Who are we?

Kerygma is a ministry of ‘Youth With A Mission’, with a special focus on the Catholic world.

We have Christians from different traditions serving together on our teams to:

  • be agents of reconciliation between Catholic & other Christian believers
  • serve in Catholic settings so that Catholic lay people can be trained and mobilized for effective short and long-term missions.
  • provide opportunities for Catholics and other Christians to work together to build the Kingdom of God

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More about Kerygma

Beginning in 1960 YWAM focused on giving youth opportunities to reach out in Jesus’ name through short-term mission work.

Currently thousands participate each year in YWAM through ‘Discipleship Training Schools' and other courses, as well as through short- and long term outreaches. Our full-time staff of over 18,000 lay missionaries serves in over 180 countries and more than 1,100 locations worldwide.

Although it has roots in the Pentecostal movement, YWAM has always nevertheless endeavored to cultivate a “heart” for all of God’s people. As doors of service opened up with Catholic groups in Spain, Austria, Poland, and elsewhere, it was only logical to walk through these, even if many “YWAMers” had little, in any previous contact with Catholics, much less training on how to sensitively serve them.

Much was learned over the years, and by the early 90’s YWAM not only had an ever-increasing amount of ministry in and with Catholic groups, but also a growing number of Catholics working on staff in some of the ministry centers. As one can imagine, this encouraging development was accompanied by a unique set of challenges. Foremost among them was to create space in this predominately Protestant mission for Catholics to participate in YWAM’s calling, and at the same time have these Catholics remain rooted in their church and be free to express their Catholic faith.

An international group of 35 Catholic and Protestant YWAM leaders met in Dublin in the summer of 1992 to examine this and other related questions. This “Dublin Consultation on Evangelization in the Catholic World” laid the groundwork for what eventually became Kerygma.

We have 3 ‘distinctives’ which define our unique calling as a YWAM ministry:

  1. Mobilizing Catholics and other Christians to reach the Unreached

  2. Kerygma strongly embraces what Pope John Paul II called the "New Evangelization", which includes evangelizing baptized Catholics. In addition, we believe in the importance of reaching out to people who, for one reason or another, have never had the opportunity to hear the Gospel message. Encouraging lay-Catholics to be involved in reaching out to those who have never heard the Gospel is relatively new in our era. All of our activities are meant to directly or indirectly lead to equipping the believer to reach the nations.

  3. Facilitating Protestants to serve in the Catholic World

  4. In the past, Catholics have often joined Protestant-initiated programs and projects. We also believe that God desires Protestants to be able to serve some Catholic-initiated endeavours. Kerygma wants to help facilitate this.

  5. Facilitating Catholics and Protestants collaborating to build God’s Kingdom

  6. We believe that true Christian unity not only entails mutual respect and appreciation, but also partnering together to fulfil Jesus’ Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). Part of Kerygma’s bridge-building call is to help facilitate this partnership.
Kerygma is part of the international, inter-confessional missions movement "Youth With A Mission".

Youth With A Mission is a global movement of Christians from many cultures, age groups, and Christian traditions, dedicated to serving Jesus throughout the world. Also known as YWAM (pronounced “WHY-wham”), we unite in a common purpose to know God and to make Him known.

Back when we began in 1960, our main focus was to get youth involved in missions. Today, we still focus on youth, and we also involve people aged 8 to 80. We currently work in more than 1,100 locations in over 180 countries, with a staff of over 18,000.

One of the joys of participating in YWAM is to work with people from many nations. YWAM’s staff (known as “YWAMers”) come from over 130 countries, including places like Indonesia, Nepal, Mozambique, and Colombia.

Learn more about ‘Youth With A Mission’ here

    ‘Youth With A Mission’ has eighteen Foundational Values which express the unique family characteristics of YWAM—our "DNA." You can read more about them here

    In addition to these, Kerygma has 4 other values:

  1. Catholic World: ‘Kerygma’ has a particular call to serve in the the so-called ‘Catholic world’.
  2. Reconciliation: ‘Kerygma’ has a passion for unity between Christians and between the churches. Furthering the cause of reconciliation is one of the reasons why we exist.
  3. Catalyst: We are a ‘catalytic’ ministry. Many of our main projects and programs have the intended goal of equipping other groups to do the ministry themselves – with or without us.
  4. Partnership: We have a high regard for working together with other Christian ministries, movements and groups. As a result, much of our training and outreach opportunities are collaborative efforts, or so-called ‘partnership programs’.

To learn more about Kerygma, you can explore online documents available here

Find out how you can get involved

Frequently Asked Questions

As we have already stated on this page, ‘Kerygma’ is a ministry of YWAM and as such comes under YWAM.

At the same time, we do endeavor to maintain a good working relationship and open lines of communication with the local bishop and parish priests. In some places, because of the close friendship and trust established by ‘Kerygma’ with a local Catholic diocese, the bishop might recognise Kerygma as a ‘diocesan association’ in order to give us a platform from which we can work with other groups in that diocese. However, the bishops with whom we work are clear about our identity as a ministry of YWAM.
No, there is no such thing as a Catholic branch of YWAM. ‘Youth With A Mission’ – including ‘Kerygma’ - is made up of and works with Christians from all traditions.

