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From its beginning, Moody's ministry has focused on taking God's Word and applying it to life. Here is a brief history of each ministry.
D.L. Moody's interest in education took root in the summer of 1870, when he met Miss Emma Dryer—principal and teacher at Illinois State Normal University. The following year, while ministering to the needs of thousands who were left homeless by the Chicago Fire, Dryer began developing a program of Bible study, teaching and home visitation for young women.
During the next decade, Dryer developed a training program among women in Chicago. At every opportunity, she encouraged Moody to start a training school for young men and women.
Early in 1883, several Chicago residents began meeting weekly with Dryer to pray that Moody would return to Chicago and begin the new school. During a Jan. 22, 1886 meeting in Chicago to discuss city evangelization, the subject of a training school again came up. By this time Dryer's persistent message had taken hold in Moody's heart.
Moody addressed the gathering:
"I tell you what I want, and what I have on my heart. I believe we have got to have gap-men to stand between the laity and the ministers; men who are trained to do city mission work. Take men that have the gifts and train them for the work of reaching the people."
The Chicago Evangelization Society, later renamed Moody Bible Institute, was born.
In January 1901, the Moody Correspondence School was established for "the benefit of those of both sexes who cannot, for financial or other reasons, attend the Institute personally." Courses could be taken, via mail, for personal enrichment or college credit.
In October 1903, Moody's Evening School was created. The school offered classes four nights a week. Its objective was similar to the day program, but it sought to train lay workers who would become effective in their churches, instead of students who would work full-time in ministry.
In 1997, continuing the tradition of innovative education, Moody Bible Institute Distance Learning began offering a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies degree. Today, MBIDL offer six undergraduate and two graduate programs—including a fully online M.A. in Applied Biblical Studies.
In 1985, Moody Bible Institute started Moody Graduate School in Chicago to provide biblical leadership training. Two name changes have followed: in 2009, to Moody Graduate School and Seminary, then to Moody Theological Seminary in 2011.
In 2010, Michigan Theological Seminary in Plymouth, Mich., merged with Moody Theological Seminary to become Moody Theological Seminary–Michigan. With its Bible-centered evangelical core beliefs, MTS–Michigan is committed to providing its students with rigorous academic training.
MTS–Michigan trains its students to be theologically prepared and spiritually mature leaders who will serve the church community in Michigan and the world.
Since 1993, Moody Bible Institute has offered classes in Spokane, Wash., first as an extension site known as Moody Northwest Center for External Studies. In 2005, Moody Aviation—Moody's program focused on training missionary pilots—was relocated from Tennessee to its current site in Spokane.
One year later, Moody Northwest became MBI's first branch campus, Moody Bible Institute–Spokane, now offering bachelor's degrees and certificate programs in Biblical Studies, Youth Ministry, Intercultural Ministries and more.
In 1926 Moody Radio aired its first broadcast on WMBI in Chicago. Respected as a bold and innovative industry leader, Moody Radio is one of the oldest noncommercial Christian radio stations in the U.S. Moody’s first broadcasts featured live preaching, Bible teaching and live music performed by Moody Bible Institute faculty and students. Today's programming includes teaching from leading Bible teachers and talk programs that speak to everyday issues.
Moody Radio’s pioneering approach to gospel music launched the careers of many noted singers and composers, including George Beverly Shea, John W. Peterson, Wendell Loveless and Donald Hustad. Moody Radio continues its innovative and diverse musical programing today, including its award-winning Internet station, Urban Praise.
After eight decades of constant expansion, Moody’s radio ministry consolidated under a new name in 2008. “Moody Radio” reflects our broadcasting heritage and our future as a worldwide media creator and distributor. Moody Radio continues today as the largest network of Christian radio stations, affiliates, Internet stations, podcasts and related programming.
In 1894, D. L. Moody got fed up with the lack of affordable Christian books. Determined to make evangelical reading materials available to everyone—including the poor and imprisoned—he formed the Bible Institute Colportage Association (BICA). By creating an innovative printing strategy, he was able to sell books for 25 cents each, beginning with All of Grace by Charles Spurgeon. That first book is still in our line over 115 years later.
By the time BICA became Moody Publishers in 1941. In the nearly eight decades since, Moody Publishers has distributed more than 300 million books in over 71 languages and 130 countries around the world.
With an unwavering commitment to our founder’s vision—making Christian growth materials available to everyone—Moody Publishers continues to publish books and resources that glorify God, serve the church’s work of discipling all people and make Jesus Christ known throughout the world.
The print version of the daily devotional Today in the Word began in 1988 as a gift thanking the supporters of Moody Bible Institute and Moody Radio. The print devotional is distributed to prisons, shelters, churches and to anyone who requests a monthly copy.
Today in the Word strives to proclaim the truth of the Word consistently. In both online and printed formats, this daily guide simply and boldly declares a biblical perspective on everyday issues.
1915 – 1939
1939 - 1945
1945 - 1949
1949 - 1953
1953 - 1972
1972 - 1978
1978 - 1986
1986 - 2014
2014 - Present