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International Training Partners (ITP) is a global network of facilitators, and trainers from more than eighty organizations. We serve together in an informal partnership to provide practical, interactive, biblical training in interpersonal relationships for Christian workers.
Most ITP facilitators and trainers are volunteers, donating their time and energies to serve in ITP workshops for the benefit of people from their own and other organizations. A few full time ITP staff members serve in different locations in support of the volunteer facilitator network.
Our business office is located in Colorado Springs, Colorado where we are registered as a non-profit organization. The ITP Board of Directors provides organizational oversight for our activities worldwide. Detailed information on Board members and ITP policy is available on request.
Dr. Ken Williams is the founder of International Training Partners. Ken and his wife Bobbie began their ministry through Wycliffe Bible Translators serving among the Chuj people of Guatemala, completing a translation of the New Testament during the decade of the 1960’s.
The focus of their ministry shifted in the early 1970’s to providing care and counseling for cross-cultural workers. Ken and Bobbie continued in this ministry with WBT for 22 years, counseling thousands of WBT members in more than twenty-five countries. Ken’s growing conviction was that many of the issues addressed in counseling could be avoided if Christian workers had opportunity to participate in training in interpersonal relationships. This was accompanied by Ken’s deep conviction that healthy, godly relationships are best built and sustained by living out God’s word.
Ken and Bobbie left counseling ministry in 1992 and begin to develop a workshop for training Christian workers in interpersonal and related issues. Only a few workshops were hosted in the first two years, but the demand for the workshops quickly outpaced their ability to provide them. In response to the growing interest, Ken began to team closely with six other experienced cross-cultural workers as a means of learning to better facilitate the workshops for true learning and life change.
Interest in the workshops grew steadily in the late 1990’s, making the need for more skilled facilitators apparent to Ken and the others. God was growing the ministry and the workshops were addressing a need seen in Christian organizational circles. The first Facilitator Training Workshop (FTW) was held in 1996. Several more FTWs were hosted during the next years with new facilitators being trained from several organizations. Ken and the original group of six facilitators provided mentoring for the new facilitators in their first workshops. During this time period a participant notebook and facilitator notes were developed. The workshop became known as the Sharpening Your Interpersonal Skills Workshop (SYIS).
The interactive adult learning process, a key to workshop effectiveness, improved steadily with experience. Feedback was solicited from all who participated in the workshops so that workshop topics, specific biblical content and the interactive learning process continued to evolve. By the end of 1998, sixty facilitators had been trained and workers from fifty US based organizations had participated in SYIS workshops. In 2000, thirty-one SYIS workshops were held.
2001 was a pivotal year. Sixty-five workshops were hosted in 33 countries and ministry growth made it necessary to establish International Training Partners as a non-profit organization. The first facilitators from other countries were trained that year and translation work was done in several languages, making the SYIS workshop available to workers from different cultures and language groups. Paul and Laura Lere joined Ken as full time co-workers in 2001, providing much needed support for Ken in areas of administration and leadership for ITP.
During the next few years Ken handed off more of the leadership responsibilities to Paul who was appointed ITP President in May 2003. Ken continues to serve in an advisory capacity as Vice President and as a member of the ITP Board of Directors.
At present, more than 600 SYIS facilitators have been trained from nearly forty nationalities, representing more than eighty organizations. Since the founding of ITP, approximately 900 SYIS workshops have been held in service to more than 17,000 Christian workers in at least eighty-one countries.
It has been a rewarding and faith building experience for all of us to see how the Lord has developed and grown the ministry of ITP. We rejoice in how God has used the SYIS workshop in benefit to thousands of His servants from many nations and organizations, enhancing their ministry effectiveness through growth in interpersonal skills.