Youth With A Mission
The University of the Nations was born out of Youth With A Mission (YWAM), a highly decentralized international movement of Christians from many denominations dedicated to presenting the person of Jesus Christ to this generation and to training and equipping many believers in that endeavor. As citizens of God’s kingdom, YWAM staff seek to love, worship, and obey their Lord, to love and serve His Body, the Church, and to present the whole gospel for the whole person throughout the whole world.
A statement of belief unites YWAM workers. “We believe that the Bible is God’s inspired and authoritative word revealing that Jesus Christ is God’s Son; that man is created in God’s image; that God created us to have eternal life through Jesus Christ; that although all men 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 men 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 Gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)
University of the Nations: History
Pacific & Asia Christian University (PACU) was founded in 1978 in Kona, Hawaii, USA. It was founded to train students in ministering the love of Christ and teaching others according to the command of Christ to make disciples of all nations, in all spheres of society. A development guide was written to create seven colleges and several multidisciplinary centres that would develop schools, seminars, and other training modules in these subject 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 of the 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 the various higher education activities. 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 160 nations and at 600 locations on all continents. Because national accrediting agencies have major differences in their systems, the UofN has not, at present, applied for any one nation’s accreditation.
Founding Principles of the University of the Nations
Founded upon biblical principles, the University of the Nations (UofN) fulfills its commitment to Christ and His Great Commission by equipping men and women with spiritual, cultural, intellectual, and professional training, and inspiring them to continually grow in their personal relationship with God while also seeking to make Him known among all peoples 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 “make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:19-20). 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, training, and the meeting of physical needs, is presented biblically and worked out practically.
The University seeks to broaden the scope of evangelistic endeavors by equipping students to serve in all spheres of society, 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 where they are called to serve.
The UofN 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 an integral part of the curriculum and is imparted through lectures, learning assignments, interpersonal relationships, and daily life, throughout the entire University of the Nations experience.
While committed to educational excellence, the UofN achieves its goals through an emphasis on knowing and loving God and seeking His revelation and guidance. Students in every course participate in regular times of intercession and worship. 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 UofN 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 programmes.
The University of the Nations takes a global, cross-cultural, and flexible training approach. Approximately 17,500 students a year take one or more registered courses in over 97 languages at more than 550 locations on all continents. Our training combines elements of both formal and non-formal education, with a commitment to worshiping God in spirit and truth, making room for that expression 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 UofN 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. Whatever the context, 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 below.
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 UofN and YWAM. 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 specialized teachers. In addition, the visiting teachers are available for private consultation in areas of particular interest to individual students.
As a “multiplier for missions” each UofN course, seminar and field assignment is intentionally designed to increase workers, resources, and ministries for the mission field. One of the University’s distinctives is the close link between classroom training and on-the-field practical application. This University both equips for and does missions in the context of the training programmes. Any student who receives a degree from the University of the Nations will have already participated in numerous mission endeavors. Taking seriously the teaching component of the Great Commission, we seek to train teachers who will go to the nations through the various areas represented by the Colleges/Faculties (Education, Health Care, Science and Technology, etc.). Learning the skills in these professions in the context of a biblical worldview becomes the means to the end of teaching the nations, applying biblical principles to all areas of life from economics and education to church life and conduct.