Our Mission

Our mission is to grow and equip Kingdom leaders to impact the world around them.


True leadership invests in the growth of those it is leading. We strive to know you and to invest in you.


We design, develop and deliver curriculum, training and materials for leaders to employ in the venture of growing their people.

Our Story… The Short Version


Early 1970s Algonquin Park wilderness trip.

Growing and equipping leaders… that’s what we’ve been doing (officially) since 1984, though a wilderness event in 1972 began to shape the learning and philosophy that is now Pilgrimage. Over a quarter century down the road from our birth as an organization, Pilgrimage continues to pioneer its brand of experience-based training and education through partnerships with colleges and universities, our Wilderness Institute for Leadership Development (W.I.L.D.) and development of the GROW System. We also develop and produce resources like Master Plan for Ministry and OnTrack Devotions to equip ministry leaders with tools to leverage toward that same end. Whether through our degree programs, discipleship training or published resources, our prayer is that the local church and its people would be built up for their Kingdom purposes.

Our Leadership Team

Dennis Wilhite, EdD

Dennis Wilhite, EdD

Director of Education

Dennis founded Pilgrimage in 1984 as an extension of a very successful youth ministry. His vision for practical integration of learning and experience is braided into the DNA of Pilgrimage. His background includes 20 years in youth ministry and over 20 years as an undergraduate and graduate educator and administrator at Clarks Summit University of PA. He formerly served as Dean of the School of Global Ministries for Summit. He also serves as an Assistant Professor of Discipleship Ministries and as Instructional Mentor for Practical Studies for the Liberty University Baptist Theological Seminary distance program.  Dr. Wilhite is also a co-founder of Koinonia Educational Ministries, a non-profit educational organization. He and his wife, Marlene, have four adult children eight grandchildren.  They reside in Clarks Summit, PA.

Dwight Peterson

Dwight Peterson

Director of Leadership Development

Since 1985, Dwight Peterson has been an integral part of the mission and ministry of Pilgrimage Educational Resources.  After serving for three years as Youth Pastor at Brookdale Baptist Church (Bloomfield, NJ), Dwight accepted the Youth Pastor role at First Baptist Church (Elkhart, IN), where he served for 14 years.  His area of responsibility included junior high, senior high and college ministry along with oversight of the Bible curriculum and discipleship functions at the Christian school operated by the church.  In Elkhart, Dwight developed training courses for his youth ministry teams while also making them available in workshop and written formats as curriculum to other youth ministries.  Out of this, he created and has continuously developed OnTrack Devotions.

Currently, Mr. Peterson serves on the faculty of Clarks Summit University (Clarks Summit, PA). He is the Director of Teen Leadership Conference, serving over 1000 students and youth workers every summer.

Ben Wilhite

Ben Wilhite

Executive Director

Since 2003, Ben Wilhite has been the Executive Director of Pilgrimage Educational Resources. Prior to that, he invested five years as a Project Manager/Assistant to the VP of Lending and New Accounts Manager at Pennsylvania State Employee Credit Union, a $2 billion financial institution. He holds a BA in Finance from Liberty University (1997). Ben’s passion is to invest in the development of Kingdom people and resources that equip and enable local churches to accomplish their mission. Ben and his wife, Jeni, live in Boca Raton, FL, with their four children: Gabrielle, Caedon, Micah and Samuel.