Challenge, Equip, Influence.
“I began to tell Bob and Lorraine about the terrible needs of the world. I talked about how, in my opinion, the energy of the youth was thrown away. …
– We should recruit and send youth out to the world straight from high school. Then they would get a deeper meaning also for their further studies. We would send to them to missions for a couple of months or a year. Everyone would go work and pay their own expenses. No-one would get to see the world for free.
Bob turned to look at me and quietly said: “Let’s do that!” “
YWAM Finland Ry (Youth With A Mission, YWAM) is part of an international interdenominational mission and training organisation. YWAM’s motto is ”Know God and make Him known”. The organisation was founded in 1960. The purpose of the movement was originally to challenge young people to join short time missions. Today, YWAM still focuses on youth, but there are people from all generations involved in the ministry today including retired people. The ministry is divided into three main categories: evangelism, training, and mercy ministries. Currently Youth With A Mission operates in over 1,200 locations, in over 180 countries with about 20,000 staff members.
YWAM is a combination of different nationalities, and people work together in our organisation despite their colour, race, or gender. We come from many different backgrounds and speak hundreds of languages. YWAM sends about 25,000 people to short term missions yearly.
In YWAM’s university, University of the Nations (UofN), you can study many different fields like media, technology, linguistics, medicine, and different ministries. Most YWAM schools include classroom teaching, relationship bases discipling, as well as practical serving in international surroundings.
YWAM’s King’s Kids children and youth ministry involves tens of thousands of young people worldwide.
We share the global YWAM vision “know God and make Him known“. The three key words describing our vision in Finland are:
We want to challenge everyone to come to Jesus and follow Him.
Our goal is to equip every believer to live out the Bible’s message and to fulfil the Great Commission given by Jesus.
We want to influence both Finland and all corners of the Earth throughout all spheres of the society proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus in words and in actions.
YWAM operates interdenominationally as a part of Christ’s church.
YWAM is more of a organism than organisation, a family living together and learning life and knowing God from each other. You can join our activity and unity in two ways:
Short term: Helping hand are needed in practical work and making life happen. Contact directly the location you are interested in and tell them how you think you can be a blessing to them. Generally short term service means max three months.
Long term: After completing your DTS in Finland or abroad, you can apply to join the staff of a ministry you are interested in by contacting them personally. YWAM is constantly starting new ministries, so boldly share your thoughts, and a new ministry might be born thanks to your boldness and faithfulness!
Get to know our ministries in Finland!
YWAM Finland Ry
Support account: FI50 5069 0120 0508 09 (Osuuspankki)
Reference: 5555 (Donation to domestic ministry)
Owner of the permission: YWAM Finland Ry
Granted by: Poliisihallitus, Arpajaishallinto
Execution period: 14.1.2018-13.1.2023
Execution area: All of Finland excluding Åland.
Learn more about an opportunity to testament property to YWAM Finland Ry (in Finnish only):
Youth With A Mission (YWAM) affirms the Bible as the inspired and authoritative word of God and, with the Holy Spirit’s guidance, the absolute reference point for every aspect of life and ministry. Based upon God’s word, who He is, and His initiative of salvation, through the atoning work of Jesus (His death, burial and resurrection), the following responses are strongly emphasized in YWAM:
Worship: We are called to praise and worship God alone (Exo 20:2-3; Deu 6:4-5; 2Ki 17:35-39; 1Ch 16:28-30; Neh 8:2-10; Mar 12:29-30; Rom 15:5-13; Jud 24-25; Rev 5:6-14; Rev 19:5-8).
Holiness: We are called to lead holy and righteous lives that exemplify the nature and character of God (Lev 19:1-2; Psa 51:7-11; Jer 18:1-11; Eze 20:10-12; Zec 13:9; Luk 1:68-75; Eph 4:21-32; Tit 2:11-14; 1Pe 2:9,21-25; 1Jo 3:1-3).
