The vision about a training school for youth in Norway was born under a starry Ethiopian sky already in 1966, as missionary Gunnar Gustavsen was pondering how the message could reach out to the countless souls in the world. He then was inspired by the quote from Ellen G. White:” With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Saviour might be carried to the whole world!” (Ed 271).Since then he made several attempts to initiate a training program and worked on a concept that would fulfil this purpose.
He was later introduced to the young theology student Kenneth Jørgensen, who, with some friends had been meeting to study Bible prophecies in their Christmas break. The Bible truths they discovered inspired them to share this with others and they chose to challenge their fear of men by gathering the next summer to do door to door literature evangelism.
As the two men’s visions for Bible, mission and young people were compatible, they became a team in establishing the Matteson Institute of Evangelism. Gustavsen was at the time the literature secretary in the Norwegian Union and the school was started in 1986 as part of the training of literature evangelists and others who wanted to engage in personal evangelism. The school has developed over the years, from sporadic courses and mission projects in local churches to the school program as it is presented today, in permanent facilities provided by the Granheim foundation, established in 1991.
The school was a separate department in, and partially sponsored by the Norwegian Union until 2005. After this, the Granheim foundation has had the full responsibility for the operation and financing of the school. In 2005 the school joined forces with Gospel Ministries International (GMI), which gave the school a more international profile; A mission internship in GMI projects was included in the school year, the school opened more up for international students, the language in which classes were taught changed to English and the school was renamed Matteson Institute of World Mission.
In 2010 the school changed name to Matteson Mission School. This change was done in order to have a name that is short, easy to use and clearly states the nature of the school.
Matteson Mission School has over the years kept and developed the elements that constituted the program from the beginning; The 1-year program, summer mission, New Year’s Rally* . In early history were also included Easter Rally and Inspiration Weekends, which also have continued to bless many participants.