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Global ministry trends and issues, part five: Human slavery

No Comments » Written on August 22nd, 2016 by
Categories: Faculty, Feature

This is the fifth post in a series of articles on global ministry trends and issues presented by Dr. Greg Burch, Director of the Master of Arts in Global Development and Justice program and Chair of the Global Studies Department. You can read more articles from Dr. Burch on his personal site, The Burch Blog.

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As I return from Asia, cruising at 35,000 feet, I am reflecting on the numerous lives caught up in distinct forms of human slavery. It disturbs me greatly. This is an issue I wish we did not have to focus on, but the mission of God includes those who are victimized and invisible to most of us. “Estimates go as high as 27 million people being enslaved globally. Internationally, 600,000 to 800,000 are trafficked annually, 80 percent of these being women and children” (Steffen and Douglas 346).

The implication for a biblically based justice-mission among these populations is clear. Christ draws our attention to His mission and the fulfillment of Scripture in quoting from Isaiah 61: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18-19).

Freedom for those enslaved certainly involves a spiritual freedom, but a favorable reading of this text, in conjunction with the practices of Christ, would also lead us to believe that this passage should be understand holistically. Lives are transformed spiritually, emotionally, socially and in many cases physically as well. This notes a need for organizations like the International Justice Mission (IJM) and others that are seeking to work around the world, meeting the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of people victimized through exploitation and greed (Myers 3).

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Some examples of children and others enslaved are:

  • An estimated 168 million are caught up in child labor with at least half of that number enslaved and working in hazardous conditions (Johnson and Wu 48).
  • 700,000 children forced into domestic labor in Indonesia (Batstone 6).
  • The largest incidences of slavery in the U.S. are found in California, Florida, Texas and New York (Batstone 214).

Critical training resources and interdisciplinary programs focused on caring for those who have been enslaved are essential. Social justice and advocacy initiatives are also needed to target structural changes that might need to be confronted (e.g. bonded slavery due to debt). There is a lot of interest and passion among students to serve in these areas, but as Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert rightly point out, sometimes trying to help without the right knowledge can end up hurting those we seek to rescue or care for (21-25). Training programs must work hand in hand with organizations on the ground involved in this work. Partnerships between academic and non-profits are a recognized way forward to prepare students with both knowledge and practical experience.

“Christian researchers and practitioners have much to gain from greater interchange of ideas” (Judith M. Dean, Julie Schaffner and Stephen L.S. Smith 6). This is especially true for those desiring to produce quality research and training that will target lowering human slavery indexes. The authors insist that collaboration at all levels between academics and those on the field are critical if we are to have success in reducing poverty and its demeaning results (33-47). As we work together, we build on local knowledge, and the results lead to better practices and career/vocational placements for our graduates.

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Works Cited

Batstone, David. Not for Sale. New York: Harper Collins. 2010.

Corbett, Steve and Brian Fikkert. When Helping Hurts. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers. 2012. Print.

Dean, Judith M., Julie Schaffner and Stephen L.S. Smith. Attacking Poverty in the Developing World. Waynesboro, GA: Authentic. 2005.

Johnson, Todd and Cindy Wu. Our Global Families. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2015.

Myers, Bryant. Walking with the Poor. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis. 2011.

Steffen, Tom and Lois McKinney Douglas. Encountering Missionary Life and Work: Preparing for Intercultural Ministry. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic. 2008.

Global ministry trends and issues, part four: Indigenous ministries and partnerships

No Comments » Written on August 15th, 2016 by
Categories: Events, Faculty, Missions, Press Releases

This is the fourth post in a series of articles on global ministry trends and issues presented by Dr. Greg Burch, Director of the Master of Arts in Global Development and Justice program and Chair of the Global Studies Department. You can read more articles from Dr. Burch on his personal site, The Burch Blog.

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Here I am at a Global Mission Gathering.

This week I’m writing from Seoul, South Korea, where I’m participating in an international conference that has pulled together mission scholars from all over the world. With every region of the world and dozens of countries represented here, one gets the sense that the mission of God is being fulfilled. South Korea in particular is a good place to write about indigenous ministries and partnerships. There are more than 20,000 Korean missionaries serving around the world today. The percentage of Christians (representing both Catholic and Protestant churches) in South Korea is at about 32% with over 7,600 churches in the capital city (Seoul) alone.

Globally we note a proliferation of indigenous churches, ministries and global partnerships. This is often referred to as the growth of the majority world Church (see J.D. Payne chapter 3). As noted by African scholar, John Mbiti, today the Church’s center of power does not remain in places like New York, but rather in cities like Manila, Philippines. More and more people around the world are engaging in global mission. It is estimated that nearly 35,000 American Hispanic churches are increasingly becoming involved in global missions. The following chart highlights just a sample of the growth of international missionary movements:

Country Missionaries
India 82,950
China, PRC 20,000
Nigeria 6,644
Philippines 4,500
Indonesia 3,000
Ghana 2,000
Ukraine 1,599

These statistics reflect those missionaries serving more than two years and represent Protestant, Independent and Anglican missionaries. They also do not reflect the numbers of those who might consider themselves missionaries, but are living internationally due to diaspora.

