Pastor of the Week: Dwight Robertson

By: Kendra Housel

dwight headshotThis year Indiana Wesleyan University’s biannual Summit event (where students gather for three days, morning and evening, for chapel) was lead by anointed speaker and Indiana Wesleyan University alumni Dwight Robertson. Robertson was an IWU student from 1975-1979 and graduated with a degree in ministry. He later received an honorary doctorate from Bethel College.

Robertson grew up knowing all about IWU (Marion College at the time). His mother and father are alumni and fell in love on campus. After college graduation, his parents were pastorally assigned to a small and remote church in Blue Eye, Pennsylvania. Dwight recalls that it was some of their college friends who encouraged, sent notes, money, necessities they were lacking on a minuscule income, always lifting them up in prayer. This was validation to Dwight growing up that long-term friendships and community could be found at his parent’s alma mater.

As a small boy he attended an alumni event with his parents and was indelibly struck by the lively music his father’s alumni trumpet trio played and how fun and sincere in their faith his parents college friends were. That weekend the IWU (Marion College) “family” community made a lasting impression.

Then during the Homecoming alumni event, Howard Noggle (Dwight’s folks referred to as “Mr. Marion College”) saw ten-year old Robertson seated on the front row. Walking down from the stage before the event started, Mr. Noggle approached and surprised young 10-year-old Robertson, giving him a shiny silver dollar, telling him it was an investment in Robertson’s college fund, and that he hoped he would use it to attend Marion College one day. Recalling the memory, Robertson said that Noggle noticed him and “sowed a seed in a young heart” that day.

As is often the case when a child’s parents both attended a certain school, Dwight took time to look at other schools besides his family’s alma mater. But after plenty of comparisons and prayer, Dwight was led to Marion along with his sister and thirteen other students from their small town in Sandy Lake, Pennsylvania.

A local pastor and alumni friend of Dwight’s parents, helped locate a Marion retail job (later he would hire Dwight to lead their church student ministries program during Dwight’s college days). With financial aid and university scholarship assistance, Robertson began his time as a student at Marion College in 1975.

Dwight enjoyed new relationships and college life, but recalls a special semester when he petitioned the Dean to take a few more credit hours and enrolled in a night “Evangelism and Missions” class with Dr. Charles Carter. Robertson had already begun his personal pursuit for more of God, more of God’s will and more of God’s glory to be manifested on the earth.

dwight preachingRobertson was not expecting his future life-course to be radically changed by just a single weekly “night class,” but change it did. The true catalyst was an assigned book for reading and discussion, “The Master Plan of Evangelism” by Dr. Robert E. Coleman. In class one night, Robertson confessed this required reading book had rearranged his understanding of and vision for authentic and lasting ministry, that this course and book would no doubt be used by God to set the course for his personal life mission. He now clearly understood that ordinary people are not God’s backup plan for reaching the world. Rather, we are God’s Plan A, and the plan is carried out and multiplied – one life at a time!

Robertson then began pursuing classes with Dr. Glen Martin, notorious for his fiery passion and deep conviction. He sensed such a unique “heart on fire” and “life in purpose” in this laser-focused and caring professor, who was passionate about God, people and a Biblical world-view. Martin’s classes clarified a discipleship worldview which embodies Kingdom values incarnated in people’s lives as everyday Kingdom laborers in every facet and sphere of society. Dwight became convictional about God’s desire for “ministers in every arena of life.”

In the midst of all this growth, Robertson wrestled as a college student who was undeclared in his major, seeking but not finding a specific “call” he’d heard so many others testify to having. He “wanted whatever God wanted,” but couldn’t find ease or clarity in selecting a major. He took classes in all sorts of disciplines, but eventually a job, not a class, led him to declare his major.

He loved helping people grow I their understanding of God’s love, their high value, and God’s unique plans and purposes for their life to be a part of God’s redemptive plan on the earth. Based on the confirmation and fruit God was bearing through His life as a full-time minister while also being a full-time student, he applied for upper Division status as a ministry major. He wrote his entry paper based on a “pastoral call” he had not received, but which he was okay with as perhaps God’s future plans would involve something a bit different. Robertson recounts a freedom that came with acceptance as a ministerial student without having an explicit ministry call. It provided “freedom to live outside the box for the rest of life.” He now looks back on that time of frustration with thankfulness, knowing it was his inability to feel one specific calling that gave him the ability after ten years in traditional local church ministry to found a unique para-church organization – FORGE – Kingdom Building Ministries, which he’s led as CEO for thirty-one years.

