The information in this column was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 6/22/2021. To update the information in this column, please email:


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:
One East Bode Rd.
Streamwood, IL 60107-6658


Phone: (630) 213-2000


Organization details

EIN: 362428692

CEO/President: Valerie Bell

Chairman: Gary Thomas

Board size: 9

Founder: Mr. Art Rorheim

Year founded: 1950

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

Awana uses the following to express its Statement of Faith:

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, 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 that 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)

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, 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 the 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, 7:25; 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)

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)

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)

We believe that the local church is autonomous and free of any external authority or control. (Acts 13:1-4, 20:28; Romans 16:1, 4; 1 Corinthians 3:9, 16, 5:4-7, 13; 1 Peter 5:1-4)

We believe the ordinances for the believer are water baptism by immersion 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)

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 judgment seat of Christ to have his life evaluated according to his deeds. (Galatians 5:16-26; Hebrews 10:25; 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)

We believe in the personal, premillennial 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)

Transparency grade


To understand our transparency grade, click here.

Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Leadership Training

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating694 of 94013 of 20
Fund acquisition rating706 of 94216 of 20
Resource allocation rating551 of 9428 of 20
Asset utilization rating510 of 94011 of 20

Click here to read Awana's response to our ratings

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$4,378,473$3,830,495$4,387,164$5,590,577$4,626,692
Short-term investments$372,588$2,652,436$2,829,780$1,670,867$2,510,565
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$15,080,581$14,031,684$10,964,887$10,509,150$9,469,685
Long-term investments$645,844$1,118,366$1,356,310$1,440,212$1,058,311
Fixed assets$1,047,069$1,273,894$3,721,786$4,967,389$5,755,825
Other long-term assets$782,186$827,611$838,669$981,680$1,032,405
Total long-term assets$2,475,099$3,219,871$5,916,765$7,389,281$7,846,541
Total assets$17,555,680$17,251,555$16,881,652$17,898,431$17,316,226
Payables and accrued expenses$1,748,969$1,717,016$2,061,835$2,399,511$2,002,598
Other current liabilities$245,025$459,063$510,646$596,708$878,156
Total current liabilities$1,993,994$2,176,079$2,572,481$2,996,219$2,880,754
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$162,677$170,606$176,006$187,545$205,866
Total long-term liabilities$2,978,527$170,606$1,729,825$1,787,545$205,866
Total liabilities$4,972,521$2,346,685$4,302,306$4,783,764$3,086,620
Net assets20202019201820172016
Without donor restrictions$7,641,634$10,006,639$7,943,262$8,796,053$10,150,564
With donor restrictions$4,941,525$4,797,481$4,636,084$4,318,614$4,079,042
Net assets$12,583,159$14,904,870$12,579,346$13,114,667$14,229,606
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$11,016,176$11,038,571$12,533,391$12,294,740$12,816,104
Program service revenue$16,323,988$19,325,396$21,056,057$22,461,383$22,937,816
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income($313,842)($193,863)$183,561$317,711$310,484
Other revenue$1,344,646$3,581,410$1,444,908$3,015,897$3,188,377
Total other revenue$17,354,792$22,712,943$22,684,526$25,794,991$26,436,677
Total revenue$28,370,968$33,751,514$35,217,917$38,089,731$39,252,781
Program services$24,665,959$24,781,473$29,063,654$32,138,985$34,309,094
Management and general$3,249,860$3,619,759$4,171,206$4,695,901$4,972,217
Total expenses$30,692,679$31,425,990$35,753,238$39,204,670$41,661,532
Change in net assets20202019201820172016
Surplus (deficit)($2,321,711)$2,325,524($535,321)($1,114,939)($2,408,751)
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets($2,321,711)$2,325,524($535,321)($1,114,939)($2,408,751)


Matthew MarkinsPresident/CSO$205,892
Valerie BellCEO$189,193
Lawrence Chip RootVP of Technology$153,750
Brian RhodesVP Relationships, Global Field Team$145,000
Cynthia CraigVP, Human Resources$128,612
Ken ToellerVP of Finance$122,112
Debra BrunsController$108,483
Michael HandlerChief Communications Officer$107,407
Sharon SifnotisDirector of Supply Chain & Logistics$103,484
Lisa KralinaCFO (part year)$91,641

Compensation data as of: 6/30/2020

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 6/22/2021. To update the information below, please email:


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. Awana serves churches from 100 different denominations

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