The International Coalition of the YMCA Universities is a partnership of universities, colleges and professional training institutes that belong to or are related to several national YMCA movements. They are university-level educational institutions that promote training to prepare professionals in the several areas of relevant services offered by the YMCA movement.
The idea of the partnership was initiated in the year 2000 by Jerry Prado Shaw, Director of the International Group of the YMCA of the USA, after consulting three YMCAs that provide university-level institutions, represented by Humberto Rivera of the YMCA Universidad Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico; Agustín Silva of the Instituto Universitario A.C.J., Montevideo, Uruguay; and João Xavier Pereira Neto of the ACM Physical Education College and of the ACM Professional Leadership Institute, Sorocaba, Brazil.
A preliminary meeting of the group was held in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, in 2001, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the YMCA in the United States. Added to the group were representatives from the Instituto Universitario YMCA “Lope Mendoza,” Caracas, Venezuela, and Springfield College, Springfield, Massachusetts, USA, Illinois/USA, Massachusetts/USA.
On November 18-19, 2001, in the city of Porto Alegre, Brazil, a larger group met with the participants signing the “Porto Alegre Agreement,” establishing the International Coalition of YMCA Universities.
The signers of the agreement were:
- College of Physical Education of Sorocaba YMCA, Sorocaba, Brazil
- CVJM-Kolleg, Kassel, Germany
- Instituto Universitario ACJ, Montevideo, Uruguay
- Instituto Universitario YMCA “Lope Mendoza”, Caracas, Venezuela
- Springfield College, Springfield, Massachusetts, USA
- YMCA of the USA
- YMCA Universidad Mexico, Mexico City, México
Since then, other institutions have joined the Coalition. These co-founding members represent YMCA movements in India, England, and Hong Kong.
At the meeting at Springfield College in June 2006, a document entitled “Terms of Reference” was developed and approved by the members. The Terms include for the Coalition a mission statement, objectives, membership and criteria for membership, structure and governance, meetings, finances, and amendments.