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Dr. Michael A. Rynkiewich Wins Christianity Today Merit Award for New Book


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WILMORE, Ky. (January 9, 2013) – Wilmore, KY – Retired Asbury Theological Seminary Professor, Dr. Michael A. Rynkiewich, has won a Christianity Today Award of Merit for his book, Soul, Self, and Society: A Postmodern Anthropology for Mission in a Postcolonial World.


The magazine received 455 submissions from 68 different publishers, and chose ten winners and nine noteworthy books for the 2013 award.


In his book, Dr. Rynkiewich points out that globalization and urbanization work together to shape economics, politics, and even religion in the world today.   One cannot use traditional anthropological theories to analyze trends in global migration, diasporas, and transnationalism.  Instead, new departures in the social sciences being used to address these phenomena can help us critique and reshape the theology and practice of the Christian mission.


People today are exposed to so many different cultures, languages and social networks that we are no longer monocultural.  Dr. Rynkiewich examines the impact this will have on missionary work, and in defining what constitutes a missionary in the future.  For example, in what ways is the Nigerian who is founding an AIC congregation near Houston a missionary, and how can Brazilians and Koreans be trained for cross-cultural ministry?


Dr. Rynkiewich says that the world is changing faster than missionaries can be retrained for service, and his book seeks to offer valuable perspective and tools to bear on equipping missionaries for work in this rapidly shifting and complex shaping of people in today’s globalized world.


Dr. Michael A. Rynkiewich was director of Postgraduate Studies and professor of Anthropology. He was named Doctoral Mentor of the Year (2007-2008) at Asbury Theological Seminary.

He received a B.A. from Bethel University, 1966; a M.A. (1968) and Ph.D. (1972) from University of Minnesota; and a M.Div. from Asbury Seminary, 1992.

Prior to teaching at Asbury Seminary, Dr. Rynkiewich taught for 10 years at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn. He has written and edited a number of books on anthropology and has written a number of articles on anthropology and missiology. His most recent book is The Times of Our Ancestors: Origin and Distribution of Melanesian Languages and Cultures.

Dr. Rynkiewich has served as a pastor in the South Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He has also served as a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church.


For more information on the Christianity Today Award of merit, visit To interview Dr. Craig Keener, or for more information on Asbury Theological Seminary, contact


About Asbury Theological Seminary:

With multiple campuses, Asbury Theological Seminary is an interdenominational graduate school of theology committed to teaching the unchanging truth of historic Wesleyan Christianity through the most dynamic means available. Asbury Seminary offers a variety of degrees, including the master of arts, master of divinity, master of theology, doctor of ministry and doctor of philosophy in intercultural studies, biblical studies. Total current enrollment nears 1,600 students, representing 91 denominations and 44 countries. For more information, please visit





Posted on January 10, 2013

Categories: News