Witness: We are called to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with those who do not know Him (Psa 78:1-7; Isa 40:3-11; Mic 4:1-2; Hab 2:14; Luk 24:44-48; Act 2:32-26; Act 10:39-43; 1Co 9:19-23; 2Co 2:12-17; 1Pe 3:15-18).
Prayer: We are called to engage in intercessory prayer for the people and causes on God’s heart, including standing against evil in every form (Gen 18:20-33; Exo 32:1-16; Jdg 3:9,15; 1Ki 8:22-61; Eze 22:30-31; Eze 33:1-11; Mat 6:5-15; Mat 9:36-38; Eph 3:14-21; 2Th 3:1-5).
Fellowship: We are called to commit to the Church in both its local nurturing expression and its mobile multiplying expression (2Ch 29:20-30; Psa 22:25-28; Psa 122:1-4; Joe 2:15-17; Mat 18:19-20; Act 2:44-47; Act 4:32-35; 1Co 14:26-40; Eph 2:11-18; Heb 10:23-25).
Service: We are called to contribute toward God’s Kingdom purposes in every sphere of life (Deu 15:7-11; Deu 24:17-22; Psa 112:4-9; Pro 11:10-11; Zec 7:8-10; Mat 5:14-16; 2Th 3:13; Tit 3:4-8; Heb 13:15-16; Jam 2:14-26).
The Foundational Values of YWAM are the expression of our basic beliefs, coupled with specific directives given by God since YWAM’s beginning in 1960. These shared beliefs and values are the guiding principles for both the past and future growth of our Mission. Some are common to all Christians everywhere while others are distinctive to YWAM. The combination of these beliefs and values make up the unique family characteristics of YWAM – our “DNA”. They are values we hold in high regard which determine who we are, how we live and how we make decisions.
YWAM’s Foundational Values are:
YWAM is committed to know God, His nature, His character and His ways as revealed in the Bible, the inspired and authoritative Word of God. We seek to reflect who He is in every aspect of our lives and ministry. The automatic overflow of knowing and enjoying fellowship with God is a desire to share Him with others. (2Ki 19:19; Job 42:5; Psa 46:10; Psa 103:7-13; Jer 9:23-24; Hos 6:3; Joh 17:3; Eph 1:16-17; Php 3:7-11; 1Jo 2:4-6).
YWAM is called to make God known throughout the whole world, and into every arena of society through evangelism, training and mercy ministries. We believe that salvation of souls should result in transformation of societies thus obeying Jesus’ command to make disciples of all nations. (1Ch 16:24-27; Psa 68:11; Psa 71:15-16; Psa 145:4-7; Mat 28:18-20; Mar 16:15; Act 1:8; Act 13:1-4a; Rom 10:8-15; Rom 15:18-21).
YWAM is committed to creating with God through listening to Him, praying His prayers and obeying His commands in matters great and small. We are dependent upon hearing His voice as individuals, together in team contexts and in larger corporate gatherings, as an integral part of our process for decisionmaking. (1Sa 3:7-10; 2Ch 15:2-4; Psa 25:14; Isa 6:8; Amo 3:7; Luk 9:35; Joh 10:1-5; Joh 16:13-15; Heb 3:7-8,15; Rev 2:7,11,17,27; 3:6,13,22).
YWAM is dedicated to worship Jesus and engage in intercessory prayer as integral aspects of daily life. We also recognize the intent of Satan to destroy the work of God and we call upon God’s power and the Holy Spirit to overcome his strategies in the lives of individuals and in the affairs of nations. (1Sa 7:5; 2Ch 7:4; Psa 84:1-8; Psa 95:6-7; Psa 100:1-5; Mar 11:24-25; Act 1:14; Eph 6:13-20; 1Th 5:16-19; 1Ti 2:1-4).
YWAM is called to be visionary, continually receiving, nurturing and releasing fresh vision from God. We support the pioneering of new ministries and methods, always willing to be radical in order to be relevant to every generation, people group, and sphere of society. We believe that the apostolic call of YWAM requires the integration of spiritual eldership, freedom in the Spirit and relationship, centered on the Word of God. (Num 12:6; 1Sa 12:16; Pro 29:18; Eze 1:1; Hab 2:2-3; Mar 1:35-39; Luk 9:1-6; Act 16:9-10; Act 26:19; 2Pe 3:9-13).
