Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Dr. Kevin B. Wamsley


From its initial conception as the EYMI in 1898 to its emergence as the Edmonton YMCA through 1920, the institution always had a distinct purpose. The absence of a Muscular Christian agenda in the EYMI, coupled with a purposive refocusing of programming within the YMCA towards what was directed towards the public interest, religion within this institution waned following World War I. Newspapers and executive minute notes demonstrate the EYMI focus on producing the next generation of respectable businessmen. The Edmonton YMCA attempted to fulfill the task of ‘saving’ young men by distracting them from social vices. As a result of the far-reaching social influences of the First World War, the YMCA significantly turned away from its religious practices. Indeed, the YMCA shifted emphasis from its religious-oriented Muscular Christian emphasis towards providing more secular, athletic programs and services to its members.