Courses of Study
In any given quarter, courses will be offered from among the following, depending on the availability of faculty and the composition of the student body. Course offerings and course descriptions are subject to change through normal academic processes.
The courses are numbered according to the following guidelines:
- MB: Behavioral Sciences
- MC: Church Growth
- MD: Holistic Ministries
- ME: Communication
- MH: Mission History
- MI: Mission Integration
- MK: Korean Mission
- ML: Leadership Training
- MM: Ministry
- MN: Urban Mission
- MO: Spiritual Dynamics
- MP: Contemporary Culture
- MR: Religions
- MT: Mission Theology
The 500-level courses are for students in the MA programs, and are open to students in any master’s-level program. Students in the Korean-language ThM in Missiology program register for courses at the 600 level. The 700-level courses are for students in the Doctor of Missiology program. The 800-level courses are for Ph.D. and ThM in Intercultural Studies students only.
Abbreviations at the end of the course description indicate whether the course meets one or more of the following:
- School of Intercultural Studies core competency course in the MA in Intercultural Studies beginning Winter 2010 (MAIS)
- School of Theology MDiv core requirements, such as MIN3 or MIN8
- Seminary core requirement (SCR) or other MA program requirement (MAT, MATM, MACL)
These abbreviations also appear in quarterly class schedules. A current list may be found at schedule.fuller.edu.
School of Intercultural Studies Faculty
- C. Douglas McConnell, Professor of Leadership and Intercultural Studies
- Bryant L. Myers, Professor of Transformational Development
- Diane Obenchain, Professor of Religion
- Timothy Kiho Park, Professor of Asian Missions
- Johnny Ramírez-Johnson, Professor of Intercultural Studies
- Scott W, Sunquist, Professor of World Christianity
- Amos Yong, Professor of Theology and Mission
- Ryan K. Bolger, Associate Professor of Church in Contemporary Culture
- Donna R. Downes, Associate Professor of Leadership
- Roberta R. King, Associate Professor of Communication and Ethnomusicology
- Evelyne Reisacher, Associate Professor of Islamic Studies and Intercultural Relations
- Judith Tiersma Watson, Associate Professor of Urban Mission
- Keon-Sang An, Assistant Professor of Bible and Mission
- Robert E. Freeman, Assistant Professor of Distance Learning
- Mark Hopkins, Assistant Professor of Leadership
- Enoch Jinsik Kim, Assistant Professor of Communication and Mission Studies
- Peter Lai-Heng Lim, Headington Assistant Professor of Global Leadership Development
- David H. Scott, Assistant Professor of Intercultural Studies and Children at Risk
- Wilmer G. Villacorta, Assistant Professor of Intercultural Studies
- J. Robert Clinton, Senior Professor of Leadership
- Sherwood G. Lingenfelter, Senior Professor of Anthropology
- Paul E. Pierson, Senior Professor of History of Mission and Latin American Studies
- R. Daniel Shaw, Senior Professor of Anthropology and Translation
- Wilbert R. Shenk, Senior Professor of Mission History and Contemporary Culture
- Charles E. Van Engen, Arthur F. Glasser Professor Emeritus of Biblical Theology of Mission and Senior Professor of Biblical Theology of Mission
- J. Dudley Woodberry, Senior Professor of Islamic Studies
- Elizabeth L. Glanville, Senior Assistant Professor of Leadership
Integrative Studies (IS)
IS 503 The Practice of Mission. This is one of the three foundational practice courses required for the MDiv, MAICS, MATM or MAT degrees. In this course students will be challenged to rethink the meaning of God’s mission and the Church’s practice of mission in light of their own experiences of mission. The overall concern is to understand God’s mission biblically, theologically, and practically considered. Students will begin to explore the nature of missional existence in their own context as well as in other cultural contexts, and learn to apply missiological insights to these situations.
Behavioral Sciences (MB)
MB 501 Insights for Cultural Understanding. This course addresses cultural self-awareness and cross-cultural competence for building healthy relationships within diverse communities. Drawing upon anthropological, sociological, biblical, and theological perspectives, students gain basic principles and skills for researching and interacting among diverse cultural and social groups.
MB 520 Thinking Anthropologically. This course seeks to integrate anthropological concepts and theories with effective Christian witness in cross-cultural/inter-cultural ministry contexts. Cultural Anthropology has long sought to understand the elements of human commonality while appreciating how those common elements are managed by each society. By combining cultural theories with ministry experience, the course encourages students to recognize personal cultural biases and appreciate the relevance of anthropological thinking to church and mission. Course principles are applied to the transmission of the Gospel in ecclesial and/or missional contexts in order to encourage the transformation of communities in any cultural context including North American urban settings. Offered only in Korean.
MB 524 Christian Anthropology from the Margins. Developing an epistemology of diversity and cultural contextualization via truth seeking by reading selected biblical passages from the margins. Challenging the limits of discrete anthropological and theological epistemologies by gesturing toward a transdisciplinary understanding of an emerging practical theology for the purpose of contextualizing Christian theological thinking. Enabling students’ cultural, racial and ethnic exploration for self-awareness and facilitating engagement with diverse communities.
