Sharon Mumper’s missionary zeal, combined with her journalism degree and significant experience in writing, editing and publishing, led her to pursue a unique mission. While some groups build churches, schools or hospitals, her ministry helps Christian magazines in other countries.
She launched Magazine Training International, or MTI, in Eastern Europe in 1989, helping a formerly underground publication for Christian women called Lydia. Formerly prohibited during Communist rule, the magazine took advantage of new press freedoms to connect with more readers.
More than 2,500 people from dozens of countries have received in-person training at on-site conferences in 21 countries in Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa. Online courses and videos have expanded MTI’s reach even farther.
“I’ve seen lives changed through magazines,” Mumper says. “Whether the magazines are general interest or are directed to women or youth, they can reach people and have real impact.”
Mumper says God led her to move the ministry to the Springs in 2007. The move has also brought practical benefits.
Springs-based Christian organizations have created dozens of print- and web-based magazines to communicate with their supports and/or staff. Some of the areas’ top publishing professionals have traveled around the world with Mumper to help communicators in developing nations increase the reach and impact of their work.
MTI rallies around Christians in under-resourced countries who may lack funding or experience but are passionate about publishing. It provides training, tools and connections to industry veterans.
Last November, MTI took its “Introduction to Magazine Publishing” course to the African nation of Ghana, where 30 students learned from six trainers, three from Kenya and three from the U.S. Among the students was Kate Azumah of Ghana’s AfriGO magazine.
NOTE: This article appeared in a full-page layout in the Colorado Springs Gazette on Feb. 12, 2023. I want to thank Steve Rabey for this article. However, there is one correction. Lydia was founded as a German magazine and was never an underground publication. Although I worked with Lydia’s publishers in their early years, MTI was founded to provide training and resources for Christian magazines in less-resourced countries. Initially, we concentrated on helping Christian magazines in the formerly Eastern Bloc countries after the region threw off communism and Christians were free to publish books and magazines.
Magazine Training International’s mission is to encourage, strengthen, and provide training and resources to Christian magazine publishers as they seek to build the church and reach their societies for Christ.
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