The information on this page was last updated 10/12/2023. If you see errors or omissions, please email: [email protected]


Awana is a world-wide nonprofit ministry focused on providing Bible-based evangelism and discipleship solutions for ages 2-18. As the global leader in child and youth discipleship, Awana gives children the opportunity to know, love and serve Jesus, no matter their background.

For over six decades, the Lord has used the ministry of Awana to reach kids, equip leaders, and change the world. The unchanging truth of the gospel drives the same vision we've held all these years to reach children in every corner of the globe as we walk boldly into the future and continue to be used by God to help change the world.

The global Awana staff serves in over 120 countries, empowering local leaders in churches and communities worldwide. Whether shaping curriculum at our US headquarters, connecting with partners in the field or serving churches internationally, the Awana staff embodies one mission - to equip leaders to reach kids with the Gospel and discipleship.

We are disciples making disciples. Reaching more than 4 million kids on a weekly basis, God is using Awana around the world to form tomorrow's Christian leaders from today's children and youth. We have a front row seat to see what happens when churches grasp the vision of reaching kids with the transformational power of God's Word.

Contact information

Mailing address:
Awana US
PO Box 809
St. Charles, IL 60174


Phone: (630) 213-2000

Email: [email protected]

Organization details

EIN: 362428692

CEO/President: Matt Markins

Chairman: Gary Thomas

Board size: 9

Founder: Mr. Art Rorheim

Ruling year: 1974

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 06/30

Member of ECFA: Yes

Member of ECFA since: 2001


The vision of Awana is that all children and youth throughout the world will come to know, love, and serve the Lord Jesus Christ.

Mission statement

The mission of Awana is to equip leaders to reach kids with the gospel and engage them in lifelong discipleship.

Statement of faith

The Bible
We believe that the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, is supernaturally inspired, so that it is inerrant in the original manuscripts and preserved by God in its verbal and plenary inspiration, so that it is a divinely authoritative standard for every age and every life. (Matthew 5:18; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21)

We believe in one God that eternally exists and reveals Himself in three persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - having each the same nature, attributes, and perfections, worthy of the same worship and confidence. (Matthew 3:16-17, 28:19; John 1:1-2, 14, 10:30, 14:15-17; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 13:14)

We believe in God as absolute and sole creator and sustainer of the universe, and creation was by divine command, from nothing and not through an evolutionary process. (John 1:3, 10; Acts 17:24-25; Genesis 1:1)

We believe that God, by His sovereign choice and out of love for men, sent Christ into the world to save sinners. (John 3:16, 1 Timothy 1:15, 1 John 4:14)

God the Son
We believe that Jesus Christ was fully God in the flesh and fully man, that He was born of a virgin and that He lived a sinless life, in which He taught and performed mighty works and wonders and signs exactly as revealed in the four gospels. We believe that He was crucified, shed His blood, and died to pay the penalty for our sins and was raised bodily from the dead on the third day. Forty days later He ascended to Father's right hand where He is head of the church and intercedes for believers. From there He is coming again personally, bodily, and visibly to this earth to set up His millennial Kingdom. (Isaiah 7:14, 9:6; Hebrews 1:1-2, 7:35; Luke 1:30-35; Ephesians 4:8; John 1:1-5, 10-14, 14:3; Colossians 2:9; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Acts 1:3,11; Revelation 20:4)

God the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person and is God, possessing all the divine attributes. He convicts of sin, regenerates, indwells, baptizes, and seals all believers at the moment of their salvation, filling them in response to yieldedness with the goal of conforming them to the image of Christ. (John 3:5, 16:7-11; Acts 5:3-4; Ephesians 1:13, 4:30, 5:18; 1 Corinthians 6:19, 12:13)

We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that in Adam's sin the race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God. We believe that all men are morally corrupt, and of themselves utterly unable to remedy their lost condition. (Genesis 1:26-27; Romans 1:18, 3:23, 5:12; Ephesians 2:1-3, 12)

We believe that salvation is a gift of God and is received by man through personal faith in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for sin. We believe that man is justified by grace through faith apart from works and that all true believers, once saved, are kept secure in Christ forever. (Acts 13:38-39; Romans 4:5, 6:23, 8:1, 38-39; John 10:27-29; Ephesians 2:8-9)

