With over 1,200 campuses in over 180 countries, you can bet that YWAM is a great place to have new experiences. Whether you are staff, DTS student, or part of a missions team, you are sure to travel, experience missions, make friends, learn about different cultures, and ultimately, gain a more meaningful relationship with God. One thing many may not realize is that you can add “pursuit of higher education” to this list!
The University of Nations (UofN) is YWAM’s own University. Established in 1978 as the Pacific & Asia Christian University, the UofN was established 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.” (1) As the name suggests, the Kona, Hawaii based school was originally intended to serve certain areas, but soon outgrew the Asian-Pacific area, prompting the name of the university to change in 1989.
The University offers courses in eight distinct colleges or centres:
- Arts & Sports
- Christian Ministries
- Counseling & Healthcare
- Humanities & International Studies
- Science & Technology
- International Centres
Within these colleges/centres, you can earn an Associates’s, Bachelors’s, and in some cases, a Masters’s degree! Here is the best part: even though the physical university is based in Kona, you can complete courses/schools at many YWAM locations around the world!
There are many benefits to pursuing higher education with YWAM including:
- YWAM’s courses are extremely immersive, many times including a lecture phase (on-campus) and an outreach phase (off-campus, either locally or internationally)
- Potentially taking courses in a country you are serving in or would like to serve in eventually, or in an area, you have always wanted to visit. (Typically students live on or near the campus they are taking courses)
- By the nature of these courses being international, your global network of friends expands (Maybe you can even learn a new language!)
- If you have previously completed college courses, there is a chance that some course credits may transfer to the UofN
- You can take courses even if you don’t want to earn a degree! (You just have to complete all of the required pre-requisites for your chosen course!)
Unfortunately, due to the global reach of the UofN, there are sometimes a few drawbacks:
- Not all courses may be available in your native language or in countries accessible by your home country’s passport.
- Typically, you would need to raise funds for your course/school BEFORE beginning school. Since the courses are immersive, you wouldn’t usually get the chance to work and take the courses at the same time
- In most cases, due to their immersive nature, you would only be able to take one course at a time.
Regardless of what your goals are, you should make it a point to check out the UofN website to see all of the courses they offer and WHERE they are offered!