YWAM is called to champion youth. We believe God has gifted and called young people to spearhead vision and ministry. We are committed to value, trust, train, support, make space and release them. They are not only the Church of the future; they are the Church of today. We commit to follow where they lead, in the will of God. (1Sa 17:32-50; Ecc 4:13-14; Ecc 12:1-7; Jer 1:5-10; Dan 1:17-20; Joe 2:28; Joh 6:9; Act 16:1-5; 1Ti 4:12-16; 1Jo 2:12-14).
YWAM is broad-structured and diverse, yet integrated. We are a global family of ministries held together by shared foundational covenants, purpose, vision, values and relationships. We believe that structures should serve the people and the purposes of God. Every ministry at every level has the privilege and responsibility of accountability to a circle of recognized spiritual elders. (Exo 18:13-26; Num 1:16-19; Num 11:16-17,24-30; Deu 29:10-13; Jos 23:1-24:28; Act 14:23; Act 15:1-31; 1Co 3:4-11; Tit 1:5-9; Heb 13:7,17).
YWAM is international and interdenominational in its global scope as well as its local constituency. We believe that ethnic, linguistic and denominational diversity, along with redeemed aspects of culture, are positive factors that contribute to the health and growth of the Mission. (Gen 12:1-4; Gen 26:2-5; Psa 57:9-10; Jer 32:27; Dan 7:13-14; Act 20:4; 1Co 12:12-31; Eph 4:1-16; Col 3:11; Rev 7:9).
YWAM is called to a Biblical Christian worldview. We believe that the Bible – the textbook for all of life – makes a clear division between good and evil; right and wrong. The practical dimensions of life are no less spiritual than the ministry expressions. Everything done in obedience to God is spiritual. We seek to honor God with all that we do, equipping and mobilizing men and women of God to take roles of service and influence in every arena of society. (Deu 8:1-3; Deu 32:45-47; 2Ki 22:8; Psa 19:7-11; Luk 8:21; Joh 8:31-32; Php 4:8-9; 2Ti 3:16-17; Heb 4:12-13; Jam 4:17).
YWAM is called to function in teams in all aspects of ministry and leadership. We believe that a combination of complementary gifts, callings, perspectives, ministries and generations working together in unity at all levels of our Mission provides wisdom and safety. Seeking God’s will and making decisions in a team context allows accountability and contributes to greater relationship, motivation, responsibility and ownership of the vision. (Deu 32:30-31; 2Ch 17:7-9; Pro 15:22; Ecc 4:9-12; Mar 6:7-13; Rom 12:3-10; 2Co 1:24; Eph 5:21; Php 2:1-2; 1Pe 4:8).
YWAM is called to servant leadership as a lifestyle, rather than a leadership hierarchy. A servant leader is one who honors the gifts and callings of those under his/her care and guards their rights and privileges. Just as Jesus served His disciples, we stress the importance of those with leadership responsibilities serving those whom they lead. (Deu 10:12-13; Psa 84:10; Isa 42:1-4; Mic 6:8; Mar 10:42-45; Joh 13:3-17; Rom 16:1-2; Gal 5:13-14; Php 2:3-11; 1Pe 4:10-11).
YWAM is committed to doing first, then teaching. We believe that firsthand experience gives authority to our words. Godly character and a call from God are more important than an individual’s gifts, abilities and expertise. (Deu 4:5-8; Ezr 7:10; Psa 51:12-13; Psa 119:17-18; Pro 1:1-4; Mat 7:28-29; Act 1:1-2; Col 3:12-17; 2Ti 4:1-5; 2Pe 1:5-10).
YWAM is dedicated to being relationship-oriented in our living and working together. We desire to be united through lives of holiness, mutual support, transparency, humility, and open communication, rather than a dependence on structures or rules. (Lev 19:18; Psa 133:1-3; Pro 17:17; Pro 27:10; Joh 13:34-35; Joh 15:13-17; Joh 17:20-23; Rom 13:8-10; 1Jo 1:7; 1Jo 4:7-12).