This proliferation of global involvement has changed the very nature of how we understand missions today. Bill Dyrness recently noted, “Missions is now mutual exchange among the multiple centers of influence and learning and resources traveling all directions…” (Borthwick 39). No longer can we refer to the United States as a missionary ‘sending’ country. The same can be said for many countries that have traditionally been ‘receiving’ countries of missionary involvement. Significant mission organizations that were once based in these receiving nations are now focused on sending out missionary candidates.

With these changes within global mission activities must also come a new order for partnerships. North American Christians and agencies must now consider sharing decision-making opportunities with those they traditionally considered ‘receiving’ nations. Pakistani missiologist, Michael Nazir-Ali, says “partnership in mission must mean partnership in the whole of mission. Churches in the global south need to be involved with the North in the identification and articulation of mission issues as much as in addressing them” (211).

Appropriate and contextual training will be needed for those going out to serve within multi-ethnic and international teams. Students of mission will need to understand the reality of multi-ethnic teams and global partnerships if they are to succeed. The training must include cultural sensitivity and competency in foreign languages (sometimes multiple languages). Preparing students for such action will need to be incorporated into new training courses in the U.S. and abroad.

Here at Multnomah, we continue to develop courses that will prepare students to engage with sensitivity with those from distinct cultures. This is needed in business, education, counseling, pastoral ministries and other degree paths, just as much as it is needed in Global Studies in today’s world.

 

Works Cited

Borthwick, Paul. Western Christians in Global Mission. Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2012.

Mandryk, Jason. Operation World. Colorado Springs, CO: Biblica, 2010.

Nazir-Ali, Michael. From Everywhere to Everywhere: A World View of Christian Mission. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock. 2009.

Payne, J.D. Pressure Points: Twelve Global Issues Shaping the Face of the Church. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson 2013.

Global ministry trends and issues, part three: Discerning globalization

No Comments » Written on August 8th, 2016 by
Categories: Faculty, Missions, Press Releases

This is the third post in a series of articles on global ministry trends and issues presented by Dr. Greg Burch, Director of the Master of Arts in Global Development and Justice program and Chair of the Global Studies Department. You can read more articles from Dr. Burch on his personal site, The Burch Blog.

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Globalization is an important issue for those concerned with global mission engagement. We are now far more connected globally than ever before, yet with globalization comes benefits and risks, and as noted below, opportunities for global ministry.

Defining globalization is no easy task. One author defines globalization as a slow process that began in the 15th and 16th centuries in northwest Europe. As the network of material exchange grew, so grew the world capital market. Ankie Hoogvelt notes, “This network developed over time into a world market for goods and services, or an international division of labour” (14).

As noted below, this economic reality in the twenty-first century has benefits and risks for the global poor. Merilee Grindle (2000) comments on the lack of equality in the distribution of globalized expansion of “goods, services, capital, and information that characterizes this process of change” (179). And we know from the teachings of Scripture, when the poor hurt, the Church is to hurt with them. This is most evident in the teachings and practices of Christ. Matthew 25:31-46 is one of the clearest examples of Christ’s calling for solidarity with the poor and those exploited. The Old Testament is filled with references for God’s heart for the poor. This often times is referred to as biblical justice. Because God acts justly toward the rich and the poor, we too are to act rightly and seek His justice for them. Proverbs 29:7 says, “The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.” Scripture places emphasis on care for the poor given their place of helplessness in the midst of difficult situations that impact their lives. Noteworthy are laws concerning widows, orphans and foreigners among the Israelites. See Ex. 22:21-24; 23:9; Lev. 19:33; Duet 27:19. Such laws were presented to the Israelites to help guide justice among those who were living in precarious situations in society.

Also important to point out is the negative impact globalization is having on the planet. “Destruction of habitats and environmental pollution have been the fallout from some companies seeking to take advantage of business in a world that is more “liquid” and “light” (Payne 80). The consequences of these ailments will undoubtedly continue to demand that those who serve Christ in international contexts understand the complexity of our ecological systems and the negative impacts that environmental decay has on the very people they are called to serve. Environmentally sensitive missionaries will seek to mitigate harm caused by globalization’s impact on the environment.

As noted above, globalization must be understood economically, but we must also acknowledge the socio-cultural effects that our globalized world is having on cultures and societies. Globalization can also be understood as a societal process that impacts political, cultural and social arrangements in our world today. Take travel for example. As migration and travel increases, so does the sharing of ideas and culture. This is a distinctive of globalization in our world today and will continue to effect relationships into the future. Societal changes are taking place much faster today due to globalization.

