Wycliffe Bible Translators, Inc./ WBT


Wycliffe Bible Translators, Inc. ("WBT") advances in every way possible, the translation of the Word of God into all the languages of the world where it is needed. The ministry's goal is to see Bible translation in progress, through partnership, in every language that needs it by the year 2025. WBT is a nonprofit organization and contributions to it are fully deductible to the extent allowed by law. In addition, it is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA).

Contact information

Mailing address:
PO Box 628200
Orlando, FL 32862-8200

Website: www.wycliffe.org

Phone: (407) 852-3600

Email: info.usa@wycliffe.org

Organization details

EIN: 951831097

CEO/President: John Chestnut

Chairman: Mr. Brady Anderson

Board size: 14

Founder: Mr. William Cameron Townsend

Year founded: 1942

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 09/30

Member of ECFA: Yes

Member of ECFA since: 1980


Wycliffe Bible Translators, Inc. ("WBT") advances in every way possible, the translation of the Word of God into all the languages of the world where it is needed. Relying on God and rooted in His Word, Wycliffe seeks to bear fruit among new believers who also become rooted in God's Word. The ministry's goal is to see Bible translation in progress, through partnership, in every language that needs it by the year 2025. WBT accomplishes its goal by supporting the training and field program of the Summer Institute of Linguistics, Inc. (SIL), an affiliated organization. WBT makes known to the Christian community the opportunities for service, the need for financial and prayer support, and encourages Christians to join with it in bringing God's Word to ethnic groups around the world.

WBT maintains its national headquarters and six regional centers to help promote the work of Bible translation. They offer a variety of resources, including: speakers for church services, Sunday school classes and other groups, videos, books, brochures, table displays, resources for children's ministries, and lesson kits geared toward mission awareness.

WBT is a nonprofit organization and contributions to it are fully deductible to the extent allowed by law. In addition, it is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA).

Mission statement

WBT expresses its vision and mission as the following:

Our work in the Bible translation movement flows out of our identity as followers of Jesus. The beliefs we share provide us with the motivation for our ministry. These foundational beliefs guide our plans and practices. In all we do, we desire to not only spread the message of Christ, but also to incarnate--live out--that message.

Wycliffe's Vision
That God's Word is accessible to all people in a language that speaks to their heart.

Wycliffe's Mission
To see a Bible translation program in progress in every language still needing one by 2025.

Each person who participates in the Bible translation movement has been created by God, gifted by God and called by God. While we are a diverse community, we are driven by a single passion: The glory of God through the translation of the Word for every person on earth in the language they understand best.

Statement of faith

WBT communicates its Doctrine as the following:

Wycliffe professes the Word it proclaims. Relying on God and rooted in His Word, Wycliffe seeks to bear fruit among new believers who also become rooted in God's Word. Our goal is to see Bible translation in progress, through partnership, in every language that needs it by the year 2025.

Wycliffe Believes

  • The Bible is God's message for people everywhere
  • The message of the Bible is evangelistic and is the basis for church planting and growth
  • The most effective means of communication is the mother tongue
  • For a church to be truly indigenous, it must have the Bible in its mother tongue
  • Bible translation is the task of the whole Church, and everyone can have a part
Doctrinal Statement
We embrace the following truths, allowing them to guide our words, actions and attitudes:
  • The divine inspiration and consequent authority of the whole canonical Scripture
  • The doctrine of the Trinity
  • The fall of man, his consequent moral depravity and his need for regeneration
  • The atonement through the substitutionary death of Christ
  • The doctrine of justification by faith
  • The resurrection of the body, both of the just and the unjust
  • The eternal life of the saved and the eternal punishment of the lost

Transparency grade


To understand our transparency grade, click here.

Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Foreign Missions

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating509 of 71764 of 93
Fund acquisition rating536 of 71872 of 93
Resource allocation rating411 of 71848 of 93
Asset utilization rating398 of 71751 of 93

