The YMCA is uniquely suited to meet our community’s health and well-being needs, every day.

We invite you to engage with us in prayer and celebration at our 38th Annual Prayer Breakfast. LEARN MORE
The YMCA mission and purpose are deeply grounded in the idea that by putting Christian principles into practice, we can develop more connected communities.

Since our start in 1886 as a refuge where young men could build Christian character, to the YMCA of today, the YMCA of Greater Houston has made an intentional effort to elevate Christian principles in the communities we serve. Our cause is to help people to develop their spirit, mind, and body while strengthening the bonds that tie us together.

While our YMCA is ever evolving with the needs of our community, our mission and desire to elevate Christian principles has remained constant.

Knowing that belonging, relationships and achievement are key contributors to thriving communities, the work of elevating Christian principles is tightly aligned with the strategic priorities and 10-year vision of the YMCA. As an organization we believe:

  • That principles matter in building a tightly knit community
  • That principles become Christian Principles when we look at them through the lens of the life and teachings of Jesus
  • That the twelve principles of our work serve as the twelve stones of the altar where spirit, mind and body are strengthened
  • That by elevating Christian principles we build a staff culture, membership experience, and programmatic offerings that will change the way people experience being in community.


The 12 Principles initiative is inspired by Joshua 4:1-7 where the 12 tribes of Israel gathered 12 stones to establish a memorial of their passing through the river Jordan. One principle for each of the 12 stones of the altar of remembrance will guide how we put Christian Principles into practice. The following principles connect with both biblical references and the YMCA’s purpose.

RESPECT: Intention to be a vehicle for unity and oneness | John 17:20-26

LOVE: Commitment to elevating loving kindness | John 18- 19

PEACE: Role in being maintainers of peace in community | John 20

GRACE: Efforts to provide help for those in need | Luke 10:25-37

EMPOWERMENT: Work in empowering youth | Luke 19:1-26

CARING: Responsibility for caring for our community | John 21

FAITH: Strength gained from trusting in what is unseen | Matthew 14:22-23

HOPE: Impact of the YMCA’s hopeful spirit | Genesis 32:22-32

HONESTY: Consistency between what we say and do | Luke 4:16-30

RESPONSIBILITY: Concern for and welcoming of all | Luke 15:1-7

JUSTICE: Role in building a compassionate community | John 8

SERVANTHOOD: Commitment to do for others what is needed | John 13-14

We invite you to join us in this initiative and to learn through these 12 teachings of our Christian purpose and how we can all put these principles into practice with one another in community.


At the Y, strengthening community is our cause. A strong community can only be achieved when we invest in our kids, our health and our neighbors. As an organization we are intentionally elevating Christian Principles through staff and teen engagement at the Christian Values Conference at Blue Ridge Assembly, participation in staff learning and leadership in our guiding principles, strengthening our Christian Leadership Employee Resource Network, and the incorporation of prayer walls and chaplains in our facilities across the Houston area.