This introductory level course follows the key discussions and directions of mission theory as charted by the ecumenical conferences. Beginning with the World Missionary Conference held in Edinburgh, 1910, with its focus on pragmatics and ‘conquest’, it follows the theoretical shifts occurring within the International Missionary Council (IMC), the Lausanne Movement, and the World Council of Churches’ (WCC) Commission for World Mission and Evangelism (CWME). It will survey multiple themes as they arise within this discussion, including: Christianity in relation to the religions, faith and culture, religion and secularism, missionary partnership and the issue of ecumenical uniting, mission as humanization, colonialism in mission method, the shifts within the acculturation/ inculturation/ contextualization discussion, missionary ecclesiology as proposed through the union of the IMC and WCC, evangelism versus social justice, proselytism and ethics in mission, the rise of indigenous theologies, liberation, poverty, and HIV/Aids.

Unit code: DU1029P

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 1

Unit discipline: Ecumenical Studies

Proposing College: Pilgrim Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Chart the key mission conferences through the various institutional streams of the ecumenical movement, including the IMC, WCC, Lausanne, CWME


Describe the key theoretical developments, their cultural, historical and political background, and the shifts in terminology


Identify central voices within the debates and their particular contribution


Evaluate the constitutive conceptual elements found within the contemporary theology of mission


online learning materials, tasks and tutorial discussion

Indicative Bibliography

  • Aagaard, Johannes. “Mission After Uppsala 1968,”In Crucial Issues in Mission Today, edited by Gerald H. Anderson and Thomas F. Stransky, 13–21. New York: Paulist, 1974.
  • Azariah, V. S. “The Problem of Co-Operation Between Foreign and Native Workers,” In World Missionary Conference, 1910: The History and Records of the Conference Together with Addresses Delivered at the Evening Meetings, 306–15. Edinburgh and London: Oliphant, Anderson, and Ferrier, 1910.
  • Buck, Pearl S. “The Laymen’s Mission Report.” Christian Century 49, no. 47 (1932): 1434–37.
  • Chung, Hyun Kyung. “Come, Holy Spirit – Renew the Whole Creation,” In Signs of the Spirit: Official Report, Seventh Assembly, Canberra, Australia, 7-20 February 1991, edited by Michael Kinnamon, 37–47. Geneva: World Council of Churches, 1991.
  • Hocking, William Ernest. Re-Thinking Missions: A Laymen’s Inquiry After One Hundred Years. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1932.
  • Hogg, William Richey. Ecumenical Foundations: A History of the International Missionary Council and its Nineteenth-Century Background. New York: Harper, 1952.
  • Kraemer, Hendrik. The Christian Message in a non-Christian World. London: Harper and Brothers, 1938.
  • Orchard, Ronald Kenneth, ed. Witness in Six Continents: Records of the Meeting of the Commission on World Mission and Evangelism of the World Council of Churches held in Mexico City, December 8th to 19th, 1963 London: Edinburgh House Press, 1964.
  • Orchard, Ronald Kenneth. The Ghana assembly of the International Missionary Council, 28th December, 1957 to 8th January, 1958. London: Published for the International Missionary Council by Edinburgh House Press, 1958.
  • Visser ’t Hooft, W. A., ed. The New Delhi Report: Third Assembly of the World Council of Churches London: SCM Press, 1962.
  • Quick, Oliver Chase. “The Jerusalem Meeting and the Christian Message.” International Review of Mission 17, no. 4 (1928): 445–54.
  • Ranson, Charles W. Renewal and Advance: Christian Witness of a Revolutionary World. London: Edinburgh House Press, 1948.
  • Stanley, Brian. The World Missionary Conference, Edinburgh 1910. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2009.
  • Thomas, M. M. “Uppsala 1968 and the Contemporary Theological Situation.” Scottish Journal of Theology 23, no. 1 (1970): 41–50.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Develop a chart which plots the key mission conferences of the twentieth century, summarising the key conceptual developments and individual contributors (equivalent of 2000 words)

2000 50.0

2000 word essay focused on the contribution of one particular conference or field of discussion (such as, for example, the Laymen’s Foreign Missions Inquiry)

2000 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 19 Oct, 2015

Unit record last updated: 2019-05-21 11:30:54 +1000