The Church
We believe that the true Church is composed of all persons who are regenerated by the Holy Spirit through saving faith in Jesus Christ; that they are united together in the body of Christ of which He is Lord and Head; and are commissioned for the God-given tasks of worshiping, fellowshipping, teaching, evangelizing and exercising the spiritual gifts. (Acts 2:42,47; Romans 12:5; Ephesians 1:22-23, 5:23-24; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; 2 Corinthians 11:2

We believe that the establishment and continuance of the local church is clearly taught in the New Testament Scriptures. (Acts 14:27, 20:17, 28-32; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11)

The Ordinances
We believe the ordinances for believers are water baptism and the Lord's Supper as a memorial. They are, however, not to be regarded as a means of salvation. But both of which are an evidence of obedience and fellowship with the Lord. (Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 2:38, 41, 8:12, 35-38; Luke 22:19-20, 1 Corinthians 11:23-29)

The Christian Life
We believe that a Christian should walk in holiness and not after the flesh, with the goal of being conformed to the image of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As a new creation, walking in the Spirit, the Christian learns to grow in faith in obedience to Scripture, in prayer, in fellowship with the saints and in a life of service. We believe that the Christian will stand before the judgement seat of Christ and have his life evaluated according to his deeds. (Galatians 5:16-26; Hebrews 10:25, 6:18; Ephesians 4:20-24; Hebrews 11:6, 12:1-2; John 17:17; Ephesians 6:18; Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Corinthians 3:10-15)

Human Life, Marriage and Sexuality
We believe that human life is uniquely created by God, in His image, and for His glory. Therefore, human life is sacred from conception to its natural end. We believe every human being has value and dignity. We believe that God created humans as male and female. God designed men and women to be biologically distinct, equal in worth, and made to complement each other. God establishes the immutable sex of each individual and calls everyone to righteously express their sexuality according to the guidelines in the Bible. God designed sexual intimacy as a gift to be enjoyed by one biological man and one biological woman within the covenant of marriage. God instituted monogamous marriage to be exclusively between one genetic male and one genetic female as the foundation of the family and basic structure of human society. God calls unmarried individuals to a life of celibacy and married individuals to a life of monogamy as they submit to Christ. (Genesis 1:26-28, 2:24, 5:1-2, 9:6; Job 33:4; Psalm 8:4-8, 100:3, 139:13; Isaiah 45:9-12, 64:8; Matthew 19:4, 22:37-39; Galatians 6:10, Ephesians 5:31; 1 Corinthians 7:2; Hebrews 13:4; James 1:27)

The Second Coming
We believe in the personal and imminent coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead, of the believer to everlasting glory and the unbeliever to judgment and everlasting conscious punishment. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; Titus 2:11-13; John 14:1-6; Matthew 25:46; Revelation 20:11-15; 2 Peter 3:10)

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Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Christian Growth

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating736 of 111039 of 60
Fund acquisition rating1044 of 111155 of 60
Resource allocation rating734 of 111139 of 60
Asset utilization rating189 of 111012 of 60

Click here to read Awana's response to our ratings

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$4,323,667$2,934,408$3,859,821$4,378,473$3,830,495
Short-term investments$5,804,443$366,602$412,434$334,080$2,613,786
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$14,142,102$14,253,973$14,184,934$15,042,073$13,993,034
Long-term investments$679,830$511,437$670,181$684,352$1,157,016
Fixed assets$26,321$784,250$875,064$1,047,069$1,273,894
Other long-term assets$682,690$664,681$791,961$782,186$827,611
Total long-term assets$1,388,841$1,960,368$2,337,206$2,513,607$3,258,521
Total assets$15,530,943$16,214,341$16,522,140$17,555,680$17,251,555
Payables and accrued expenses$2,328,478$1,604,657$1,381,235$1,748,969$1,717,016
Other current liabilities$781,257$498,909$224,194$245,025$459,063
Total current liabilities$3,109,735$2,103,566$1,605,429$1,993,994$2,176,079
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$211,176$138,758$160,337$162,677$170,606
Total long-term liabilities$211,176$138,758$2,160,337$2,978,527$170,606
Total liabilities$3,320,911$2,242,324$3,765,766$4,972,521$2,346,685
Net assets20232022202120202019
Without donor restrictions$8,395,030$7,400,101$7,884,111$7,641,634$10,006,639
With donor restrictions$3,815,002$6,571,916$4,872,263$4,941,525$4,898,231
Net assets$12,210,032$13,972,017$12,756,374$12,583,159$14,904,870
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$15,976,483$15,125,935$15,745,442$11,013,972$10,968,315
Program service revenue$1,062,380$900,525$614,298$1,382,180$1,538,999
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$2,708,703$3,815$19,511$19,451$2,018,025
Other revenue$8,241,372$7,669,819$5,475,936$10,785,721$13,751,149
Total other revenue$12,012,455$8,574,159$6,109,745$12,187,352$17,308,173
Total revenue$27,988,938$23,700,094$21,855,187$23,201,324$28,276,488
Program services$23,784,569$17,246,090$16,177,002$19,120,867$19,133,826
Management and general$2,535,087$2,424,019$3,076,945$3,247,656$3,565,204
Total expenses$29,886,617$22,215,813$21,740,433$25,145,383$25,674,606
Change in net assets20232022202120202019
Surplus (deficit)($1,897,679)$1,484,281$114,754($1,944,059)$2,601,882
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets($1,897,679)$1,484,281$114,754($1,944,059)$2,601,882


