BeADisciple.com provides an online location for workshops, trainings, bible studies, and other educational opportunities for Christian leaders, lay and clergy. Learn More...
The Institute provides additional scholarship funds for SC students who receive a Bishop Scholarship. Bishop scholars are international campus undergraduates recommended by their home country’s Methodist Bishop and the college’s Bishop in Residence. Learn More...
Builders in Ministry
Builders in Ministry are supportive Alumni and Friends of the Ministry programs of Southwestern College. Learn More...
The Institute supports a wide range of activities (from mission trips to new Chapel equipment purchases) which inhance campus ministries at the college. Learn More...
The Institute for Discipleship supports Hispanic ministry on the campus, in the local community, and beyond. Learn More...
The religious studies program on the SC campus offers real-life ministry opportunities with academic preparation for graduate school or ministry employment.Learn More... For persons in ministry, the college offers degree completion programs online in Pastoral Studies and Youth Ministry. An online Masters in Specialized Ministry (MASM) is also available. Learn More...
Matthew Sigler is the 2013/2014 Institute for Discipleship visiting scholar. He is working to finish his dissertation which will complete his PhD in Religion from Boston University. Learn More...
Bishop Richard Wilke is currently serving as Bishop-in-Residence at Southwestern College. With his wife, Julia, Bishop Wilke coordinated, designed, and wrote the DISCIPLE Bible study, a training for Christian leaders, with nearly two million graduates in more than 10,000 congregations in 30 denominations. The DISCIPLE series is now available in German, Korean, Spanish, and Chinese. The Institute for Discipleship was formed as an extension of their life-long ministry and service to the Church. The Wilkes now reside in Winfield, KS, and they have four children and nine grandchildren.
Steve Wilke - Executive Director and V.P. of Strategic Planning and New Program
Stephen K. Wilke came to Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas on October 1, 1991. In 2004, he became the IFD Executive Director.
Dr. Wilke has served on the staff and now the board at the Counseling and Mediation Center in Wichita, Kansas, and has provided American Association of Pastoral Counseling (AAPC) training to pastors. Dr. Wilke has co-authored a set of five marital books.
Prior to coming to Southwestern College, Dr. Wilke worked on the staff of Prairie View Hospital. There he conducted counseling with individuals, couples, and families. He has also functioned as a consultant, mediator, and workshop leader for churches and community agencies. He is a licence psychologist in the state of Kansas, and has been a training supervisor with the American Association of Pastoral Counselors.
In 1987, he became the founding President of Recovery of Hope Network, Inc., and stayed in that position until 1991. The Recovery of Hope Network helped local organizations establish programs in the community for troubled marriages.
Prior to his work at Prairie View, Dr. Wilke worked with children and families at the Wichita Guidance Center. Dr. WIlke received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) in Fresno, California, in August, 1982. His undergraduate work was done at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas. He was reared in Kansas in a United Methodist clergy family. In his doctoral research, he studied the role of the church and clergy as agents of community mental health.
Steve and his wife, Beth, have four children. All are involved in school, church, and community activities. Beth serves as the Associate Pastor at First United Methodist Church in Winfield.
Dick Merriman - Southwestern College President
W. Richard (Dick) Merriman Jr. was inaugurated as 17th president of Southwestern College March 15, 1999. He had assumed presidency of the college in August 1998. During his tenure at Southwestern, Merriman has overseen a major growth in enrollment and improved facilities amongst a wide range of accomplishments.
Merriman grew up in Kansas, the son of William R. and Neva Merriman. His father was a United Methodist minister in various churches of the Kansas East and Kansas West Conferences.
Following graduation from Hardtner (Kan.) High School, Merriman attended Emporia State University where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social science. He earned a Ph.D. in political science from Indiana University in 1986, where he was named outstanding associate instructor in the department of political science (1981). He received the Katherine G. Greenough Dissertation Prize in 1987.
Merriman taught courses in American politics at Berea (Ky.) College from 1983 to 1985, then moved to Washington D.C. where he became executive director of the Jefferson Foundation, a non-profit, non-advocacy educational organization. Merriman directed creation of a national network of volunteers who planned and staged public discussions of constitutional issues in conjunction with the bicentennial of the U.S. constitution.
He then served as a program officer at the National Endowment for the Humanities in Washington before returning to the educational arena as part of the advancement team at Le Moyne College, Syracuse, N.Y. Merriman began as director of academic resources at Le Moyne, eventually being promoted to the top position in the development office.
He is married to Margot Kelman, a Ph.D. speech-language pathologist. They have two sons.
Bishop Richard Wilke - Bishop-in-Residence at Southwestern College
Bishop Richard B. Wilke created excitement in local churches with his books And Are We Yet Alive? and Signs and Wonders. With his wife, Julia, Bishop Wilke coordinated, designed, and wrote the DISCIPLE Bible study, a training for Christian leaders, with nearly two million graduates in more than 10,000 congregations in 30 denominations. In use at this time are: DISCIPLE I, Making Disciples Through Bible Study; DISCIPLE II, Into the Word and Into the World; DISCIPLE III, Remember Who You Are, and DISCIPLE IV: Under the Tree of Life. The DISCIPLE series is now available in German, Korean, Spanish, and Chinese. Many DISCIPLE graduates have entered the ministry.
Elected to the episcopacy of the United Methodist Church in 1984, Bishop Wilke served for 12 years in the Arkansas area. While serving as bishop, he worked to emphasize church growth and evangelism, at all times maintaining his love for the local church. He served on boards of colleges, hospitals, and on general boards of the United Methodist Church.
During his 30 years in the pastoral ministry, Wilke pastored United Methodist Churches in Scandia, Kan.; Pleasant Valley in Wichita, Kan.; University United Methodist in Salina, Kan., and served as district superintendent for the Winfield District. For nearly 11 years, Wilke preached and initiated televised services from First United Methodist Church in Wichita, reaching out to all of central and western Kansas.
Bishop Wilke has traveled in South America, Africa, Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Near East. He is widely known as a speaker and preacher, often serving as conference preacher and keynote speaker at regional and national meetings.
The Wilkes now make their home in Winfield, Kansas, and they have four children and nine grandchildren.
There are a number of ways you can support the Institute for Discipleship. Your gifts of time, talent, and funds are welcomed and appreciated.
Cash Gifts: A charitable gift of cash is a tremendous way to assist the efforts of the Institute. You will receive a receipt for your support, and your donation may be used for a tax deduction. Checks may be mailed to: IFD, 100 College St., Winfield, KS 67156.
Make a Gift Online: You will be asked to create an account then finalize your contribution. Be sure to specify in the comments section for your gift to go to the Institute for Discipleship.
Stock Gifts: A gift of appreciated stock enables you to avoid capital gains and take advantage of an income tax deduction. We can easily help you transfer ownership of the stock to the Institute.
Estate Gifts: Many people like to provide support by leaving a portion of their estate to the Institute. We would be happy to discuss some opportunities with you and help you explore this option as a way to support the Institute for many years to come.
Gift In Kind: A gift in kind is a charitable gift of equipment or supplies. If you have some items you feel may be of some benefit to the institute please give us a call. We would be happy to visit with you and see if it would be of some benefit to the Institute. If such a gift is made to the college it too qualifies as a charitable gift.
If you would like to visit about a charitable gift please contact Steve Wilke at firstname.lastname@example.org or (620) 229-6277.