Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: December 15, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971966 | Print ISBN: 9781412940504 | Online ISBN: 9781412971966| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA)
Carter Julian Savage
Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) is an international association of local and national associations with a membership of approximately 45 million individuals located in 124 countries. Although its original mission focused on the development of a healthy spirit, mind, and body through activities for young men that embodied Christian principles, YMCAs today serve men, women, and children. Although Christian in its origin and affiliations, the YMCA of the United States is open to people of all religious affiliations. YMCAs were established in London, England, in 1844, to respond to dreaded social conditions in the urban areas. During the Industrial Revolution in England, young men came to the big cities to find work. Working long hours and far from home, these young men lived and worked in close proximity and became susceptible to the ills of the urban metropolis. George Williams and a group of similarly minded clerks founded the YMCA ...