Robertson fondly spoke of an early season in the history of FORGE – Kingdom Building Ministries when he was speaking in New York at Houghton College and shared lunch with Dr. Jim Barnes. Dr. Barnes asked Robertson if he would be willing to have a conversation in the future if Barnes were to end up back at Marion College. He stated his conviction that the student body ion the Marion campus would benefit from what Robertson and his young team had to provide. Robertson, unaware that Barnes was about to become the next President, who would eventually negotiate the school’s namesake from Marion College to Indiana Wesleyan University, agreed to meet with him if such a hypothetical situation came to be. Within the first two weeks of Barnes’ presidency, Robertson received the phone call.

Barnes offered Robertson the opportunity to move out of his small Forge headquarters (a renovated garage on the backside of an ally in Marion) and set up offices in a building on campus for the next three years. In exchange for the space, Barnes asked that Robertson and his speaking team be available to speak for chapels, run youth events on campus and train his current “youth conference” staff. For the next three years Robertson and Forge ministry partnered with Indiana Wesleyan staff and students on campus and enrollment grew.

After three great years of on-campus ministry presence, the building Forge was being provided needed to be torn down. Robertson was faced with a new decision: where to permanently locate their headquarters. He and his team felt strongly that they should be centrally located nationally, located in a Central time zone to maximize service coast to coast, and supported by a hub city with a large national and international airport. In 1991, Kingdom Building Ministries moved from Marion, Indiana, to their current location in Denver, Colorado.

One term Forge ministry really loves to emphasize is the word “laborer.” Though it can be a difficult word to swallow, it is essential to understand in a personal walk with Christ that you are a “Kingdom Laborer.” Robertson said that “if you don’t understand that you are a laborer, you won’t be willing to get into the mud puddles of human need where ministry happens. Laborers get things done.” Synonymous with the often used IWU term “World Changer,” Kingdom Laborers do whatever it takes to complete the mission.


IWU Chapel during Robertson's sermon at Summit
IWU Chapel during Robertson’s sermon at Summit

Robertson spent Summit week encouraging the IWU community to love God just a little more, every single day. He called students to prayer as a tangible way to love others, and to stop, see someone and spend time with them– to love the way Jesus does. His time speaking at IWU was highly impactful. To learn more about Dwight Robertson, his ministry with Forge: Kingdom Building Ministries, or to contact him about speaking for an event, please visit here.



Written by Kendra Housel, a writer for the Alumni Center. Kendra is a sophomore Education and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. She is also a member of the University Chorale. She is passionate about serving Christ through writing, singing, and caring for others.

2017 Society of World Changers Recipient: Rich Stearns, World Vision U.S. President 


Indiana Wesleyan University has chosen Richard Stearns, President and CEO of World Vision U.S. and a bestselling author, as the 2017 inductee into the IWU Society of World Changers.

“Richard Stearns, through his passion and dedication, has used his business expertise and God-given gifts to address world poverty and to bring hope in the name of Christ,” said Dr. David Wright, IWU president. “We are thrilled to honor Mr. Stearns, whose name adds great distinction to the Society of World Changers.”

Excerpts from

Rich’s Story: Rich Stearns is the president of World Vision U.S., one of the world’s largest nonprofit humanitarian organizations. In 1998, in the midst of a lucrative business career as the CEO of Lenox, Inc., he felt an unexpected, irresistible call to exchange “success” for service to those affected by poverty and injustice. Since then he has tirelessly exhorted the American church to recognize and respond to God’s heart for children and families in need.

Today, Rich is known among both Christian and secular audiences as a trustworthy voice illuminating the critical issues that affect the world’s poor, and urging those who can to make a difference. Rich is also the author of two acclaimed books — The Hole in Our Gospel and Unfinished — that address the vocation of Christ-followers to live out the whole gospel, bringing the good news to a hurting world in not only word but also deed. In his time with World Vision, Rich has traveled to more than 40 of the nearly 100 countries where World Vision works, and has a firsthand understanding of the issues that affect the poor. Driven by his passion to raise awareness of those issues, Rich has appeared on CNN, Fox, ABC, NBC, and PBS, and written pieces for the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, and other media outlets.

According to the press release from Indiana Wesleyan University;

Stearns induction will take place at the 14th annual Society of World Changers Convocation at 10 a.m., April 12, in the IWU Chapel Auditorium.

He speaks in churches regularly and in recent years has spoken at the Lausanne Conference, Willow Creek’s Global Leadership Summit, the Christian Leadership Alliance, Movement Day, Worship Together and dozens of other conferences.

