Learning to Lead

School Without Walls (SWW) is the heart of Russian Ministries’ vision to train the Next Generation to lead and equip them to serve the evangelical church in the former Soviet Union/Eurasia.

SWW’s non-traditional format allows students to learn about the Bible and practice hands-on evangelism while still caring for work, school, and family responsibilities, making Christian leadership development available to all. Basing the ministry in local churches helps revitalize those churches while ensuring that both teaching and evangelism practices are culturally appropriate.


Flexible, local, & available

“Without Walls” refers to the fact that this education is not contained in a single building: we are not centralizing, but sending out.

SWW is not intended to replace seminaries and colleges; however, the formal educational institutions are scarce, widely-separated, and far beyond the means of most young people—many of whom are either working to support their families or pursuing other careers. By placing classes in local churches and keeping class times flexible, we can greatly expand the number of young men and women who can be trained in Christian leadership.

Generous support from friends like you makes a SWW education available to even more young Next Generation leaders who could not otherwise afford the program.


During the era of Soviet oppression, most churches became closed societies, caring only for their own members. Because each SWW class is rooted in a local evangelical church, forward-looking churches are using the energy and creativity of their SWW students and graduates to re-engage with their communities. Outreaches like Christmas programs, sports camps, Sunday School, playground cleanups, and visits to prisons and orphanages help overcome prejudice and draw more people into the church.

Culturally Relevant

School Without Walls students in classAfter the fall of the Soviet Union, the region was flooded with Western missionaries who took advantage of the new freedom to ably spread the gospel. Today’s challenge, especially as hostility towards Western influence grows, is for each nation’s Christians to apply the everlasting truths of Scripture to their own indigenous cultures, to develop forms of worship and evangelism which will feed their own hearts and speak to their neighbors.

SWW’s church-based “campus” now spans 12 nations and countless ethnic groups. SWW grounds students in the essentials of Christianity, then equips and encourages them to think creatively about translating each idea into their national idiom. The goal is the growth of a vibrant and growing national evangelical church.

Leadership development

Young people are a powerful force for change, but as we have seen in recent uprisings around the world, that change can be either good or bad. SWW trains young Christian men and women to be the Next Generation leaders who will guide their churches and communities to the hope that only Christ can give.

Above all, when you support SWW, you help each individual student discover his or her unique gifts from God, and use those gifts to serve their nations and the Kingdom.

Practical & hands-on

School Without Walls students in classSchool Without Walls is unique for its emphasis on practical ministry—not just for the future, but now. Students are motivated and equipped to transform their churches and, through their churches, reach their communities with a hands-on application of everything they learn.

For example, Kiev students renovated an orphanage and are mentoring orphaned teens, while students from Krasnoarmeisk, Ukraine, started a drug rehabilitation center. Every student trains for effective witnessing to family, friends, coworkers, and more. And with special emphasis on living out their faith and taking a stand, these Next Generation leaders are prepared to be a light in an age of spiritual and moral confusion.

Recent posts and updates about School Without Walls:

Help Bring Hope and Healing to the People of Ukraine through Russian Ministries’ Emergency Fund

Posted on April 11, 2014

Last month I felt the need to be with my people in Ukraine. On March 16, the day that the Crimean referendum took place, my flight landed not far from Crimea. Anxiety and uncertainty hung in the air. Continue reading →

Posted in Featured, School Without Walls, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Bringing Hope to Every Corner of Mongolia

Posted on February 27, 2013

An estimated 86% of Mongols are unreached by the gospel, and a lack of discipleship has meant that most Mongolian Christians have very little understanding of the gospel or of the Bible, so their religious beliefs differ little Continue reading →

Posted in Gift of Hope, Mongolia, Reaching the Unreached, School Without Walls | Comments Off

Following Christ in Arctic Siberia

Posted on February 27, 2013

There’s no electricity in the tiny town of Yambura in Arctic Siberia, where the 130 residents eke out a living in some of the toughest conditions on earth. There’s also no church, because like most native people groups Continue reading →

Posted in Next Generation, Reaching the Unreached, School Without Walls | 2 Comments

Learning Leadership

Posted on February 27, 2013

Mark, a School Without Walls student in Russia, explains, “I spent my summer vacation in short-term missions trips and evangelistic summer camps. I remembered and put into practice all the things I learned through SWW, and the things Continue reading →

Posted in Russia, School Without Walls, Summer Bible Camp | Comments Off

A New Future

Posted on February 27, 2013

Yana’s mother is in prison, and for most of her life, it looked like Yana would follow in her footsteps. A team of School Without Walls (SWW) students and other young Next Generation leaders found Yana living at Continue reading →

Posted in Getting Scripture and Christian literature in their own language, Gift of Hope, Next Generation, School Without Walls | Comments Off

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