In 1999, twenty-two students attended the very first WJI in Asheville, North Carolina. Leadership recognized the need for a program that trained journalists to cover news events from a Christian worldview. Today, WJI is still equipping and encouraging Christians to use their gifts in the field of multimedia journalism. In 2022 alone, 44 students went through the intensives.
WORLD News Group (WNG) started as a children’s publication in 1981 under Joel Belz, a returning missionary from China. WNG has expanded to multiple platforms and provides sound journalism, grounded in facts and Biblical truth. In 1986, it launched WORLD Magazine. Robert Case accepted the task of starting a training program after conversations with Joel Belz, Marvin Olasky, and Nick Eicher in 1998. Since then WJI has equipped hundreds of reporters to produce Biblically objective journalism that informs, educates and inspires. Students have attended courses in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, New York City, and Austin. WJI also hosted weekend conferences throughout the country, published monographs on the intersection of Christianity and journalism, and made presentations at national journalism conventions.
1999: The first WJI is held in Asheville.
2011: Dr. Marvin Olasky became dean of WJI and began offering an annual mid-career course for talented non-journalists who loved WORLD and hoped to write for it on a part-time basis.
2012: WJI had its first training course abroad for African journalists who assembled in Uganda.
2013: Bob Case retired as director of WJI.
2014: Lee Pitts became associate dean in 2014.
2017: WJI forged a partnership with Dordt University in Sioux Center, Iowa.
2021: Graduates of the 2020 College Course established WJI Network, which was designed to foster professional development, professional connection, and Christian fellowship.
2022: Pitts became executive director after Marvin Olasky resigned.
2022: WJI went international once again and hosted the first-ever WJI Europe in Krakow, Poland.
Learn more about WORLD’s history here.