Current Events

Since the founding of WHF over 25 years ago, and with the completion of the major project of Obras de Wesley (Works of Wesley in Spanish), WHF has rapidly expanded its contacts and initiatives throughout Latin America, particularly in the area of consulting, supporting, and providing educational and training resources for church leaders. These initiatives were spawned by the popular reception of Obras de Wesley and the requests of Latin American churches for assistance in developing programs for education, discipleship formation, and the training of church leaders, both lay and clergy.

Out of a growing demand by Latin American churches, in 2012 WHF supported the development of the Instituto de Estudios Wesleyanos – Latinoamérica (the Institute for Wesley Studies – Latin America or IEW-LA) for the purpose of developing new Spanish resources in the Wesleyan tradition; and for encouraging theological study, research, Wesleyan spirituality and practice, and an ecumenical forum for theological dialogue. Since its inception IEW-LA has established significant relationships with church communities throughout the Americas, particularly by way of its Wesleyan emphases on “practical divinity” and the balance of “piety and mercy”. 

In 2015, IEW-LA, with the consultation and support of WHF, developed a residential seminary in Lima, Perú, as an “anchor” for further promoting Wesleyan thought, spirituality and practice. From 2013 – 2015 IEW-LA developed a unique curriculum and plan of study which follows the UNESCO standards for education, with emphasis upon competencies (practical experience within each course) and interdisciplinary studies. In September 2015 this program, the Comunidad Teológica del Perú (CTP), received recognition from the Perú Ministry of Education as an Institute of Superior Education for the degree of Professional in Theology. This is the first Protestant seminary in Perú to receive such government recognition for a career in Theology based on the widely accredited standards of UNESCO.

At the same time that CTP has opened its doors for students to study in the four-year degree program in Theology (as of March 2016) it is also building its online seminary for recognition by the Ministry of Education. The online platform will be based on the core curriculum of CTP so that students can complete the four-year degree program of Professional in Theology through its online modality. A residential education program with recognition is required in order for the online modality to receive the same recognition. The online program is called the E-Comunidad Wesleyana para las Américas (the Wesleyan E-Community for the Americas or ECWA). It is expected that ECWA will receive full recognition by the Ministry of Education by August 2016. Because of its establishment under UNESCO standards ECWA will be recognized by the Ministries of Education in the vast majority of Latin American countries. Its impact will be tremendous. In several preliminary online courses which CTP has offered in the past year there have been as many as 20-30 students enrolled per course and they have represented more than 16 countries.     

In 2015, in celebration of 25 years of ministry, WHF produced a professional recording of 21 of the hymns of Charles Wesley, both in English (Lift Up Your Voice) and in Spanish (Alza tu voz). WHF translated many of the hymns included in this recording. All the hymns were performed by the outstanding Chamber Singers of The Choral Arts Society of Washington (DC), under the artistic direction of Scott Tucker and with J. Reilly Lewis as Organist. The Chamber Singers performed many of these hymns at two concerts at the Duke Memorial United Methodist Church in Durham, NC and at an additional concert at the Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church in Washington DC.  The production company was Sono Luminus. CDs are available through this website and through Naxos.

Historical Background

Beginning in June 1989, wide consultation was undertaken to address the urgent need for the Works of Wesley in Latin America, and critical consideration was given to the ways and means of serving this need. In August 1990 the Wesley Heritage Foundation, Inc. (WHF) was chartered as the legal and financial vehicle through which this urgent need could be met by translating and publishing a scholarly edition of the works of Wesley in Spanish.

L. Elbert and Lois Wethington were primary founders of WHF and devoted much of their retirement years to giving leadership to its ministry from 1990 – 2015. Elbert and Lois were missionaries of the United Methodist Church during the 1950’s and 1960’s, serving in the Philippines. Thereafter, Elbert Wethington served as Professor of Systematic Theology and Chair of the Department of Religion at Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania. In 2005, Mark W. Wethington became the second President of WHF. Mark served for 28 years as a pastor of local churches in North Carolina and for 15 years taught as adjunct faculty with the Duke Divinity School.

L. Elbert & Lois Wethington
In its inception, in late 1990, WHF committed itself to the financing and administration of its first major project (Obras de Wesley) developed by an international Design Team of ecumenical church leaders and Latino and Anglo scholars. Obras de Wesley consists of 14 volumes, including Wesley’s sermons, journals and letters, the Notes Upon the Old and New Testament, and many of the major treatises. With Professor Justo Gonzalez as the General Editor, 17 Latino scholars participated in the translation of the Works of Wesley (using the English Bicentennial Edition). Since the production of the 14-volume set was completed, Obras de Wesley has been widely distributed and subsidized by WHF, especially among the family of churches with roots in Wesley, throughout the Americas as well as Spain. Many local churches in the United States, along with national church boards and agencies and individuals, have been sponsors of numerous sets that have found their way into the studies, homes, libraries, district offices and seminaries of Wesleyan people throughout the Americas. In June 2002 a study guide, Guia de Estudio, was published by WHF to assist persons in the use of Obras de Wesley. Today, Obras de Wesley editions include CD-ROM, Kindle, as well as a free download.
Please visit our partner ministries

El Instituto de Estudios Wesleyanos-Latinoamérica

Comunidad Teológica del Perú

E-Comunidad Wesleyana para las Américas

Over the years WHF has sought to emphasize a Latino/a context. By IRS law WHF has always maintained a Board which has a minority of Wethington family members. While the Board has traditionally had directors with affiliation in the United Methodist Church, it has also been ecumenical, including persons who are part of the United Church of Christ, the Church of the Nazarene, and the Methodist Church of Peru. WHF holds deep gratitude to those who serve on the Board of Directors and to other persons in the Americas who serve as consultants. 

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