MB 560 Methods of Observing and Interpreting Culture. This seminar is designed to equip students with basic skills in collecting and analyzing qualitative cultural data using methods of the ethnographer, and is offered to a limited number of master’s level students as approved by the professor. A range of related methods will be discussed along with the epistemological implications of each, and students will acquire greater proficiency with a selection of those methods via the execution of a pilot research project.
Church Growth (MC)
MC 500 Church in Mission. This course serves as a broad introduction to the Church and churches in historical and contemporary contexts. Students will explore a broad variety of ecclesiological formations, exploring the nature of churches, their liturgies, communal life, and their mission in the world. In this course, students will begin to compare and contrast the historical and contemporary church with their own particular tradition. Also offered in Spanish.
MC 506 Leading a Missional Church. The emergence of the missional church is showing signs of being the largest realignment of Christianity since the Reformation. This course explores the distinguishing contours of the missional church revolution as well as the leadership required by it. Major course attention will center on two primary shifts underway: the shift from internal to external focus and the shift from program-driven to people development as the core activity of the missional community. The course is designed for those who want both to understand these developments and to exercise leadership in this movement.
MC 509 The Church in a Culture of Technology. In this course, we will document the social media revolution through an analysis of Google, Facebook, Youtube, Blogging, Wikipedia, Twitter, Second Life, and mobile phones. We will be exploring how this cultural change impacts churches. How do we pursue the reign of God in these new cultures? We will be drawing on historic missiological understandings as well as contemporary insights to seriously engage participatory cultures with the gospel of Christ.
MC 520 Church Planting. This course begins with an in-depth study and critical appraisal of the work of Donald McGavran, founder of the church growth movement. In this course, students will create a church planting strategy, building on theological resources, visits to LA church plants, and studies of church planting movements.
MC 525 Starting and Multiplying New Churches. A practical course designed to provide students with a grasp of the issues and dynamics involved in planting churches. With spiritual formation as the foundation, students will learn how to develop a strategy for starting and multiplying churches that is applicable in any context and community. This course will address current church planting models, methods, and processes.
MC 527 Discipleship in Mission. The course will help students understand the life and work of a believer and how discipleship is related to the coming of the kingdom of God. It is to let the students know that believers who receive eternal life as a free gift by sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:16) ought to have discipleship that motivates them to give, yield, and sacrifice (1 John 3:16) for the coming of the kingdom of God. This course is to provide the students with theoretical and practical knowledge of Christian discipleship. Taught only in Korean.
MC 539 Evangelism in Cultural Contexts. The message of Jesus Christ is Good News. In this course we seek to rediscover that Good News for ourselves, listen to the various ways others have come to faith through evangelistic encounters, and discover the various ways the Good News comes in and through cultures. We focus specifically on Latino, African American, and Asian American cultures, but we also talk about youth cultures. We look at various writers who have theorized about evangelism, and we also have opportunities to share our faith in the context of the course.
Holistic Ministries (MD)
MD 500 Globalization, the Poor, and Christian Mission. This course examines the globalization phenomenon as a deeply rooted historical change process that has significant impact on the contemporary church and the poor. The course consists of two parts. The first part of the course examines the political, economic, and cultural dimensions of globalization with a view toward unraveling myth from reality and applying biblical lenses to this assessment. Supporters and skeptics are examined, as are the major global players who have the power to shape the nature of globalization. The second part of the course briefly examines the impact of globalization on the church and global mission, but primarily focuses on the impact of globalization on the poor and a critical examination of global proposals for eradicating poverty.
MD 524 Advocacy for Social Justice. This course explores what it means for every Christian—whether working in a ministry context or in a secular calling—to observe God’s call “to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” Participants will explore various biblical, theological, and historical traditions of social justice. We will investigate detailed examples of injustice as well as models of advocacy, both in the United States and internationally. Students will research and uncover specific and tangible ways in which ordinary Christians can intervene individually and organizationally in order to help remedy instances where injustice exists.
MD 525 Poverty and Development. This course explores the challenges of empowering the poor in a world marked by marginalization, disempowerment, abuse and injustice. Poverty is explored from a number of perspectives, concluding with a biblical framework. Responses to poverty are then explored, including the goals of transformational development and the process and principles by which it is pursued. The focus is largely on development in the global South.
MD 528 Development Tools and Practices. This course introduces students to the tools and practices used in doing transformational development programming. Built around an emphasis on program design, monitoring and evaluation, the course introduces students to the two main tools of participatory action research used by development practitioners: Participatory Learning and Action and Appreciative Inquiry. In addition, the course will include basic introductions to critical technical sectors such as micro-enterprise development and sustainable agriculture. The class will also address the characteristics, character and competencies of holistic development practitioners. Students’ learning will be enhanced if they have taken Poverty and Development (MD525).
MD 543 Ministry with Children at Risk. There are children in every society that struggle with complex social challenges; from economic poverty and malnutrition to abuse, neglect, and exploitation. This course makes use of insights and approaches from a variety of disciplines to help Christians understand what mission (and particularly cross-cultural mission) with these children can achieve when it is grounded in research and committed to appropriately sharing the whole Gospel.
