Starting a Bible college was the last thing Andrew Wommack ever thought he would do. It’s not that he was opposed to a Bible college; it’s just that he had seen so many Bible College graduates become an embarrassment to the kingdom of God. He didn’t want to have his name associated with a college that hadn’t properly prepared its students for ministry and was convinced that academics alone wouldn’t get the job done.
However, the Lord had imprinted 2 Timothy 2:2 on Andrew’s heart: “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” He knew God was calling him to commit his own learning to others, so they could go out and teach the world.
Andrew felt frustrated in his attempts to accomplish this until the Lord showed him a groundbreaking way to conduct a Bible college that would do more than just impart knowledge. This college would prepare men and women for ministry with a unique blend of the teaching of God’s Word and practical “on-the-job” training.
In 1992, a man by the name of Gilbert Jackson, the owner of Red Hawk Ranch in Woodland Park, Colorado, was radically saved. Once Gilbert was born again, he dedicated his properties to the Lord. He had always been a strong advocate for education, but after his conversion, his only desire was that people come to know Jesus. He wanted to see his properties used for Christian endeavors. Before he died, Gilbert envisioned a Christian education building on the 157-acre property, a structure with glass walls to show off the beauty of Pikes Peak for the students. Around that same time, halfway around the world in England, God spoke to Andrew about starting Charis Bible College.
You can see the miraculous story of how God orchestrated this at: https://www.awmi.net/video/destiny-stories/the-littlestars/.
Andrew gathered a great teaching staff that shared his vision, and Charis Bible College (originally Colorado Bible College, Colorado Springs) opened in 1994, graduating its first class of 33 in 1996.
With Charis Colorado bursting at the seams in 2003, the ministry purchased a 110,000-square-foot facility on Elkton Drive, began renovation, and moved into it in 2004. The school also saw a 50% increase in enrollment, which the previous property could never have handled.
In 2009, as the Elkton facility in Colorado Springs nears capacity, the 157-acre property in Woodland Park that Gilbert Jackson had dedicated to Christian education listed at a remarkably low price! The ministry purchased the property in September. Andrew and Jamie named the property The Sanctuary, and in 2012, construction began on The Barn, a gorgeous, 70,000-square-foot facility, which welcomed its first class in January of 2014.
Furthering Andrew’s vision, the apprenticeship program was expanded in 2010 and renamed the Third-Year Program, officially launching the Ministry School. Currently, there are 8 different areas of study in the Third-Year Schools: Business, Creative Arts, Media, Ministry, Practical Government, Worship, Leadership, and World Outreach Global Training.
To accommodate students’ work and family schedules, in 2017, the Hybrid Program was launched at Charis Woodland Park. This program is a unique blend of independent study and face-to-face time with instructors and with other students.
Since Andrew took the limits off of God in 2002, the growth has been exponential! As Andrew celebrated 50 years in ministry in 2018, The Auditorium, with 150,000-square-feet and seating 3,200, was completed. The Sanctuary now includes the 157 acres plus a newly acquired 336 acres and a 60,000-square-foot building. In 2018, the AWMI home offices relocated to this additional property, and there are future plans for student housing, and more.
There are over 700 students attending the Charis Woodland Park main campus, 968 enrolled in 36 other stateside campuses, 2,568 students enrolled at 28 international locations in 20 different countries, and 2,378 students are enrolled in stateside Distance Education—for a global, grand total enrollment of 6,645 in the 2018-2019 school year.
In September of 2019, U.S. Representative Doug Lamborn honored Charis before the House of Representatives. According to Richard Harris, the Executive Director of the Truth and Liberty Coalition, “During certain times, Congressmen can honor achievements of particular citizens by giving remarks on the floor of the House. And that’s what Congressman Lamborn did—he chose to recognize Charis Bible College. So, it was a great honor to have him to do that."
Where God guides, He provides.
Nowhere is that statement more evident than in Andrew Wommack Ministries and Charis Bible College, where Andrew’s vision from the Lord is in full swing.
From the purchase of the land, through the completion and occupation of The Barn, and now to the completion and occupation of the Auditorium, God has shown Himself faithful and strong to provide and complete the vision.
The future of Charis is extremely bright. Andrew and many other great teachers are imparting the truth of the Gospel. The Charis staff is prepared to serve you with excellence as you seek God in your life.
So, what are you doing with the next two or three years? Consider using them to invest in a relationship with God and prepare for the rest of your life.
Your journey starts here!