YWAM is called to value each individual. We believe in equal opportunity and justice for all. Created in the image of God, people of all nationalities, ages and functions have distinctive contributions and callings. We are committed to honoring God-given leadership and ministry gifts in both men and women. (Gen 1:27; Lev 19:13-16; Deu 16:18-20; Psa 139:13-16; Mar 8:34-37; Act 10:34-35; Gal 3:28; Eph 6:5-9; Heb 2:11-12; Jam 2:1-9).
YWAM affirms the importance of families serving God together in missions, not just the father and/or mother. We also embrace the inclusion of single-parent families. We encourage the development of strong and healthy family units, with each member sharing the call to missions and contributing their gifts in unique and complementary ways. We uphold and celebrate the Biblical view that God’s intent for holy matrimony is between one man and one woman. (Gen 2:21-24; Gen 18:17-19; Deu 6:6-7; Pro 5:15-23; Pro 31:10-31; Mal 2:14-16; Mat 19:3-9; 1Co 7:1-16; 1Ti 3:2-5; Heb 13:4).
YWAM is called to practice a life of dependence upon God for financial provision. For individuals and YWAM corporately this comes primarily through His people. As God has been generous toward us, so we desire to be generous. YWAMers give themselves, their time and talents to God through the Mission with no expectation of remuneration. (Gen 22:12-14; Exo 36:2-7; Num 18:25-29; Mal 3:8-12; Mat 6:25-33; Luk 19:8-9; 2Co 8:1-9:15; Php 4:10-20; Tit 3:14; 3Jo 5-8).
YWAM affirms the ministry of hospitality as an expression of God’s character and the value of people. We believe it is important to open our hearts, homes, campuses and bases to serve and honor one another, our guests and the poor and needy, not as acts of social protocol, but as expressions of generosity. (Gen 18:1-8; 2Sa 9:1-11; Psa 68:5-6; Pro 22:9; Isa 58:7; Mat 25:31-46; Act 28:7-8; Rom 12:13; Heb 13:1-3; 1Pe 4:9).
YWAM affirms that everything exists because God communicates. Therefore, YWAM is committed to truthful, accurate, timely and relevant communication. We believe good communication is essential for strong relationships, healthy families and communities, and effective ministry. (Gen 1:3-5; Num 23:19; Pro 10:19; Pro 25:9-14; Zec 8:16-17; Mat 5:33-37; Luk 4:16-22; Joh 1:1-5; Col 4:6; Jam 3:1-18).
Loren and Darlene Cunningham are the founders of Youth With A Mission (YWAM), an ever-expanding global “movement of ministry organizations” born in 1960, which has reached into every nation.
Loren is also the founder of the University of the Nations (UofN), YWAM’s global university. Since its inception in 1978, the UofN has grown to offer more than 125 different courses and seminars.
Loren has visited every nation on Earth (including every dependent island). This has given him valuable insights into global trends over the past 50 years. He continues to visit 30 to 40 nations a year, and meets the poorest of the poor as well as kings, presidents, and businessmen on his travels.
Loren was born in California, USA. He is the author of five books, translated into nearly 60 languages: Is That Really You God?, Making Jesus Lord, Daring To Live On The Edge, Why Not Women? and his latest book, The Book That Transforms Nations.
Darlene was born in Vancouver, Canada. From an early age, she was aware of a distinct calling from God on her life. The course of the call became clarified forever when she met a handsome, single young man-with-a-vision named Loren Cunningham. After marrying Loren in 1963, she helped her husband co-found YWAM.
Today, Darlene is in charge of the leadership development and founding new ministries. One of her greatest heart motivations is to discover leadership gifts in young men and women, and to help them reach their full potential in God.
Loren and Darlene live in Kona, Hawaii where one of YWAM’s main ministry centres is located. They continue to serve in YWAM’s Global Eldership.
Youth With A Mission is a family-like-network consisting of different people and ministries. Each YWAM location and ministry operates fairly independently. YWAM has over 1,200 location in over 180 countries.
Administrating over 20,000 staff members is not simple. YWAM’s structure is decentralised and YWAM does not have international headquarters. Over the past years, the leadership structure had shifted more and more towards team leadership. Operating in teams is one of YWAM’s values
In practice each YWAM location is operating quite independently and is responsible for executing its trainings, planning its outreaches, recruiting staff, fundraising and financial administration, as well as defining its ministry focus. New ministries are developing fast, and it would be impossible to tell here about all the existing ones.. YWAM is international and multicultural by nature. Today about half of the staff comes from third world countries.
YWAM is a voluntary organisation on all levels. Staff members are not paid but are in charge of supporting themselves. This principle is true throughout the whole organisation starting with the founders Loren and Darlene Cunningham. In practice, the staff members receive financial support from churches, friends, etc.
YWAM staff are usually fairly young. One of the values of YWAM is supporting and equipping youth in leadership. Many work in the organisation only for a short period of time but others stay for life. The purpose of YWAM is to be a tool in God’s Kingdom.
All YWAM locations and staff members are united by the following:
- Every staff member has done YWAM’s DTS
- YWAM motto “know God and make Him known” (Is. 6:8; Matt. 28:18-20; Col. 1:10).
- YWAM’s values, purpose, and vision
- Three most important ministries: evangelism (Rom.10:14-15), mercy ministry (Matt.5, Eph. 2:10) and training (Mark.16:15)
YWAM’s locations and ministries cooperate and are held accountable by domestic and regional leadership teams. YWAM’s international leadership team is nowadays called the Global Eldership.University of the Nations (UofN) coordinates and supports all training. UofN also offers Bachelor and Master programs in several fields.
Check out the toggles below for more information about the UofN.
YWAM offers training programs in over 400 locations and over 100 nations. YWAM’s global university is called the University of the Nations (U of N). U of N is a global educational network consisting of eight faculties, and offers a wide course selection.
The U of N offers training in Arts, Christian Ministries, Communications, Counseling & Health Care, Education, Humanities & International Studies, and Science & Technology. The university seeks to combine traditional classroom learning with a discipleship atmosphere and practical mission field experience. The University of the Nations hosts students from all around the world, and most schools are bilingual. While there are seven main campuses internationally, almost 400 YWAM locations host U of N schools.
Most of the oldest universities in Europe and in North America were founded by churches to train servants for churches and the whole society. The same way U of N aims at growing leaders to serve the nations within the church and also in other spheres of society. Being discipled, growing in character, and growing stronger in God relationship, are important parts of the U of N trainings.
To apply for a U of N course, you must first complete the Discipleship Training School (DTS). You find countless training opportunities at the U of N home page www.uofn.edu. Once you’ve found a training program that interests you, you can get more information directly from the location offering the course.
Note: Not all YWAM schools are registered or approved for credit by the U of N. To find U of N registered schools (including DTS) you must check the www.uofn.edu.
Founded upon biblical principles, the University of the Nations (UofN) fulfills its commitment to Christ and His Great Commission by equipping men and women spiritually, culturally, intellectually, and professionally, and inspiring them to use their God-given abilities to communicate and demonstrate the gospel in all nations.
Viewing the world as both its classroom and venue for ministry, the University of the Nations is committed to teaching and developing Christian men and women called to evangelize and teach others. Special priority for service is given to nations, cities, and people groups which have had the least access to the message of the gospel. An integrated approach to ministry, including evangelism, meeting physical needs, and issues of justice are presented biblically and worked out practically.
The University seeks to broaden the scope of evangelistic endeavours by equipping students to serve in all areas of society (domains or spheres), in all nations, in response to Jesus’ declaration that we are the salt and light of the world.Learning to think biblically and discern spiritually, applying scriptural truth to every area of life, prepares students for going to the nations, through the various spheres of their calling.
