University of the Nations

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University of the Nations
MottoTo Know God and to Make Him Known
Type Private
PresidentMarkus Steffen [1]
ProvostThomas A Bloomer [2]
600 campuses in 142 countries [3]
Affiliations YWAM

The University of the Nations (U of N) is an unaccredited Christian university. The University of the Nations operates under the umbrella organization of the Youth With A Mission (YWAM) network.


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. [4] As other locations were established around the world, PACU was renamed the University of the Nations in 1989.


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 degrees from schools without accreditation from a nationally recognized accrediting agency may be illegal in some states unless the school is approved by the state licensing agency. [5]

University of the Nations asserts that other institutions have accepted and continue to accept transfer credits, [6] including Houghton College, [7] 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. [8]

Campus entrance from the roadside

Notable people


  • David L. Cunningham, son of university founder and filmmaker.
  • Mina Chang, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the United States Department of State's Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization.

Visiting faculty

Commendations and controversies

In January 2018, Pablo Rivera, the chief financial officer for University of the Nations in Kona, pled guilty to wire fraud. [15]Rivera embezzled nearly 3.1 million dollars, amounting to $50,000 per month. [16] Before the fraud was exposed, the school's financial situation was critical, increased charges were applied to volunteers and students. [17]

In October 2020, University of the Nations in Kona was associated with the largest ever COVID-19 outbreak on the Island of Hawaiʻi. [18]

See also


  1. ^ PRESIDENT’S OFFICE), University of the Nations
  2. ^ PROVOST’S OFFICE), University of the Nations
  3. ^ YWAM Day Proclamation by Hawaii's Lt. Governor. November 29, 2010.
  4. ^ Mark Juergensmeyer, Wade Clark Roof, Encyclopedia of Global Religion, Volume 1, SAGE, USA, 2012, p. 1397
  5. ^ Diploma Mills and Accreditation - Accreditation, US Department of Education
  6. ^ University of the Nations-Accreditation, accessed December 11, 2010
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ Institute Search, Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS), accessed December 11, 2010
  9. ^ Disciple Nations Alliance referenced 8/DEC/2010
  10. ^ YWAM Publishing "Meet our authors webpage referenced 1/NOV/2010
  11. ^ Vice President, Food For the Hungry Int'l. referenced 15/JULY/2009
  12. ^ The Last Child-the Global Race to End Polio CARE Bios of Polio Experts, referenced 8/JUL/2006
  13. ^ UofN Visiting Faculty Profile page
  14. ^ CARE profile page
  15. ^ AP, Hawaii School Official Pleads Guilty to Stealing $3 Million,, USA, May 18, 2017
  16. ^ AP, Ex-Hawaii school official sentenced for fraud,, USA, January 10, 2018
  17. ^ AP, Ex-Hawaii school official sentenced for fraud,, USA, January 10, 2018
  18. ^

External links