Concentrations

CONTEXTUAL STUDIES

The contextual studies concentration prepares students for the challenging task of utilizing social scientific (especially anthropology and sociology) theories and methods in the service of the global church. Courses in this concentration deal with issues of sociocultural change, ethnicity and gender, immigration and missions/ministry, urban anthropology and ministry, linguistics, and ethnographic methods. The goal of the concentration is to assist the student to integrate the “trialogue” among theology, the social sciences, and mission.

Sample courses in the Curriculum include:

  • Anthropology for Christian Mission
  • Applied Anthropology and Missiology
  • Ethnicity, Race, and the Church
  • Immigration, Diasporas, and Transnationalism
  • Ethnographic Field Methods

HISTORICAL-THEOLOGICAL STUDIES

Historical-Theological Studies concentration offers the following foci for research: (1) historical research in any selected (relevant) period, persons, and events in the history of missions and world Christianity, (2) theology and mission including biblical theology of mission, contextual theology, and contemporary theologies of mission, (3) missional engagements with world religions and theology of religions. The concentration focus is marked either by the approach (historical, inter-religious and theological approaches) or by the substance (history, religions, and of theology in relation to mission and world Christianity).

Affirming that any missiological research should have strong historical and theological foundations, the concentration sub-field of Historical-Theological Studies also provides two foundational (core) courses for all the Ph.D. students in Intercultural Studies.

Some Representative Courses:

  • History of Missions (core course shared with other concentrations)
  • Biblical Theology of Mission (core course shared with other concentrations)
  • Christian Witness and Other Religions
  • Contextual Theology
  • Theories and Models of Mission
  • Gender and Mission
  • Trends and Issues in World Christianity

DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

The development studies concentration is designed to help students become scholar-practitioners of Transformational Development. Courses explore issues of justice, reconciliation, leadership, and poverty alleviation for the purposes of helping the Church care for the holistic needs of the people around the world through the love of Jesus Christ. We consider ways to think about and practice development from a thoroughly biblical and missional perspective and we encourage students to synthesize classroom learning with practicum and research opportunities for domestic and global development contexts. Within the development studies concentration, leadership development/training continues to be one of the most sought-after solutions in missional settings and organizations.

Sample courses in the Curriculum include:

  • Holistic Mission
  • Foundations of Development
  • Public Theological for Global Development
  • Peace, Justice, and Reconciliation
  • Theories of Development
  • Leading in a Multicultural World
  • Capacity Building Leadership
  • Developing Emerging Leaders

EVANGELIZATION STUDIES

 The church is made up of people who have responded to the good news. So, its very existence is bound up with its call to share the good news and make disciples (Mt. 28:19). The task of Asbury’s Evangelization Studies concentration is to equip leaders for that mission. Its commitment to participation in the mission of God, state-of-the-art field research, scholarly deliberation, and experiential learning add up to a distinguished, top-drawer program. Our instructors’ broad domestic and international experience in the church and academy complement stellar academic credentials. Scores of our graduates serve the global church as scholars, educators, researchers, and organizational leaders in many intercultural contexts around the world including the pluralistic Western world. Our courses span a wide range of pivotal topics. They include:

  • Twenty-first century church planting
  • Single cell and small church case studies
  • Global urbanization and church planting
  • Dynamics of interpersonal evangelism
  • Holistic witness