Current Growth Plan
After almost 10 years of development and field testing, WHMI was poised for significant expansion. Then, a pandemic. What we learned was that our vision was too small. God used 2020 and 2021 to help us reimagine what God could do if we trusted the plan for theological education that Paul gave us in 2 Timothy 2:2. Our Accelerated Growth Initiative (AGI) charts a plan for expansion through 2026.
Learning from a Pandemic
In 2019, Covid-19 spread across the globe. After ensuring the well-being of our partners, we began to assess what could be done to continue WHMI’s work. In 2021, WHMI pivoted, focusing on how more nationals could be resourced and empowered to expand the work. The results were amazing. While U.S. instructors could not travel from April 1, 2020, through 2021, courses were taught, new locations opened, and graduations held. The number of courses delivered in 2021 during the pandemic even exceeded the number delivered in 2019, before the pandemic. Furthermore, total student numbers reached a historic high. While some of this was accomplished via technology, the largest segment of classes (70%) was taught by nationals we had previously trained. The model of using 2 Timothy 2:2 (train others who will train others) was tested in a high-pressure environment. The model not only worked, it outperformed our expectations.
DURING THE COVID PANDEMIC
Applying What We Learned
The pandemic accelerated our dependence on nationals to do the work; in doing so, it bolstered our confidence that increasing their stake in the work is the best approach. In 2021, WHMI Staff and Board members worked to adopt the AGI. The increasing involvement of nationals presents an opportunity to address the massive global need for theological education.