Fuller hosts event that is part of larger Lilly Endowment-funded project
L to R: Priest, Ellingsen, Rogers, Van Engen
The School of Intercultural Studies hosted a conference, “A Century of Change in American Protestant Missions,” on Friday, May 21 on the Pasadena campus. Sponsored by the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals (ISAE), the event was designed to explore, through lectures and discussion, the increasing diversity of American Protestantism and the changing contours of the mission field since the famed Edinburgh Missionary Conference held 100 years ago.
Speaking at the conference were Robert Priest and Mark Rogers of Trinity Divinity School, Mark Ellingsen of the Interdenominational Theological Center, and Fuller’s Arthur F. Glasser Professor of Biblical Theology of Mission Charles E. Van Engen offering a response. The presenters addressed questions regarding the degree of influence America continues to have on the shaping of global Christianity, and how the interaction between large groups of non-Western students and American faculty influences discourse on missions in mainline and evangelical seminaries and congregations.
In his talk entitled “Short-Term Missions and the Reconfiguring of North American Global Missions Involvement,” Robert Priest observed the shift from project-oriented mission to contemporary, relational mission that seeks to establish long-term partnerships with the local church. Mark Rogers discussed the background of Paul Rader, founder of Christian Missionary Alliance, in his presentation “End Times Innovator: Paul Rader and the Rise of Twentieth-Century Evangelical Missions.” In “Missions As Rediscovering Roots: Lessons from the Black Church and Martin Luther,” Mark Ellingsen emphasized the perspective of African American missions and the breakthrough that occurred in the early 20th century when African American missionaries were sent to Africa.
In addition to responding to the day’s presentations, Chuck Van Engen outlined seven points of continuity and discontinuity between today’s American Protestant missions and the ideas that stemmed from the Edinburgh Missionary Conference in 1910. A panel discussion followed.
This event was a regional conference as part of a larger project entitled Saving the World? The Changing Terrain of American Protestant Missions, which the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals is working on in conjunction with a grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. The project seeks to explore various dimensions of the changes that have taken place in Protestant missions in the years since the landmark Edinburgh Missionary Conference of 1910. For more information, please click here.