The Young Women's Christian Association is a nonsectarian organization with a mission to "advance the physical, social, intellectual, moral, and spiritual interests of young women." The YWCA was first established in England in 1855 when two groups decided to meet to develop ways to aid women. One group founded a Prayer Union to pray for women while the other founded Christian homes for young women. The two groups merged in 1877 to form the Young Women's Christian Association.
Source: Encyclopedia Britannica Online