MD 544 Ministry to Sexually Exploited or Trafficked Children. This course will give students a basic introduction to the problem of trafficking of children for sexual and labor exploitation, with an emphasis on sexual exploitation. Students will study existing faith-based and secular strategies to address these issues, evaluate them and formulate effective solutions. Students will be expected to develop a missional approach to addressing sex and labor trafficking in their own ministry context.
MD 546 Relief, Refugees, and Conflict. This course explores the plight of refugees and internally displaced people fleeing the results of conflict and natural disasters. The humanitarian response is explored from a number of perspectives, including a biblical perspective. The changing and highly complex nature of the humanitarian world is explored, seeking to identify the role and contribution of Christian agencies and churches.
MD 556 Orphan Care Approaches: A Spectrum of Responses for Children Outside of Parental Care. This class offers a safe yet intellectually rigorous environment for Christians to grapple with theoretical, biblical, and cultural perspectives about responses to children who are separated from parental care. Students will explore, discuss, and critique various models on the spectrum of care to include: prevention and delay, reunification, kin care, foster care, community based care, forms of adoption, and residential care.
MD 575 Childhood: Global Perspective. This course is a survey of the recent interdisciplinary field of Childhood Studies as a source of greater understanding for mission and ministry. It presents ways to integrate insights from theology, history, sociology, and cross-cultural psychology in order to consider specific topics in ministry with children such as spiritual development, the relationship between globalization and children/youth, children’s rights, and the more extreme challenges that some children and youth face globally.
ME 506 Communicating the Gospel Crossculturally. This course discusses the principles, dynamics and processes of intercultural communication, and the application of these principles to communicating the gospel in ministry contexts. Intersecting this is the examination of the nature of God’s model of communication from a biblical perspective. Learners have the opportunity to enhance their intercultural competence while creatively working to develop models of communication that are theologically valid, culturally appropriate and contextually relevant.
ME 515 Communicating Christ through Narrative and Song. The goal of the course is to learn how to effectively contextualize the Gospel and theology via oral arts forms. It proceeds by investigating how to understand our audience and their perceptions of the world through local art forms with a view to creating and developing culturally appropriate oral resources for Christian worship, witness, and spiritual formation.
ME 518 Exegeting a Music Culture. Students are provided with the knowledge and skills necessary for conducting musical ethnography in diverse cultural and demographic contexts. They will be empowered to reflect upon and address critical issues in each context for employing music in witness and worship effectively and appropriately.
ME 525 Worship and World Religions. This course examines and analyzes the religious worship practices and music expressions of five major world religions: Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism and Christianity. Their respective belief systems and worldviews are also discussed. In addition, issues pertaining to hybridity with local and folk religious practices and musical expressions, as well as implications for appropriate contextualization of Christian worship in multireligious contexts are addressed.
Mission History (MH)
MH 506 The Making of Global Christianity. This course explores Christianity’s first two thousand years with a primary focus on the inherent dynamic that propels cross-cultural transmission and the critical elements that have defined the experience and expressions of the faith in successive heartlands. Five core issues will guide the discussion: the translation principle, or indigenous appropriations and vernacular expressions of the faith; the agents and agencies of missionary expansion; major movements of reformation and renewal; interaction with other major faiths; and causative factors in the periodic shifts or extermination of the faith.
MH 520 Expansion of the People of God. The purpose of this course is the missiological reinterpretation of the history of the church worldwide and the application of the insights which emerge to present strategies of mission. We will not examine primarily the theological and institutional development of the church, but rather the dynamics of its expansion. We will pay special attention to means of renewal and structures of mission.
MH 526 Christianity in China, Korea, and Japan. During the 20th century Christianity, an Asian religion, finally became resident in East Asia as an Asian religion. The countries of Korea, Japan, and China have common cultural threads but diverse trajectories that have shaped Christian development in particular ways. This course studies some of those developments of Christianity in East Asia as distinct from the West (although in dialog with the West) and as distinct from South Asia.
MH 530 History of Christianity in Asia. Christianity was born in Western Asia and spread to China before it has found a home in Scandinavia or Russia. However, Christianity has never seemed completely home in Asia. Persecutions and limitations have been a major story line of Asian Christianity. This course discusses the global nature of the development of Christianity in Asia, focusing on the movements of people and the relationship between Christian communities and political entities (empires and governments).
MH 536 Global Pentecostalism and Mission. This course provides an overview of the global entecostal movement, focused especially on its missionary practices and missiological views. The topic is engaged in an interdisciplinary manner, drawing together historical, social scientific, and theological resources. Pentecostals missions and theology of mission will be situated and assessed within the wider disciplines of mission history, missiology, and conversations about mission theology.
MH 541 Korean Mission History. Traces the missionary movement of the Korean church from its inception to the present as a major force in contemporary world mission. Taught only in Korean.
