Without question, the best and most cherished asset of The Urban Ministry Institute is its staff. Since its founding, the Institute has only employed full time urban missionaries on its staff. All of the various roles and tasks of its workers--from administration and informational technologies, to desktopping and wordprocessing--are staffed by full time missionaries with World Impact, all of whom have spent significant time in ministry in urban communities. God truly has blessed TUMI National with a remarkable group of dedicated and gifted Christian workers, whose sacrifice and service make our wide array of goods and services possible.
Director, Rev. Dr. Don L. Davis
Dr. Don Davis, an ordained minister and native of Wichita, Kansas, is the Founder and Director of World Impact’s Urban Ministry Institute. He attended Wheaton College and Wheaton Graduate School, and graduated summa cum laude in both his B.A. (1988) and M.A. (1989) degrees, in Biblical Studies and Systematic Theology respectively. He earned his Ph.D. in Religion from the University of Iowa School of Religion (2000). Don and his wife Beth joined staff in the fall of 1975, having served as community minister, as Director of World Impact Wichita, and as Vice President of Education. He has also served in pastoral ministries, as church planter, associate and lead pastor.
In addition to his current duties as the Institute’s Director and as professor in its Hope School of Ministry, Dr. Davis also serves as World Impact’s national Vice President of Leadership Development, and oversees the training of urban missionaries, church planters, and city pastors, and facilitates training opportunities for urban Christian workers in evangelism, church growth, and pioneer missions. He also leads the Institute’s extensive distance learning programs (as of October 2012 we have 130 Institute satellites in 12 countries), and facilitates leadership development efforts for organizations and denominations like Prison Fellowship, the Evangelical Free Church of America, and the Church of God in Christ.
A recipient of numerous teaching and academic awards, Don has served as professor and faculty at a number of fine academic institutions, having lectured and taught courses in religion, theology, philosophy, and biblical studies at schools such as Wheaton College, St. Ambrose University, the Houston Graduate School of Theology, the University of Iowa School of Religion, the and Robert E. Webber Institute of Worship Studies. He has authored a number of texts, curricula, and study materials to equip urban leaders, including the Capstone Curriculum, TUMI's premiere 16 module distance education seminary instruction. One of his latest books, Sacred Roots: A Primer On Retrieving the Great Tradition, focuses on how urban churches can be renewed through a rediscovery of the historic orthodox faith. Dr. Davis has participated in academic lectureships such as the Staley Lecture series, renewal conferences like the Promise Keepers rallies, and theological consortiums like the University of Virginia Lived Theology Project Series. He is also a member of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature. Don received the Distinguished Alumni Fellow Award from the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 2009. He is also a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, and the American Academy of Religion.
Don has been married to Elizabeth (Beth) since February 1975. Their oldest son, Matthew David, was 26 years old when he went home to be with the Lord in August of 2003. They have two other grown children, Joanna Davis-McEligatt, an assistant professor of ethnic studies at the University of Louisiana (Lafayette), and Daniel, who lives in Wichita, Kansas, serves with the Urban Ministry Institute, and is completing a Masters in English at the University of Iowa.
Satellite Director, Rev. Don Allsman
Don Allsman is Vice President of World Impact and the Satellite Director of The Urban Ministry Institute (TUMI), World Impact’s urban leadership development center, supporting the work of dozens of TUMI sites worldwide. He is also the co-dean of the School for Urban Cross-Cultural Church Planting, serving with Dr. Don Davis. Don serves the World Impact San Diego ministry as Regional Vice President.
Don grew up in Bakersfield, California where he received the Lord in sixth grade. In high school and college, he was Student Body President, President of Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and an Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship small group leader. Don was captain of the Bakersfield College track and field team and was later inducted into its Hall of Fame. He went on to be part of the conference champion Fresno State track team in 1983-84.
Don earned a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering at California State University, Fresno (1984) and a Master of Business Administration from Wichita State University (1986) before working in construction management (Granite Construction), aerospace (Boeing and Northrop), and management consulting (Wygle and Company).
Since 1991, Don and his wife, Cathy, have been missionaries with World Impact as Vice President of Administration and later as Vice President of Strategic Planning. They have two sons, Ryan and Mark.
