YMCA Denmark

Denmark – National Council of YMCAs

Date of foundation of the YMCA: 1878
Membership Status: Full Member
Full member of the World Alliance of YMCAs since: 1898

Brief YMCA History

The first YMCA group, which was formed in 1878 in Copenhagen, began as a Bible reading fellowship. By 1889 an active association had developed in a sizeable building holding a restaurant, a library, club rooms and a full-time secretary. Simultaneously, but completely distinct from this, another YMCA association started to grow in the rural areas and small urban communities. This movement began in Jutland in 1879; by 1893 there were 135 associations with over 4.000 members. The Danish National Committee, formed in 1884, was affiliated with the World Alliance in 1898. In many rural areas YWCA groups developed alongside YMCA groups; very often it was therefore simpler to have one joint group for men and women.
In 1906 an independent National Joint Board of the YMCA/YWCA of Denmark was formed, but until 1976 separate YMCA and separate YWCA national board meetings took place in addition.

Major areas of work have been the Boy Scouts, physical education activities, work among the Armed Forces, social work among disadvantaged people and leadership training.

The Danish YMCA has been seeing its primary purpose to lead Danish youth to Christ and, in addition, to serve youth, so that they become responsible citizens.

Mission Statement

YMCA and YWCA is a movement for children and youth for the purpose of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The preaching of the gospel takes place amongst children, youth and adults according to the Bible in order to strengthen faith and community,
to participate in the life of the congregation and in service,
to take responsibility and have influence in the movement, in the church and in society.

The basis for YMCA and YWCA is the confession of the Holy Trinity.
God sent his son to save the World,
and God sends the Holy Spirit to enlighten and guide
so that man is sent on mission with the gospel.
YMCA and YWCA sees itself as part of this mission.

YMCA and YWCA is an ecumenical movement and is based on the teachings of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark.

Main Programmes

The YMCA and YWCA in Denmark hosts a wide range of activities aimed at different age groups. Most activities target children and youth, but we also have programs for adults and families.

Program activities include leadership training, Christian education, Ten Sing, international exposure and solidarity work, festivals, summer camps, and club activities for children and youth.


YMCA and YWCA of Kolding
YMCA of Esbjerg