Jehu J. Hanciles
Associate Professor, History of Christianity and Globalization and Director, Center for Missiological Research
Mission in a New Global Context
“I have a great scholarly interest,” says Jehu Hanciles, “in studies related to the new global context in which Christianity finds itself at the dawn of this millennium—with newly emerging frontiers, a need for new forms of Christian missionary engagement, and new ways of dealing with old questions.” His current research is focused on the interconnection between globalization, migration, and religious expansion: “specifically,” he explains, “the ways in which South-North migratory flows provide the structure and impetus for a full-fledged missionary movement from global Christianity’s new heartlands in the non-Western world.”
A native of Sierra Leone, Dr. Hanciles joined Fuller’s School of Intercultural Studies faculty in 2000, teaching and conducting research in the history, experiences, and expressions of Christianity in the non-Western world. He now also serves as director of Fuller’s new Center for Missiological Research (CMR), which will administer the PhD program for the School of Intercultural Studies—equipping scholars drawn from around the world to address the seminal missiological issues facing the global church. (The Global Research Institute, which Hanciles formerly directed, is now part of CMR as a post-doctoral fellowship program.) Among other goals, says Hanciles, CMR will “create a rich environment in which Western and non-Western scholars might engage and learn from each other, fully attentive to the lessons of the past and the potential of new trends.”
Hanciles appreciates being part of a seminary “that supports cutting-edge research and scholarly engagement with the most pressing challenges and theological questions that confront the contemporary global church.” And he is grateful “to work and interact with students from different parts of the world and different confessional backgrounds. This diversity greatly enriches the conversation in the classroom, and strengthens the global perspective that is so crucial for effective ministry and witness in our day.”
Dr. Hanciles’ latest book, Beyond Christendom: Globalization, African Migration and the Transformation of the West (Orbis, 2008), examines the potential of non-Western movements and initiatives to transform Western society and Christianity.