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In 1947, IFES (International Fellowship of Evangelical Students) was founded by representatives of seven national student movements from countries such as England, China, and the United States. They were united by a common goal: to pray and work towards seeing the Gospel of Jesus Christ proclaimed at every university in the world through autonomous groups led by students.

In 1967, a first group of students met in Vienna following outreaches performed by OM teams. In 1969, the first attempts to found an association were made.

In 1972, a group was formed in Graz as a result of work done by Noor Van Haften and Janice Wheeler. The student flat in the Merangasse also played a key role.

In 1973, a group was founded in Innsbruck. Within a year, it had over thirty members.

In November 1973, the ÖSM was founded as an association according to Austrian law.

In 1974, groups were established in Salzburg and Linz.

In 1975, the individual Austrian groups united to become the ÖSM. This is considered to be the official starting point of the ÖSM.

Since 1979, the ÖSM has been a member of the IFES network. This network includes more than 170 independent national movements who share the same values and are united by a common vision.