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Whitworth Institute of Ministry (WIM)

  • Whitworth University 300 West Hawthorne Road Spokane, WA, 99251 United States (map)


  • What are the biblical and theological foundations that inform our practice of ministry?
  • What types of re-formation must take place in us and among us as Christians?
  • Finally, what do we envision as the future of our churches as witnesses to Jesus’ gospel?

These issues will guide our discussions and our worship during WIM 2017 on the beautiful campus of Whitworth University. We do hope that you will set aside five days for spiritual renewal, personal refreshment and ministry formation. We hope to see you July 24-28 in Spokane!


We are delighted to have two nationally renowned ministry leaders, who will guide our focus on Reformation and Re-Formation.

Leonard Sweet

Five hundred years ago, the church faced challenges as a generation of pastors, lay leaders, theologians, and ordinary citizens from Western Europe decided to challenge the logic of Christendom by defining the church for their time. Their hope was to be part of a freer church, a church breaking free from the chains of de-humanizing ideologies, theologies, imperial powers and sociocultural stereotypes. Leonard Sweet, nationally renowned author and scholar, will unpack the assertion of five Reformation “solas,” taking the theme of “walk”: Sola Fide: The Essene Walk; Sola Scriptura: The Garden Walk; Solus Christus: The Emmaus Walk; Sola Gratia: The Damascus Walk; and Sola Deo Gloria: The Calvary Walk.

Oscar García-Johnson

The re-formation of today's church is far from over, as challenges similar to those of the Reformation continue to raise questions about the church’s identity and mission. To guide our discussion on re-formation for the church in the 21st century, Garcia-Johnson will cast a vision of today’s re-formation by identifying the church without borders. Together, we will embark in the adventurous task of re-envisioning the Church of Jesus Christ for our future, as we assume our generational task in this re-formation agenda.

Please view our keynote speaker biographies here.


WIM 2017 will offer several tracks that will run over several days and times. Each WIM registrant will choose one track to attend throughout the entire week. Please view each track leader's biography here.

Planning and Leading Worship for Christian Formation: Theology, Pedagogy and Resources
Benjamin Brody
Tuesday-Thursday, 10:30-noon / Tuesday & Thursday 3-5:15 p.m.

In this track, we will explore how to plan and lead worship services that both engage worshipers and serve to shape their faith. Over our three days together, we will explore a theological foundation for worship that forms faith, look at practical ways to plan and lead formational music and liturgy, and discover practical resources (song and prayer resources) for serving our congregations.

A Track for Pastor's Spouses
Suzette McGonigal
Tuesday & Thursday, 3-5:15 p.m.

This track is an opportunity for those in support roles to encourage each other and to connect and share with others who understand the joys and complexities of being in a ministry support role. Please join in the discussion, or just come and listen.

Re-Formation for the Church’s Responsibility to Embrace Immigrants and Refugees
Michelle Warren & Mike McClenahan
Tuesday-Thursday, 10:30-noon / Tuesday & Thursday 3-5:15 p.m.

How can churches and Christians respond practically to the issue of immigration? What is the biblical basis for welcoming the stranger? Hear and interact with the story of one pastor who said yes, and became an accidental advocate for comprehensive immigration reform. McClenahan will share the practical way his church has been responding for 30 years with the love of Christ within the Latino/a community through a worshipping community, tutoring children, high school college prep and immigration services.

Minds & Hearts Set on Christ: Spiritual Formation and Biblical Teaching Enrichment
Ron Pyle, George Goodrich, Eric Peterson, & Mindy Smith
Tuesday-Thursday, 10:30-noon / Tuesday & Thursday 3-5:15 p.m.

This biblical teaching track will focus on the intersection of the pastor-teacher's personal spiritual formation with the responsibility to communicate the biblical message with clarity, passion and conviction. The members of the teaching team have decades of experience studying the essential elements of Christian discipleship in relation to the biblical teachings. This track is primarily designed for Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) pastors who are participating in a preaching/teaching cohort funded by the denominational grant. Others are welcome to join this track, and, if they choose, to join or form a cohort that will continue the learning process throughout the year.

Re-Formation for the 21st Century Missional Church
Rob Fairbanks
Tuesday-Thursday, 10:30-noon / Tuesday & Thursday 3-5:15 p.m.

In this season of significant political division permeated with racial and ethnic unrest, the significance of the church is increasingly being pressed to the margins of society. How can a community of faith position itself to remain faithful to its witness to the Gospel? What practices will encourage the church to live out its true missionary identity?

We will explore ecclesial practices that will help us to shape and build tangibly loving communities and to declare and demonstrate faithfully Jesus’ Good News as God’s people living in authentic community in an increasingly secular society.

The Book of Romans as Paul’s Theological Guide for Re-Formation
James Edwards
Tuesday-Thursday, 10:30-noon / Tuesday & Thursday 3-5:15 p.m.

2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the posting of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, which launched the Protestant Reformation. No biblical document made a greater contribution to the Reformation than the Apostle Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. Luther’s Commentary on Romans was the first exposition of Romans on the basis of four Reformation "solas" – Scripture alone, grace alone, faith alone, and Christ alone. In this track, we will consider Romans in light of its Reformation setting and its contemporary witness.

Learn more & register online.

Later Event: September 14
September Stated Meeting