TUMI is the research center for World Impact, Inc., an interdenominational missions organization dedicated to evangelism, discipleship, and planting churches among the unreached neighborhoods in America's inner cities. Founded in 1995, The Urban Ministry Institute has been equipping leaders for the urban church, especially among the poor, in order to advance the Kingdom of God. The following eight objectives constitute the passion and program of our ministry.
TUMI Equips Urban Christian Leaders for the Urban Church
As a national training arm of World Impact, TUMI equips leadership for the urban church, especially among the poor, in order to advance the Kingdom of God. We focus our investment on leaders who are called to evangelize, disciple, plant, and pastor churches in unreached urban neighborhoods. Our single passion and desire is to advance the Kingdom of God in America's inner cities, and, as God leads, around the globe.
Believing strongly that effective Christian ministry cannot take place apart from the Body of Christ, TUMI is committed to enriching the life and outreach of urban congregations and their servant-leaders. Our programs and materials are designed to equip men and women to serve effectively in the context of a local assembly.
Furthermore, since half of the people alive today live in cities, and with this number constantly growing, TUMI believes that Christian leadership education calls for a special focus on urban ministry. Believing, too, that God has chosen the poor to be rich in faith and to inherit the Kingdom which he promised to those who love him (James 2:5), TUMI unequivocally holds that no one should be excluded for training merely because they cannot afford it, or lack the academic background to qualify for traditional seminary training. In light of this, we believe that God is raising up dynamic leaders from among the urban poor who deserve access to quality theological education.
TUMI Empowers Urban Church Planting Movements
TUMI is dedicated to empowering church planting movements empower church planting movements to reach and transform America's inner cities. Therefore, we facilitate strategic partnerships with and among urban churches and their leaders to trigger pioneer church planting movements that multiply thousands of Kingdom-oriented churches among America's urban poor.
We will do all we can to ensure that these churches are led by godly undershepherds serving congregations that hold to the canonical story and narrative of God's Son and his kingdom in Scripture, that affirm and display the creedal emblems of the Church, and which keep their reflection and practice anchored in the Scriptures in sync with the theological interpretation learned from the early Fathers. We will seek to strengthen their Christ-centered identity displayed in their Spirit-formed worship and community life, shaped in spiritual formation by historically orthodox doctrine, and expressed passionately in their Kingdom-oriented practice and mission.
TUMI Establishes TUMI Satellites
We establish TUMI Satellites in strategic partnership with churches, organizations, and church traditions in order to ensure that their leaders are equipped for effective urban ministry, and empowered to display and advance the Kingdom in unreached communities neighboring their own.
We also work to help the leaders and churches arising from these movements to participate as active members of larger networks of healthy assemblies where they can be edified through common worship and discipleship, dynamic, ongoing fellowship, and protected through effective structures of godly oversight and stewardship. We help these churches and their leaders collaborate to others of likeminded vision in order to work together on strategic projects of fellowship, giving, service, and mission.
TUMI Provides Urban Churches and their Leaders with Quality Resources
TUMI strives to provide urban churches with quality ministry resources that are affordable and effective resources for leadership development, church renewal, spiritual formation, and pioneer mission. As an organization deeply committed to creating resources which are theologically credible, culturally attractive, and economically affordable, we strive to produce innovative ministry resources designed especially for use in the urban church worship and ministry setting. We offer a rich array of spiritual formation and ministry training tools to individuals, churches, and organizations, all for the purpose of enabling called and gifted urban Christians to grow to spiritual maturity and to do effective urban ministry. We offer a broad portfolio of training resources, ranging from our seminary-level instruction curricula to personal and small group materials designed for home and classroom use.
TUMI Strives to Retrieve the Great Tradition in Theology and Practice
The Great Tradition represents that evangelical, apostolic, and catholic core of Christian faith and practice which came largely to fruition from 100-500 C.E. Its rich legacy and treasures represent the Church’s confession of what the Church has always believed, the worship that the ancient, undivided Church celebrated and embodied, and the mission that it embraced and undertook. The Great Tradition embodies the Apostolic Tradition, i.e., the authoritative source of all Christian faith, the Scriptures, and represents the substance of our confession and faith as has been embraced and affirmed as authoritative by Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, and Protestant traditions. TUMI is wholly committed to retrieving the Great Tradition for the revitalization and enrichment of the urban church.
