College of Family Studies

Family Studies online is a website run by the College for Family Studies (FAM) to facilitate the online components of our training. The College of FAM is part of the University of the Nations (UofN), a university embedded in Youth with a Mission (YWAM). Our FAM training focuses on all missional generations – young and old, and including singles, youth and children. Some of this training takes place online, most courses are residential, on campuses around the world (see our events on ywam-fmi.org). As a UofN College, we aim to equip men and women with spiritual, cultural, intellectual  and professional training, and to inspire them to both continually grow in their personal relationship with God while also seeking to make Him known among all peoples in all nations.

Mission and Purpose of FAM

Our Mission:

To equip families, including singles, youth and children with tools and understanding to celebrate God’s design as sons and daughters; that they may be transformed and become agents of transformation, expanding God’s kingdom and bringing His blessing to the nations.

Our Strategy:

To impact the nations through training, mobilizing and research, accessible in every nation, language and culture. Sharing Godly family values and practicing them culturally and globally.

Individuals, couples and families are equipped with knowledge, skills and spiritual understanding necessary to create strong relationships and healthy families in their areas of influence.


YWAM Family Ministry (FM) activities started in the late seventies (1976) with family focused seminars, like Family Camp. From the start of the university in 1978, the Family sphere was part of the College of Counseling and Healthcare. 

The first Family Ministries School (FMS) ran in 1984 in Hawaii, with the focus on training workers for the growing number of Family Camps. At its peak this school ran on all continents, attracting hundreds of students. In the nineties the training, now including a strong counseling focus, developed into a B.A. and M.A. in Family Therapy.

In 1999 the Family Resource Centre (FRC) was established with an ad-hoc status and became a recognized Center in 2003. Led by Larry Ballard, its main role was to establish and oversee the Family Ministries Schools and Seminars, to network with the UofN colleges, and to see growth through local expressions of the center across the globe.

The need and desire for a Family Studies degree track culminated in 2016 in the second level Foundation for Family Studies (FFS) for the A.A. The team led by Merle Jacobs also developed the third level Advanced Family Studies (AFS) for the B.A. which first ran in 2020 online. Since the center could only oversee one second level school, these new schools and degrees were placed in the College of Education. There the FRC connected with KKI and Children at Risk training.

During a conference in Thailand (2018) Family Ministries International and the Family Resource Center made a mutual commitment to work together as one body, refreshing the unison between training and ministry.

FFS and AFS represent a new structure that facilitates students following a full B.A. degree in Family Studies. The team aims to build further, and would like to see in-depth study of topics fed from teams doing relevant research in specific areas (eg. Longevity of marriage, Sexual ethics). In 2022 the Family Resource Centre became the College of Family Studies. We believe this is a fitting umbrella for working together across multiple schools, degrees, networks and Family-related topics. It has the potential to bring together a stronger base for network, research, training and change in all cultures and people groups: transforming families, transforming nations.