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$797,000$365,000$2,048,000$3,865,000$3,452,000
Short-term investments$69,243,000$72,692,000$68,313,000$65,291,000$62,430,000
Other current assets$4,855,000$3,948,000$3,529,000$2,862,000$2,383,000
Total current assets$94,054,000$95,742,000$86,275,000$80,342,000$76,706,000
Long-term investments$24,267,000$24,140,000$23,504,000$21,645,000$20,746,000
Fixed assets$35,881,000$38,999,000$39,058,000$38,642,000$39,502,000
Other long-term assets$1,197,000$280,000$0$0$0
Total long-term assets$61,345,000$63,419,000$62,562,000$60,287,000$60,248,000
Total assets$155,399,000$159,161,000$148,837,000$140,629,000$136,954,000
Payables and accrued expenses$11,638,000$11,520,000$12,014,000$11,519,000$11,707,000
Other current liabilities$706,000$967,000$1,005,000$1,359,000$1,637,000
Total current liabilities$12,344,000$12,487,000$13,019,000$12,878,000$13,344,000
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$10,772,000$11,046,000$11,444,000$11,822,000$11,808,000
Total long-term liabilities$10,772,000$11,046,000$11,444,000$11,822,000$12,886,000
Total liabilities$23,116,000$23,533,000$24,463,000$24,700,000$26,230,000
Net assets20192018201720162015
Temporarily restricted$42,658,000$38,717,000$36,969,000$33,087,000$35,224,000
Permanently restricted$0$3,486,000$3,451,000$2,083,000$2,076,000
Net assets$132,283,000$135,628,000$124,374,000$115,929,000$110,724,000
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$204,283,000$204,567,000$188,799,000$186,084,000$182,390,000
Program service revenue$2,723,000$3,125,000$2,794,000$2,856,000$2,787,000
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$1,465,000$1,535,000$1,284,000$1,318,000$1,492,000
Other revenue$98,000$102,000$47,000$100,000$117,000
Total other revenue$4,286,000$4,762,000$4,125,000$4,274,000$4,396,000
Total revenue$208,569,000$209,329,000$192,924,000$190,358,000$186,786,000
Program services$175,283,000$157,229,000$144,870,000$146,174,000$144,877,000
Management and general$17,803,000$24,828,000$25,657,000$25,354,000$23,938,000
Total expenses$212,869,000$201,486,000$187,646,000$187,477,000$185,099,000
Change in net assets20192018201720162015
Surplus (deficit)($4,300,000)$7,843,000$5,278,000$2,881,000$1,687,000
Other changes in net assets$955,000$3,411,000$3,167,000$2,324,000$194,000
Total change in net assets($3,345,000)$11,254,000$8,445,000$5,205,000$1,881,000

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.


WBT was founded in 1942 by William Cameron Townsend. A missionary to the Cakchiquel Indians of Guatemala, Townsend had caught the vision for translation when a Cakchiquel man challenged him: "If your God is so great, why doesn't He speak in my language?"

Townsend resolved that every man, woman and child should be able to read God's Word in their own language. Borrowing the name of the Reformation hero, John Wycliffe, who first translated the Bible into English, Townsend founded "Camp Wycliffe" in 1934 as a linguistics training school. By 1942, "Camp Wycliffe" had grown into two sister organizations, Wycliffe Bible Translators and the Summer Institute of Linguistics.

Today, the Summer Institute of Linguistics and WBT work together to translate Scripture, train field personnel in linguistics and promote interest in translation. Over 500 translations have been completed, and hundreds more are in the process.

The Beginnings of Bible Translation

  • Old Testament Languages
    The Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew, the language of the Jewish people. As time passed after the original writing, the Greek language gained prevalence. So, in the third century B.C. a Greek translation of the Old Testament scriptures was completed--the Septuagint. This translation was in common use during the time of Jesus' ministry.
  • New Testament Languages
    When the New Testament was written, the common languages of the time were put to use once more. Text was written in Koine Greek. This familiar language communicated well to average people and deeply impacted the early church. But eventually, this language became less effective at communicating God's Word. It was no longer in everyday use in some areas, and the gospel spread into entirely new territories not familiar with this language. These factors made translation imperative for an understandable transmission of God's Word. Translations began early in the history of the Church.

Program accomplishments

Wycliffe Bible Translators, Inc. has communicated the following program accomplishments:

At the present time, more than 2,260 languages have some or all of the Bible and 1,500 more have translations in progress. SIL is currently involved in translation, literacy, and/or preparatory linguistic work in 1,100 of these.


Wycliffe Bible Translators, Inc. communicates the following needs:

(1) PRAYER cannot be overestimated. It launched the work of Bible translation, and it continues to move it forward. WBT relies on your prayers. WBT offers several tools to help you pray effectively for their members and work. Published prayer tools may be requested using their online contact form. WBT needs people committed to praying. You can fulfill a vital need by joining their support team as an intercessor. Invest in eternity, one prayer at a time.

(2) TELL others about the worldwide need for Bible translation. WBT cannot speak with all of them; they trust people who are interested in Bible translation--people like you--to help them spread the word. You can help to share the needs of more than 380 million people without God's Word.

(3) GIFT's can help provide someone with God's Word. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God." 2 Corinthians 9:12, (NIV). Four ways you can help are: (1) Support the ministry of an individual missionary; (2) Support the completion project for the 9 people groups in Central America; (3) Support a specific project; and (4) Contribute to the general fund: Worldwide Projects Fund.

(4) Go! Whether for a week or a lifetime, to Orlando or to your idea of the ends of the earth, you can participate in Bible translation by going. See the ministry's website for more information.

(5) Volunteer! You can give of your time, skills and labor to aid the task of Bible translation. Wycliffe depends on volunteers of all ages and vocations to help with specific projects and with the day-to-day running of our offices around the world. For more information call Wycliffe Associates at 407-852-3800 or check the 'volunteer' box on our contact form on our website and someone will get in touch with you.