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Youth With A Mission

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Youth With A Mission or YWAM (pronounced waɪwæm) is an organization founded by Loren Cunningham with the purpose to involve youth in missions and make God known through young, short-term missionaries. Since it's founding in 1960, YWAM has grown and spread to have locations in over 180 countries and trains an estimated 25,000 short term staff annually. YWAM is a non profit and runs solely on donations and annual support groups.[1]

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Youth With A Mission was established by Loren Cunningham with his wife and co-founder Darlene Cunningham 1960. It started as a small organization focused on training youth to do missions. By 1970 YWAM had it's first permanent training center in Lausanne, Switzerland. 4 years later, DTS (discipleship training school was officially founded by Leland Paris, a YWAM leader. YWAM then expanded to Kona, Hawaii, where it started it's first university at the Pacific Empress Hotel. YWAM then continued to expand over the years until it reached it's current size of 1,100 different locations with over 18,000 permanent staff. [2]

The Mission

The mission statement of Youth with A mission is

As citizens of God’s kingdom, we are called to love, worship, and obey our Lord, to love and serve His Body, the Church, and to present the whole gospel for the whole person throughout the whole world. We of Youth With A Mission believe that the Bible is God’s inspired and authoritative word, revealing that Jesus Christ is God’s son; that people are created in God’s image; that He created us to have eternal life through Jesus Christ; that although all people have sinned and come short of God’s glory, God has made salvation possible through the death on the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ; that repentance, faith, love and obedience are fitting responses to God’s initiative of grace towards us; that God desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth; and that the Holy Spirit’s power is demonstrated in and through us for the accomplishment of Christ’s last commandment, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation” (Mark 16:15).
They as an organization believe in reaching out to the general population of the world through youth missionaries and various ministries to spread the gospel. YWAM's moto is "to Know God and to Make Him Known." They accomplish this by offering first training in mission work and in being a servant of the Lord, and then real world experience to those who partake in the ministry. Through this simple process, Youth With A Mission makes effective tools, out of part time missionaries. [3]


The first step in the YWAM "process" is the training. This training varies depending on the type of project an individual partakes in. There are two types of training in YWAM. One, and the main type focused on in the general volunteers, is a DTS or Discipleship Training School. This training focuses more on the individual's personal walk with God and on evangelism and apologetics than other, more hands-on, skills. The second is YWAM U of N, or University of Nations. This training process is more focused on training more permanent missionaries. U of N offers specialized study in areas such as science and technology, linguistics, the humanities, and Christian ministry.[4]


Of the different ministries that Youth With A Mission does, evangelism is its main focus and is the more "hands-on" part of the YWAM process. The bulk of their evangelism is the short term missions that follow DTS which are called YWAM Frontier Missions. Frontier Missions was the original evangelism outreach that YWAM was based off of and is its actual, physical, outreach to the world.[4]

YWAM Frontier Missions

Youth With a Mission station area map

YWAM Frontier Missions is a YWAM ministry branch that is a community of over 350 mission teams, some temporary, some permanent, spread out over nearly every country on the planet. The goal of these mission teams is to clearly bring the gospel to rural areas that wouldn't normally have any way of receiving it. It is mostly comprised of students who have completed a DTS and are in the real world stage of their missionary training. However YWAM Frontier Missions also has many permanent volunteers whom operate the day to day outreach. Along with general outreach YWAM FM focuses on bringing education, basic necessities of life (i.e. food, water, clothing) and much needed health care (see YWAM Ships).[5]

Mercy Outreach

The YWAM Mercy program is a large branch of YWAM that focuses on reaching absolute poverty in community through services. It reaches out to the needs of refuges, threatened children, those without education living in extreme poverty, those with overcoming addictions and those living on the edge of survival due to crises. YWAM Mercy is operational in over 100 different countries and works towards the goal of reaching 100 million people living in absolute poverty. Some programs include a children at risk ministry, micro-enterprise development, agricultural aid and health care ministry.[6]

Mercy Ships Program

One of the boats in the YWAM Ships fleet

The YWAM Mercy Ships Program is a branch of YWAM Mercy program that mostly focuses on the poverty stricken areas of the pacific islands. It is a fleet of medically equipped boats that focus on bringing health care to undeveloped parts of the world. The goal of YWAM ships is to give accessible medical care to areas and islands that rarely ever even get any contact with the outside world at all. Their outreach includes dental care, midwifing, general check ups and complex surgeries. In total there are about twenty five different ships that range from small cruise ships, to ocean going yachts and river boats and are placed all over the globe. Each is an financially independent unit but is supported by YWAM.[7] For more information on YWAM ships visit <> for a full video.


Basic outline for youth with a mission and what it is.


  1. YWAM about Youth With A Mission. Web. last accessed October 13, 2016. Unknown Author.
  2. YWAM history Youth With A Mission. Web. last accessed October 13, 2016. Unknown Author.
  3. YWAMFM values YWAM. Web. last accessed October 12, 2016. Unknown Author.
  4. 4.0 4.1 YWAM ministries Youth With A Mission Worldwide. Web. last accessed October 12, 2016. Unknown Author
  5. YWAMFM about YWAM Frontier Missions. Web. last accessed October 12, 2016. Unknown Author.
  6. YWAM mercy about YWAM Frontier Missions. Web. last accessed October 12, 2016. Unknown Author.
  7. YWAM ships YWAM Ships. Web. last accessed October 13, 2016. Unknown Author.