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The University of the Nations (U of N) is a Christian university with branches in 600 locations in 142 countries, providing programs in over 100 languages around the world.[5] Its largest locations are in Kona, Hawaii (US), Jeju, South Korea, and Perth, Australia. The University of the Nations operates under the umbrella organization of the Youth With A Mission (YWAM) network.

University of the Nations
MottoTo Know God and to Make Him Known
PresidentMarkus Steffen[1]
ProvostThomas A Bloomer[2]
Studentsapprox. 20,000 worldwide[3]
600 campuses in 142 countries[4]


The institution was founded in 1978 as Pacific & Asia Christian University (PACU) by Howard Malmstadt and Loren Cunningham, the founder of Youth with a Mission, in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. As other locations were established around the world, PACU was renamed the University of the Nations in 1989.


The U of N offers associate's degrees, bachelor's degrees, graduate diplomas and master's degrees from its seven colleges. These colleges are the College of the Arts and Sports, College of Christian Ministries, College of Communication, College of Counseling and Health Care, College of Education, College of Humanities and International Studies, and the College of Science and Technology. There are also five interdisciplinary centers: the Community Development Center; the Center for Discipleship Training Schools; the Family Resource Center; the Student Mobilization Center; and the GENESIS Center. Its core program is the Discipleship Training School (DTS), which is required for all the secondary training programs. The DTS format of three months of lectures with weekly speakers followed by two-month outreach is adhered to by all the secondary training programs.


University of the Nations is not accredited by any recognized accreditation body. As such, its degrees and credits may not be acceptable to employers or other institutions, and use of degree titles may be restricted or illegal in some jurisdictions.[6]

University of the Nations justifies its lack of accreditation by stating that "validation by an accrediting agency in one nation could be limiting. With the U of N, students may begin their education in South America, continue it in the United States and complete their U of N degree requirements in Europe. This type of international scope is a challenge for accrediting agencies to validate."[7] Additionally, since the school does not pay staff, who work as volunteers, "the lack of salaries for staff could preclude accreditation."[7] University of the Nations asserts that other institutions have accepted and continue to accept transfer credits,[7] including Houghton College,[8] and the South African Theological Seminary.

Australia's higher education and training system lists University of the Nations' affiliated Institute for the Nations and Youth With A Mission programs in five locations as registered training organisations authorized to provide certificates and diplomas in several specified fields.[9]

Campus entrance from the roadside

Notable peopleEdit


Visiting facultyEdit

  • David Aikman, Author and former senior correspondent for Time Magazine
  • Forrest Mims, Electronics author and amateur atmospheric scientist
  • Darrow Miller co-founder[10] of the Disciple Nations Alliance, author[11] and past Vice President[12] of Food For the Hungry International
  • David Newberry, Senior Public Health Advisor, CARE- Primary Health Care Unit, Member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Global Smallpox Eradication Team - Ghana & Nigeria,[13][14] Faculty at Johns Hopkins University, Research Associate in the Department of International Health Private Voluntary Organization Child Survival Support Program[15]
  • Dan Fountain,[16] medical missionary for 35 years in Zaire (DR Congo), recognized authority on the treatment of persons with AIDS, faculty of the Christian Medical & Dental Association’s Continuing Medical Education Program and as an Assistant Professor at King College and Director of their Global Health Care Center master's degree program, International speaker and author of numerous books in English and French on community health and primary health care

Commendations and ControversiesEdit

A state proclamation of "YWAM Day" was issued by Hawaii Lt. Governor Duke Aiona on November 29, 2010.

In January 2018, Pablo Rivera, the Chief Financial Officer for University of the Nations in Kona, pled guilty to wire fraud. [7] Rivera embezzled nearly 3.1 million dollars, amounting to $50,000 per month. According to the school leadership, in order to compensate for the fraud, increased charges were applied to volunteers and students. [8] According to the Department of Justice press release, Rivera used fraudulent invoices from an outside contractor [9] to supplement his lavish lifestyle; this included plastic surgery, failed stock market investments and a gold mine in Sierra Leone.[2] [10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ about uofn (university of the nations), UofN Lausanne website
  2. ^ UofN Int'l. Office of the Provost website
  3. ^ UofN About Us page (Retrieved 11/DEC/2010)
  4. ^ YWAM Day Proclamation by Hawaii's Lt. Governor. November 29, 2010.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Diploma Mills and Accreditation - Accreditation, US Department of Education
  7. ^ a b c University of the Nations-Accreditation, accessed December 11, 2010
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ Institute Search, Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS), accessed December 11, 2010
  10. ^ Disciple Nations Alliance referenced 8/DEC/2010
  11. ^ YWAM Publishing "Meet our authors webpage referenced 1/NOV/2010
  12. ^ Vice President, Food For the Hungry Int'l. referenced 15/JULY/2009
  13. ^ The Last Child-the Global Race to End PolioCARE Bios of Polio Experts, referenced 8/JUL/2006
  14. ^ UofN Visiting Faculty Profile page
  15. ^ CARE profile page
  16. ^ University of Rochester Medical Center Christian Fellowship Faculty Bio page, referenced 12SEP2009

External linksEdit