In the early 1980’s, a vision was born to establish a practical training center for Christian workers going to serve in developing regions of the world. Two Warner University (then Warner Southern College) faculty members, Dr. Bob Clark and Charlie Smith, promoted the idea of developing a college level grass roots training program at Warner. Dr. Bob Clark, a former missionary in Bangladesh, Charlie Smith, a former Peace Corps worker in Malaysia, and Dean Flora with Food for the Hungry International, became the key players in this trio of mission leaders who founded the h.e.a.r.t. program.
A cooperative effort was launched by Warner University and Food for the Hungry International in developing the h.e.a.r.t. village in 1981. In 1994 h.e.a.r.t. became an independent nonprofit corporation which gave the program new opportunities for partnerships and funding. Warner University continues to be a great partner by providing the property where the village resides and college credit for the academic courses.