History of the U.S. Center for World Mission

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The United States Center for World Mission (USCWM) was founded by Dr. Ralph D. Winter and Roberta Winter in 1976, headquartered in Pasadena, California.


The History

The U.S. Center for World Mission was established in 1976 by Ralph and Roberta Winter.

Ralph Winter (Ph.D. Cornell) and Roberta (R.N., USC) served with the Presbyterian Church in Guatemala from 1956-1966. Afterward, Ralph was offered a teaching position at the School of World Mission (now School of Intercultural Studies) at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. With Roberta's help, the two worked with some 1000 students from all over the world.

Years earlier, during their service in Guatemala, the Winters realized that pastors in little churches all over the world would never be able to receive the training they needed while in ministry. In collaboration with other missionaries and leaders on the field, Theological Education by Extension (TEE) was born.

During their field work and their teaching, they saw themselves as helping to raise up people who were seeking to be like Jesus Christ and live that out in their families, communities and the world.

While teaching, they realized that there were thousands of cultures around the world where there was no one who was trying to live like Christ. Because of barriers of culture and language, the rest of the world was sealed off from the Gospel in people groups without viable, indigenous, evangelizing fellowships of followers of Christ.

Winter presented what became a watershed presentation to a gathering of church and mission leaders in Lausanne in 1974 at a meeting called by Billy Graham. After that presentation, the Winters felt they needed to do something to establish a place where clearer understanding of these issues, problems, and successes could be shared between mission and church leadership - as well as students. The U.S. Center for World Mission began.

The original "watchword" was "a church for every people by the year 2,000." As the Center was getting started, many other ministries were formed along the way, and some before, like William Carey Library (WCL) a media publishing arm, and Perspectives on the World Christian Movement, a college level course offered in 200 locations across the U.S. (and in select places globally) with over 65,000 alumni in the U.S. and Canada, the course covers information crucial to any person interested in God's global purposes.[1]


The Founders: Ralph and Roberta Winter

Ralph Winter
Ralph Winter

Ralph and Roberta Winter served as missionaries for ten years with a Mayan tribal group in Guatemala called the Mam people. For another ten years, Dr. Winter was on the faculty of the School of World Mission at Fuller Seminary where he came alongside 1,000 missionaries to study their field situations in depth. Teaching and studying history led him to look at what God had done in the 4000 years since Abraham.[1]

They have four married daughters (Beth, Becky, Linda and Tricia), all missionaries, and 14 grandchildren (Jonathan, Alison, Jenny, Daniel, Abe, David, Emily, Nathan, Rachel, Melissa, Josiah, Laura, Claire, and Valerie).[1]



  1. ^ a b c Winter, Roberta H. (2003). I Will Do a New Thing: The U.S. Center for World Mission-- And Beyond. Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library Pub.. 0-8780-8448-7. 


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