The "distinctives" and additional values that we in ‘Kerygma’ embrace, have to do with our ministry call and focus.

‘Kerygma’, like YWAM, does not take a stand on distinctive doctrines of any church, including the Catholic Church. So we don't have a unique "Kerygma doctrinal statement".

In the context of our call, we do prepare people - both Catholics & other Christians - to understand the 'Catholic world' that they are entering into, to serve as missionaries and engage with it in a fruitful way.

This means seeking to appreciate what God is doing in the Catholic world, seeking to understand Catholic teaching & practices, entering into & engaging with the Catholic world in a way that is honouring, relevant & effective. With this aim in mind, we do help our students & staff to explore areas of distinctive Catholic beliefs & practices, but always with the aim of information/ explanation, rather than formation i.e. helping them understand where the Catholic Church is 'coming from' in these beliefs & practices.

We also help our staff & students distinguish between official Catholic teaching & the spirit behind these teachings, as opposed to popular Catholic practices or ways in which they are practised, which in some cases can tend to be syncretistic and not reflective of official Catholic teaching.
Although Kerygma has a special focus on the Catholic world, we have an equal passion for reconciliation and unity between Christians from all churches and for Catholics and other Christians to work together for the Kingdom of God. So we don’t work exclusively with one church.
That would be the ideal and what we would love to see happen. Indeed it is beginning in some YWAM locations. Nevertheless, Protestants working side-by-side with Catholics in evangelisation and missions, is still fairly new for many of our international staff. Add to this the fact that there are still many misunderstandings and conflicts between believers from Catholic and other Christian traditions, in some countries of the world where YWAM works.

These two factors have sometimes unintentionally resulted in insensitive behaviour and an ambivalent attitude on the part of YWAM staff, students and leaders towards Catholics. This in turn has served as a barrier to wider Catholic participation in YWAM schools, programs and outreaches.

One of our desires is to help bridge the gap – when there is one - between YWAM and the Catholic world, so that Catholics can benefit from YWAM's many opportunities for training and service.

If you’re a YWAM’er who is interested in getting better equipped to work with Catholics and Catholic groups, read our Get Involved section on how you can get connected with us through the ‘Kerygma Network’ and get resourced and equipped for the same by signing up for our 'Kerygma Network e-letter'.

‘Kerygma’ consists of Catholics and other Christians working together, as we believe in living our call to reconciliation and working together to build the ‘Kingdom of God’. So on our ‘special focus’ ‘Kerygma Network DTS’s’ for example, we recruit a mixture of Catholics and other Christians to be students, staff & teachers. And it works!

Some of our leaders are Catholics, some are from other Christian traditions.

No we don’t convert/proselytize other Christians to become Catholic or vice-versa! We have had staff and ex-students who have decided to become Catholic during or after their time with us. We’ve also had Catholics who’ve decided to join another church, during or after their time with us. In each case, it was their personal choice and not because of any pressure or persuasion from us.

As mentioned above, in the context of our call, we do prepare people - both Catholics & other Christians - to understand the 'Catholic world' that they are entering into, to serve as missionaries and engage with it in a fruitful way.

Firstly, we believe that it is important to restate the obvious: We believe that Catholics and Protestants can learn much from one another. One of the unfortunate consequences of the animosity and divisions marring the history of Christianity has been a repudiation of important aspects of truth and Christian life championed by the “opposing” side. We believe that God wants His people to rediscover some of these deposits of His truth found in Christian Churches other than our own.

Some important elements of Christian life were absent in the lives of many Catholics until they were “rediscovered” through contact with Protestant brothers and sisters. These include things like evangelization, a systematic approach to discipleship, personal Bible Study and charismatic worship. In addition, Catholics who have participated in YWAM have greatly benefited from many of the treasures that God has placed into our mission.

In the same way, through their contact with Catholic Christians, many Protestants are “rediscovering” important aspects of Christian life and teaching which might have been neglected in their own church tradition. This list could include things like contemplative prayer, liturgical expression, community, and social justice. We also believe that there is much in the Catholic contributions to the Christian faith over the centuries from which YWAM can benefit.

Kerygma Teams desires to acquaint our staff – Protestant and Catholic – to important elements of both Christian traditions. Although the speakers who present their church’s position on issues are convinced of the rightness of what their respective church teaches, we nevertheless take pains to insure that the material is shared in an “informative” - as opposed to a “formative” - manner. This means that people are free to discover and learn and even appreciate the Protestant and Catholic contributions to Christianity without feeling coerced to embrace teaching or practices which are at odds with their personal religious convictions. Our goal in this approach is to help make our staff more passionate about the need for Catholics and Protestants to work together in building the Kingdom of God and not to downplay the importance of churches ensuring that their members receive “formation” in their respective faith traditions.

