The Challenge of the City Church: Training Godly Servant Leaders
Reaching the cities of the world is among the greatest missionary challenges facing the Church today. Cities are growing rapidly, becoming more diverse, more divided, and increasingly unreached by the Gospel.
The number of city dwellers has grown rapidly, from 13% of all people in 1900 to 50% of all people today.
Ethnics in America communicate in 157 distinct languages. Numbering over 60 million; (25% of the population), they are increasingly drawn to the city.
Of the more than 60 million people who live in America's inner cities, 16 million are in poverty and over 90% are unchurched.
Traditional theological education is often inaccessible to emerging urban Christian leaders because it is:
Unavailable to leaders who have not completed high-school or college
Irrelevant to the cultural experience of many inner-city churches
With the ever expanding numbers of the urban poor in the world today, missiologists agree that we are on the brink of one of the greatest mission fields in the history of human civilization. Yet, our traditional Christian leadership education historically has become some of the the most cumbersome, costly, and culturally foreign structures, and are simply not designed to equip large numbers of urban workers for the cities of the world.
World Impact's Response to the Challenge: The Urban Ministry Institute
World Impact has been sharing the gospel in the inner-cities of America since 1971. As a Christian missions organization, World Impact evangelizes and disciples the unreached urban poor, helping them form dynamic congregations which minister Christ's love in the city.
The Urban Ministry Institute is an important part of the way in which leaders from these and other churches can receive quality biblical training and be equipped for the task of ministry. The Urban Ministry Institute is led by experienced faculty who combine many years of missionary field experience with formal theological credentialing.
Rev. Dr. Don L. Davis (B.A., Wheaton College; M.A., Wheaton Graduate School; Ph.D., The University of Iowa School of Religion) is the Director of The Urban Ministry Institute.
Rev. Don Allsman (B.S., California State University, Fresno; M.B.A., Wichita State University) is the Satellite Director of The Urban Ministry Institute.
In the summer of 1995 Don Davis and his family moved from University of Iowa along with Rev. Terry Cornett (B.A., Univ. of Texas; M.A. Wheaton College; M.A. Asuza Pacific Univ.) and his family from Los Angeles to Wichita, Kansas to launch The Urban Ministry Institute. We officially opened for classes in the spring 1996, and since that first semester have held classes, colloquiums, training events, and conferences for laypersons and pastors who minister in the city. Our mission is to equip leadership for the urban church, especially among the poor, to advance the Kingdom of God in the city. We provide biblical and theological training that is both inexpensive and accessible to Christian leaders among the underprivileged in the city.
Our sincere conviction is that God has selected the poor to be rich in faith and heirs of the Kingdom of God. We believe without equivocation that some of the finest disciples and missionaries of our time will arise from the rank and file in the churches of the urban poor. We have dedicated ourselves, here at the Institute, to do everything we can to raise up qualified spiritual laborers for Christ and his Kingdom among the poorest of the poor in America's inner-cities. All of our programming, teaching and sponsorships are to this end.