IPM was founded by returning Lutheran missionaries Jim Mayer, Paul Strege, and others in 1974 as Partners in Mission (PIM). Dissatisfied with the predominant model of mission at the time, PIM began with the belief that mission should be personal and a two-way street. In 1988, PIM changed its name to Christians Linked in Mission (CLM) in recognition of the ecumenical nature of its work. During 2001, CLM moved its international headquarters to Cleveland, Ohio from its original location in St. Louis, Missouri.
In 2002, the organization returned to its roots, changing its name to INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS IN MISSION (IPM) to more ably reflect its international and interfaith identity. In the years since IPM’s headquarters relocated to Cleveland, IPM has more than doubled the number of Project Partners with whom it provides funding and technical support, quadrupled our annual operating budget & staff, built a small but growing endowment, expanded our programmatic offerings with a special emphasis on Immersion Experiences, and built a growing regional and indigenous staff presence in El Salvador, India, Italy, and Kenya.
Today, IPM continues to build upon its’ history among both local and global communities. Using the original model set forth by its founders, IPM accompanies the materially poor and socially marginalized in their struggle for justice and peace. IPM provides seed money to help small-scale, community-based and democratically governed programs initiate and implement projects by creating personalized partnerships among donors, friends, project coordinators, and participants.
In 2003, IPM’s Immersion Experience Program was created to provide donors and friends with short-term travel opportunities to visit with and learn from IPM’s Project Partners.