Mission Integration (MI)
MI 510 Thinking Missiologically. As with every field of study, missiology has its particular focus, literature, and methods. To engage in missiological integration requires appropriate skills to use the tools and resources available. This course introduces the student to these skills and the basic perspectives and tools. A special feature of the course is the use made of the case study model to engage missiological investigation, reflection, and action. The School of Intercultural Studies’ framework for missiological study-Word, Church, and World mwill be employed. Because effective missiology is developed interactively, opportunity will be given for collaboration in learning.
MI 511 Missiological Consilience. As with every field of study, missiology has its particular focus, literature, and methods. To engage in missiological integration/consilience requires appropriate skills to use the tools and resources available. This course integrates the learning from the core courses in missiology taught in the MA degrees in the School of Intercultural Studies. A special feature of the course is the use made of the case study model to engage missiological investigation, reflection, and action. Because effective missiology is developed interactively, opportunity will be given for collaboration in learning. Taught only in Korean.
MI 516 Missiological Integration Practicum. This practicum provides crosscultural immersion (ethnically and socio-economically), practical experience in ethnographic research, and missiological reflection for students in the Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies (MAIS) program. Students will integrate past course work from both core classes and emphasis classes into their missiological reflection, gain an understanding of the cultural context of the practicum location, grow in personal faith, discern their next steps of vocation, practice self-care in a cross-cultural context, and practice ethnographic research. 8 units. Prerequisite: 24 units of missiology completed.
Korean Mission (MK)
MK 702 Church Growth in the Korean Context. Korean-language D.Min. course.
MK 706 Crosscultural Church Planting. This course is a study in the planting and development of missionary churches. The purpose of this course is to help students understand the importance, the principles and practices of cross-cultural church planting and development. It gives the students practical suggestions as to how to plant and develop churches into self-governing, self-supporting and self-propagating indigenous churches. Korean-language D.Min. course.
MK 712 Contemporary Preaching. This course addresses preaching as the Word of God, including the process and method of preaching, the proper attitude of the preacher in approaching the Word of God, and the characteristics and content of preaching that lead to church growth. Korean-language D.Min. course.
MK 721 Rethinking History of Mission and An Appraisal of Non-Western Mission Movements. Studies the witness of Christianity from apostolic ages and the expansion of Christianity after Constantine’s age, the middle ages, and the colonial age to the contemporary world in Africa, America, and Asia. The course observes the impact of emerging mission forces from the non-Western world and their present needs and potential. And this course is a critical evaluation of Third-World missions, their approaches and methodology. Korean-language D.Min. course.
MK 722 Cultural Anthropology/Christian Witness. This course is designed to teach basic anthropological concepts and theories from a Christian perspective. Major purpose of this course is to help students evaluate their ministries from a Christian cross-cultural perspective and to apply the anthropological insights gained from the class to their own ministerial contexts. Korean-language D.Min. course.
MK 723: A History of Christian Mission. This course provides an overview of the history of the Christian witness from New Testament times to the present; introduces the leading personalities, geography, ideas, events, and bibliography of the various periods of missions history.; observes the missionary methods employed in the various periods of missions history and list distinctive changes of the Asian Church prior to and after Word War II; traces the development of international missionary cooperation and ecumenicity; helps the Korean Church to formulate new mission strategies in the light of rapid changes taking place around the world, especially in the Third World. Korean-language D.Min. course.
MK 726 Witness-Oriented Worship. The goal of this course is to provide theology and practical ways for molding worship to be witness-oriented based on a study on the relationship between worship and witness. Through this class, students would be trained to view the nature of worship from a different perspective and gain various ideas of building up witness-oriented worship that would be effective in nurturing church members to become powerful witnesses in the world. Korean-language D.Min. course.
Leadership Training (ML)
ML 521 Developing Giftedness in Leaders. An in-depth study of the doctrine of spiritual gifts, with an emphasis on leadership gifts (both directive and supportive). Points out responsibility for identifying, developing and releasing gifted people. Uses Holland’s profile to suggest creation of structures through which gifts can operate. Suggests convergence as a major goal for Level-4 and Level-5 leaders. Taught only in Korean.
ML 523 Mentoring. This course is an in-depth study of mentoring as a life-shaping relationship between mentor, mentoree, and the Holy Spirit. Without circumventing the acquisition of skills, this course focuses on how mentoring affords an environment and relationship for shaping character and encouraging spiritual formation and soul care. The course underscores that no one ideal mentor exists, but that multiple mentors are needed. The dynamics for growing mentoring relationships will be explored. Focus will be given to the need for mentoring balance with mentors, peer mentors, and mentorees (mentoring 360). Context will be in view including cross-cultural and cross-generational mentoring. The student will consider current mentoring models and strategies for the emerging generation. Course design seeks to foster both personal applications and applications in the student’s current context and ministry.
ML 524 Focused Lives. This course explores the formative dynamics of a leader’s journey toward more focused life and ministry. These dynamics flow out of being and are embedded in each leader’s story or narrative. The course builds upon J. Robert Clinton’s discoveries and insights into these dynamics. Focused life concepts will be illustrated through a comparative and narrative approach to several historical, contemporary, and biblical men and women leaders. Students will, in turn, reflect on their own personal narratives in search of ways that God has been guiding them toward a more focused life, vocation/calling, and role.
