In the year 1855, during the First World Conference of MCAs, held in Paris, France, the "Paris Basis", the philosophical line of MCAs around the world, was approved. The Base states: "The Young Men's Christian Associations seek to unite those who, considering Jesus Christ as their God and Savior, according to the holy scriptures, desire in their faith and life to be His disciples and to work together to young people, the kingdom of His Master. " "Divergences of opinion on other matters, however important, will not interfere with the harmonious relationships of members and associates that make up the World Alliance."
Declaration of Kampala
The Kampala Declaration (1973) was the first major revision of the Paris Basis. It reaffirmed the principles of the "Mother Charter" of the ACM and determined policies of action for the Global ACM.
"Recognizing the character of the Young Men's Christian Associations in the world today, this act of recognition of the Paris Basis places on the various associations and their members as co-workers of God, imperatives such as:
Work for everyone to increase productivity and justice for all.
Work so that everyone has equal opportunities and there is justice for all.
Work to obtain and maintain an environment where the relationship between people is characterized by love and understanding.
Work to obtain and maintain within the MCAs and society, with their organizations and institutions, conditions that take into account honesty, depth and creativity.
Develop and maintain leadership and programs that are examples of the variety and depth of the Christian experience.
Work for the integral development of the human being.
Challenge 21 is the document that guides the ways and projects of the ACM at the global level and was a revision of the principles established in the Paris Basis. It reaffirms the initial values of the ACM and clearly conveys the ways to put the institution's aspirations into practice.
"By ratifying the Paris foundation adopted in 1855, as a subsequent fundamental declaration of the mission of the YMM on the threshold of the third millennium, we declare that the YMCA is a Christian, ecumenical, voluntary and worldwide movement at the service of all, women and men, old, and who seeks to share the Christian ideal of building a human community of justice with love, peace and reconciliation with fullness for life and for all creation.
Each affiliated ACM is therefore called upon to address challenges that will be prioritized according to the context of each of them. These challenges, which constitute an evolution of the principles of Kampala adopted in 1973, include:
Share the good news of Jesus Christ and strive for people's spiritual, intellectual and physical well-being, and the integrity of the communities as a whole.
Provide conditions for everyone, especially young people and women, to assume more responsibilities and leadership at all levels, and work for a fairer society.
Defend and promote women's rights and preserve the rights of children.
Estimular o diálogo e a parceria entre as pessoas de diferentes credos e ideologias e reconhecer as peculiaridades culturais das pessoas, promovendo a ampliação dos seus horizontes culturais.
Encourage dialogue and partnership between people of different faiths and ideologies and recognize the cultural peculiarities of people, promoting the expansion of their cultural horizons.
Seek to be mediator and reconciler in situations of conflict and to work for a significant participation and progress of people for their own self-determination.
Defend God's creation from all that can destroy it and preserve and protect the Earth's resources for future generations.
To meet these challenges, ACM will develop standards of cooperation at all levels to ensure self-sustainability and self-determination.
Frenchen, July 19, 1998 "
Declaration of Tozanso
Official Statement of the World Council in Tozanso, Japan:
The ACM is a Christian Organization: At its headquarters are Christians, lay people who, "considering Jesus Christ as their Savior and their God, desire to be disciples and work together for the extension of His Kingdom."
The ACM and its program in the local community and throughout the world is the means by which these lay Christians fulfill part of their obligation in the service of Christ. The ACM cooperates with the churches in their ministries and teachings. However, it is not allied in any religion or denomination; its leaders and members belong to any Christian religion. It also welcomes people of other faiths and those who are difficult to accept any faith, are received and participate in their activities.
The ACM is an Organization of Volunteers: Its purpose is formed by the same ACM. Its call to call partners, leaders, is addressed to those who wish to associate themselves with the work for these purposes. Although MCAs often carry out services in agreement with governments and in certain cases, with government assistance, it maintains its independent voluntary character and its leaders are alert to safeguard it.
The ACM is a Youth Movement: Although there are varieties of ages that cover its activities, its main interest is fixed in the present generation. Most of its members and other participants are young people from schools and universities, and young people who work. Some have created programs for adult education and health, these are typically found among younger men and women. Their leaders are mature, but young.
The ACM is an International Organization: The basic units of the movement are the local ACMs. These MCAs are united, through a national and regional grouping, into a World Movement, to which the World Alliance gives meaning and purpose. Through its affiliation to the World Alliance and the direct relations of the ACM, the Member Movement lives for itself.
ACM is a Member Organization: ACM offers its services to both partners and non-members in order to meet the needs of certain situations, but it consists of its center, those who have consciously partnered to carry out their purpose and to who accepts some responsibility within their small groups, from their MCA. Professional secretaries have important responsibilities in MCAs and policy formulation. However, the maximum control rests not with these professional secretaries, but with the members and elected leaders and other authorities: the lay forces. The professional worker helps to develop the spirit of members to be more effective.
The ACM is a Fraternity: In the community, in the nation and in the world, it seeks through its members, of its program and as an expression of its purpose, to be a fraternity that unites the bonds of fellowship, people of every class, creed, color and nationality.
ACM Educates for Responsible Citizenship: ACM educates for responsible citizenship and leadership, but is an apolitical organization. It should have social perception and should contribute to forming awareness. It helps your members to be informed and interested in the public policy of their countries and the world. It helps them in developing their ability to fulfill their responsibilities as citizens and gives them opportunities to unite in building the nation. But all this does only without political alliance as an organization.
ACM maintains a Diversified Program: ACM carries out its work mainly through small groups. It is interested in the mental and corporal development of its members. Its varied program is the result of deliberate intentions to provide a wide range of points of easy contact with individuals to meet the needs of members and in daily life: work, school, family, recreation and express in different ways their Christian concern with these people.
Tozanso, Japan 1965