Administrator/Project Manager, Lorna Rasmussen
Lorna joined World Impact staff in 1991. She began her missionary service in Chester, PA (southern Philadelphia) as a community minister involved in children and youth Bible clubs, teen discipling, and cross-cultural church planting.
In 1997, Lorna joined The Urban Ministry Institute as administrative support staff, and then as Administrator supervising TUMI's administrative systems, schedule, and resources. Lorna also serves as TUMI's Project Manager, which involves giving oversight and coordination to TUMI's numerous and diverse academic, urban ministry, leadership consultation, and training projects.
Administrative Assistant, Beth (Elizabeth) Davis
With the exception of their years in graduate school, Beth and Don have served together on World Impact staff as missionaries since 1976. A graduate of Wichita State University (B.A., Social Work, 1973), Beth has served as a community minister and church plant team member while supporting Don and raising their children (all adult today). Currently Beth serves as an Administrative Assistant at TUMI, serving in various capacities, including finance, inventory and shipping.
Don and Beth have been married since February 1975. Their oldest son, Matthew David, was 26 years old when he went home to be with the Lord in August of 2003. They have two other children, Joanna (born in 1980) is an associate professor in English at the University of Louisiana (Lafayette), and Daniel (born in 1984) is an IT and Media Specialist serving at the Institute. Both children were doctoral fellows at the University of Iowa in the English department.
Administrative Assistant to the TUMI Satellite Director, Karla Vasquez
Karla grew up in Los Angeles, CA but was born in San Salvador, El Salvador.
Karla joins TUMI/World Impact shortly after finishing a year with the Sojourners community in our nation’s capital; Washington, D.C.
Karla earned a B.A. in Journalism including two minors in Biblical Studies and Intercultural Studies from Biola University in La Mirada, CA. Karla cares deeply about justice issues and is an advocate for urban gardening.
Karla feels blessed to join the TUMI team.
- Contact Karla
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Communications Specialist, Adria Medlen
Adria Medlen attended college at California State University Channel Islands, graduating with a B.A. in English. It was during college that she began to develop a heart for inner-city issues, and in 2006 she moved to St. Louis to serve with World Impact. For over six years she mentored teen girls, ran children’s programs and filled various administrative and communications roles. After faithful service in the city of St. Louis, the Lord led Adria and her husband Andrew to TUMI. Adria serves as TUMI's Communications Specialist, assisting in all forms of TUMI's communications, including multiple newsletters and publications, PR writings on the web and social media, and providing assitance with our project management.
Adria was married to Andrew Medlen in 2008 and served with him in St. Louis for over four years. They were blessed to finalize the adoption of their son, Judah, in 2012. In August of 2012 they moved to Wichita, Kansas, to serve with The Urban Ministry Institute.
Graphic Designer, Carolyn Hennings
Carolyn was raised in Philadelphia and nearby Boothwyn, Pennsylvania, and graduated with a B.A. in Biblical Studies from Eastern College. Carolyn began ministry with World Impact in Chester, Pennsylvania, in 1995 as a volunteer working with children in Bible clubs, reading clubs, and the Frederick Douglass Christian School. In December, 1996, she married Dan Hennings and became a full-time missionary. They worked in church planting until June of 1998, when they moved to Wichita to join the team at The Urban Ministry Institute.
As Graphic Designer, Carolyn is our lead creator in the layout of nearly all of TUMI's resources, including the areas of desktop publishing, curriculum design, and the majority of our image and graphic respresentations.
Distribution Manager, Bobby Gilmer
Bobby Gilmer joined World Impact in July 2012 to serve as our Distribution Manager.
He came to us with training and experience in management and inventory control. Bobby also has an extensive background in sound engineering and audio technology with over a dozen years in the retail audio equipment industry. Bobby owns and operates a commercial recording studio.
As Distribution Manager, Bobby is responsible for all shipping and receiving of our products, customer service, vendor communications, and inventory management.
Bobby and his wife Monica have 3 children, Jacel, Genesis and Isaiah.
IT and Media Specialist, Daniel Davis
The youngest son of Don and Beth Davis, Daniel was born in Wichita, KS and was raised in Wheaton, IL and Iowa City, IA until 1995 when his parents relocated to Wichita to begin work on the Institute. Daniel attended Wichita State University, studying English literature and Creative Writing, and he received a BA in both fields in 2007. Daniel attended the University of Iowa as a perspective Ph.D in the English department as a Dean’s Fellow, and completed his master hours work before relocating to Lawrence, KS to work as a booking agent for independent musicians. Daniel has also spent time as an active member of the local DIY music community, organizing festivals, tours, concerts, venue calendars and community message boards in addition to keeping a regular schedule as a live musician.
Daniel joined TUMI in January 2012 and serves as our IT and Media Specialist. He lends his skills in technology to develop, maintain, build various resources and structures on our website for use by our satellite partners, troubleshoots technical issues, and both leads and assists audio editing and production.
Daniel married Jennifer Elaine in August of 2012 and is working to adopt her 7 year old daughter, Nadia.
Prison Ministries Administrator, Cathy Allsman
Cathy joined World Impact in 1991 with her husband Don, after working for many years working in research and clinical practice as an Audiologist. Cathy has a B.A. in Communicative Disorders (California State University-Fresno, 1984) and an M.A. in Audiology (The Wichita State University, 1986), graduating summa cum laude.
Prior to joining TUMI staff, Cathy was World Impact’s Candidate Services Coordinator, reviewing missionary applications and counseling potential applicants about joining World Impact missionary staff.
Cathy and her husband Don, have been missionaries with World Impact since 1991 and have two sons, Ryan and Mark.
SIAFU Coordinator, Andrew Medlen
Andrew Medlen felt called to urban ministry after a summer internship between his junior and senior year at Manhattan Christian College. Even after returning to college, his heart never left the inner city of St. Louis. After graduating in 2001 with a B.A. in Family and Youth Ministries, he began serving with World Impact St. Louis. For over 11 years, Andrew worked in youth ministry, church planting, and he discipled young men in the community. After many years of service in the city of St. Louis, the Lord led Andrew and his wife Adria to TUMI. Andrew serves as TUMI's SIAFU Coordinator, our current project to network urban Christian leaders in group chapters sponsored by local churches for the sake of befriending, discipling, and deploying qualified spiritual laborers in their respective communities.
Andrew married Adria Medlen in 2008, and they served together in St. Louis for over four years. They were blessed to finalize the adoption of their son, Judah, in 2012. In August of 2012 they moved to Wichita, Kansas, to serve with The Urban Ministry Institute.
Technology Director, Dan Hennings
Dan grew up in Minnesota and graduated with an Associates Degree from Northwestern College in St. Paul. In January of 1993 he became a missionary with World Impact in Chester, Pennsylvania, where he was involved in community ministry, youth and teen clubs, discipleship, and church planting. On December 28, 1996 he married Carolyn Yoder. In June of 1998 Dan and Carolyn moved to Wichita, Kansas and joined the team at The Urban Ministry Institute.
Dan's role as Technology Manager includes web and graphic design, audio and video production, and technical troubleshooting.
Illustrator and Graphic Designer, Tim Ladwig
Tim is a brilliant painter and accomplished illustrator. For seventeen years he served as a community ministry with World Impact, ministering in Wichita, Los Angeles, and a short time in Newark. Tim created the picture book Psalm Twenty-Three. More than fifteen books followed as well as a host of editorial, cover, advertising, and narrative illustrations.
Tim earned a degree in graphic design from Wichita State University and also studied painting and drawing for a semester in Rome, Italy. After school, he worked as an associate art director for an advertising design studio, then as art director/illustrator for a New York publshing company, followed by eight years of freelance illustrating.
Tim has been a member of the staff of The Urban Ministry Institute for the past five years, serving as its illustrator and graphic designer.
Tim is married to Leah and has three children, Briana, Makayla and David.
Librarian, Julie Cornett (volunteer)
Julie and her husband Terry served for 23 years as World Impact missionaries before retiring in 2005. (Terry served as TUMI's Academic Dean, and now serves as its Dean Emeritus). During their tenure, Julie established TUMI’s Shalom Library and served as its first librarian. The library where she serves was recently renamed the Cornett Library, in honor of the many years of faithful, excellent service Terry and Julie provided at the Institute. Julie holds a B.G.S. degree from Wichita State University and has taken continuing education courses in Library and Information Science from the University of Utah and Emporia State University.
Julie has two grown children (Jenny and Wes). She and her husband are members of Church of the Resurrection Charismatic Episcopal Church in Wichita, Kansas.