From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
FoundersLance Latham, Art Rorheim
Type501(c)(3) non-profit religious
Area served
U.S. and Int'l (122 countries)
Key people
Valerie Bell, CEO; Matt Markins, President/COO; Art Rorheim, Co-Founder Edit this at Wikidata

Awana is an international evangelical Christian nonprofit organization in child and youth discipleship. The headquarters is in Streamwood, Illinois, United States.


In 1941, the children's program at the North Side Gospel Center in Chicago laid the foundation for the principles of Awana.[1] Lance Latham, North Side's senior pastor, collaborated with the church's youth director, Art Rorheim, to develop weekly clubs that they believed would appeal to all children. Rorheim served as the CoFounder/President Emeritus until he died on January 5th, 2018. [2]

Other churches became interested in the program and inquired about its availability. In 1950, Latham and Rorheim founded Awana as a parachurch organization.[3] The name is derived from the first letters of "Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed" as taken from 2 Timothy 2:15.[3] In 2020, Awana claims to work with 63,000 churches in 126 countries.[4]


Awana offers resources and Bible-based training programs for children ages 2 to 18 in churches. [5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Demy, Timothy J.; Shockley, Paul R. (2017). Evangelical America: An Encyclopedia of Contemporary American Religious Culture. ABC-CLIO. p. 13.
  2. ^ O'Donnell, Maureen (January 12, 2018). "Art Rorheim, who co-founded global Awana youth ministry in Chicago, dead at 99".
  3. ^ a b Balmer, Randall Herbert (2004). "Awana". Encyclopedia of Evangelicalism (Revised and expanded ed.). Baylor University Press. p. 45.
  4. ^ Smith, Samuel. Evangelical youth ministry leader Awana to release first-ever Sunday school curriculum,, November 17, 2019.
  5. ^ Awana, About,, USA, retrieved January 25, 2020

External links[edit]