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Colorado’s Christian Ministries Overwhelmingly Located in One City: Colorado Springs

A small city at the base of Pikes Peak is home to the vast majority of Colorado Christian ministries.  More than 500 ministries call Colorado Springs home.

Colorado, the 21st most populous state in the country, boasts at least 56 Christian ministries on the “MinistryWatch 1000” list of the largest ministries in the nation.  Among them are some of the nation’s most well-known. Together, they bring in over $2.5 billion, ranking Colorado fourth in the country for Christian ministry revenue.  This ranking owes much to the rapid growth in ministries in Colorado Springs over the past 30 years.

One of the most well-known is Focus on the Family, which first announced its move from Pomona, California, to Colorado Springs in 1990. Today, it claims to have welcomed over 5 million guests to its visitor’s center as part of its outreach to families “to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ through a practical outreach to homes,” bringing in nearly $101 million each year.

Focus on the Family’s move may have received a lot of media attention 30 years ago, but it wasn’t the first to relocate to the Centennial state. Young Life, despite its modest beginnings in the ‘30s in the little town of Gainesville, Texas, as a ministry to high school students, moved to Colorado Springs in 1946. Today, it has chapters in over 8,000 schools with 348,000 students participating weekly around the world. In 2020, it had $361 million in revenue.

In 1953, another well-known Christian discipleship ministry, The Navigators, moved from southern California to Colorado Springs when it bought the Glen Eyrie property, former home of General William Palmer. The Navigators have remained a mainstay in Colorado Springs, with national, international, and publishing headquarters. In 2020, it brought in over $138 million in revenue.

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By far, the largest ministry in Colorado is also at the base of America’s Mountain. Rev. Everett Swanson started Compassion International in the 1950s to help Korean war orphans. Its growth continued over the next several decades and now serves over 1.8 million children around the world through its child sponsorship program. It moved its operations from Chicago to Colorado Springs in 1980. It has an annual revenue of $1 billion.

Also moving to Colorado Springs in the 1980s was Biblica, then known as the International Bible Society until its name change in 2009. Claiming a history back to 1809 in New York, the group was the publishing sponsor of the Bible’s New International Version, completed in 1973. It continues its Bible translation work along with “bringing the Bible to people in a way they understand, so they can be transformed by Christ and inspired to join His mission for the world.” In 2020, its annual revenue was $16.8 million.

One of the newest ministries in Colorado Springs is Save the Storks, a pro-life ministry dedicated to helping women and saving unborn babies by equipping pregnancy resource centers to “do what they do best–even better.” Founded in 2012 by Joe Baker, Save the Storks has grown to an annual revenue of $8.3 million and has helped serve over 10,000 clients in its short history.

Other Colorado Springs-based ministries include the donor advising firm Waterstone with annual revenue of almost $138 million, the evangelistic group Every Home for Christ with revenue totaling almost $59 million annually, and publisher David C. Cook with about $30 million in annual revenue, among others.

North on the interstate from Colorado Springs, Colorado Christian University (CCU) has its campus near Denver in Lakewood and claims an enrollment of over 9,000 students on-campus, online, and in its regional centers. Founded in 1914, CCU also has the Strobel Center for Applied Apologetics and the Centennial Institute. In 2020, CCU had $188 million in revenue.

Ministry

City

Cause

Revenue

Compassion International, Inc.

Colorado Springs

Relief & Development

$1 billion

Young Life

Colorado Springs

Fellowship Evangelism

$361 million

The Navigators

Colorado Springs

Christian Growth

$138 million

WaterStone

Colorado Springs

Christian Growth

$137 million

Colorado Christian University

Lakewood

Colleges/Universities

$118 million

Focus on the Family

Colorado Springs

Educational Media

$100 million

Every Home for Christ

Colorado Springs

Evangelism

$58 million

Andrew Wommack Ministries

Colorado Springs

Christian Growth

$51 million

Denver Rescue Mission

Denver

Rescue Missions

$42 million

WorldVenture

Littleton

Foreign Missions

$37 million

Reach Beyond

Colorado Springs

Foreign Missions

$36 million

David C. Cook

Colorado Springs

Christian Growth

$29 million

Greater Europe Mission GEM

Monument

Foreign Missions

$22 million

English Language Institute in China

Fort Collins

Community Development

$20 million

WAY Media Inc.

Colorado Springs

Radio/ TV Stations

$19 million

Association of Christian Schools International

Colorado Springs

K-12 Schools

$17 million

OneChild

Colorado Springs

Relief & Development

$17 million

Youth for Christ USA, Inc.

Englewood

Fellowship Evangelism

$17 million

Biblica/International Bible Society

Colorado Springs

Bible Translation Organizations

$16 million

Springs Rescue Mission

Colorado Springs

Rescue Missions

$16 million

Community Bible Study, Inc.

Colorado Springs

Leadership Training

$13 million

International Students Inc.

Colorado Springs

Evangelism

$13 million

OC International, Inc.

Colorado Springs

Foreign Missions

$12 million

Youth for Christ International

Englewood

Fellowship Evangelism

$11 million

Cadence International

Englewood

Fellowship Evangelism

$11 million

WaterStone Support Foundation

Colorado Springs

Christian Growth

$10 million

Colorado Springs Christian Schools

Colorado Springs

K-12 Schools

$9 million

Family Talk / Dr. James Dobson Family Institute

Colorado Springs

Christian Growth

$8 million

Save The Storks

Colorado Springs

Advocacy

$8 million

Hope and Home

Colorado Springs

Adoption/Foster Care

$8 million

Summit Ministries

Manitou Springs

Christian Growth

$8 million

Engineering Ministries International

Colorado Springs

Relief & Development

$7 million

Messenger International

Palmer Lake

Christian Growth

$7 million

New Horizons Ministries

Canon City

Adoption/Foster Care

$6 million

Front Range Christian School

Littleton

K-12 Schools

$5 million

Development Associates International

Colorado Springs

Leadership Training

$5 million

Officers’ Christian Fellowship

Englewood

Fellowship Evangelism

$5 million

Voice of Prophecy

Loveland

Educational Media

$5 million

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Kim Roberts

Kim Roberts is a freelance writer who holds a Juris Doctorate from Baylor University. She has home schooled her three children and is happily married to her husband of 25 years. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, gardening, and coaching high school extemporaneous speaking and debate.

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