The ministry began in the 1970's and it started as a coalition of various separate organisations that promoted celibacy or change for homosexuals. Two of their founders were Michael Bussee (who coined the term "ex-gay") and the late Gary Cooper, who after founding the organisation, fell in love with each other and disowned it, calling it ineffective. They later had a marriage ceremony in 1982.
Exodus International take the viewpoint that homosexuality is a sin, and that homosexual behaviour is against God's will for humanity. They often promote the causes of homosexuality as being poor parenting or sexual abuse. As an explicitly religious organisation, a lot of their methods involve prayer, as well as therapy. They believe that gay marriage should be illegal, and are against hate crime legislation to protect homosexuals, such as H.R. 1592.