ML 530 Lifelong Development. This course explores the nature of Christian leadership development slightly based on J. Robert Clinton’s Leadership Emergence Theory. The course also highlights an integration of spiritual leadership, inner life formation, identity and how God shapes a leader over a lifetime for unique purposes. Development of a leader’s life takes place: (1) In the context of God’s sovereign formative hand, (2) in the context of time and (3) in context of a leader’s response to God’s formation. The course also aims to provide perspectives that enable students to assist others in their lifelong development.
ML 536 Value-Based Leadership in the New Testament. This course utilizes many leadership perspectives, most of which are cross-cultural, to test and explore these findings in the New Testament. What does the New Testament say about these various leadership perspectives (such as leadership elements, leadership styles, philosophical models, leadership emergence theory, mentoring, change dynamics, etc.) as the framework for studying leadership? The New Testament is one of the best leadership resources and least used for that purpose.
ML 538 Cross Cultural Leadership. The subject of this course is the cross-cultural study of leadership, i.e., how leaders lead followers in diverse cultural settings. While individuals vary significantly in their capabilities and skills to lead others, each social setting places demands, constraints, and requirements of legality and procedure upon leaders. All leaders must work within the bounds of these variables, regardless of their personal gifts. The lectures in the course are illuminated by the theory and data of social and political anthropology. Taught only in Korean.
ML 540 Leadership Training Models. This course is an overview of adult leadership development (ALD) focusing on design and evaluation of ALD processes that have proven effective in mission and ministry. Includes an in-depth look at “Dialogue Education” (Jane Vella) as a practical means of facilitating adult learning. This course gives you tools to evaluate or design ALD processes using several techniques to analyze an actual field case.
ML 549 Partnership Development. This course deals with the subject of developing collaborative, inter-organizational approaches to Christian ministry. It focuses on building a necessary background in the various factors directly affecting collaboration, as well as identifying and developing the collaborative capacity of the student’s own organization. This class is case-study based wherein the primary case study is the student’s own context of collaboration. Grading is based primarily on the student’s ability to apply concept to context.
ML 560 Change Dynamics. Whether serving the Church, mission agency, NGO, nonprofit, or market-place contexts, all ministries require substantive change and transformation at some point. Most of the time change is not anticipated or intentional and therefore is ineffective. In Change Dynamics, an overview of seminal theories of change will be introduced, especially in our two-week, face-to-face time. Students will apply an organizational change strategy to a current situation or conduct a postmortem case study on an organizational change from the past.
ML 565 Understanding Organizational Dynamics. This course will provide an introduction to the seminal theories in organizational dynamics including purpose/vision of ministries, ministry values, learning organizations, and organizational structures, culture, and lifecyles. Through the use of the seminal theories, case studies, and the final project, students will have the opportunity to analyze their own organizations and plan for the future.
ML 581 Developing Your Learning Plan. In this introductory course of the Master of Arts in Global Leadership, our students (i.e. current leaders) play a significant role in their respective educational process as they develop their own comprehensive learning plans for the entire degree program. Beyond individual learning, each leader experiences the benefits of both joining a diverse Christian community as well as enlisting in a like-minded group of practitioners in an online learning environment. MAGL only.
ML582 Character, Community, and Leadership. Students from around the globe will join faculty in dialogue around topics of character formation in community. The challenge of developing character as a foundation for leadership will be applied in students’ lives through reading, discussions, lectures, small group exercises, sharing of spiritual journey narratives, community meals, prayers and reflection. The work for this course sequence (4-units) spans 2 quarters. Part A comprises the pre-seminar work, in-class activities and post-seminar assignments. Students will meet on campus for one week for 1) an orientation to Fuller Seminary resources, the MAGL program and its learning components, 2) an opportunity to build deeper relationships with cohort members to achieve a more effective learning community; and 3) an introduction to the principles of character formation and leadership. Part B comprises post-seminar reading, writing, group dialogue and the final paper. MAGL only.
ML 583 Global Leadership: Implications for Ministry. This course sequence primarily serves as a capstone to the cohort portion of the Master of Arts in Global Leadership. Students will be required to demonstrate competencies consistent with the stated learning outcomes of the MAGL degree program through a combination of discussions, small group projects, presentations, reading reports, field trips and a final integrative paper. They will have the opportunity to reflect upon and synthesize their learning in the MAGL, to focus on key discoveries and transformative themes that have impacted their lives and their ministries, and to understand more deeply the implications of Christian faith and praxis in their ministry context. The work for this course sequence (4-units total) spans 2 quarters. Part A includes pre-seminar online work and preparation for in-class activities. Students will meet on the Pasadena campus for a one-week campus integrative experience and an urban exegesis with their cohort; Part B will comprise post-seminar online work, group discussions and a final integrative paper. MAGL only.
ML 584 Crosscultural Dynamics of Global Leadership. This course will offer (1) a deeper understanding of how our own cultural frameworks impact organizational dynamics, leadership development, decision making, and conflict management; (2) an opportunity to diagnose and explore possibilities for improving the “climate” for cultural diversity in our own organizational or church contexts; and (3) practical suggestions about how Christian leaders might learn to leverage diversity to achieve positive change within their ministry contexts so that the Gospel of the Kingdom can spread more effectively from all peoples to all peoples.