The former CEO for Parker Brothers Games and Lenox, Stearns holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Following a calling from God, Stearns resigned from Lenox in 1998, leaving behind more than 25 years of experience in corporate America to become World Vision’s U.S. president. In that position, he has built a strong leadership team focused on bringing corporate best practices to the non-profit sector and inspiring a culture of outcome-focused management at all levels of the organization.

Stearns’ greatest legacy will be his leadership in calling on the Church in America to respond to some of the greatest needs of our time, most notably the HIV/AIDS pandemic and now the global refugee crisis.

Stearns and his wife, Reneé, live in Bellevue, Washington, and have supported World Vision since 1984. They have five children of their own – plus millions more around the world.

IWU established the Society of World Changers in 2003 to recognize role models who have exemplified the concept of being a world changer and whose lives can serve as an inspiration to future generations. Previous inductees include television producer and author Robert Briner, neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson, author Frank Peretti, Hobby Lobby CEO David Green, founder of Joni and Friends Joni Eareckson Tada, gospel musicians Bill and Gloria Gaither, former U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole and best-selling author and businessman John Maxwell. The most recent inductee, in 2016, was Dr. Ravi Zacharias, a renowned evangelical speaker and author.

Source: Rich’s Story |

PotW: Dr. Kevin Queen; Releasing Potential: Revival and Summit

College is a time to change the trajectory of your future. It sets the spiritual climate for the launching years of early adulthood and beyond. What better time, then to catch fire for the Lord? Revival, then, is the reason Dr. Kevin Queen, Campus Pastor at 12Stone Church and Summit speaker for IWU’s Spring Summit series. This year, Dr. Queen is emphasizing the value of revival, both individually and corporately, outlined through practical steps.

kevin-queen1-666x444“Revival comes with a confession of sin, removing doubtful things from your life, practicing instant obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit and confessing Christ publically,” Dr. Queen explained. Dr. Queen stressed that revival in the Indiana Wesleyan community could have enormous consequences. Engaging with the spiritual climate of the school, Queen articulated his desire to see the academic community commit to complete surrender. He encouraged this surrender as crucial to seeing and experiencing an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

“Revival requires we give God all the chips we’ve been playing with,” articulated Queen. “You can’t give God some areas of your life, keep some, and expect to see a revival in your life.” Queen further clarified this idea of surrender, stressing the importance of obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit as central to Revival.

“There are individual convictions some sense strongly, that might not be applicable to others. That is not a measure of who is most godly. You just need to be obedient to how you feel the Lord leading you,” Queen continued, “there are so many things like that: you have a conviction but then you repress it, and it becomes a gray area. Revival involves doing away with those gray convictions.” With this message of repentance and revival Dr. Queen has been encouraging and challenging IWU students. Leading up to Summit, the spiritual emphasis week held at the beginning of each semester, leaders, students and faculty have all been praying for revival. Catching this vision, Dr. Queen mentioned that in this community of Christians, revival could hold enormous potential.

Eager to see this revival, Dr. Queen explained that revival would mean conversations centered on Christ, with His thoughts controlling actions and thoughts. It would allow for an unleashing of the potential of God’s people.

“When revival comes, God invades a community. Through prayer, Heaven touches the earth. Up there comes down here. People come alive to him,” Queen said,” The lost turn to him. People are set free from addiction. The heart is made clean. The Bible can speak with meaning and authority. It is a joy-filled environment. When the river of revival comes the streams spread throughout the world.”kevin queen summit

Tomorrow night Summit will end. With it the lights will be taken down, the band will cease playing, and the formal experience will end. However, it is the prayer of Dr. Queen as well as students and faculty throughout the school that the work of revival will begin where Summit ends. Queen encouraged students to continue to go deep with the Lord following this time of Spiritual Emphasis- but he stressed that students should not attempt this alone.

“Find a group of people to keep you accountable, pray together, read the Word, and find some dead mentors- spiritual giants who have walked this life before,” suggested Queen. “Don’t try to do this alone, seek encouragement from others.”

Dr. Queen is a campus pastor at 12Stone Church in Georgia where he has pastored for twelve years. He is married to his best friend, named Rea; they have four children. The IWY Community is deeply grateful for Dr. Queen’s presence at IWU this week for Summit.

The Office of Alumni and Church Engagement has selected Dr. Queen as this week’s recipient of the Pastor of the Week recognition. Rev. Carder, Director of Alumni and Church Engagement presented him with a “Pastor of the Week” coffee mug and journal. Carder said, “Dr. Queen is well-known and someone that has impacted our students and the broader church through his ministry.” The honor of being Pastor of the Week is a way to give recognition to the wonderful ministry influence and leadership pastors provide in spiritual formation.