Tom Steffen and Lois McKinney Douglas in Encountering Missionary Life and Work (where many of these trends are also discussed) make mention of the important shift in global theology and identify the need to become a learner of these changes within theological studies. This is what I would refer to as global theologizing. With this new opportunity for collaboration on globalized theology, come some challenges as well. There will be disagreements on contextual perspectives on theology, but with these differences there should be a pursuit of dignity and respect between believers.

Stephen and Douglas recommend becoming a “learner-leader” as we see globalization both critiqued and embraced (344). This is true for a globalization of theology and even mission theory. As missionally driven followers of Christ, we desire to see the effects of globalization translate into societal processes that positively impact all of God’s creation. This will sometimes lead us to advocate for policies and laws that seek to equally distribute the benefits of this phenomenon.

Mission endeavors will continue to be impacted by this global occurrence. One of the benefits, as acknowledged by J.D. Payne is the impact quick travel now has on those who work internationally. “Now we have the blessings of instant verbal, textual and visual communications with loved ones back home. Return trips are quick and practical” (80-81). For the most part, gone are the days of the missionary packing their worldly resources into their coffin as they wave goodbye to friends and family, never to hear from them again. While this is true, there are additional risks as well. The time one has to adjust and deal with culture shock must be mitigated. Member care is now a must for any organization that sponsors international mission trips or career placement. I often tell our students, if the organization does not have good member care, consider looking elsewhere.

Globalization and its results effect ministry in many ways. For some it creates an urgent need to care for those negatively impacted; for others, it creates some remarkable benefits in both access to goods and services. The Church must be vigilant to the needs of those negatively impacted, while leveraging the opportunities to impact our world for Christ.

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Works Cited

Hoogvelt, Ankie. Globalization and the Postcolonial World. Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins University Press 2001. Print.

Grindle, Merilee S. “Ready or Not: The Developing World and Globalization." In Governance in a Globalizing World, edited by Joseph S Nye and John D. Donahue. Washington D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2000. Print.

Payne, J.D. Pressure Points: Twelve Global Issues Shaping the Face of the Church. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson 2013. Print.

Steffen, Tom and Lois McKinney Douglas. Encountering Missionary Life and Work:     Preparing for Intercultural Ministry. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic. 2008. Print.

A tribute to Khen Tuang (Tua Tuang) from Dr. Greg Burch

1 Comment » Written on August 1st, 2016 by
Categories: Faculty, Media, Students
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Khen with his wife Huai and daughter ZemZem.

Last week the Multnomah community lost a friend and fellow servant. Khen Tuang was killed in an automobile accident on Thursday, July 28, along with his friend Peter. Khen’s wife and daughter were also in the car accident and survived. Peter, a refugee from Myanmar, tragically lost his wife in a Thai refugee camp in 2008 — the couple’s three children are now orphaned.

Khen was part of the Global Development and Justice (MAGDJ) program at Multnomah University and was loved by his peers in cohort 3. He was from the Zomi ethnic group (generally known as hills people/tribe throughout Northwestern Myanmar) in the Chin state of Myanmar (Burma). Khen graduated from Bible College in Myanmar and was active in his local church. He had a passion to see peoples’ lives transformed through faith in Christ and community development work.

Khen was all in. He was fully committed to returning to Myanmar in order to serve those who suffered in his community. Khen was passionate about seeing everyone reach their full potential as people who have been made in the image of God.

This past year, while researching child poverty in Myanmar, he wrote, “The Bible commends us to take care of the oppressed, vulnerable and the poor. We, as a church, need to help eradicate, holistically, from a biblical perspective, child poverty, while we nurture and feed those who are hungry and provide shelter to the homeless.” Khen’s research and the topics he covered were often focused on those who were marginalized, such as refugees living in Portland and children living in poverty.

Khen also had a keen eye for research even in a language that was not native to him. This past semester here at MU in Applied Field Research, Khen flourished as he learned and applied common development research tools to help the Zomi refugee community succeed in transitioning to life in America. Working with a local Zomi congregation (along with pastor Muana Khuptong, a Multnomah Biblical Seminary alumnus), Khen formed a research group with a Guatemalan student and a South Sudanese student. Together they rose to the task of adapting these complex research tools to help identify resources and needs that are common to refugees moving to the Portland area. Over a 15-week period of time, they met with several refugees and developed a plan to provide additional support to this community.

Khen also loved his family. Even before he arrived in Portland, Khen told me that his family would not be able to join him during his first year of studies. As we discussed this, he communicated that it was going to be difficult for him, but that he would work out a plan so his wife and daughter could join him after the first year. And he did just that. Just a week before the accident that took his life, Khen —grinning — walked into my office with his wife Huai and daughter ZemZem. We talked about their plans as a family, and he asked me to pray for them, as he often did. As we were standing there, Khen removed his sandals and knelt down on the carpet with his wife and 2-year-old daughter following. I knelt with them and prayed a prayer of blessing over their sweet family. As they left my office, Khen, like he often did, thanked me profusely for the prayer. He was always so grateful.

