The institution was founded in 1996 by a Korean missionary couple; Mr. Hyeong Lyeol Lyu and Ms. Min Ja Lee, under the name African Leaders Training Institute. In 1999, the name was changed to Kumi University. The university was fully accredited by the Ministry of Education & Sports in 2004. Arrangements are underway to attain a university charter.Efforts are underway to start a medical school at Kumi University.
The University is now owned by Kumi University Board of Trustees, a body corporate, composed of both local members from Uganda and external members from Korea. Kumi University also has a council composed of eminent members of various professional and vocations from within and around Uganda. This is the policy making organ of the university.
Kumi University accommodates believers from various ethnic groups, nations and church denominations. The main focus of the institution is to raise leaders who will serve the community in virtues of godliness, faithfulness and deep sense of accountability as well as transparency.
The university is located in Kumi Town, Kumi District, eastern Uganda, approximately 150 miles (240 km) northeast of Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city. The coordinates of Kumi University Main Campus are:1° 28′ 21.00″N, 33° 51′ 45.00″E (Latitude:1.4725; Longitude:33.8625). In 2007, the University established a second campus in the town of Soroti, 54 kilometres (34 mi) northwest of Kumi Town.The Soroti Campus handles the Evening Programs offered by the university.
As of August 2012, the university has the following functioning Faculties: