In the 1976 program for the inaugural Whitworth Institute of Ministry, Whitworth President Ed Lindaman described WIM as a “happy event” in the life of Whitworth. “Growing out of our theme of Jesus Christ and culminating over a year of planning, the institute has been carefully designed to offer three important interrelated experiences to participants,” Lindaman said. Those three experiences were “stimulus for theological reflection and study, time and inspiration for personal renewal, and opportunity for family enrichment.”
Nearly 40 years later, WIM continues to serve as an enriching weeklong retreat for pastors, lay leaders and their families, as well as for the Whitworth and Spokane communities. The institute, held on campus each summer, offers workshops, prayer, worship, and discussions with the week’s keynote speakers – noted theologians such as Eugene Peterson (author of The Message); Roberta Hestenes (founder of the Hestenes Center for Christian Women in Leadership, at Palmer Theological Seminary); the Rev. Earl Palmer (former senior pastor of University Presbyterian Church, in Seattle); and Whitworth Theology Professor Emeritus Dale Bruner, as well as leaders and pastors from Princeton and Fuller theological seminaries and from Whitworth’s own theology faculty.
For many, WIM serves as an introduction to Whitworth; for others, it is a campus homecoming and a reminder of Whitworth’s commitment to serving Christ’s kingdom and its partnership with the church. Above all, it is an opportunity for those involved in ministry and their families to enjoy renewal, encouragement and fellowship.
“For decades, attendees have said that coming to WIM is like drinking from a deep well in the midst of a desert,” said Terry McGonigal, director of WIM and of Whitworth’s office for church engagement. “They come weary and leave refreshed, ready once again to enter into the life of the church with renewed energy and vision.”
WIM will celebrate its 40th anniversary this year, on July 20-24, 2015. Learn more about this year’s program, speakers and registration here.