Khen’s peers have taken it upon themselves to raise funds in order to help Huai and ZemZem as they face some difficult challenges ahead. Visit their GoFundMe site for an opportunity to support them during this painful time.

We are grateful to have known you, Khen. The world is different because of you.

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Khen (far right) with his pastor and friend in front of MU.

Global ministry trends and issues, part two: Discerning the terms

Comments Off on Global ministry trends and issues, part two: Discerning the terms Written on July 20th, 2016 by
Categories: Faculty, Missions, Theology

This is the second post in a series of articles on global ministry trends and issues presented by Dr. Greg Burch, Director of the Master of Arts in Global Development and Justice program and Chair of the Global Studies Department. You can read more articles from Dr. Burch on his personal site, The Burch Blog.

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Beirut, Lebanon.

Recently while traveling in a creative access country (generally a country where missionary and evangelism activity is restricted), I was reminded of the importance of not using terms like missions and missionary. The use of these words in some contexts can land a Jesus-follower in jail or even worse. While traveling throughout this country, I spent some time considering the use of these terms in our world today.

Mission literature has also found it necessary to review some of the very terms that often accompany our global church activity. Mission and missions are two distinct words that have caused much confusion for younger generations. “Within mission discussion since the 1950s, terms have developed in such a way that it can be confusing to the uninitiated. Essentially mission (without the s) and missions (with the s) are used to indicate different things” (Moreau, Corwin and McGee 69). The two definitions, as laid out by Scott Moreau, Gary Corwin and Gary McGee are helpful as we explore terms. Missions is understood as the “task of making disciples of all nations. It is seen through the work of mission agencies, churches and missionaries around the world” (70). The specific emphasis is on cross-cultural ministry in international contexts.

Mission, on the other hand, has been used in recent years in a broader sense and typically refers to “everything the church does that points toward the kingdom of God” (70). While these definitions are helpful to clarify what we mean in engaging in a specific kingdom activity, I find it more more helpful to use terms like cross-cultural (or even intercultural) ministry to specifically identify when one is involved working in a community other than one’s own cultural group.

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Crossing a river into an indigenous village in the Caribbean highlands with my son.

Tom Steffen and Lois McKinney Douglas explore the idea of whether or not the term missionary is even appropriate in our day and age (34-35). One of the primary concerns with the use of the nomenclature is the negative connotations associated with it internationally. It is frequently connected to ideas like colonialism and imperialism. Whether justified, or not, the authors raise concerns and ask the question, “since the term ‘missionary’ has negative connotations for a large segment of the world that the Christian church is trying to reach, and is not found in God’s sacred storybook, should another term or phrase replace it?” (Steffen and Douglas 34). While there are no conclusions here, the raising of the question from prominent missiologists demonstrates the shift occurring within the field of missiology and missions today. Similar to the sentiment expressed above, Raymo and Raymo also bring into question the usage of the term “missionary,” especially as it relates to the millennial generation (28-29).

Essential to our exploration of terms is the Latin expression Missio Dei. Missio Dei is a common term used by both ecumenists and evangelicals. It is defined by Moreau, Corwin and McGee as “a comprehensive term encompassing everything God does in relation to the kingdom and everything the church is sent to do on the earth” (71).

David Bosch rightly acknowledges that, “Mission has its origin in the fatherly heart of God” (240). Mission that resonates with this generation of cross-cultural workers must be understood from this perspective. For to separate mission from God leads us to charitable intentions, yet lacking the power for true transformation in the heart of the goer and receiver.

Charles Van Engen appropriately contends, “We cannot have mission without the Bible, nor can we understand the Bible apart from God’s mission” (37). The Bible is the main source for missions and must be understood as a means of contributing to the ultimate task of the Missio Dei. Scripture plays a role in defining unchanging truth to a changing context.

Steffen and Douglas note that, “Christian witness is always lived out in social environments influenced and shaped by local and global economics, politics and religions” (343). These are critical topics that demonstrate the importance of an interdisciplinary understanding of the field. As Van Engen notes, “Theology of mission, then, must eventually emanate in biblically informed and contextually appropriate missional action” (25). It must not remain static or purely theoretical. This need emphasizes the place of an appropriate contextualization to each of the explored trends and issues that follow in the coming weeks.

 

Works Cited

Bosch, David. Witness to the World: The Christian Mission in Theological Perspective London: Marshall, Morgan, & Scott, 1980. Print.

Moreau, A. Scott, Gary Corwin and Gary B. McGee. Introducing World Missions. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic. 2015. Print.

Raymo, Jim and Judy Raymo. Millennials and Mission: A Generation Faces a Global Challenge. Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library. 2014. Print.

