Our Graduates

Training one rural leader means training a whole community

All around the world ARI’s graduates act as crucial leaders in their communities.

Equipped with knowledge, values, and a renewed sense of purpose from ARI, they work in a wide range of contexts, addressing the most essential and difficult issues in their localities.

In over 50 countries, ARI’s spirit of “a life of sharing” motivates graduates to forge new paths toward health, justice, and peace together with their people.

From 1973 until today, 1239 people have completed ARI's Rural Leaders Training Course. However, a predecessor of this course existed from 1960 to 1972 at the Theological Seminary for Rural Mission. Taken together, the total number of 'Our Graduates' is 1364.

The Qualities of ARI Graduates

Living as Servant Leaders

Graduates live among their people through all seasons. They dedicate their entire lives to leadership by example, sharing their people's pain, their joy, their labor. They often serve some of the most marginalized groups on earth.

Building Bridges

Often working in places of ethnic or religious tension, graduates endeavor to connect people across divisive boundaries, in many cases through the simple act of working the soil and sharing food.

Bringing Communities Together

Whether it is a farmers group, a credit union, or an association of bakers, graduates know that a community’s greatest asset is its people. They believe firmly in their common potential and guide them in attaining more by working together.

Perseverance Amidst Hardship

Obstacles are a graduate’s unfortunate companion: war, corruption, disasters, the list is endless. Yet ARI graduates keep planting seeds of hope and prosperity, protecting and nourishing them until they sprout in the hearts of their people.

A Broad Range of Work

ARI graduates serve in a broad range of fields and settings,
responding to the most pressing needs of their communities.

Sustainable Farming & Foodlife

A great number of ARI graduates are involved in agriculture. They teach and promote sustainable farming methods to achieve food security in families, schools, and whole communities.  

Serving the Marginalized

Together with the minorities, the "low caste," the disabled – all those who get pushed to the margins of society – this is where you find many of ARI’s graduates.

Self-Reliant Communities

Under ARI graduates' leadership, rural communities come together to work for meaningful development that matches people's needs and capabilities.

Local Climate Action​

ARI graduates respond to the climate crisis with environmentally friendly agriculture, appropriate technology, awareness-building, and social action at the local and national level.

Justice, Peace, Human Rights

Inspired by ARI's values of “That We May Live Together,” graduates advocate for peace, bridge ethnic and religious rifts and bring the attention of neglected groups to the forefront.

Childcare & Education

“Education is the key,” exclaimed one woman at a village meeting in Kenya. Thus, the graduate in her area along with dozens of graduates the world over invest in providing quality, community-oriented education to children and families.

Disaster Response

Being “on the ground” and close to the people, our graduates are likely the first responders after a disaster strikes, providing food, water, and comfort. They also assist relief agencies to get medicine and food to those who need it most.

Women Leadership & Gender Justice

Among ARI’s graduates are a great number of women leaders. They, along with their male counterparts work fiercely to raise up women and girls, that their voices may be heard as complete and respected members of their communities.

Culture & Rights of Indigenous People

The fabric of society is woven from many colors. ARI graduates ensure that the colors of ethnic minorities and indigenous people are included with respect and honor in that cloth.

Health & Hygiene

Clean water, good sanitation, healthy food, and access to basic medical care are high priorities to ARI graduates, as a healthy community starts with healthy people.

Vibrant Partnerships

Graduates in the same country or region often collaborate with each other, sharing information, knowledge, and resources. They also build on networks in other countries based on friendships that started at ARI.

For Alumni

ARI and Graduate Knowledge Base

Extending the ARI Learning Community around the world.

Graduate Story Archive

Read stories from graduates and learn about their lives and work .

Contact us if you're a Graduate

Our Graduate Outreach section wants to hear from you! We’re looking forward to your updates and suggestions.