Wheaton magazine

Volume 22 // Issue 3
Wheaton magazine // Autumn 2019
Alumni News
Alumni Profiles

Equipping Leaders for the Urban Church

Don Davis ’88, M.A. ’89

If you were at Wheaton between 1985 and 1989, you might have known Don Davis ’88, M.A. ’89. 

Don was a distinguished student during his four years at Wheaton—not only because he was active around campus, graduated with a B.A. in Biblical Studies, an M.A. in Systematic Theology, and earned recognition for his academic achievements—but also because he would have stood out as a 30-year-old married undergrad with three children who had a career in urban ministry.

“I came to Wheaton laser-focused on learning everything I could in biblical training from an evangelical perspective so I could bring seminary-level theological training to the poor who don’t have that chance,” he says.

By the time he finished his M.A. and was preparing for a Ph.D. in Religion at the University of Iowa, Davis had plans to start The Urban Ministry Institute (TUMI).

“I began to think, what if God were to use me to create an enterprise that would equip ministry leaders among the poor? How can I use what I’m learning at Wheaton to create such a thing?” he says.

For nearly 25 years, that is exactly what Dr. Davis and TUMI have been doing in hundreds of satellite locations within urban centers and prisons in 20 countries around the world. Davis can list many people whose lives and ministries are flourishing because of TUMI’s affordable, culturally and academically accessible, and thoroughly biblical courses. These people include individuals returning from prison, working as truck drivers, or planting churches in poor neighborhoods.

“We should use our best minds for radical service to the poorest of the poor. We need to continue Wheaton’s revolutionary commitment to serve those in need,” says Davis.