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Fuller Announces New School of Mission and Theology

Fuller Seminary is pleased to announce that the Schools of Theology and Intercultural Studies have been reconstituted into one school, the School of Mission and Theology (SMT), effective July 1, 2021. This school aims to shape innovative leaders for vocations in church and society by reimagining curricula that underscores how theology and mission are contextual and holistic. Such curricula will integrate rigorous scholarship with ministerial, missional, and practical wisdom through courses that utilize new technologies to reach the body of Christ globally. SMT students will receive indispensable formation in life-giving patterns of thinking and feeling, of believing and behaving, that are grounded in Scripture, Christ-centered, and mission-focused.

“Fuller’s graduates encounter on-the-ground realities marked by waves of cultural change that continuously reshape what discipleship looks like and what leadership demands,” said Dean of the School of Mission and Theology Amos Yong.

Chief Academic Officer Alexis Abernethy commented, “I am so impressed by the deep commitment of the faculties in the Schools of Theology and Intercultural Studies to engage in a process that has resulted in the School of Mission and Theology. Listening, engaging in scholarly reflection, and considering ways to serve the church and our students more effectively were key ingredients not only in this process, but also key elements for our continued work together.”

This change, both in name and in the accompanying curricular and program restructures, positions Fuller to better serve its students, learners, and partners around the world in several ways. First, the change recovers the missional orientation so central to the seminary when it was founded by radio evangelist Charles E. Fuller and pastor-scholar Harold John Ockenga in 1947. Second, it builds on SIS’s practitioner-scholar paradigm, renewing the commitment to rigorous scholarship that leads directly to effective, relevant practice amongst the new global realities in the 21st century. Finally, it fits squarely within a unified ecology that is key to Fuller’s new strategic plan: various disciplines, two schools, one transformative educational experience. Such a unified ecology means more opportunities for students to draw from the rich resources offered by Fuller’s schools, centers for innovation, and ethnic centers, holistically equipping graduates to serve the body of Christ and its mission during a time of global upheaval and disruption.

School of Intercultural Studies (SIS) Dean Emeritus C. Douglas McConnell said, “Paraphrasing the words of our beloved SIS colleague Eddie Gibbs, it is not that God’s church has a mission, rather God’s mission has a church. We celebrate the new school in which theologians and missiologists will work together for the missio Dei.”

Learn more about the School of Mission and Theology, including its program offerings and faculty.