Steffen, Tom and Lois McKinney Douglas. Encountering Missionary Life and Work: Preparing for Intercultural Ministry. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic. 2008. Print.

Van Engen, Charles. Mission on the Way. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1996. Print.

Dr. Derek Chinn selected as interim dean of Multnomah Biblical Seminary

Comments Off on Dr. Derek Chinn selected as interim dean of Multnomah Biblical Seminary Written on July 18th, 2016 by
Categories: Faculty, Seminary

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PORTLAND, Ore. – Multnomah University is pleased to announce that Dr. Derek Chinn will serve as interim dean of Multnomah Biblical Seminary.

Chinn, who directs the seminary’s Doctor of Ministry program, will assume his new role August 1. “I’m looking forward to putting new initiatives in motion based on the upcoming strategic plan,” Chinn said. “I’ll work closely with my colleagues to pursue what God is calling Multnomah to be in our rapidly changing society.”

MU President Dr. G. Craig Williford said Chinn has the professional background and personal qualities needed to excel in the position. “Dr. Chinn’s expertise and experience in pastoral, organizational and academic leadership will serve him well as he leads MBS during this season of growth and expansion,” Williford said. “He is well respected by his peers, and I look forward to having him serve on the senior leadership team.”

Chinn has extensive experience as a pastor in the Portland area. He also serves as director of Ministry Dynamics, a local nonprofit that provides organizational and fundraising support to ministries and individuals. He holds BA and BS degrees from UC-Irvine, an MBA from the University of Oregon, an MDiv from Multnomah Biblical Seminary and a DMin from Western Seminary.

Chinn takes over for Dr. Roy Andrews, who served as dean of the seminary for the past three years.

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About Multnomah University

Multnomah University is a fully accredited, private, non-denominational, Christian institution of higher education located in Portland, Oregon, with an additional teaching site in Reno, Nevada. Composed of a college, seminary, graduate school, degree completion program and distance-learning program, Multnomah issues bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees, as well as professional certifications and endorsements. For more information, visit multnomah.edu.

Contact: Steve Cummings, Vice President of Advancement
503.251.6464 or scummings@multnomah.edu

Global ministry trends and issues, part one: Discerning the times in global mission

Comments Off on Global ministry trends and issues, part one: Discerning the times in global mission Written on July 18th, 2016 by
Categories: Faculty, Missions, Theology

This is the first post in a series of articles on global ministry trends and issues presented by Dr. Greg Burch, Director of the Master of Arts in Global Development and Justice program and Chair of the Global Studies Department. You can read more articles from Dr. Burch on his personal site, The Burch Blog.

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Taken from the El Cristo statue in Bolivia, looking out onto the city of Cochabamba.

Over the next eight weeks, I will be presenting some of the current movements and trends within global mission efforts today. As contexts of mission shift, theory and practice must also keep up the pace. A primary motif within current mission literature seeks to understand current issues and trends in the field. One thing that must not change is the theological basis to global mission. Theology and mission must be closely tied as we re-consider and reconfigure what we mean by global mission in an age of radical change. Too frequently in the past, our theologies have remained dormant and detached from social realities. And likewise, mission has been divorced from a strong theological foundation, manifested, in some cases, more like a social service disconnected from God’s central purpose in building his kingdom. When this all happens, “The result is a theology divorced from human realities and a missiology that lacks theological foundations” (Paul Hiebert 38).

There are a number of shifts taking place in global mission today. Strategies and approaches will need to be assessed to keep up with current events. One example from this past week is the new Russian law that prevents one from sharing his or her faith outside of a church or religious building (including online and in residential buildings). The new law, which was attached to anti-terrorism amendments, goes into effect on Wednesday, July 20. (For more on this law see Forum 18 – a local news source in the region.) How should mission organizations and others deeply concerned about growing God’s kingdom respond? What is the best approach to missional activity in such a restricted context?

Other issues we will consider in the coming weeks are new mission terms. Even historic and traditional ways of describing mission are being debated. The issue of nomenclatures and mission program titles has, as of recent, been included in mission conferences and frequently debated in recent works. Take, for example, the recent American Society of Missiology’s annual meeting (2015) and the Professor of Mission conference as they discussed such topics as Missio-logoi: The Many Languages of Mission and What’s in a Name? Assessing Mission Studies Program Titles. These are current issues that are reflective of the changes taking place in the field. Even our own mission program at Multnomah recently went through some significant changes. See Global Studies for more on MU’s own experience with this topic.

Andrew Kirk writes from a conciliar position on mission as he explores the need to incorporate a broad missiological foundation that includes mission to the poor, creation care, contextualization, social justice, pluralism, violence and peacemaking, and global partnerships. In his proposal, he suggests that mission be inclusive of a broad range of issues (24, 28-29). One of the stronger emphases noted in the writings of Kirk is how many of Jesus’ friends were indeed outsiders. The poor, with whom Jesus associated, were much more than those who did not own property; rather, they were people who had been intentionally disadvantaged and forbidden to enter into the life of civil society. They were forced to become powerless to make any difference in society (48). Given the place of the poor and marginalized in Scripture, they will be a primary motif in the coming weeks as well.