As an expression of the Apostolic Tradition, the Great Tradition set in the bounds of the historic orthodox faith as defined and asserted in the ecumenical creeds of the ancient and undivided Church, with special focus on the Nicene Creed. It confesses the Ancient Rule of Faith, the core Christian confession expressed in that adage of Vincent of Lerins: “that which has always been believed, everywhere, and by all.” Moreover, the Great Tradition celebrates and affirms Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ, as Christus Victor, and confidently confesses the Church as the people of God, the "communion of saints," the faithful assembly of believers living and dead who make up the one, holy, catholic (universal), and apostolic community. Finally, The Great Tradition affirms the apostolic mandate to make known to the nations the victory of God in Jesus Christ, proclaiming salvation by grace through faith in his name, and inviting all peoples to repentance and faith to enter into the Kingdom of God. TUMI seeks to highlight and retrieve the Great Tradition as the key to renewal of urban spirituality and the mobilization of the urban church.
TUMI Works Diligently to Promote Urban Church Renewal
TUMI seeks to work closely with urban church leaders and their church traditions to promote urban church renewal in order that congregations may be mobilized for effective worship, community, and mission. Through a critical rediscovery of the Great Tradition of the early Church, urban churches, pastors, and Christians can reconnect to that broad outline of Christian belief and practice developed from the Scriptures between the time of Christ and the middle of the fifth century.
As a church passionately invigorated by the presence of the risen Christ, the ancient Church endured the challenges of schism, heresy, paganism, imperial domination, societal immorality, and Gnostic deception. The early Christians articulated a faith that summarized and defended the Apostles’ teaching, and established dynamic worship structures that led its members (many of whom were poor and oppressed) into a living hope and the presence of Christ. With a deep allegiance to the Lord Jesus as the victorious conqueror (Christus Victor) over sin, evil, and the powers, the ancient Church reaffirmed, reenacted, and embodied the life and work of Jesus in the practice of the Christian year. They carefully prepared new converts for baptism into Christ through their candidate training (catechumenate), and celebrated the presence of the living Christ in the rhythm of the Lord’s Day, climaxing in the matchless mystery of the Lord's Supper (the Eucharist). Rather than succumb to societal pressure, these believers lived a faith that enabled them to represent nobly the Kingdom of God in their time, and gave a great pattern and example for us to follow today.
The rich legacy of faith, theology, and action of the Great Tradition is the spiritual heritage of all believers, predating the distinctions of Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant traditions and the layers of cultural practice, both Eastern and Western, affecting the Church today. We unashamedly affirm that the Great Tradition embodies the prophetic and apostolic confession of the Scriptures of God’s acts in history in the person of Jesus Christ. Because of this, we are convinced that a critical retrieval of the Great Tradition can enhance our ability today to bear witness to the Kingdom in a troubled and lost society.
TUMI Seeks to Enrich the Spiritual Formation of Urban Christians and Their Congregations
In the same way that we strongly believe that reconnecting with the Great Tradition can renew the urban church, we too believe it can enrich our spiritual formation both individually and corporately. With many urban churches finding themselves exhausted by the various tricks, gimmicks, and idiosyncratic practices guiding sermons and practices today, TUMI believes that the disciplines of spiritual formation can be reinvigorated by the simple, uncluttered teaching and practices of the Great Tradition. By rediscovering the richness of the ancient practice of the spiritual disciplines, following the rhythm of doctrine and celebration in the Church Year, and becoming revitalized through a more biblical, anchored spiritual direction, TUMI believes urban Christians, leaders, and their churches can regain a new spiritual direction that is set free from the complex layers of dead formalistic traditions and enculturated Christianity.
TUMI Seeks to Advance Pioneer Urban Missions in the Cities of America and Beyond
As a research center of World Impact, TUMI is unashamedly seeks to advance pioneer urban missions. advance pioneer urban missions. We are deeply committed to urban evangelism, discipleship, and church planting among the unreached urban communities of America and beyond. We produce materials and host events to challenge urban churches to pray, give, and deploy to the great cities of America, with an eye to cross barriers of race, class, and culture to make the Gospel known among the urban lost. As a community firmly dedicated to the power of collaboration, TUMI seeks to form strategic partnerships and intertwine its efforts with other like-minded churches and organizations to maximize our shared burden for the urban unreached, especially among the poor. Through consultations, ministry projects, distance education initiatives, and website resources, we join forces with ministry partners to advance pioneer urban missions efforts around the country and world.
Furthermore, TUMI works with urban churches and their leaders to form new alliances in explicit unity for the purpose of fulfilling the Great commission among the urban poor of the world. We seek to facilitate wherever we can pastors, churches, and movements to contribute, cooperate, and coordinate their gifts and resources to provide pioneer witness to Christ and his kingdom, with a focus on urban poor communities here in urban America, and around the globe, as the Spirit leads.