The U of N approach to education is based on 2 Peter 1:5-8 which urges development of godly qualities, adding to faith: moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. This character development is emphasised through the lectures, assignments, interpersonal relationships, and daily activities from the beginning of the student’s education and throughout every course.
While committed to educational excellence, the University achieves its goals through an emphasis on knowing and loving God and seeking His revelation and guidance. Intercession and worship are an integral part of every course. God’s ways are lived out in student and staff relationships through forgiveness, openness, repentance, honouring the gifts and abilities of each person, unity, teamwork, hospitality, servant leadership and loving one another as commanded by Jesus.
Each course in every College/Faculty of the U of N is a “multiplier for missions,” serving to increase the workers, resources, and ministries for the mission field. International in scope, the courses provide cross-cultural training related to the specific educational content, and are designed to be applicable in real-life situations. Field assignments with cross-cultural experiences for every student are a fundamental feature of the University training programs.
Eighteen years after its inception in 1960, Youth With A Mission (YWAM) founded the Pacific & Asia Christian University (PACU), launching the first campus in 1978 in Kona, Hawaii. PACU was founded on the basis that students could be educated in skills to help them bring the Gospel into the foundational areas of society worldwide. A development guide was created to develop seven Colleges/Faculties and several multi-disciplinary Centres that would educate and train students in those areas. A master plan for the campus was prepared by a team of planners and architects who carefully considered the best environment for implementing the founding principles. University schools were developed rapidly in many nations and on six continents. Many of these schools were linked with PACU. However, the regional and local names no longer reflected the worldwide scope and unity of YWAM’s higher education. Therefore, the Board of Regents unanimously adopted the new name, University of the Nations (UofN), at their meeting in 1988. The name change took place officially on June 2, 1989.
The UofN is unique in its international missionary training scope with school locations in over 100 nations on all continents. Because the various nations’ accrediting agencies have major differences in their systems, the U of N has not, at present, applied for any one nation’s accreditation. The schools in U of N Colleges/Faculties adhere to quality standards and are all committed to excellence. The content of all U of N academic programmes is designed to be very close to the needs of a Christian in his or her chosen workplace, and courses require serious commitment and diligence. The courses are taught by expert staff who are widely recognised in their fields of study.
The University of Nations is unique. It is global, cross-cultural, and adaptable. Approximately 15,000 students a year take one or more registered courses in 60 languages in 400 locations. Our training combines elements of both formal and non-formal education, with a commitment to worshiping God in spirit and truth, in all that we do.
Universities first began as ministries of the Church, training leaders for the Church and society. In a similar way, the U of N seeks to train leaders from around the world who are called to the nations, whether they serve in the domain of the Church or in other domains of society. The U of N encourages people to take courses as needed to help them become more effective missionaries. Whatever the context or means of working out that calling, the common goal of obedience to Christ’s commission to go and make disciples of all nations is the prime motivating factor in developing training in the form of seminars, courses, and conferences. Some of the key strategies employed towards reaching that goal are described later on in this information section about the U of N.
The University of the Nations has developed a modular approach to education. The modular system enhances learning by providing students with intensive and focused time on each topic. Typically, visiting teachers spend a full week or two on their area of expertise, which allows the students to focus upon and absorb one subject at a time. The concentrated study of a single subject during a twelve-week term prepares the student to work effectively in a subsequent field assignment in a missions setting.
Another benefit of the modular system is the mobility it allows the students and faculty. For example, a communication student may take an introductory communication course and a photography course at one U of N campus, followed by a photography internship on the mission field. Then he or she may choose to take video and graphics courses at UofN locations in other countries. The student will not only acquire academic training, but also will gain the invaluable opportunity to live in the context of various cultures. These experiences impart a broader understanding of the world and how the student’s gifts and knowledge could best be applied to the needs in different nations. The mobility of U of N students also permits friendships among people of different nationalities, creating networks of international exchange.
The modular system allows for a different learning strategy. General principles across a whole subject area can be laid out first. Specific details are then introduced as needed to build a working knowledge and ability in the subject area. Thus the student moves “down” into more and more details as they are needed, but these are always in the context of the objectives and applications. This learning strategy has proven to be highly motivational for students because they relate the basic information to the overall purposes for attending the course.
