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 tools, trips, and training resources that help leaders grow their people.

Our Story… The Short Version

Old School Wilderness Group
Early 1970s Algonquin group.

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 35 years down the road from our birth as an organization, Pilgrimage continues to pioneer its brand of integrated, skill-driven training 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 academic 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 Team

Ben Wilhite

Ben Wilhite, MA

Executive Director

Since 2003, Ben Wilhite has been the Executive Director of Pilgrimage. 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 and an MA in Organizational Leadership from Clarks Summit University. Ben’s passion is to invest in the development of Kingdom people and resources that amplify the disciple-making mission of the local church.  In 2017, he launched Anchor Christian University, an innovative institution that partners with frontline ministries globally to train next-generation ministry leaders.

Dr. Dennis M. Wilhite

Dennis Wilhite, EdD

Director of Education

Dr. Wilhite founded Pilgrimage in 1984 as an extension of a very successful youth ministry. His vision for the practical integration of learning and experience is braided into the DNA of Pilgrimage. His background includes 20 years in youth ministry and over 25 years as an undergraduate and graduate educator and administrator at Clarks Summit University (PA), Liberty University (VA), and Anchor Christian University (FL). He formerly served as Dean of the School of Global Ministries for CSU.

Dwight Peterson, DMin

Director of Leadership Development

Since 1985, Dr. Peterson has been an integral part of the mission and ministry of Pilgrimage.  He served a combined 17 years in local church youth ministry, as well as giving oversight to the Bible curriculum and discipleship functions at a Christian school.  In Indiana, Dwight developed training courses for youth ministry teams while also making them available as curriculum for other youth ministries, including OnTrack Devotions.  Currently, Dr. Peterson serves on the faculty of Clarks Summit University (PA). He formerly served as the Director of Teen Leadership Conference, serving over 1000 students and youth workers every summer.