MM 568 Self-Care in Mission. This course will address personal, familial, cultural, social, and organizational issues of self and mutual care, such as: stress and burnout; safety and trauma; singleness, marriage, and family; sexuality and sexual impurity; team relationships. Cross-cultural perspectives on these issues are included in reading and lecture. Psychological, theological, and missiological literature provides the foundation for understanding the needs and interventions. The course will provide students with resources to implement appropriate self-care and organizational member care in a variety of mission communities.
MM 572 Crucial Issues in Korean Mission. This course addresses the critical issues in the contemporary mission of evangelical churches with special reference to the Korean mission. The course will help students understand unique assets and problems of the Korean mission in order for them to make unique contributions to the development of the Korean mission. Taught only in Korean.
Urban Mission (MN)
MN 519 Urban Ministry in Global Context. Participants of this course will get acquainted with the city, urbanites, and missiological theories related to the urban society and gain tools for exegeting their own cities. Participants will reestablish their perspectives on cities in light of biblical perspective, sociological objectivity, and ecclesiological perspective. As a result, they will be able to develop a mission strategy and a model of a church that are more appropriate to their own city and the global context.
MN 520 Introduction to Urban Mission. Urbanization is a major force in our global world. As global citizens, we need to understand this urbanizing world and think critically about the church’s response in our changing world. This one-week intensive explores these dynamics, introducing various macro-lenses for seeing the city – theological, anthropological/sociological, ecclesiological ecological, as well as seeing through street-level eyes.
MN 533 Organizing Urban Communities. The course is designed to introduce the student to the principles and methodologies of community organizing as a way to engage churches in community transformation. Students will learn about the process of bringing urban residents together to address injustice and create more effective and humane systems and structures as well as the particular role and potential contribution of the church to this process. Various models of community organizing, including faith-based and faith-rooted efforts, will be examined. Students will also understand the biblical and theological mandate for community transformation as part of a holistic mission strategy. Each student will develop a strategy for engagement applicable to their mission and ministry context based on an actual community analysis project.
MN 536 Urban Immersion: Transforming the City. This course is designed as an interactive, participatory learning immersion that will connect participants with the historical and contemporary socio-cultural and ministry dynamics of Los Angeles. Using the city as our lab, we will journey through city streets, exploring both the urban context and faith responses to the context. We will engage the whole person, using a model analysis guide, as we encounter various approaches to personal, community and city transformation.
MN 540 Urban Church Planting. This course will explore various approaches to church planting in the city. Students will learn tools to read the urban context though theological and ecclesial lenses, build a theological vision of a church in the city, explore contextual approaches for church planting by examining various models of church planting in the city, and learn the nuts and bolts of church planting in the city..
Spiritual Dynamics (MO)
MO 506 Healing Prayer for Intercultural Ministry. This course explores the theory and practice of healing prayer with particular emphasis on its application in intercultural ministry. The approaches to prayer taught in the course deal primarily with healing for emotional wounds, painful memories, and freedom from demonic oppression (i.e., “inner healing” or “deep level healing”). Numerous case studies and prayer models will be covered in class. The primary aim of the course is to equip students with both a biblical framework and practical skills to be able to pray for healing with compassion, wisdom, and the power of the Holy Spirit.
MO 507 Power Encounter. The term “power encounter” refers to signs and wonders, healing and deliverance, dreams and visions, and other such acts of God’s power, often experienced in the context of sharing Christ and extending His Kingdom. The theme of power encounter is developed in both the Old and New Testaments and is a key aspect of intercultural ministry. The course will focus on worldview and spiritual power, the biblical validity and contemporary relevance of power encounter, power encounter and the planting and growth of the church, and various ministry models involving healing prayer, deliverance, spiritual warfare, and intercessory prayer. Numerous case studies will be discussed in class.
Contemporary Culture (MP)
MP 520 Transforming Contemporary Cultures. This course will explore a Christian understanding of and engagement with the cultures, which surround us, with a focus on postmodernism, media, globalization, consumerism, and ethnic and other subcultures. We will discuss a biblical basis and different theological approaches to Christian interaction with culture and the role of the church in its cultural context. Major topics include: missional theology, transforming culture as part of the reign of God, attention to the poor and oppressed, contextualizing the gospel, and practical application for church ministry.
MP 523 Emerging Missional Practices in Western Society. This course offers an opportunity to engage in theological and missiological reflection on contemporary Western culture, with a view to enabling the informed development of new forms of church that can engage effectively with the prevailing culture while remaining faithful to the inherited Christian tradition.
MR 519 Engagement with Other Faiths. This course is designed to give students insightful entry into the lives of people and their traditions of worship, labeled by modernists as “world religions”, for the purpose of compassionate witness to Jesus Christ, which always begins with love for others. The course examines (1) patterns in human religious history, (2) ways of knowing and living pertaining to specific faith traditions, and (3) what happens to people when they receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord to heal, repair, and reform.
