We have a variety of ministries that serve our city of Salem and provide ways for you to get involved in missions locally. 

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The University of the Nations

Founded through YWAM's emphasis on missions training, the U of N is the world's first global university committed to teach and develop men and women spiritually, culturally, intellectually and professionally in order to fulfill the Great Commission.

Video courtesy of YWAM Kona

YWAM Salem is one location of a network of missions training campuses around the world






Students enrolled each year

From it’s start, YWAM has been focused on training and sending missionaries with the purpose of impacting all areas of society (business, government, arts, media, family, etc). It was only natural for an international and interdenominational Christian university to be born out of our strong emphasis on education as an organization. Since 1978, when you complete any YWAM Missions Training course, you receive credit through the University of the Nations (or “U of N” for short). Nifty!

What makes us unique?

Taking courses with the University of the Nations is not exactly like pursing a degree at your local state or private college. It’s a unique experience! Our modular education system allows you to focus on one topic at time in 12-week increments. You’ll hear from a variety of teachers (as opposed to just one professor), and get hands on experience outside the classroom (typically with international outreaches). You also receive coaching and mentorship with weekly one-on-one meetings with your staff. 
You can obtain an associates, bachelors, or masters degree through the UofN, selecting courses from 160 locations all around the world. Or choose to take just 1-2 courses! This allows you to test the waters in an area you may be vocationally interested in (such as missions, counseling, videography, biblical studies) without committing to a set degree program. The goal of the University of the Nations is for you to be immediately equipped and inspired to use your gifts and skills to further God’s purposes in the nations. No waiting around for a complete degree. 

The Entry Course: Discipleship Training School

DTS is the first course anyone takes in YWAM and in the University of the Nations. It's missions 101. After you complete your DTS, a whole world of specialized training opportunities in the U of N open up to you.

Take a course at YWAM Salem!

Explore our courses
Recky teaching
“After my Discipleship Training School at YWAM Salem, I decided to continue my studies with the University of Nations which is run on YWAM campuses throughout the world. As I pursued an Associates Degree in Christian Ministry, I learned necessary skills through hands on training. I’m from Papua New Guinea, but I got to complete courses in Australia, America, and Europe! More than gaining skills and traveling, by being with like minded christians, I learned Godly principles that have given me a solid foundation for life.  I would wholeheartedly recommend to whoever is interested in continuing their studies to go through YWAM, even if it is just a DTS or one secondary school.”

University of the Nations Student

More About Our Modular Education Methodology

Unlike typical universities, where students take several subjects in any given quarter or semester, University of the Nations students take only one 12-unit school per quarter. This gives our students an in-depth understanding of that subject. Each week, the school focuses on a different theme within that subject, instructed by international speakers who are respected within their fields. Each school is typically followed by an internship or cross-cultural field assignment to give immediate application of what was learned. We believe the best way to learn is by doing.

An added benefit of the modular system is the relational dynamic it creates. Most of our classes are small enough for our students to get to know one another well. From this comes many lasting friendships, greater cross-cultural understanding, and an amazing network of connections within the larger YWAM family.


Live-Learn Environment

Students in the University of the Nations live together in dormitories, study together in class and work together on each U of N campus. This community learning concept embodies the New Testament model of Christians who live and learn together and work toward common objectives. This family-style approach implies a sharing of meals, resources, ideas and talents in a spirit of love and unity. Our students and staff come from many nations, cultures, denominations and generations, and God forms us into a beautiful family. The live-learn concept gives students remarkable access to our faculty and staff, who model the life of Christ in many everyday settings. Through the combination of academic study and community life, students grow in character as well as wisdom.


Multi-Cultural and Cross-Cultural

Our courses are offered all over the world, with students from multiple nations in each school. You can complete your DTS here in Salem, Oregon and go on an outreach to Tanzania. Then you can study the Bible in Taiwan for nine months, then go to another location in Asia to teach others how to study the Bible for themselves. You will learn by doing and you can gain insights while you serve in cultures different from yours.



Because of the global breadth of our network, our courses are not accredited with national agencies. There are a handful of Christian colleges that do take UofN transfer credit and it is often granted through conversations directly with your higher educational institutions. Certain universities have even accepted U of N degree graduates into advanced studies (usually Master’s programs). There's no doubt about it, University of the Nations students gain the character and real-world experience that universities and employers are looking for.


How can you be a part of the University of the Nations?

Do a Discipleship Training School (DTS)

Our flagship missions training course, the DTS offers five months of growing deeper with God and impacting the world, all in a community environment. It’s prerequisite for not only becoming YWAM Staff, but also for YWAM's second level training schools

Learn More about DTS

Explore Our Second Level Courses

YWAM Salem is an official University of the Nations training campus. Upon your completion of DTS, we have a diverse list of courses open for you to take!

See Full List of Secondary Schools

Do an Evening Discipleship Course (EDC)

Don't have time for a full-time program in the U of N? No problem! The EDC is an 8-week Bible study, where you'll get a taste of YWAM training just one night a week. Perfect for working professionals and families!

Learn more about EDC