As we discuss trends and movements within global mission today, we must remember that mission knowledge is built upon the past and mission praxis is built upon the present. This review will seek to keep an eye on both.

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The Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque in Beirut, Lebanon.

Works Cited

Hiebert, Paul. “Missiological Education for a Global Era.” In Missiological Education for the 21st Century: The Book, the Circle and the Sandals, edited by Edgar J. Elliston, Charles Van Engen and J. Dudley Woodberry. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1996. Print.

Kirk, Andrew. What Is Mission? Theological Explorations. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2000.

MU professor co-leads pastoral conference in Malawi, Africa

Comments Off on MU professor co-leads pastoral conference in Malawi, Africa Written on May 20th, 2016 by
Categories: Events, Faculty, Missions, Pray For MU, Theology

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MU professor Roger Trautmann will be conducting the Pastors’ Enrichment Conference in Malawi, East Africa May 24-25. Trautmann, along with  Carl Palmer from Global Training Network, was chosen by the Luis Palau Association to lead the event, which will draw nearly 800 pastors.

Many African church leaders face a startling deficit of biblical and pastoral training, which is exactly what promoted the Luis Palau Association to launch a leadership conference for local pastors. “In East Africa, pastors have little access to good training,” says Trautmann, who will be teaching on topics such as Bible study methods and the Pastoral Epistles. But lack of preparation doesn’t mean lack of motivation. “I’ve met pastors who’ve started 20 churches, and they’ve never had any official training,” he adds.

Although Trautmann has taught at this conference once before, he’s been conducting workshops for pastors in Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda and Burkina Faso for many years. “They’re hungry for good training,” he says. “That’s why I’ve been participating since 1994.”

During the conference, please pray that God would give both Trautmann and Palmer Christ’s wisdom as they teach and His power as they work to strengthen the Church in Africa. Pray also that the pastors and leaders in attendance would be encouraged and challenged during this powerful outreach.

 

Multnomah students make dorm life their business

Comments Off on Multnomah students make dorm life their business Written on May 19th, 2016 by
Categories: Faculty, Programs, Students

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Marketing professor Michael Hohn doesn’t like fake case studies. He prefers bringing the curriculum to life by instigating legitimate projects with real impact. That’s exactly what his Sales and Marketing class did last semester.

Director of Student Life Kim Stave “hired” Hohn’s class to help her department answer an important question: How can Multnomah University increase occupancy in the dorms? The business majors divided into three teams to create a value proposition, conduct research, gather data and analyze their findings. This allowed them to offer evidence-based recommendations to their client.

“As we worked on the project, it was awesome to see how we were immediately able to apply what we were learning in class,” says business student Valerie Wakefield.

Her classmate Robbie Miller concurs. “Our business classes taught us that we’d need extensive and thorough research to do a good job on this project.”

The amount of data they gathered even kept Hohn on his toes. “It was the most memorable of any projects that I can remember!” he says.

After administering a competitive analysis, Miller and his team came up with a few proposals to make dorm life more attractive, such as planning more student events on campus and adding a new communal student area. “A long-term goal is to create a space for students to gather other than the JCA,” Miller explains. “It’d be a space where people would walk to and not walk through.”

At the culmination of their work, the students presented their findings to the judges, a group of faculty and staff members, including Business Department Chair Lee Sellers and Multnomah University President Craig Williford. The teams were judged on the depth and scope of their research as well as the quality of their recommendations. The group with the winning proposal was awarded dinner at Portland City Grill with Sellers, Williford and Stave.

Although the students are young in their careers, Stave and her department found their work extremely helpful. “Our students are intelligent and creative, and they came up with some ideas that we will certainly consider implementing,” says Stave. “The fact that all three groups, each approaching the project from a different angle, came to some of the same conclusions was significant to me.”

The students feel confident that the experience afforded them important skills for their future jobs. “This project was good practice on how to communicate well with group members and stay on the same page,” says Miller.

Wakefield agrees. “I was able to practice skills that are useful in most any profession,” she says. “I’ve even applied some things we learned in my everyday interactions!”

Spring graduates reflect on time well spent

Comments Off on Spring graduates reflect on time well spent Written on May 9th, 2016 by
Categories: Events, Faculty, Students

Last Friday, 115 Multnomah students walked across the stage of Rolling Hills Community Church to receive their diplomas. Among them were Abigail Buckley, Brian Hall, Mandee Campos, Dae Kim, Nancy Anderson and Santino Cantalupo, six students who picked up much more than a quality education at MU. They took some time to reflect on what they’ve learned, how they’ve changed and where they plan to go next.

