The Ralph D. Winter Research Center has roots in the Graduate Research Center library that Winter began on the campus of William Carey International University (1539 E. Howard St., Pasadena, CA) as an adjunct to the main Latourette Library. This GRC was only occasionally used by research scholars.    

After the death of Ralph Winter on May 20, 2009, it became obvious that resources about Winter himself, including his library, would need to be made accessible for research. Winter had obtained Donald McGavran’s library and many of his papers but had not taken steps to process these materials for academic use.  

In 2010 Helen Darsie moved to Pasadena and began work as the archivist of the soon-to-be-named Ralph D. Winter Research Center, particularly focused on the papers of Winter but with involvement in the McGavran materials as well. Over a decade of preparatory work for the Research Center has thus been going on. The sale of the WCIU campus in 2018-19 led to massive reorganization of the library before putting it into storage for nearly two years.   

A Frontier Ventures office building at 1705 N Sierra Bonita Ave. Pasadena was identified as the new location for the Research Center. Renovation of this site, previously the home of William Carey Library publishing, was completed in early 2021. There is still a backlog of cataloging work to accomplish, and the sorting and scanning of the papers of Winter and McGavran will require decades of faithful work. But the Research Center is now functioning as a joint project of William Carey International University and Frontier Ventures. Valuable missiological materials are accessible for research scholars as well as for interested mission thinkers on sabbatical or just desiring a study break. (For information on visiting the Research Center, see under Opportunities.)

The physical library contains nearly 30 thousand volumes, over 8,500 from the library of Ralph Winter. There are another 2,000 books from Donald McGavran’s library and 8,000 books on South Asian faiths, specializing in Indian Christianity.  We have a nearly complete collection of the 800 volumes published by William Carey Library since 1969, and over 10,000 other mission-related volumes. The library catalog can be accessed at For details of the archival holdings, see the tab on this page.


Helen Darsie


Greg Parsons