Written by Katherine Arch, Story Teller for Alumni Relations. Katherine Arch is a Senior English major at Indiana Wesleyan, and a member of the Track and Cross Country teams. She is passionate about sharing people’s stories and celebrating their unique divine potential in written form. Katherine also operates a website called “Join the Ranch” at It is about pursuing God’s purpose for her life and vocation.


Photo credits:; Mia Anderson

Seeking Revival In The New Year

IMG_2582Throughout campus at IWU, faculty and students are praying for revival. Spearheading this prayer effort, Student Body Pastor, Reverend Dr. Jim “Umfundisi” Lo, is encouraging students to seek sensitivity to the Lord and His leading. Formerly the Dean of the Chapel, Lo is heavily involved in spiritual formation across campus through his position as IWU Campus Pastor and Professor of Religion (Intercultural Studies). This position outlines different responsibilities than his previous job and allows Lo to become more intricately involved in campus spiritual formation and pastoral ministry.

“Being Dean of the Chapel required that I attend to the logistics of having services three times a week,” Lo explained. “It was a lot of technical work.” Serving as the Pastor of Students allows Lo to concentrate on supporting the community spiritually, especially in prayer. Referencing a recent sermon he gave in a chapel service, Lo emphasized the need for the community to focus on the power of prayer to pursue spiritual growth. Lo articulated his belief that the Indiana Wesleyan community could be on the brink of a revival if individuals committed themselves to actively seeking the Lord through prayer.

“So many people have come to me, saying that they believe that God has something to say to them, but they sense something is in the way,” Lo mentioned, emphasizing the value of prayer and the eminence of revival. This spiritual rebirth, Lo explained simply is as, “Reviving my heart to hear what He calls me to do.”

Lo explained that he sees the campus as expectant, ready to hear what God wants to say. With the impending Summit services next week, Lo hopes that the time of spiritual emphasis will result in a spark of revival. In preparation, Lo and a team of prayer warriors are interceding on the behalf of the students who will be in attendance.

“It is our prayer that the students at IWU not become enamored with the lights or the music or the emotions of Summit. Rather we hope that people will take the time to meditate on the words of the songs and truly spend the time pursuing God and what He has to say to them,” said Lo. He explained that this could look different for different people. Some might sense sins for which they need to repent; others might find God giving them vocational direction. “We are praying to see sins released, and commitments made to surrender to whatever God has for individual lives,” Lo stated.

This year, Lo hopes to see revival diffuse through the IWU family and into the community of Marion as well. “If revival ignited at IWU it should reach the greater community,” Lo stated. “I strongly sense that God does not want us to focus exclusively on our personal spiritual growth. He wants us to reach others.” To introduce this idea and theme for the IWU community, Lo invited Marion officials to visit IWU before the Summit services so that they could be prayed over. As Lo mentioned repeatedly, prayer will be vital for the effectiveness of the Summit services and the revival we are hoping for.


Written by Katherine Arch, Story Teller for Alumni Relations. Katherine Arch is a Senior English major at Indiana Wesleyan, and a member of the Track and Cross Country teams. She is passionate about sharing people’s stories and celebrating their unique divine potential in written form. Katherine also operates a website called “Join the Ranch” at It is about pursuing God’s purpose for her life and vocation.

New Semester Kicks Off With Prayer

Summit week is a time for students and the IWU community to reflect on spiritual matters. Rev. Kevin Queen is a pastor from 12Stone Church in Atlanta, GA. He will be speaking to the student body within days of their return to campus.

There is an opportunity for the community of Grant County to join in prayer for IWU students and faculty. Join the campus-wide prayer walk on January 13, Wednesday at 4:00 PM.

Never2Young Worship

Dr. Jim “Umfundisi” Lo, IWU’s Campus Pastor will be sharing in chapel on the importance of prayer preceding revival and then inviting the “IWU Community” to a prayer walk and pray for Summit week and revival at IWU. Dr. Lo invites the Grant County to join in. “Would you attend and invite others in our community to join us?” ask Dr. Lo. He adds, “The plan is to gather at the Chapel-Auditorium and then walk about the building three-times – in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We will then re-gather in the foyer for a time of worship and community-led prayers.”

The campus-prayer event is open to the Grant County Alumni and Friends. No reservations are needed. Gather at the Chapel-Auditorium with students, faculty, and staff as we lift of our community to the Lord.