategy, which was widely used in the United States, was called consolidation of schools. Accordingly mission managers decided to close down several small schools and build a residential high school. In this manner the vision of a large central high school, established and administered by inter-denominational effort took shape.
In the late 1930s a delegation of the AP mission traveled the length and breadth of Punjab in order to identify the schools, which could be wound up and merged into one. They decided to close down the Lower Middle School in Shadara and Kasur (both towns are now in Pakistan), Middle School for village teachers, Moga and Middle Boarding School and Teacher Training School for Girls, Ambala. The Methodists, on their part, decided to wind up their schools in Raiwind and Khanewal, (both places are now in Pakistan).
It was then time to select a suitable location for the central school. The participating missions looked at sites in Shadara, Kasur, Ferozpur, Moga and Sahnewal in Ludhiana District. Had it not been for a severe flood which ravaged Ludhiana and The surrounding areas, the missions would have purchased the site in Sahnewal. It became necessary to look for a site in an area less prone to floods than Ludhiana was. That place was to be Suranussi, about 8 kms from the Jalandhar city centre. Having selected the location the missions constituted a governing body for the central school and registered it as The Board of Directors of the United Christian Schools of the Punjab on June 4th, 1941 under the Registration of Societies Act, 1860 at Lahore.
However, classes could begin only two years later after the United Christain School (UCS) had bought a partially constructed house along with the three acres of land around it. Only two of the rooms had a roof over it and the rest of the roof had to be laid hastily so as to provide living space for about forty boys and their caretakers. This was the boys wing of the UCS. The girls wing was housed about 7 kms from Suranussi in the vacant hostel building of an already existing school. A year later the UCS bought a two hundred acre stretch of land exactly to the south-west of the first site. Over the next two-and-a-half years, three residential houses and a hostel building were constructed and made ready for occupation in the summer of 1948. The UCS master plan was drawn up in 1950 and thereafter, the main school buildings and faculty residences were constructed.
Thus, the UCS begun on a very modest scale. Over the past fifty years it has grown considerably. The UCS itself was re-christened as the United Christian Institute in 1970. The boy's wing of the UCS is now called the United Christian Senior Secondary School for Boys; The girls wing is called the United Christian High School for Girls. In 1952 our vocational training wing, the Industrial Training Centre, was established, the Christian Model School now called St. Thomas School in 1972, and most recently, the United Christian Primary School established in 1993.
Through the past fifty years the management of the UCS, and later, of the UCI has been in the hands of the Board of Directors of the United Christian Institute. It includes representatives of the Church of North India and the Methodist Church. The director-manager handles the day-to-day administration of the institute.