'til Christ is formed in you

aka MEI   |   Wheaton, IL   |
GuideStar Charity Check


EIN: 75-2661374


Ministry Essentials, International (MEI) is a non-profit mission agency that establishes and cultivates spiritual community among Christian leaders and their families serving internationally. As a soul care and spiritual formation mission, we purpose to spiritually nourish Christian leaders by: -Joining their journey of faith -Challenging their assumptions about life and God -Igniting a deeper hope in Him

Ruling year info


Guiding Director / President

Dr. David Shepherd

Main address

PO Box 4947

Wheaton, IL 60189 USA

Show more contact info



Subject area info

Leadership development



Population served info


Young adults

Low-income people

NTEE code info

Christian (X20)

Religion Related, Spiritual Development N.E.C. (X99)

Leadership Development (W70)

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Getting caught up in their work for God, Christian leaders too often lose sight of their lives in God. This affects not only their actual work but has a negative impact on their families and core relationships.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Soul Care

Research shows that resilience or ‘vitality’ in ministry (and life) is directly
correlated to the quality of community one enjoys. Scripture (Jn. 13 & 17) indicates that the quality of our relationships actually provide the validity of our message (by our love and unity). In other words, if Christian leaders struggle under the weight of spiritual dryness, relational loneliness, and depleted energy, how much more will their congregation, church plant, discipleship group be limited in their growth? Our mission is to strengthen and grow the body of Christ by investing in the ongoing growth of Christian leaders.

Providing soul care for Christian leaders, we offer hospitality, training/equipping, spiritual direction, worship & prayer events, counseling, workshops and mentoring.

Population(s) Served

Resourcing sending agencies and mentoring college aged TCK's in their transition back to their passport country.

Population(s) Served
Young adults

We offer educational assessments to third culture kids in global settings to help them thrive educationally while living in another culture outside of their passport country.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Missio Nexus 2018

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

By God's grace and the Holy Spirit's work through our ministry, Christian leaders will:
• experience a vibrant relationship with God that is characterized by spiritual hunger
• understand themselves in light of God's love, relating to others without fear or pretense
• embrace the gifts and challenges of sharing spiritual community with other believers
• passionately express Christ in the world, freely giving themselves for others' sakes.

We believe that spiritual community is essential for every Christian; therefore, MEI establishes spiritual communities in strategic locations around the world where Christian leaders can gather for care and growth. Creating a vital, relevant, and faithful presence of community enables MEI to support Christian leaders in their journey, which includes challenging their assumptions about life and God, and seeking to inspire a deeper trust in Him. Ministry Essentials uses a variety of methods to gather, build, and deepen spiritual community both at their chosen hubs and on-location.

Methods include:

Gather community through Hospitality, Praise Gatherings, and Community Development.

Build Community through Training, Coaching, Debriefs, and TCK testing.

Deepen Community through Counseling, Discipleship, Spiritual Friendship, and Conflict Resolution.

For the Budapest Garden House, our specific strategies are in light of the refugee crisis. National pastors and cross-cultural workers in the region are asking for help with post-traumatic stress syndrome, trauma care, debriefing, and living in community with these issues and more. Through the Garden House we will offer:
• Soul care
• Debriefs
• Counseling intensives
• Spiritual retreats
• Training in spiritual formation specifically related to ministry challenges like Marriage, Parenting, Team dynamics, Trauma care, Conflict resolution, Listening to God, Resiliency, Pastoral Care.

Members of our team already serve leaders in Asia, the Balkans, Central Asia, Southeast
Asia, the Middle East, and Russia.

Our 19 staff members are highly trained in counselling and spiritual direction. Our more specialized staff have further training in their areas of expertise--like trauma counselling and care, school psychological testing, and education.

In the 20 years of MEI's work, we have increased our staff from 2 to 19 professionals doing work in 12 countries, with each team member serving approximately 80 Christian leaders per year.

Our new endeavor, the Budapest Garden House, is undergoing a reboot. Over the past four and a half years, it has been a place for crisis intervention and local community building. Starting fall of 2017, it has become a Soul Care and Training Center.


Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 140.17 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 4.7 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 6% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of MINISTRY ESSENTIALS INT'L’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

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Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $73,167 $86,417 $25,751 $25,286 $6,227
As % of expenses 8.3% 8.1% 2.1% 1.8% 0.4%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $66,746 $76,312 $12,584 $12,119 -$8,270
As % of expenses 7.5% 7.1% 1.0% 0.8% -0.5%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $954,466 $1,246,394 $1,369,729 $1,525,160 $1,625,845
Total revenue, % change over prior year 14.1% 30.6% 9.9% 11.3% 6.6%
Program services revenue 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 2.2% 0.0% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 100.0% 100.0% 97.7% 100.0% 100.0%
Other revenue 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $881,299 $1,061,717 $1,204,661 $1,444,746 $1,594,684
Total expenses, % change over prior year 3.2% 20.5% 13.5% 19.9% 10.4%
Personnel 57.9% 65.6% 69.8% 64.0% 61.4%
Professional fees 3.1% 4.2% 5.6% 4.1% 2.8%
Occupancy 10.0% 9.4% 9.6% 8.8% 9.9%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other expenses 28.8% 20.8% 14.9% 23.1% 25.9%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $887,720 $1,071,822 $1,217,828 $1,457,913 $1,609,181
One month of savings $73,442 $88,476 $100,388 $120,396 $132,890
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $52,828 $0 $0 $25,894
Total full costs (estimated) $961,162 $1,213,126 $1,318,216 $1,578,309 $1,767,965

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 4.2 5.0 6.0 5.7 5.1
Months of cash and investments 4.2 5.0 6.0 5.7 5.1
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 4.2 1.9 1.9 1.8 1.5
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $310,811 $443,864 $607,273 $682,162 $684,061
Investments $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Receivables $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $194,045 $246,873 $246,873 $246,873 $272,764
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 40.6% 36.0% 41.3% 46.7% 47.6%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 0.8% 2.2% 1.1% 0.5% 0.8%
Unrestricted net assets $0 $327,812 $340,396 $352,515 $344,245
Temporarily restricted net assets $0 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $0 $265,853 $405,170 $460,298 $485,232
Total net assets $422,752 $593,665 $745,566 $812,813 $829,477

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Material data errors No No No No No


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Guiding Director / President

Dr. David Shepherd

Seeing a need for the ongoing spiritual nourishment and development of Christian leaders, Dr. David & Jeanni Shepherd researched and finally came to the conclusion, through the advice of others, to form a US based 501(c) 3 nonprofit mission agency to meet the spiritual needs of leaders in 1996. Now, 20 years later, we have staff working in Asia, Europe, and North America providing training and equipping, soul care, counseling, debriefing from trauma, and educational assessment for children of Christian workers.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990


Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.


Board of directors
as of 01/20/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Annette Haskins

Valley Community Baptist Church

Term: 2021 - 2023

Annette Haskins

Karen Fenz

Dave Shepherd

Ministry Essentials Int'l

Jeanni Shepherd

Ministry Essentials Int'l

Mark Forstrom

Jim Balazs

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Not applicable
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes