Historical Foundations

SVM2 is a growing international mobilization initiative made up of many national mobilization initiatives multiplying local ministries for the Great Commission.

But where did it start? Read on.

A Movement Begins

Five students in 1806 gathered to pray for revival on their campus and in their generation. Samuel Mills, a freshman, shares his passion about world evangelization. He challenges his peers to offer their lives to world missions. This became known as the Haystack Prayer Meeting.

A movement begins. Foreign missions is born in the United States.

When these students prayed, there were no mission organizations or sending structures in the United States.

But in 1812, through the efforts of students, five missionaries sailed to India. This marked the beginning of foreign missions in the United States, and gave birth to the mission organizations of today.

In the next 60 years, over 500 students joined prayer groups, and over 250 set sail to other parts of the world, committing their lives to missionary service.

The First Student Volunteer Movement

251 students gather for a summer of Bible to renew the spirit of their generation.

Robert Wilder, a recent graduate, unites students with a common call: to take the gospel to the least evangelized parts of the world. He gathered 100 students for prayer and commitment to spread the gospel to all nations.

A movement begins: the Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions.

At the time of the conference, there were 2,000 protestant, cross-cultural missionaries serving around the world.

Over the next generation, nearly 100,000 students joined campus SVM groups, and over 20,000 of them sailed overseas to serve God among the least evangelized. The SVM gave rise to many of the campus fellowships we have today.

The SVM had a profound impact on the churches of the day as they began to take the Great Commission more seriously. They were wholehearted in their devotion and together across the body of Christ there arose a significant revival and mission sending movement to the nations.

SVM2 Today











“Today, the spirit of that movement continues across the global body of Christ as we together are activated toward the Fulfillment of the Great Commission In This Generation. A primary difference is that in the 1800’s the movement came from the western world as message bearers were sent around the globe. This was appropriate in the historical context. Now, Latin Americans, Africans, Asians and Westerners are together recognizing the role and responsibility we all possess in giving ourselves tirelessly to glorify Jesus through the Fulfillment of the Great Commission In This Generation.

The Holy Spirit has put His vision of a global, thriving movement of individual local churches, campus ministry fellowships and Bible Schools by the thousands around the world inspiring, educating and activating their ministries with passion and commitment to the unreached and unengaged people groups. SVM2 gives a united voice to that passion. Together, we are seeking God and working towards spiritual awakening in the body of Christ that leads to global harvest among the nations.”

Ryan Shaw
International Lead Facilitator, SVM2