Loren Cunningham

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Loren Duane Cunningham (born June 30, 1935, Taft, California), is a founder of the international Christian missionary organization Youth With A Mission (YWAM) and the University of the Nations. Cunningham founded YWAM in the United States of America in 1960 with his wife Darlene Cunningham at the age of 24. They currently reside in Kona, Hawaii and are both members of the YWAM Global Leadership Team (GLT).[citation needed]

Early life[edit]

Loren was born on June 30, 1935, in the oil boom town of Taft, California. His parents Tom and Jewell (Nicholson) Cunningham were itinerant Assembly of God pastors who moved their children Phyllis, Loren and Janice with them as they planted churches across the Southwest. Loren’s maternal grandparents were traveling evangelists who planted churches in Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma and his paternal grandfather was an itinerant Bible teacher known as “the walking Bible.” Loren received his own missionary call at the age of 13 at a Monday night youth rally in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He attended high school in West Los Angeles at University High and graduated in December 1952. The following year marked his first missions outreach – an Easter break trip to Mexico with 11 other youth. He took a year of courses at Santa Monica City College and UCLA, before moving on to Central Bible Institute and Seminary in Springfield, Missouri, a school affiliated with the Assemblies of God. At CBIS, Loren served as Student Body President and also joined a singing quartet called The King’s Magnifiers.

Ministry[edit]

YWAM[edit]

While traveling in the Bahamas in 1956 as part of a gospel quartet, Cunningham received a vision from God. In this vision, he described waves on the shorelines of the continents on a world map, eventually growing bigger and bigger, covering the landmass. He records that the waves in this vision changed to young people covering the continents, talking to people about their faith.[1] This vision would inspire the beginning of Youth With A Mission four years later as a movement providing missionary opportunities for Christian youth after high school, regardless of their denomination.

Today, YWAM has an estimated 20,000 full-time workers in 171 countries and continues to focus in Christian mission work as a parachurch, non-denominational non-profit movement. Cunningham continues to be an active international speaker, with engagements in 30 to 40 nations every year. Because of his frequent travels and work in international christian missions, YWAM claims that Cunningham has visited "every sovereign nation on earth, all dependent countries, and more than 150 territories and islands." [2]

He and Darlene continue to have influence on the leadership of YWAM International, holding the title of Founders of the Mission. They are current members of the YWAM Global Leadership Team (GLT) and advisers to the Team 3 leadership of YWAM International.[3]

U of N[edit]

In 1978, Cunnigham co-founded the University of the Nations (known as Pacific and Asia Christian University until 1989) with Howard Malmstadt. He served as the university's president until 2010.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Cunningham, L., Is That Really You God?, YWAM Publishing, 1984. ISBN 1-57658-244-2
  • Cunningham, L., Making Jesus Lord, YWAM Publishing, 1989. ISBN 1-57658-012-1 (first published under the title: Winning God's Way)
  • Cunningham, L., Daring to Live on the Edge, YWAM Publishing, 1992. ISBN 0-927545-06-3
  • Cunningham, L. and Hamilton, J. D., Why not Women?, YWAM Publishing, 2000. ISBN 1-57658-183-7
  • Cunningham, L., "The Book That Transforms Nations", YWAM Publishing, 2007. ISBN 1-57658-381-3

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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