Obituary for Julia K. Wilke, Institute Founder and Namesake

JULIA KITCHENS WILKE, 1932-2016 Julia Kitchens Wilke was born on July 28, 1932, in Texarkana, Texas, the daughter of Chester Kitchens, a pediatrician, and his wife Edith. She was raised to love the Methodist church, and she relished memorizing Bible verses and grew in her faith in the youth group. She met her future husband, Richard (Dick) B. Wilke, while attending Southern Methodist University in Dallas. After she graduated with a degree in elementary education, they were married on June 20, 1953, in Julia’s family church in Texarkana, Ark. The couple moved to…continue reading →

Bishop Wilke leads Bible studies at SPARK Conference

January 8-13, 2016, the annual SPARK Youth Ministry Conference in Dallas was held at Kessler Park United Methodist Church. Youth workers attended seminars, received training, applied to Southwestern College's Master of Arts in Specialized Ministries' youth ministry emphasis, and more. Bishop Richard Wilke was in attendance doing what he does best: leading the daily Bible study. Bishop Wilke led studies on Sabbath, Food & Foreigners, and Outsiders -- three topics that are all relevant to those who come in contact with youth on a daily basis. He also participated in a "Real World Conversations" where he discussed "How…continue reading →

$1,260 Raised for Nothing But Nets at Southwestern College

(from Fans in Stewart Field House raised $1,260 in donations for the Nothing But Nets campaign at the Southwestern vs. Bethel basketball doubleheader Jan. 12. According to Ashlee Alley, campus minister at Southwestern, Imagine No Malaria is a project of the United Methodist Church to educate and protect those most vulnerable to malaria and help treat those affected by it. “The work of fighting malaria in our little corner of the world has been a team effort:  For the last several years, Bishop Dick Wilke has continued to set the challenge of malaria…continue reading →

Institute Naming Honors Richard and Julia Wilke

(from the Winter 2003 Southwesterner) When Richard and Julia Wilke began writing the DISCIPLE Bible study in the mid-1980s, Richard had a specific number in his mind. If 20,000 persons completed the study, he thought, it would be considered an overwhelming success. He underestimated. Since the release of the four-part series in 1987, DISCIPLE has been studied more than a million times, and has become a worldwide movement. It is translated into several languages and is in use in more than 30 denominations and almost 20 countries, including China and Russia. In honor of…continue reading →