Billy Graham Center

Brief Chronology of Events in the Life of Ralph D. Winter

December 8, 1924

Born in South Pasadena, California, USA, the son of Hugo and Hazel Winter


B. S. degree in Engineering from the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California


MA in teaching English as a second language from Columbia, University, New York


Ph.D. in Structural Linguistics from Cornell University, Ithaca, New York


BD from Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey

  Married to Roberta Helm in 1951. After her death in 2001, married to Barbara. He had four daughters and fourteen grandchildren


Ordained as a minister in the Presbyterian church

  Taught at Westmont College, Pasadena College, the Summer Institute of Linguistics of the University of Oklahoma, Nyack Missionary College, the Instituto Biblico Mam of Guatemala, the Seminario Evangelico Presbiteriano of Guatemala. and Landivar University of Guatemala


Rural development specialist with the Presbyterian Church of Guatemala, serving as a missionary of the United Presbyterian Church in the USA. He taught in several Guatemala schools and worked with local pastors.

  Very active as a leader in the Theological Education by Extension (TEE) movement
1966-1976 Professor of the Historical Development of the Christian Movement at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California
1969 Founder with his wife Roberta of the William Carey Library, a publisher of books about Christian missions
1972-1975 Secretary-Treasurer of the American Society of Missiology
July 20, 1974 Delivered extremely influential paper on the peoples unreached by the Christian gospel at the International Congress on World Evangelization held in Lausanne, Switzerland
1975 Co-founder, Association of Church Mission Committees
1976-2009 Founder and general director of the Frontier Mission Fellowship
1976-1990 Founder and general director, U.S. Center for World Missions
1977 Founder of the William Carey International University in Pasadena, California. Served as president 1977-1980, 1990-1997, 2000-2004; served as chancellor 1997-199, 2005-2009
1978 Published the large color poster, Penetrating the Last Frontiers. This was a graphic representation of the parts of the world population which had not heard the Gospel (meant to be used in conjunction with a booklet and a film of the same name). It hung on the walls of many, many mission societies, churches, seminaries, colleges and more and shaped the thinking of a generation.
1979-1980 President of the American Society of Missiology
1985 Founded International Society for Frontier Missiology


Distinguished Missiologist in Residence, Fuller Seminary

2005 Named one of the twenty-five most influential Evangelicals in the United States by Time magazine
September 2008 Received the Lifetime Service Award from the North American Missions Leaders Conference
May 20, 2009 Died of cancer at home in Pasadena, California
Author of innumerable articles, pamphlets, and books, including: The Twenty-Five Unbelievable Years: 1945-1969 (1969); Theological Education by Extension (1969); Say Yes to Mission (1970); New Macedonia: A Revolutionary New Era in Missions Begins (1975); The world Christian movement 1950-1975 : an interpretive essay (1975); 1980 and That Certain Elite (1976) Grounds for a New Thrust in World Missions (1977); Protestant Mission Societies: The American Experience(1979) ; Kingdom Strikes Back: The Ten Epochs of Redemptive History (1981); Thy kingdom come! : the story of a movement ; A church for every people and the Gospel for every person by the year 2000 : an analysis of a vision (1995)

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Last Revised: 5/22/09
Expiration: indefinite

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