Abigail Buckley

Abigail BuckleyHometown
Vancouver, Wash.

Program
Bachelor of Arts in Bible and Theology with a minor in History

Favorite MU experience
Probably being a student worker. It made me feel more informed about the school. I started in Financial Aid, then worked as Dr. Scalberg’s teacher’s assistant, and then I worked in Advancement. They all took care of me and understood that my homework came first. It was really fun – I loved my time as a student worker.

Favorite class
Oh, but there are so many! Prophets with Dr. Josberger and History and Poetry with Dr. Koivisto were both great, and so was History and Christianity with Dr. Scalberg. In History and Christianity, we saw how different movements and authors affected the shape of evangelicalism. We traced back our own influences. It shows you where you come from, and you learn how denominations and people groups brought you together.

Favorite thing about MU
The relationships the professors build with their students. I feel pretty confident saying every student has one teacher they can look back on – someone who cared for them personally. I’m not going to necessarily remember the classes, but I’m going to remember who taught the classes.

Favorite thing about Portland
It’s central to so many places. If you want to go to the beach or the mountains for the day, you can do that. Whatever you like to do, you can find it.

Plans after graduation
I’m going to keep on teaching. (She currently teaches Spanish 1-3 to high school students at Cedar Tree Classical Christian School in Ridgefield, Wash.) I’m so grateful for the opportunity.

How MU impacted your spiritual journey
I took Senior Theology this semester with Dr. Gurney. You have to write eight doctrinal statements. It was daunting at first and rather intimidating. Not only do you have to write on what you believe, but you also have to find the scripture to back it up. For that reason alone, MU taught me not to shy away from issues. The professors are willing to bring up issues and foster an environment where it’s safe to talk about them.

Advice to your first-year self
I didn’t do as many on-campus and off-campus activities because I was a commuter and worked in the evening. Your experience here is what you make it. I wish I had taken advantage of getting to know more of the people here. You have a short amount of time, and it goes fast.

Brian Hall

Brian HallHometown
Yucca Valley, Calif.

Program
Bachelor of Arts in Bible and Theology with a second major in Youth Ministry

Favorite MU experience
Learning how to do ministry with my wife. We met during our freshman year and got married that first summer. The education that I received from MU was great, but the experience of being able to do ministry as newlyweds with the Hildebrands as role models has been invaluable.

Favorite class
Out of all the classes I’ve taken at MU, there are two that have stood out: Spiritual Formation of Youth with Dr. Rob Hildebrand and Mission with Children at Risk with Dr. Greg Burch.

Favorite thing about Portland
I love living in the city! I come from a town where the fanciest restaurant is Applebee’s and the only things to do are walk around Walmart or go to the four-screen movie theater. I love having the city at my fingertips! The food is great here, and there are always things to do!

Favorite thing about MU
The youth ministry program. In-class education is really only a small part of the degree. The opportunities that Rob provides to go to Germany or Japan, or to work on Spring Thaw, is what really makes this education so unique and practical.

Plans after graduation
I am planning on pursuing my Master of Arts in Christian Leadership with an emphasis in Counseling and Care at Multnomah Biblical Seminary.

How MU impacted your spiritual journey
Before coming to MU, my knowledge of the Bible was limited to the classic Bible stories like Adam and Eve, David and Goliath, Jesus, etc. It seemed like a series of random stories were just thrown into one bigger book. The Bible classes here have taught me that the Bible is one whole story. This has impacted my spiritual journey by opening my eyes to the plan that God does have for my life. I may feel like I’m wandering in the desert, but I know that there’s a promise for me up ahead.

Advice to your first-year self
Take advantage of your time at Multnomah. Don’t just be here for the degree. Your teachers have so much to offer you outside of the classroom setting, but they’ll only be able to offer it to you if you start the conversation. Hone your strengths while you’re here too. Again, don’t just be here for the degree. A piece of paper isn’t going to teach you to study the Bible, prepare a sermon or build a life-sized Mario Kart track.

Mandee Campos

Mandee CamposHometown
Beaverton, Ore. (I’ve lived in a lot of places, but Beaverton is probably my favorite.)

Program
Master of Arts in Global Development and Justice

Best MU experience
I liked being in a cohort and sharing experiences with them. It’s neat to share in the journey. I enjoyed the Bible prerequisites – there were many mind-blowing moments.

Favorite class
I struggle to pick a favorite class, so I’ll go with most impactful: Theology of Cultural Engagement with Dr. Metzger. It was a good foundation to begin working from a Trinitarian perspective.

Favorite thing about MU
With all the seminary professors and theology professors you have, I really like that everyone isn’t saying the same thing – they each say things that put tension on what the others have said. I think that’s a good thing because you get to see different perspectives.

Favorite thing about Portland
The food. You can get almost any type of food. I love Chinese and Indian and Thai. Food is the best way to understand and relate to one another.

