Winter, Ralph D.


Winter, Ralph D.
(b. 1924)
   Evangelical missiologist and mission supporter
   Ralph D. Winter was born in 1924. A Presbyterian, he graduated from both Princeton Theological Seminary (BB.D.) and Cornell University (Ph.D.). While serving 10 years as a missionary in Guatemala (1956-66), Winter began implementing some of his innovative ideas, through his Theological Education by Extension movement. He wanted to decentralize theological education and pastoral training, locating programs where church leaders could remain connected to their own culture and community.
   In 1966, Winter moved to Pasadena, California, to accept a position at the School of World Mission at Fuller Theological Seminary. Over the next decade, he and his wife, Roberta Winter, founded a set of structures to meet what they saw as the pressing need for the global extension of the church: the William Carey Library (a publishing house, 1968), the American Society of Missiology (1974), the International Society of Frontier Mis-siology (1986), the United States Center for World Mission (1976), and the William Carey International University (1977).
   In 1974, Winter alerted the Lausanne Congress on World Evangelism to the existence of many peoples who had yet to receive a Christian missionary or see a Bible in their own language. The effort to reach the unreached peoples, (defined by their distinct languages and cultures rather than nationhood) gave birth in the next decade to AD 2000 and Beyond, which encouraged cooperative Evangelical churches to establish a church for every unreached people by the year 2000. It first received significant attention at the international missions conference at Manila in 1989.
   Among the new ideas generated by the a.d. 2000 Movement was what came to be known as the "10/40 Window," a region identified by Luis Bish, AD2000's international director. The 10/40 Window includes the area of North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia between 10 degrees and 40 degrees north latitude where, Bish asserted, 95 percent of the world's least evangelized people are found.
   Simultaneously, Winter encouraged the idea of people adoption. It was institutionalized in the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse founded in November at the U.S. Center for World Missions, which matches local churches with unreached peoples. The clearinghouse mobilized a number of missionary agencies and compiled significant research on different people groups. It has recently merged its efforts with that of the Bible League based in Crete, Illinois.
   Apart from his missiology work, Winter and his wife have produced a series of Bible study books anchored by the Word Study New Testament, designed to facilitate the mastery of the New Testament for those with little or no knowledge of the biblical languages, Greek and Hebrew.
   See also faith missions.
   Further reading:
   ■ Ralph D. Winter, Protestant Mission Societies: The American Experience (Pasadena, Calif.: William Carey Library, 1979)
   ■ ----, Theological Education by Extension (Pasadena, Calif.: William Carey Library, 1970)
   ■ ----, The 25 Unbelievable Years 1945-1969 (Pasadena, Calif.: William Carey Library, 1970)
   ■ ----, The Word Study New Testament (Pasadena, Calif.: William Carey Library, 1978)
   ■ Ralph D. Winter and steven C. Hawthorn, eds., Perspectives on the World Christian Movement: A Reader (Pasadena, Calif.: William Carey Library, 1992).

Encyclopedia of Protestantism. . 2005.

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