our story

The Birth of EMI

EMI was birthed from a desire to strategically blend the design professions and faith in Christ to expand God’s kingdom.

It was the spring of 1981 on the island of Saipan when God first revealed the vision of Engineering Ministries International. The island had recently been hit by a typhoon and the people were trying to rebuild their lives. While on a short- term trip focused on evangelism, one of the volunteers found that his abilities as a structural engineer were in great need. A two-fold opportunity presented itself: evangelism and engineering. Helping people rebuild their lives and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ were a match that empowered outreach across the entire island. God had a plan: show design professionals how they could use their skills and share eternal hope in Christ while serving a world in need.

From the experience of one short term trip, a vision was set forth by God to involve design professionals in ministry to people in need. Design professionals (architects, engineers, draftsmen, surveyors, etc.) could benefit from the short-term experiences while providing a much-needed service. This vision became EMI.

EMI was incorporated in the USA in May of 1982. The first design professional joined as full-time staff in 1984. During these formative years volunteers began to participate in short term trips that focused on designing a world of hope for ministries in developing countries. Today, EMI has over 100 staff and interns who serve in our offices around the world. In the next 10 years, EMI has a vision to plant a satellite office in 10 major zones around the world. This expansion will allow EMI to better serve organizations by bringing a regional perspective and local experience to our designs. Since 1982, EMI has completed over 1000 projects in more than 90 countries around the world.

In 2008 Engineering Ministries International UK opened its doors as a one person office to better mobilise British volunteers. EMI UK received charitable status in the summer of 2008.