Plans after graduation
I’m working with a nonprofit called Lahash International that partners with grassroots initiatives in East Africa. I’ll be working as the Servant Teams Coordinator.

How MU impacted your spiritual journey
This program especially has taught me to listen well to people, to affirm their dignity. When you’re in fellowship with people, you’ll learn a lot about faith and about God that you wouldn’t otherwise. If you want to see Jesus, be in relation with people outside of your context. That’s how he did it in scripture.

Advice to your first-year self
Always seek to learn from a given situation. Some people take for granted a privilege they’ve been given. Much of the world wasn’t given the opportunities we’ve been given. Believers are called to seek excellence, so be willing to learn and learn well.

Dae Kim

Dae KimHometown
Northern Virginia (I moved around a lot)

Program
Master of Arts in Global Development and Justice

Favorite MU experience
We had an event last semester every Thursday where we’d take turns sharing our testimony. Sharing my testimony and listening to others throughout the semester was a great experience. We’d pray for one another.

Favorite class
Hmmm. Last year, I took Conflict, Refugees and Complex Disasters with Dr. Karen Fancher. My heart is for the Middle East. She talked a lot about Syrian and Sudanese refugees. I’m not necessarily critical of what I hear, but after this class, I learned to become more critical, and I researched more on certain topics. What the media shares doesn’t give us the whole picture. Whatever they say is pretty biased, so I want to hear different angles. This was a big takeaway.

Favorite thing about MU
I was impressed that professors connect issues with Jesus Christ. Sometimes people think Christians just praise God on Sundays. But here, professors connect the Bible with every subject, and they ask what it means to follow Jesus in this messy world. It’s a unique thing MU has to offer.

Plans after graduation
First of all, I’m going to China on May 31 for one month– I’ve already bought the ticket. I really have a heart for the Middle East, so I’ll also be connecting with organizations in Lebanon. Right now I’m talking to an organization in Egypt about an internship in August. I’m also working on joining the Peace Corps; if that works out, I’ll be in Albania for two years too.

How has MU impacted your spiritual journey
I’ve met many spiritual mentors here. People I’ve gotten to know through my professors, my friends, my cohort. They’re always praying for me. Nothing in my future is for sure, but I trust God. There were times I was struggling with theological issues. But since my time at MU, I’ve learned fellowship is really important.

Nancy Anderson

Nancy AndersonHometown
Portland, Ore.

Program
Master of Divinity, Chaplaincy Track

Favorite MU experience
Interacting with fellow students in an academic and spiritual journey. Most students were an average of 30 years younger than me, but they welcomed me into their lives and were so encouraging and friendly.

Favorite class
Are you kidding? I loved every single one, although some were more challenging than others. The Spiritual Warfare class with Dr. Calvin Blom was a standout for the excellent combination of theology and practical application. But honestly, each class was unique and special. Dr. Stephen Kim’s Bible Survey classes were awesome, and Dr. Baylis and Dr. Metzger are brilliant instructors.

Favorite thing about MU
I love the way that professors allowed us to tailor the learning experience to our personal ministry situations. I was often allowed to adapt assignments to my world of working with the elderly in assisted living, which made the learning experience more meaningful.

Favorite thing about Portland
I love that we have both the ocean experience and mountains available for vacations and exploration. God has blessed my husband and me with 45 years living here as a married couple.

Plans after graduation
Focus on better message preparation for Sunday worship as I continue my ministry as a chaplain in an assisted living community – Hearthstone of Beaverton. I came to Multnomah to become a better-equipped chaplain.

How MU impacted your spiritual journey
This was the time of learning that I needed to launch myself into a deeper walk with the Lord. I have always loved the Lord, but my faith has been strengthened and deepened by being at Multnomah. I have a far better understanding of the Word of God too.

Advice to your first-year self
Relax and trust God to give you all you need. Yes, do your part and pay attention in class, take good notes, do homework on time, work ahead on the big projects, and then trust God to make your brain work!

Santino Cantalupo

Santino CantalupoHometown
Reno, Nev.

Program
Master of Divinity

Favorite MU experience
Coming up for a summer intensive and getting out of a class early and climbing to the top of Multnomah Falls at the suggestion of my professor. It was a beautiful hike and allowed me to connect with God’s creation.

Favorite class
Preaching Narrative Literature

Favorite thing about MU
I love the opportunity that MU has given to distance students, especially to the growing student base in Reno, Nev.

Plans after graduation
I feel called to lead a church as a senior pastor, and I’m pursuing my Doctor of Ministry degree at Duke.

How MU impacted your spiritual journey
I have grown more spiritually during my time in seminary than any other time in my life. This journey has been strenuous and at times filled with suffering and loss, but often it was a conversation with a professor or a student that allowed me to refocus my eyes on Christ.

Advice to your first-year self
Never take a theology class and a Bible class at the same time. Ever.