Collection 647 Oral History Interview with Loren D. Cunningham
Scope and Contents
Oral history interview with Loren D. Cunningham, in which he describes his early life, family and influence of his mother and evangelist father, the Assemblies of God church and evangelistic mission, role of prayer in their family, other influences on his spiritual life, accounts of growing in his faith and learning to hear God speaking, call to worldwide mission as a young teenager, education, early mission trips, moving beyond Assemblies of God circles, meeting his wife Darlene, dream to enlist young people to carry the gospel cross-culturally, early developments in formation of Youth With a Mission (YWAM), starting the YWAM school University of the Nations, and encounters with Billy Graham and participation at the 1974 Lausanne Congress.
Loren Cunningham was interviewed by Paul Ericksen on February 9, 2009, at 3:15 PM. The events described in the interview cover the time period circa 1900-2009.
- Created: 2009
Conditions Governing Access
There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.
Full name: Loren Duane Cunningham
Birth: June 30, 1936 in Taft, California
Parents: Thomas Cunningham (died at age 92) and Jewell Etta Nicholson (died age 93), ordained ministers in Assemblies of God
Grandfather: James Henry Cunningham, pastor
Siblings: Phyllis (b. 1933), Janice (b. ca. 1944)
Marital Status: Married to Darlene Cunningham in 1963
Children: Karen, David
1954: Attended the Assembly of God’s Central Bible College in Springfield, MO
Three Bachelor degrees: University of Southern California (USC)--Philosophy, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
MS in Administration of Education at USC, Masters in Psychology at Temple. (Finished graduate work in 1959)
Two honorary doctorates
1955: Started church with another man outside Springfield, MO, while in Bible school
1960: Co-founded of Youth With a Mission (YWAM) with his wife, Darlene Cunningham. (As of 2019, YWAM has an estimated 18,000 full-time workers in 171 countries.)
1978: Co-founded the University of the Nations (known as Pacific and Asian Christian University until 1989) with Howard Malmstadt, serving as president until 2010
Other significant information:
Ca. 1942: First sensed God speaking to him (unclear whether this was audible or perceived by the heart)
1949: Called to ministry at a youth rally
Ca. 1949: Preached first sermon after hearing God's call to the gospel ministry
1953: Went to Mexico with team of twelve young men to evangelize
1956: Had a vision of waves onto all the continents' shores, changing into young people sharing their faith (while in the Bahamas as part of a gospel quartet)
1954: Mission trip with friends to Mexico, twenty converts at service
Authored five books that were translated into over 50 languages: Is That Really You God? YWAM Publishing (1984); Making Jesus Lord, YWAM Publishing (1989) (First published under the title: Winning God's Way); Daring to Live on the Edge, YWAM Publishing, (1992); Why not Women? with J.D. Hamilton, YWAM Publishing (2000); The Book That Transforms Nations with Janice Rogers (sister), YWAM Publishing (2007).
Currently a member of YWAM's Global Leadership Team (GLT)
1.00 Sound Recording
Language of Materials
Accruals and Additions
The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives by Loren Cunningham in February 2009.
May 20, 2019
- Assemblies of God -- Missions.
- Assemblies of God.
- Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
- Central Bible School, Springfield, MO
- Children -- Religious life.
- Christianity and culture.
- Church development, New.
- College students -- Religious life.
- College students in missionary work.
- Cunningham, Darlene
- Cunningham, David
- Cunningham, Jewell Etta Nicholson
- Cunningham, Loren
- Evangelistic work -- United States.
- Graham, Billy, 1918-2018.
- Interdenominational cooperation.
- International Congress on World Evangelization
- KAIM (Radio station : Honolulu, Hawaii)
- Missionaries -- Appointment, call, and election.
- Operation Mobilization.
- Pentecostal churches -- Missions
- Pentecostalism -- United States.
- Sapp, Roy
- Schultz, Charles M.
- Segregation -- United States.
- University of the Nations-Kona.
- Youth -- Religious life.
- Youth with a Mission, Inc.
- Collection 647 Oral History Interview with Loren D. Cunningham
- Paul Ericksen
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Roman Script