Christianity is the world’s largest faith. With an estimated 2.3 billion adherents, 31.2% of the global population are Christian. A good percentage of this is due to the growth of the faith in the “global South.” Such growth, however, is very different from the faith as it is often experienced within western societies. These complex dynamics highlight well some of the ambiguities shaping the field of intercultural theology/missiology. First, for many, mission is linked to the (ongoing) practices of colonisation and should be rejected as an anachronistic and violent practice. Second, with the changing shape of religious adherence within western Christianity, many churches are looking for practical direction in reaching out their local communities to invite a new generation into the body of Christ. Third, though secondary reflection on mission is not so prevalent within world Christianity, mission is understood to be central to who Jesus Christ is and is expressed in many and varied practices, including exorcism and healing.

Mission studies is concerned with the visibility and local embodiment of the gospel within these differing contexts and against the background of both colonial violence and theological claims concerning the essential nature of the faith. This unit is a basic introduction to this interdisciplinary field. It outlines a range of key ideas, authorities and methodologies, including hermeneutics, contextualisation, and interreligious dialogue. Its main aim, however, resourcing participants to develop their own theology of mission in conversation with their theological and cultural contexts.

Unit code: DM1000P

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 1

Unit discipline: Missiology

Proposing College: Pilgrim Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Identify and assess the key contemporary methodologies shaping the field


Engage different approaches to the biblical text for constructing theologies of mission


Develop a critical definition of “mission”


lecture, tutorials

Indicative Bibliography

  • Cabrita, Joel, David Maxwell, and Emma Wild-Wood, eds. Relocating World Christianity, Interdisciplinary Studies in Universal and Local Expressions of the Christian Faith Brill, 2017.
  • Frederiks, Martha, and Dorottya Nagy, eds. World Christianity: Methodological Considerations Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2020.
  • Goheen, Michael W., ed. Reading the Bible Missionally Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2016.
  • Gruber, Judith. Intercultural Theology: Exploring World Christianity After the Cultural Turn. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2017.
  • Kim, Sebastian, and Kirsteen Kim. Christianity as a World Religion: An Introduction. Bloomsbury Academic, 2016.
  • Stanley, Brian. Christianity in the Twentieth Century: A World History. Princeton University Press, 2019.
  • Tan, Jonathan Y., and Anh Q. Tran, eds. World Christianity: Perspectives and Insights Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2016.
  • Wrogemann, Henning. Intercultural Theology 1: Intercultural Hermeneutics. IVP Academic, 2016.
  • Wrogemann, Henning. Intercultural Theology 2: Theologies of Mission. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2018.
  • Yong, Amos. Mission after Pentecost: The Witness of the Spirit from Genesis to Revelation. Baker Academic, 2019.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Literature Survey - Literature Survey 1000 20.0
Exegetical Essay - Exegetical Essay 1000 30.0
Essay - A Theology of Mission 2000 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 17 Sep, 2021

Unit record last updated: 2021-09-17 15:59:20 +1000