We can honestly say that Protestants in Kerygma have trained literally thousands of Catholics (mainly through our partnership projects) and have good relationships with a number of bishops around the world. These last 20+ years of experience have shown us that it is possible as a predominantly Protestant mission to effectively minister in the Catholic world and to have Catholics on staff, as well as participants in our programs. There are a surprising number of Catholic groups and movements who are open to partner with us in evangelisation and other forms of outreach.

We in Kerygma have seen the need for training and preparing Protestants and Catholics to be able to do this more effectively. We would love to share our resources with other bases and teams.

We have found that there are some things that are important to put in place in order to facilitate this happening:

• Protestant YWAM’ers who aspire to partner with Catholic groups should come with the intent of being a blessing to those groups and be willing to make sacrifices to do so. We aren't talking about sacrificing convictions of course; rather, we need to be willing to be open to new and perhaps unfamiliar ways of doing things. In essence, we need to assume to posture of being "learners."

• YWAM bases which desire to take on Catholic staff and students should ensure that there are qualified YWAM staff on base, who have an understanding of how to receive and train Catholics, in ways that are helpful. Admittedly, this is still a growth area in some YWAM locations.

• YWAM leaders need to build relationships with Catholic leaders and groups who are open, and communicate how YWAM programs can be beneficial to Catholics. Further we can establish collaborative programs with such Catholic groups with a strategy to recruit students and staff from these groups to YWAM.

• It is helpful if our Youth With A Mission bases can learn how to create a “safe” environment for Catholics who want to participate i.e. one in which they feel fully accepted as practicing Catholics. Regular orientation of YWAM staff regarding our mission's core value of being interdenominational/interconfessional and what this practically means in team life can help us achieve this goal. We also encourage bases to have mature pastoral leaders who can intervene and instruct if unhealthy discussion and disunity arise.
Kerygma, like the rest of ‘Youth With A Mission’, welcomes Christians of all traditions to participate in our programs and outreaches. At the same time, we especially cater to Catholics who might have had little or no experience in ecumenical training programs or missionary endeavours.

We strive to maintain a good working relationship with the local bishop as well as with local priests wherever we work. Through them we provide our Catholic participants regular access to distinctively Catholic elements like the Mass, Adoration and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

In addition, Catholic participants are assisted by Catholic Kerygma staff to integrate what they learn into Catholic beliefs and practice and gain new skills and insights which will help them serve more effectively in their youth groups, communities, parishes, and renewal movements.

After their time with us, those who choose to obtain more training and missions experience in other YWAM courses and outreaches will find greater ease in working side-by-side with Christians from other backgrounds.

Some ‘Youth With A Mission’ locations have had more experience in working with Catholics than others. Kerygma offers to help Catholics desiring to attend YWAM programs or work with YWAM on staff to identify those places outside of Kerygma, which we feel are best equipped to take on prospective Catholic students and staff.
In addition to outreaches and training opportunities, Kerygma also runs programs in collaboration with other groups. Contact your nearest Kerygma Rep to see what is happening in your region.


Kerygma DTS students


countries short-term missions


countries long-term work


of Catholics each year in partnership programs

Join the ‘Kerygma Network’

Over the years we have had contact with many Catholic and Protestant Christians who, although not “officially” part of Kerygma, nevertheless strongly identify with our values and vision to see Catholic lay people trained and mobilized for effective Christian service, to see Good News of Jesus proclaimed to those who had never heard the Gospel and to see Catholic and other Christian believers working side-by-side in building the Kingdom of God. The Kerygma Network was created for people like these.

By joining the ‘Kerygma Network’ you will be able to attend all of our Kerygma gatherings and staff formation programs and will have access to our Kerygma resources and training materials.

Secondly, we in Kerygma will make every effort to remain in contact with you. In some cases, you could actually become our Kerygma representative in your area.

Thirdly, if you have received the necessary training, you will be able to staff – and in some cases run – some of our Kerygma programs.

Lastly, if you run a program which embraces Kerygma's values and at least part of our vision, we will advertise if for you – even if it isn’t a Kerygma program per se.

If you are interested in joining the Network or if you want more information about it, contact the Kerygma Rep nearest to you or write our international office at: [email protected] .

We also invite you to sign up for bimonthly 'Kerygma Network e-letter'. This is much more than a newsletter: In addition to updating you about recent developments in Kerygma and partnering groups around the world, we will provide you with tips about how to do this kind of work in your area, recommend books and other resource materials, provide you with teaching in printed, audio and video format, and inform you about on-site seminars and coaching opportunities to help equip you for working with Christians from other traditions.

What People Are Saying About Us

Get in Touch

Contact your nearest ‘Kerygma Rep.’ to find out about what's happening in your part of the world with:

• Training Programs
• Short-term Missions
• Opportunities for Volunteers
• Staffing Opportunities
• Partnership Projects

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Kerygma Network

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Kerygma is a part of the YWAM global family of ministries.
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