Intensive educational programs which require cooperation and sharing among the participants, followed by the immediate field application of principles learned, is the essence of learning by doing. Research and development are critical to the basic purpose of the University and play a vital part in linking evangelism with the needs of people. Examples include:
• Food and water resources
• Community infrastructure
• Clinical and medical technology
• Government and business relations
• Informational technology (IT)
• Environmental sciences and stewardship of creation
• Family relationships
The live-learn philosophy is based on the idea of establishing a community where students, staff, and teachers live, eat, and study in close proximity for maximized learning opportunities. Jesus did this with the twelve disciples. Similar biblical examples occur in the schools of the prophets in the Old Testament and in Acts 19. These schools established a community of common values, in which “students” and “faculty” learned together and began to reach out to others to bring change in both individuals and societies.
We believe that learning takes place best in the context of relationships. The strong emphasis placed on building relationships among students and staff provides a secure atmosphere that optimises the learning experience. Informal education occurs through the in-depth relationships developed in a live-learn environment. Non-formal education takes place in many ways, but it is most apparent when students are on field assignments or internships and face tough, real life challenges. Formal education, with systematic development of concepts and presentation of information, occurs typically in the classroom, or with a tutor, or on the field. In all of these contexts students are encouraged to seek revelation, guidance and inspiration from the Holy Spirit.
The UofN live-learn concept is a community learning experience. It is based on the scriptural principle of a body of believers who are one in spirit and working together as a team toward the same objectives. For this reason, teamwork is emphasised at the UofN. Students are often taught to work in teams, such as medical or counseling teams, production and research teams, or traveling performing arts troupes. Teamwork implies a sharing of resources, ideas, talents and a working together in unity. The great variety of course-related activities provides a rich opportunity for relationships to grow among the students and staff.
Because of the modular system, students benefit from the knowledge and skills of resident as well as visiting resource teachers whose values are congruent with those of the mission. Resource teachers come for one or more weeks to teach in their area of expertise. Some hold teaching positions at other colleges or universities, while some are authors, pastors, missionaries, scientists or other professionals. Known nationally or internationally for their competency in an area of subject matter, these resource teachers bring richness and diversity to campus life. With the inclusion of resource teachers, the quality of the course is not dependent on one teacher, but on many specialised teachers. In addition, the visiting teachers are available for private consultation in areas of particular interest to individual students.
The U of N’s modular schools are coordinated by school leaders and their staff, who are full-time volunteers with Youth With A Mission (YWAM). The school leaders facilitate the visiting resource teachers, often teach part of the course themselves, and work intensively with school staff to train them to be leaders themselves. They not only bring continuity and integration to the course, but also they strive to bring a high level of unity and interaction among the students. School staff coordinate extracurricular activities for the students, meet one-on-one with each student, and assign and evaluate learning experiences.
You can read more about international history of Youth With A Mission in English on the international page.
YWAM history in Finland:
YWAM ministry in Finland began in 1972 when a team of Finnish and Finnish-Australian youth participated in a YWAM outreach to the Münich Olympic Games. The movement grew fast and Loren Cunningham visited Finland already the following year.
The first summer service in 1973 gathered over 150 young people to serve around the country. The school of evangelism (DTS predecessor) in Denmark was attended by 20 Finns.
The movement was named Lähetysnuoret. Since the beginning, evangelism, helping troubled youth, and training have been at the core. In 1974, a villa by Töölönlahti in Helsinki was rented for work space and reaching out to the troubled youth got started. Schools of Evangelism were organised also in Finland.
In 1976 YWAM ministry spread out to Sweden thanks to the work of Lähetysnuoret.
The work spread across Finland, and e.g. Christian bookstores were operated at the centres. In 1977 a global staff conference was organised in Kustavi. Reaching out to youth involved in intoxicants, or youth otherwise in trouble, became more active in Helsinki region.
