Founded in 1989, ICCM is an incredible time of Christian fellowship, professional training, and networking among people with a technical interest in missions.
Who makes ICCM happen year after year? Early on, anyone who wished to help was part of a “Monday night meeting” to plan the next year’s ICCM. This “ICCM leadership team” decides on the next year’s Program Chair. Volunteers with past ICCM experience create each of the program elements. The mailing lists provide a year-round forum for technical help.
But it’s the attendees who make ICCM the edifying event that it is each year – contributing talents in music, technology, management, creativity, encouragement, and worship. As a participant in ICCM, you are part of this story of taking the gospel of Jesus Christ to the nations through technology.
Late 1970s-early 1980s: A group called CCU (Christian Computer Users) began meeting regularly. These gatherings offered fellowship and exchange of technical ideas.
Early 1980s: CCU merged with CMMA (Christian Ministries Management Association now Christian Management Association) to be a part of CMMA’s annual conference, creating an IT-focused track along with the other tracks offered. Paul Sturgis, one of ICCM’s founding members led several sessions of the IT track. These conferences attracted 1,500 attendees and were fairly expensive. Here’s Paul:
“During one of these annual conferences in Los Angeles, I met with Bob Hodge (Taylor University), Norm Ducharme (SIM International), Ron Tenney (Operation Mobilization), Dave Sironi (Intervarsity Christian Fellowship), and several others. Our general thoughts were: ‘We need more than what is being offered as it relates to computers and missions. What can we do to make that happen?’”
1988: Norm Ducharme was invited to Taylor University by Jay Kesler, who had recently become president of the college. Jay wanted to investigate ways of getting students more involved in missions. First, he installed a missionary-in-residence. The next idea was to start a conference of technical people from various mission agencies, and have the students serve them. He invited representatives from two IFMA agencies: Bill Jack was the IT Director for TEAM at the time, and Norm was the IT Director for SIM.
1989: ICCM’s first conference was held at Taylor University, and an event for missionaries and by missionaries involved in technology was born. Locals Bob Hodge and Dale Sloat managed logistics.
2000: The first ICCM conference was held outside the US in Australia. The attendees wanted ICCM to be available to people around the world in a culturally and technologically sensitive way. Because ICCM is not an official organization, ICCM leaders have voluntarily branched out to start the conference in locations around the world.
2009: ICCM Europe was held in the Netherlands, and it alternates every other year between the Netherlands and Germany.
2014: ICCM Africa met for the first time in Kenya.
2018: Seeing a key linguistic need, ICCM Africa added a separate French-language conference in Burkina Faso.
Today: With ICCM conferences hosted in various locations across the USA, as well as regionally in Europe, Australia, Asia, Africa and Europe, over 110 missions, colleges, and businesses have participated in the conferences.
Want to find out how you can be a part of this story of technology and missions? Contact us to get started!