The history of Langham Partnership
The Langham Partnership is now a global fellowship of three integrated international ministries (Preaching, Literature and Scholars), supported and operated by a growing number of national partners around the world. But its history is more diverse and goes back more than forty years.
The ministry begins with John Stott in the UK
In 1969 John Stott founded the Langham Trust to fund scholarships for young evangelical leaders from the Majority World. Recipients would study at British universities, working toward doctorates in biblical and theological fields and then returning to teach in seminaries in their home countries. The name was taken from All Souls Church, Langham Place, London—the church where John Stott was rector (senior pastor) at the time. Those who received scholarship funding from the Trust became known as Langham Scholars, a worldwide family that has now grown to well over 300. The programme is now known simply as Langham Scholars.
In 1971 John Stott founded the Evangelical Literature Trust, into which he assigned all the royalties from his extensive writings in order to provide books for students, pastors and theological libraries in the Majority World. Royalties from John Stott’s books still form a substantial portion of the funds deployed by Langham Literature (as the Evangelical Literature Trust is now known).
These two trusts continued as independent charities in the UK for many years with separate boards and administrators. In 2001, the Evangelical Literature Trust and the Langham Trust were joined as a single charity: the Langham Partnership in the UK and Ireland. LP(UKI) has now absorbed and replaced ELT and LT.
The ministry grows internationally
Friends of John Stott in other countries wished to support these strategic ministries. In the United States, a group of friends launched the Langham Foundation in 1974, which later took upon itself the name of John Stott Ministries (JSM). Similar groups were started in Canada and Australia. All of them provided funds for literature (ELT) and scholarships (Langham Trust).
In the United States, JSM merged with the Foundation for Advanced Christian Training (FACT) to support a number of doctoral scholars from the Majority World in American and Canadian seminaries. In 2002 another group of Stott’s friends in Hong Kong, which included some former Langham Scholars, formed and registered the Langham Foundation there for the same purpose. In the same year, a third Langham ministry was added to Scholars and Literature, namely Langham Preaching.
An international partnership is formed
In 2001 the national organizations in the U.K., United States, Canada and Australia decided to work together as a network with a common statement of faith, vision and mission, and so the Langham Partnership International was formed. Chris Wright was appointed as International Ministries Director to provide coordination for the national bodies and for the three international ministries, and to take over leadership of the overall ministry from John Stott.
In 2003, the five national organizations (now joined by Hong Kong), signed a protocol that defines their common purpose and convictions, and commits them to working together in delivering the three international ministries.
Langham Partnership New Zealand was launched in 2007 through collaboration with Leadership Development International, New Zealand. The combined organization is known as ‘LeaDev-Langham’.
The partnership expands around the world
In 2012, after ten years during which Langham Preaching movements have been developed under indigenous leadership in some 50 countries, the Langham Partnership International Council affirmed and welcomed the reality that Langham no longer consists only of the original six founding partners, but has grown into a genuinely global fellowship of partner countries.