E. Stanley Jones School of World Mission and Evangelism
In fall, 1983, Asbury Seminary began classes in the E. Stanley Jones School of World Mission and Evangelism. Today, the ESJ School serves the world Christian movement as a graduate school with an intercultural approach to teaching missiology and evangelization.
Like any graduate school of mission, the E. Stanley Jones School of World Mission and Evangelism prepares people for mission in the two-thirds world. Furthermore, the School offers courses in the several standard fields within the study of mission— such as mission theology, mission history, cultural anthropology, missional leadership, religious studies, development studies, evangelism and church growth.
The School, however, is also intentionally distinctive in several respects. The curriculum’s focus includes the new mission fields of North America and Europe which have emerged with the secularization of the West. The curriculum prepares students to evangelize, as well as serve, the peoples of the earth in their cultural and religious contexts. The curriculum prepares students for culturally relevant service and witness in other cultures, as well as their own. The curriculum includes a range of courses in communication, evangelism, church growth, church development, church renewal, religious studies, mission history and theology, cross-cultural discipling, leadership and change agent. In preparing graduates for faithful and effective mission, the students learn to approach mission amidst the distinctive regions, cultures, religious traditions, world views, and the social, political and economic struggles of today’s shrinking planet and the changing world church.
The School’s purpose is to prepare evangelists, church planters, missionaries, national leaders, pastors, mission leaders, mission teachers, evangelism leaders, evangelism teachers, communicators, executives and scholars for the apostolic mission of the church.
Coursework in the E. Stanley Jones School of World Mission and Evangelism is driven by several objectives: to prepare students for cross-cultural ministry and service; to prepare people for the effective practice of evangelistic ministries; to prepare people for advanced leadership in mission and evangelism; to advance the literature and lore of missiology and evangelization; and to develop knowledgeable leaders and scholars for the academy and the church. The larger mission behind these objectives is apostolic, involving the intention to advance the Christian movement in the two-thirds world and in North America and Europe, including both reached and unreached peoples, believing that the church’s mission is entrusted with the word of life, the compassionate lifestyle and the hope of the entire human race.
The curricular resources are in five areas:
- Contextualization Studies
- Development Studies
- Evangelization Studies
- Historical-Theological Studies
- Christian Mission
The E. Stanley Jones School of World Mission and Evangelism prepares students for the informed, responsible and effective practice of mission and evangelism across cultures. Students developing an understanding of the historical, cultural and religious contexts in which informed mission takes place shall:
- Articulate a biblical understanding of mission and evangelism in order to inform its practice.
- Set forth a salient theology of mission that is effectively integrated with their wider biblical and theological studies.
- Outline from a missiological perspective the historical development of the Christian movement, including their own place within that movement in the contemporary world.
- Show awareness of the cultural dimensions of effective mission and witness.
- Contextualize the expression of the gospel, sensitive to the forms the church takes in different cultures and subcultures.
- Engage in and lead effective ministries of evangelism.
- Plan and strategize for church growth, including church planting.