unite in a common purpose to know god + make him known
Youth With A Mission is a global movement of Christians from many cultures, age groups, and Christian traditions, dedicated to serving Jesus throughout the world. Also known as YWAM (pronounced “WHY-wham”), we unite in a common purpose to know God and to make Him known.
Back when we began in 1960, our main focus was to get youth involved in missions. Today, we still focus on youth, and we also involve people aged 9 to 90. We currently have tens of thousands of staff (called “YWAMers”) and we work in thousands of teams and locations.
One of the joys of participating in YWAM is to work with people from many nations. YWAM’s staff come from nearly every country in the world, including places like Indonesia, Nepal, Mozambique, and Colombia.
As YWAM has grown over the years, it has developed as a family of ministries, rather than a highly structured, centralized agency. Although we have a global network of leaders, we do not have an international administrative headquarters. Our decentralized structure encourages multi-cultural leadership and the exploration of new ways to change lives.
Each YWAM location is responsible for initiating training programs, planning outreaches, recruiting staff, fundraising and defining their objectives and activities. All YWAM locations embrace the purpose of YWAM, to know God and to make Him known. They also are expected to uphold the values of YWAM and are held accountable to these principles and convictions.
YWAM does have a senior leadership group, called the Founders’ Circle, that meets once a year. YWAM also has a leadership structure for the University of the Nations and leadership teams for global ministries such as Frontier Mission, King’s Kids, and Ship Equipped Ministries.
To learn more about YWAM’s leadership principles, read the article from Loren Cunningham, YWAM’s founder, called “Spiritual Eldership.”
YWAM’s University of the Nations (UofN) is unique in its international missionary training scope with school locations in 160 nations and at 600 locations on all continents.
Although a student may study in the UofN without pursuing a degree, many students find a degree program beneficial in preparing for their life goals.
Courses can be taken one module at a time leading to a degree offered at the Associate’s, Bachelor’s or Master’s level. We encourage students to intersperse their studies with practical experience on the field, so that their learning and their service build upon one another. For this reason, there is no time limit for completing a UofN degree.
The Discipleship Training School (DTS) is an entry-level prerequisite for all other courses and all degree programs. All UofN applicants must first satisfactorily complete a fully qualified DTS, including the field assignment, before being permitted to attend any other course or being accepted into a degree program. The DTS is the gateway into the seven Colleges/Faculties and various Centers of the UofN.
“It has been my privilege over the years to observe and participate with Youth With A Mission on numerous projects around the world. Their focus on evangelism is always great. YWAM has a tremendous team of dedicated servants of the Lord and I always marvel at how God has been able to use them in so many strategic areas of the world.”
Franklin Graham, President and CEO, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
“We all rejoice in the way God has blessed this organization in reaching people all over the world for the Lord Jesus Christ. Keep up the good work. You have my support and my prayers. ”
Billy Graham, late Evangelist, Author, Retired from Billy Graham Evangelistic Association 2005
“I am a big believer in the roaring lambs philosophy of showing our faith through our actions, not just our words. That’s what I admire about YWAM–they take this philosophy worldwide!”
Michael W. Smith, Contemporary Christian Musician
“I have known the YWAM organization for some 30 years and I have grown to respect its leaders’ vision, dedication and passion for world evangelization. YWAMers are everywhere today and they are often on the cutting edge of mission advance. Since the days when I taught urban mission on a rocking houseboat in the Amsterdam harbor to an eager group of young missionaries, I have appreciated and praised God for this mission-focused organization.”
Dr. Roger S. Greenway, former Professor of World Missiology, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“YWAM’s training schools and short-term outreach programs have provided opportunities for thousands of young people who were raised in our affluent society to experience the reality of life in other parts of the world. Through these experiences, the students have found a greater understanding of the breadth of God’s love, and many have committed their lives to church ministry or missionary work. I am grateful for their influence on the youth of American culture and around the world.”
Dr. Dallas Willard, late author and Professor of Philosophy, University of Southern California
“The influence of YWAM and the leadership of Loren Cunningham, in character and constancy, has been, under God’s grace, one of the most determinative factors in bringing about the global Church’s renewal and impact in the last half of the 20th century.”
Dr. Jack W. Hayford, Founding Pastor, The Church On The Way; Chancellor, The King’s University
“I thank and praise our wonderful Lord for the world impact YWAM has had in helping to fulfill the Great Commission. Loren Cunningham along with the leadership and staff of YWAM has always been a great inspiration and blessing to me and it has been a great joy and privilege to work alongside them for the gospel. Their faith, boldness and zeal for our dear Lord have been a significant factor in this greatest-of-all-time spiritual harvests for Christ’s kingdom in the past 40 years.”
Dr. Bill Bright, late Founder and President, Campus Crusade for Christ International
“I consider them [YWAM] to be the most effective mission organization.”
Dr. Jim Engel, Founder, Center for Organizational Excellence
“Forty-five years ago I spent an entire night in prayer and discussion with Loren Cunningham. As he described his unique vision still in its infancy, I paused at one point and said, ‘Loren, if this happens it will change the world.’ How I rejoice that we now can look back and declare it has truly happened–and it continues to happen. YWAM, to me, is one of the most significant evangelism strategies in the history of the Church. What an extraordinary work wrought by our extraordinary God!”
Dr. Dick Eastman, International President, Every Home for Christ
“YWAM is a wonderful blessing to the whole body of Christ. Their courageous pioneer spirit is helping to take the gospel to the most remote corners of the world.”
Paul Eshleman, Founder, The JESUS Film Project
“YWAM is a powerful voice for Christ around the world. I am pleased and proud to salute Loren Cunningham and all of those faithful people with whom he has served over these four decades. May God continue to guide this pioneering venture in the years ahead.”
Millard Fuller, late Founder, Habitat for Humanity International, Inc.
“YWAM has made a tremendous impact over the years in challenging both young and old alike to make themselves available to Christ for service in worldwide missions. I remember when I first came in contact with YWAM in Nepal in 1973-76. In those days you were known as Dilaram House and you had a special ministry with world travelers. My wife and I were impressed with the dedication and the servant hearts of your workers. Over the years many of the children of our members have joined YWAM to work in various ministries around the world. Some of your short-term workers have joined us in the Bible translation task. We have counted it as a privilege to be partners with you in carrying out the Great Commission. We are praying that the Lord will continue to show us ways in which we can partner together in reaching the remaining unreached people groups of the world in the coming years.”
Dick Hugoniot, former President, Wycliffe Bible Translators International