Mission And Inculturation


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TD 104.2

A. General Information

Description:  This course (adapted from RSST 3710 at JST)  is an introduction to mission and world Christianity which seeks to contribute to a new understanding of missiology for our churches. We will survey biblical, historical, cultural, and theological resources for the theory and practice of mission, with particular emphasis on current concerns and perspective. Among the issues to be treated are: the interaction between global and local mission; evangelism and witness; gospel and cultures; religious pluralism and inter-religious dialogue; mission and ecumenism; justice, peace and liberation; and the spirituality of mission. The course will emphasize the critical interaction between theology and practice in mission. Lectures and discussions will be combined with small group interaction and student presentations.

Prerequisite: Church history or ecclesiology

Learning Goals: 

  • To create an environment of mutual learning and personal interaction to explore different theological understandings of mission, church and cultures;
  • To critique colonialist approaches to mission that continue to be influential in many churches and communions;
  • To develop social historical, cultural-analytical, liturgical, and theological tools in order to contribute to new and creative approaches to mission at local and global levels;
  • To evaluate contemporary missiologies and contextual understandings of mission with a view to articulating and refining our own perspectives;
  • To analyze particular aspects of mission, as indicated in the course description and syllabus, for their relevance to churches and Christian ministry today.

B. Course Assessment and Grade

(1)  Class Preparation and Participation (40%):  A daily report including (1) a short list of the main points of the reading AND (2) two to three major issues and/or questions that concern you in the reading. Group report is encouraged. Students are expected to come to class with preparation to participate in the discussion.

(2) An Individual Presentation (30%):  Choose a missionary of your choice, a figure from the past or present.  Introduce the person and his or her missionary context and your assessment of his/her missiological approach. Present in class beginning in the second week.

(3) A Final Exam (30%):  Due two weeks after the class is finished

C. Required Texts

  • Aylward Shorter, Toward a Theology of Inculturation (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1988).
  • Stephen Bevans and Roger Schroeder, Constant and Context (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Book, 2004)
  • Stephen Bevans. Models of Contextual Theology (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1992)
  • Felipe Gomez, Truyen Giao Hoc (Anton Duoc Sang, 2006).
  • Vatican II, Ad Gentes (1965)


  • Paul VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi (1975)


  • John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio (1990)


  • Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Dialogue and Proclamation (1991)


  • Francis, Evangelii Gaudium (2013)


  • Synod of Asia document – Ecclesia in Asia (1998)