MR 520 Human Spirituality in Culture. This course will use anthropological tools to bring insight to connecting with human spirituality as experienced within various socio-religious contexts. It is important to appreciate the relationships between a people’s beliefs, values and experiences, religious practitioners, and the cultural institutions that support them. The course will anticipate how these dynamics often impact (and possibly create) at-risk populations in every society: women, children, immigrants, and other marginalized groups.
MR 541 Christ on the China Road. This course provides introductory, well-illustrated, multi-disciplinary understanding of Chinese ways of living that will enable meaningful engagement with Chinese people – in words and deeds– for the purposes of inviting Chinese people to faith in Jesus Christ.
MR 547 World Religion in Art and Symbol. This course explores the world’s major religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, Taoism and Confucianism) by looking at art and symbols and other nonverbal means of expression. Instead of focusing on the study of central texts of these faith traditions, the course investigates their art, symbolism, and rituals. Students will explore the nonverbal and sensory elements of these religions and discuss their meaning and role. For example, they will look at the importance and the role of architecture, color, sound, rhythm, images and how they impact believers consciously and non-consciously and are essential elements of beliefs and practices.
MR 550 Introduction to Islam. A foundational course covering the emergence and development of Muslim faith and practice by journeying through Islam’s defining stages of development. The course will look at Islam’s main components both thematically as well as by an exploration of its varieties of expression. Students will be exposed both to the traditional Muslim narrative as well as the more academic critical contemporary narrative about Islam. Implications for Christians living and ministering among Muslims as well as the advancement of good Christian-Muslim relations will remain the driving concerns.
MR 552 Muslim-Christian Encounter. This course examines Muslim-Christian relations since the inception of Islam to the present times, with examples from around the world. It analyzes historical events and key people who shaped the relations between Christians and Muslims over the centuries and suggests how their legacy affects current interactions between Muslims and Christians. The course allows students to discover a variety of models and principles of Muslim-Christian encounters, with attention paid to the different historical and geopolitical contexts. Particular historical, ecclesiological, and theological issues will be addressed and guidelines for practical encounters explored. Students will have the opportunity to examine their own perceptions of the Muslim world and how it affects their interactions with Muslims.
MR 553 Islam in North America. This course addresses the social, political, and religious/theological dimensions of allegedly the fastest growing religion in America, namely, Islam. Among the topics to be covered are: 1) The history of Islam in America, 2) Current demographics, 3) Social/ Political/Religious organizations developed by Muslims, 4) Political activity of Muslims in America, 5) Methods and strategies of Da’wah to Christians (evangelization of Christians), 6) Converts to Islam, including their social and emotional challenges, and 7) Adaptation of Islam to America. This course will help students develop both conceptual and logical tools to respond not only to Muslim evangelization (Da’wah), but also to evangelizing Muslims.
MR 554 Models of Witness in Muslim Contexts. This course will focus on various models of witness in Muslim contexts that are culturally relevant and bearing fruit. Special emphasis will be given to case studies and recent literature/research. Issues discussed in class include cultural adaptation of cross-cultural workers, Muslim worldview, relationship building, women’s issues, contextualization, power ministries, insider movements, intercessory prayer, culturally relevant Bible translations, and the planting of new congregations. As a part of the course, students will be expected to have interaction with Muslims in the community.
MR 555 Popular Islam in Practice. This course helps students understand basic beliefs and practices of devotees of popular Islam and develop a biblical perspective and response to these beliefs and practices. Those considering ministry among Muslims will benefit from the principles and ministry models presented in this course.
MR 556 Current Trends in Islam. This course is designed to help students gain an understanding of the background and basic beliefs and practices of the various manifestations of Islam today, particularly as they relate to conflict and current global affairs. The course will focus on history, politics and ideologies of the past 120 years or so, with special attention given to the impact of colonialism and Western ideas, Zionism, the emergence of the nation-state, the abolition of the Ottoman Caliphate, reform movements from fundamentalist to liberal, Nationalisms of various kinds, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the establishment of the State of Israel, the Iranian Revolution, Palestinian Intifadas, the Gulf Wars, Al-Qaida, September 11, and finally the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ and the emergence of ISIS, with special attention to future prospects and the fate of numeric minorities, including Eastern Christianity in the MENA region. Students will research the unity and diversity of responses to these stimuli and their impact across the world. Responses that will be studied include modernism, revivalism, fundamentalism, radicalism, and liberalism. The implications of these trends and events for a Christian understanding and practice of the Church’s mission in the world will be explored.
MR 557 Women and the Role of the Family in Islam. This course examines the varieties of identities and roles of women in historic and contemporary Islam as evidenced by the Qur’an, the Traditions, the Law, and current writings and experience, and the implications of these for interacting with Muslims. Some of the topics dealt with are the religious role and status of Muslim women, their social status, their place in the family, their participation in the Muslim society, and the current debates about gender issues in Islam. This course will explore women’s status from a local and global perspective. It will cover various Christian perspectives on Muslim women and examine biblical views of gender as they relate to gender issues in Islam.