Matthew MarkinsCEO$229,853
Valerie BellCEO Emerita$180,809
Kevin WhiteChief Operations Officer$173,560
Lawrence RootVP Technology$172,239
Brian RhodesChief Revenue Officer$160,076
Edwin GossienChief Ministry Officer$146,767
Steve CohoonGlobal VP of Revenue & Ministry Advancement$138,906
Kenneth ToellerVP of Finance$136,876
Michael HandlerChief Innovation Officer$132,897
Shawn ThorntonDirector$2,000

Compensation data as of: 6/30/2023

Response from ministry

Awana knows that the presence of a caring adult makes all the difference in the life of a child. When this relationship is centered on the Gospel of Jesus, the impact can extend into eternity. To that end, Awana provides proven and adaptable discipleship materials, meeting the developmental needs of children aged 2-18 who live in ever-changing cultural landscapes. Through these programs, local leaders around the globe are equipped to present the unchanging message of the gospel, and a generation of kids begin a lifelong journey of discipleship.

As of 2020, Awana is privileged to reach more than 4.8 million children around the world each week with the gospel.

The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 10/12/2023. To update the information below, please email: [email protected]


In 1941, the children's program at the North Side Gospel Center in Chicago laid the foundation for what would later become Awana. Lance Latham, North Side's Senior Pastor, collaborated with the church's youth director, Art Rorheim, to develop weekly clubs that would appeal to both churched and unchurched kids. As a pioneer in children's ministry, Art created new, innovative ways to reach kids with the gospel and lead them to know, love, and serve Jesus Christ.

As other churches learned of the program's success, they inquired about its availability. In 1950, Latham and Rorheim founded Awana as a parachurch organization. By 1960, 900 churches had started Awana programs; by 1972, Awana began its first international club in Bolivia. Today, children and youth in 126 countries participate in Awana programs and millions of adults are alumni of Awana.

Program accomplishments

Across the globe, Awana gives kids from every background and culture a place to belong, build confidence, and grow in faith. Awana continually pursues new discipleship opportunities by expanding locations and partnerships. God is using the ministry of Awana in prisons, refugee camps, slums, and other hard-to-reach places around the world, transforming the lives of children and, through them, friends, families, and entire communities.

In 2020, leaders of Awana co-authored Resilient: Child Discipleship and the Fearless Future of the Church. Resilient Child Discipleship looks beyond the tactics of everyday ministry and focuses energy on the few key factors that truly contribute to effective, long-term discipleship in the midst of a changing cultural landscape.

Also in 2020, to prepare kids to lead the church of 2050, Awana released Brite, a digital curriculum that is packed with biblically sound lessons, leader resources, and engaging media tools to raise resilient disciples. Serving churches and families, Brite is downloadable, offering flexible materials for the weekend space.


Awana expresses its ministry needs as follows:

Every day Awana lays the groundwork for life-long discipleship, ensuring that children around the world know the Word of God. The gospel drives our mission to reach kids from every walk of life, creating generations of Christian leaders who walk boldly into the future to be used by God to change the world. Around the globe, or around the corner, the timeless truth of God's love can be the catalyst to a life filled with hope and purpose.

In every country and every unique location, our vision and prayer remain the same: that all children and youth around the world will come to know, love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ. Our work focuses around three key pillars:

  • Increase Impact: Capacity Building and Innovation
  • Around The Corner: U.S. Ministry
  • Around The World: International Ministry