Asbury Seminary congratulates Dr. Gregg Okesson, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, on receiving the American Society of Missiology (ASM) Book Award for Excellence in Missiology for his book A Public Missiology: How Local Churches Witness to a Complex World published in 2020 by Baker Academic. This book was also noted in the International Bulletin of Mission Research as among the “Ten Outstanding Books in Mission Studies, Intercultural Theology, and World Christianity for 2020.” It also received Christianity Today’s 2021 book award in the Missions/Global Church category.

“I’m deeply grateful for and honored by this award, especially since it comes from my distinguished colleagues in the discipline of missiology,” Dr. Okesson said. “I’ve spent nearly twenty years studying local congregations in different contexts around the world. A Public Missiology encourages us to see local congregations as the primary means of witness within complex, ‘thick’ publics where we live, work, play, tweet, vote, and interrelate.”

In his book, Dr. Okesson offers guidance to the complex challenges believers and local congregations face as they bring the gospel message to their communities. Using a variety of examples, Dr. Okesson shows ways that Christians can share the gospel message as they move between church, neighborhoods, workplaces, public spaces and home. Readers will find this book helpful as they see new ways to share their faith in all the realms in which they live and envision new approaches to public witness and social change.

“Asbury Seminary is so honored to know that Dr. Okesson’s writings are being so well received by his colleagues around the world,” Dr. Timothy C. Tennent, President of Asbury Seminary, said. “We salute this remarkable publication.”

Books are nominated by the ASM and the board of publications ranks the books, before the ASM publisher makes the final decision. This year 11 books were nominated.

“Dr. Okesson’s Public Missiology makes several important contributions,” Dr. Darrell Whiteman, Publisher, American Society of Missiology, and former professor of cultural anthropology and dean of the E. Stanley Jones School of World Mission and Evangelism at Asbury Theological Seminary, said. “It defines and illustrates a relatively new concept of public missiology, documents it with three excellent ethnographic case studies from Kenya, Montreal, and Nashville, and demonstrates how a robust faith in Christ needs to engage a complex public realm. This book will advance our understanding and practice of mission in a complex, globalizing world as we join God’s mission in the world and thereby advance the kingdom of God.”