MR 568 Shariah and Human Rights. On the basis of what Muslims see as revelation from God (Quran and Sunna), traditionalists, Islamists and progressives are exchanging sometimes heated arguments. This course is an introduction to the theological and legal background, range and anatomy of these current disputes, and is divided into three parts: (1) a brief introduction to Islam and Islamic law; (2) a focus on the human rights concept itself, its immediate sources in western culture and the history of Islamic human rights declarations; and (3) an examination of various Muslim approaches, from moderate Islamists to more progressive theorists and activists.
MR 569 Biblical Hermeneutics in the Muslim Context. This course sees in the Islamic exegesis of the Bible through history the emergence of a veritable “hermeneutical context” with important implications for those wishing to do ministry among Muslims today. The course will examine the way that Muslims read the Christian Gospels today, as it extends from their reading of them between the 9th and 14th centuries. Through a modern hermeneutical framework, as well as through classical Qur’ānic exegesis, the principal theological themes of the Muslim exegetical endeavor will be examined, particularly as they affected Muslim-Christian dialogue historically. Strategies and skills will be developed to approach these interpretations through objective – non-aggressive and non-apologetic – glasses. Students will be asked to look at the implications of this framework for their particular ministry interest, and to interact with it in a creative and context-relevant manner.
MR 574 Muslim People: Sociological and Anthropological Approaches. This is a foundational course introducing students to sociological and anthropological studies of Islam. They will explore factors other than religion and common historical reference which influence and shape Muslim societies. They will look at the social organization within Muslim societies and the impact of culture on Muslim peoples. They will address issues such as “Is there a Muslim Society?” or “Is the veil defining Muslim women?” After exploring the ways early Islam interpreted cultural and social structures, students will analyze various factors that help us understand Muslim peoples in the present day, such as modernity, secularism, globalization, economic trends, local customs, and social practices. As they study the work of anthropologists and sociologists, students will become familiar with new methodologies for observing Muslim peoples. They will also discover the diversity of Islamic societies and the transformation they undergo. This class addresses as well the advantages and disadvantages of integrating these approaches to Christian mission and how they influence Christians’ respectful witness to Muslims.
MR 578 Music, Peacebuilding, and Interfaith Dialogue. In an era of heightened globalization, extremist acts of violence are linking global and local contexts in ways that require interreligious peoples to practice interfaith dialogue and live together as neighbors. This course explores the contribution of music and the performing arts in fostering sustainable peacebuilding among Muslims and Christians. Based on research in the Arab world (Lebanon, Egypt, Libya, and Morocco) and Southeast Asia (Indonesia), the course focuses on music’s transformative role in conflict and post-conflict settings as it examines how music and song are used in our faiths and daily lives.
Mission Theology (MT)
MT 500 Biblical Theology of Mission. In this course students will have an opportunity to learn from past mission thinkers and practitioners; hear from one another; and reflect personally on what God’s mission means for the mission of Christians and Christian churches in the rapidly changing, complex global city/village of the twenty-first century. Students will be introduced to a multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary approach to missiological reflection whereby the various components of Missiology (Word, church, personal spiritual pilgrimage, and world/context) are brought together in an integrated understanding of mission, focused on a specific issue of Christian ministry in a particular context.
MT501 Doing Theology in Global Contexts. This course provides a basic introduction to theological reflection as this has developed in various places and is currently emerging in multiple contexts and yet affecting our own. The goal is to provide the background, terminology, and critical framework necessary for students to begin exploring theology as an expanding conversation about the meaning of God in creation, biblical knowledge, and ethics of globalization in context and the church-in-mission. Special attention is given to a Christian faith and practice critically engaged in global mission as this develops in post-colonial, globalized, and urban settings.
MT 502 Missiological Hermeneutics. This course introduces students to the relationship between biblical interpretation and the theology and practice of Christian mission. Participants will grapple with the importance of mission for reading the Bible and the teaching of the Bible on mission. This will include the missiological orientation of biblical texts, diverse paradigms for missional practice in Scripture, and issues of contextualization as students seek to understand the significance of mission for reading the Bible and for embodying Scripture’s witness in their contexts. Prerequisite: NT500 or 0T500
MT 520 Biblical Foundations of Mission. A central theme of the Scriptures is the mission of God as it relates to the present and coming Kingdom of God. This course reviews the perspectives on the mission of the people of God in both the Old and New Testaments.
MT 527 Theologian of Mission and Ministry: Lesslie Newbigin. Lesslie Newbigin (1909-1998) was an outstanding twentieth-century Christian leader and seminal thinker who left a rich legacy of writings on theology, ecclesiology, mission, ecumenism, and ministry. This course will deal with the major themes of Newbigin’s writings.
MT 544 Disability and Mission. People with disabilities have historically been stigmatized and marginalized. This course explores the explicitly theological reasons for such discrimination and seeks to construct a more inclusive Christian pastoral and mission praxis in global context.
MT569 Reading the Bible Contextually. An exploration of the role of context – both ancient and modern – in interpretive approaches to Scripture. Participants will grapple with the importance of a series of “locations” for reading Scripture, including ancient settings, settings within the canon of Scripture, settings within the church over time, and contemporary locations, as they take seriously the significance of “reading from this place.”