A Study of origins, histories, and teachings of the major non-Christian religions of the world with a view to understanding these religions on their own terms, learning from them and dialoguing with them from the perspective of a Christian worldview. These include Basic Religions (formerly Animism), Hinduism, Buddhism,, Confucianism, Taoism, Shinto, Islam, Judaism, Marxism, New Age and Secularism.
This course introduces students to the histories, teachings and practices of major world religions and contemporary religious movements with a view to understanding these groups on their own terms and dialoguing with them from a biblical perspective. Included in the study are Basic Religions (Animism), Hinduism, Buddhism, Chinese religions, Shinto, Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and varieties of secular and New Age movements.
This study deals with an understanding of the indigenous culture of people groups around the world. This class will help the student know how to approach these groups in such a way that will lessen the possibility of becoming an offense or being rejected by these people of a different culture. Though this course is aimed primarily at the overseas missionary, it will also help the pastor who remains in the U.S. to be aware of cultural differences between congregations and geographical areas and how to adjust to them. This class will make God’s workers more effective in communicating the way of life to people both at home and overseas.
Directed readings are pursued under the guidance of the professor in the department of instruction. One credit a semester may be earned in this way, with a maximum of three credits.
This is an introductory course designed to give the student a clear understanding of Christian mission. This includes the theological, historical, and practical reason for mission. Several areas which are often misunderstood are dealt with, such as what are the present responsibilities of the missionaries, the relationships of the mission with the emerging indigenous church, missionary children, etc. The life and development of the missionary and his/her own spiritual survival and growth are important aspects to this course.
This course is foundational to the entire mission enterprise as it deals with the Scriptural basis for mission. It traces God’s purpose for the nations through both the Old and New Testaments. The entire Scriptural reason for missions is included in this course.
A study of the expansion of the early church from Pentecost continuing into the 20th century. Several questions will be considered, such as the following: Is the work of missions, as traditionally carried on, a thing of the past? Has the evangelical message, as traditionally preached to the nations, been in error? Have the methods of establishing churches with converted people been wrong? What are the present policies for the mission churches in assuming full responsibility for themselves? These and many more current trends and methodology will be covered.
The first semester will focus primarily on Ethno-theologies, that is, theologies which have arisen predominantly in the Third World and which are generally a reaction to or a response to religious, cultural or political situations. While many of these theologies have their roots in the work and teachings of missions, most often they have deviated far from orthodox Christianity and moved into a mixture of Marxism and liberal theology.
The second semester focuses on various other issues, such as syncretism, totalitarianism, ecumenism, contextualization, holistic mission, worldview, and power encounter.
This course traces the history of the overseas mission effort in the Church of the Lutheran Brethren, focusing on the Lutheran Brethren World Mission’s current ministries and outlines its goals for the future.