Founded in 2000. Renewed in 2013.
Wheatstone is an experienced ministry with new organizational clarity.
Read more about our founding, renewal, and where we're heading.
There's never been a better time to join Wheatstone.
Founded in 2000
In 2000, Mike Kiley was getting ready to send his son Ryan to college. He wanted to give Ryan the Christian foundation that he needed when he moved away from home.
But as Mike looked around, he couldn't find a community that would provide it in a way that seemed best. Instead, he heard hard news about the increasing difficulty of staying faithful in college.
One day, he mentioned his concern to a friend, John Siefker. They agreed: something needed to be done. They wanted to build an organization that would serve not only their children, but an entire generation of Christian youth as they transitioned to adulthood.
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Mike and John contacted John Mark Reynolds, the new Director of the Torrey Honors Institute—a visionary, entrepreneur, and academic who cared deeply about youth and understood what they needed. Together, Mike, John, and John Mark designed the first Wheatstone conference.
The first conference in 2000 was an incredible success. Students left invigorated and challenged, with a desire to keep pursuing the life of Christian adulthood. Even ten years later, alumni from early conferences still point back and say "that was the moment where my life was changed. That was the moment when I began a life of Christian adulthood."
Wheatstone did powerful ministry. It had methods that worked and thousands of stories of success. But though the work was effective, it wasn't well-described. Even staff and alumni found it difficult to articulate why the ministry was so powerful.
Further, its support base was small. When the time came to expand, there were few places to look for new income. And when supporters became unable to help, the ministry was hit hard.
Finally, the ministry couldn't be passed along. Partners were depended on Wheatstone's team for short-term group renewal.
Wheatstone wanted to grow, but first it needed clearer vision and a truly scalable ministry plan. Its powerful ministry deserved better stories and support.
Renewed in 2013
In 2012, Wheatstone's Board brought on Peter David Gross as Executive Director with a mandate to rethink and renew the organization from the ground up.
The renewal started with a risk. In 2013, we cancelled our best ministry offering –The Academy summer conferences– to make time to develop new products, a new mission, and a new plan. And in a short time, Wheatstone did it. By listening to alumni, parents, and partners, Wheatstone found a new story in its long-time ministry, a story that could bring renewal not only to Wheatstone, but to churches, schools, and families across the nation.
In fall 2013, Wheatstone relaunched with a new mission, Inviting youth into Christian adulthood. We offered a whole suite of new products, including staff training and custom retreats. Our ministry expanded year-round, with new purpose and energy. New Partners came on board, and more people were impacted by Wheatstone's ministry than ever before.
Then, supported by a new Strategic Business Plan and financial model, Wheatstone re-introduced its conferences in Los Angeles and Houston in the summer of 2014, newly structured as compelling rites of passage for Christian youth, and as immersive training for their leaders. Wheatstone was back, mission-focused, and better than ever.
Now Wheatstone seeks to take its mission across the nation. By partnering with great Christian universities in major cultural centers and serving the churches and schools within 500 miles, Wheatstone is moving across the nation, region by region. We're taking a new message of Christian adulthood as we go.
The story isn't finished.
Be a part of Wheatstone's mission. Come invite youth into Christian adulthood!