Renowned American missiologist Dr. Ralph D. Winter recently received the 2008 Lifetime of Service Award at a major annual mission conference.
In front of more than 300 leaders from nearly 200 mission organizations, Christian colleges, and churches, the founder of the U.S. Center for World Mission (USCWM) in Pasadena, Calif., accepted on Sept. 25 the award that honored his lifetime of service to the cause of global mission.
The award ceremony was part of the North American Mission Leaders Conference, co-sponsored by The Mission Exchange and CrossGlobal Link, which was held Sept. 24-27 in Denver-Broomfield, Colo.
With the theme title of "Mission Next: Relating to the Majority World Harvest Force," participants sought to challenge assumptions and broaden their perspective on how Christian organizations can relate to the majority world.
Winter was honored on the second night of the conference for his work as a mission educator, entrepreneur and paradigm pioneer for more than three decades.
In addition to the USCWM, Winter was a central figure in founding the William Carey Library Publishers and the course, Perspectives on the World Christian Movement.
Prior to founding the USCWM, Winter served as a missionary to a Mayan tribal group in Guatemala for ten years. Then he served on the faculty of the School of World Mission at Fuller Seminary for another ten years.
In 1974, Dr. Winter gave a landmark presentation at a gathering of church and mission leaders convened by Billy Graham in Lausanne, Switzerland. The historic conference resulted in a major shift in perspective in the mission movement.
Time magazine named Winter one of America's 25 most influential evangelicals in 2005, alongside Rick Warren, Billy and Franklin Graham, and James Dobson.
The influential mission leader and his wife, Barbara, currently reside in Pasadena, Calif.