One base. A world of impact.
Welcome to YWAM Lausanne
Where it all started.
When you step onto the YWAM Lausanne campus, you encounter a rich heritage of missions. YWAM Lausanne was the first YWAM training location, and it continues to be a gateway into world missions today.
We are a community that trains and empowers leaders to go to the nations and engage their personal and professional world with the life-changing message of the Gospel.
New opportunities to become involved in missions are important. That’s why we offer training schools, local and international outreaches, and most importantly, an environment that allows you to cultivate an intimate relationship with God.
Today, the YWAM Lausanne campus finds itself on the brink of explosive growth. The current generation, like never before, is eager to create and participate in a new wave of missions.
We would like to invite you to discover more about us and pray how God could lead you to join the wave of missions and be a part of the YWAM Lausanne family.
Markus & Anita Steffen
A Missional Community
Engaging our world with the message of Jesus Christ
We are a part of something much bigger
To train and equip people to go forth and impact the nations
Transformed lives and communities
The vision of the Lausanne campus is to train and equip people from all over the world to be able to embrace a ministry vision for their future and their world.
For more than 40 years, the YWAM Lausanne campus has focused on equipping students to preach the gospel. The vision of the Lausanne campus is to train “young people of all nations” to embrace a ministry vision for their world. We are excited to pioneer into more nations using today’s advancing technology and the enthusiasm of our students. To achieve this vision, we focus on three themes: community, training, and outreach.
More than 40 years of walking with God through a rich adventure
We have had a great journey with God to bring us to where we are now. Although there have been challenges along the way, God has been glorified with every step.
YWAM Lausanne began in 1969 when Loren and Darlene Cunningham (founders of Youth With A Mission) started the first YWAM training program. Since that time, YWAM Lausanne has been and continues to be a community that equips young leaders who go to the nations and engage the world with the transforming message of the Gospel. Men and women who have come to reside in this dynamic, mentoring community have gone forth, telling thousands of people about Jesus, impacting communities and nations.
What’s happened throughout the years
Scroll through the decades to see our history.
1960s: Evangelism & first training center
Loren Cunningham received the vision for Youth With A Mission in 1960. After a week of fasting and prayer in New Zealand, Loren knew that God was leading him to start the first training school in Switzerland. In 1969, Lausanne became YWAM’s first training center. The first School of Evangelism was held, which later led to the formation of the current Discipleship Training School.
1970s: Training & pioneering new YWAM bases
New ministries, schools, and training centers emerged out of Lausanne during this decade. Don Stephens pioneered the vision for evangelism at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, and YWAM continues to send teams of evangelists to Olympic events today. Key leaders from Lausanne established centers for YWAM and the University of the Nations in Europe and Africa. These centers still consider Lausanne to be their “mother base.”
1980s: Mercy ministries & counseling
YWAM operates in three major categories: evangelism, training, and mercy ministries. The YWAM response to Thailand’s massive refugee crisis during the 80s is what solidified mercy ministries as the third category. Steve and Marie Goode guided the response during the 80s and ended up directing YWAM’s refugee camp ministry in Thailand. Another arm of mercy ministries was launched in 1982: Mercy Ships. The refurbished Anastasis sailed from Greece to provide medical care, relief and development to impoverished nations. This ministry continues today as Marine Reach Ministries.
1990s: U of N spreads new technology
The vision for the University of the Nations began in Kona, Hawaïi, in 1977. By the 1990s, the university began to gather strength in Lausanne as well, inspiring more training using new technology. The year 1994 saw the creation of the GENESIS project, a video conferencing system to bring important teaching to remote areas of the world. After a temporary closure of the base due to renovations in 1993-1994, Loren and Darlene Cunningham came back to re-pioneer the Lausanne base in 1995. In 1997, the Korean/English DTS was established in Lausanne and French and German DTS schools were also added.
2000s: Fresh initiatives in a changing world
The first decade of the 21st century was a time of growth and breakthrough. Growth in our Korean connection as year after year waves of Korean students passed through the doors of YWAM Lausanne to be trained for missions. Great breakthrough, as YWAM Lausanne was able to acquire the land that generations of YWAMers before them had prayed for. It was a decade full of many celebrations: 40 years of YWAM Switzerland, 50 years of YWAM International, and the University of the Nations workshop. These events were all held on the YWAM Lausanne campus during this time.
2010s: Expansion in ministries & reach
YWAM Lausanne has continued to expand into different areas as we follow the leading of God. We launched new tracks, such as A Disciple's Path. Tracks combine several schools into one timeline to give students a broader training experience. To care for more people nearby, we began a ministry to prostitutes and also expanded our outreach to refugees. Alongside ministry growth, we also sought to expand our campus to keep pace with the increase in our staff and students. We made plans to expand our campus with more housing and classroom space. We look forward to what God has for us next in this adventure that we live with Him.