Syvempi elämä (Deeper life) conferences were organised in the summers of 1977 and 1978, and they later developed into an annual summer event Karismakonferenssi (Charisma conference).
The first ministry center, Syväpuro in Siuntio, was started in 1978. More and more troubled youth came to Syväpuro for help. A men’s rehabilitation centre Karismakoti was later founded and operated there for years.
Tyyskylä centre started in August 1980. At most about 200 people lived in the community. Karismaviesti (Charisma Message) magazine was published from Tyyskylä. Also books and records were published. Some of the bands that were Natanael, Alabasteri and Konnakuoro. These recordings by Lähetysnuoret played a role in bringing worship music to Finland.
There was regular activity in Siuntio, the capital region, Kouvola, Hamina and Iisalmi. There were at most about 20 missionaries sent to serve abroad.
Teams participated Perjantai Kristukselle (Friday for Christ) work in Helsinki. The work was started based on Tapani Suonto’s vision. He was in charge of evangelism work at Lähetysnuoret. At one time over 200 people were involved the first year.
A Christian daycare was opened in the beginning of the 1980’s.
Lähetysnuoret also helped to run an underground DTS in Estonia in the 1980’s. This lead to founding of YWAM Estonia.
In 1985 Paul Hawkins challenged Finnish teachers to start a Christian school. Over 150 teachers attended a Christian school seminar that year.
King’s Kids started in Finland in 1987 in Tyyskylä, and the first King’s Kids outreach was arranged that spring. Many local King’s Kids groups were started in the following years.
Christian school started in Helsinki. Christian schools have spread to several cities throughout the years, and also Christian daycares have been founded. Many of Finland’s Christian schools got started from those small beginnings, but are operating fully independently today.
In 1994 YWAM’s ministries were reorganised under the name Missionuoret – Youth with a Mission Finland ry.
In the 1990’s and 2000’s DTSs were arranged e.g. in Porvoo. King’d Kids ministry took over
most of Finland. KK groups have existed in over 50 towns in Finland. In the 1990’s KK was active also in Lapland, and big international events were organised there e.g. Impact Tour and Arctic Explosion.
Finns were also part of founding and leading YWAM in St. Petersburg.
Ilonpäivät, which gathers King’s Kids groups together, were first organised in 1992. Ilonpäivät is King’s Kids’ main event starting a new year.
After the mid 2000’s , YWAM’s trainings restarted spreading around Finland: to Rovaniemi, Siilinjärvi, Evijärvi, and Iitti. The first own centre in 15 years, Koivumäki, started in Siilinjärvi in 2004.
Work in Rovaniemi was stabilised and Ruurikkala in Evijärvi started in 2008.
Cooperation in arranging the trainings was started with Perheniemi evangelical institute.
In 2010 U of N second level courses were organised in Finland again after a long while.
Work in Helsinki was relaunched and several events gathered people from different denominations. Also international outreaches were organised.
In 2014 Missionuoret – Youth With A Mission Finland Ry was renamed to YWAM Finland Ry to match the international name.
Cooperation with Perheniemi evangelical institute came to an end and new training cooperation was established with Finnish theological institute. YWAM Teopolis work was started in Tampere. In 2016 the first DTSs were organised in Tampere and Åland.
In 2017 seven DTSs are arranged in Finland: Helsinki, Tampere, Ruurikkala, Koivumäki and Rovaniemi.
The influence of Youth With A Mission on Finland has never been thoroughly studied. Nevertheless, the movement has touched thousands of Finns. Sense of community and actively reaching out, are important elements in YWAM. Many people who were involved already in the 1970’s, 80’s or 90’s are still involved in a way or another in missions or serving in different spheres of the society.
During the 30 years, well over 1000 men have been through Karismakoti’s rehab program. There’s about 10 Christian schools at the moment and also several daycares. There’s about 1000 people involved in the 40 King’s Kids groups today. In addition many Finns have been part of YWAM staff or trainings abroad.
But many visions are still waiting to be fulfilled. Would you be a part of this story? It’s not about YWAM but God and His Kingdom – and you!