Christianity and Culture. Mission

M609. The Church’s Mission in the World

Credit, three hours. (Faculty)

This seminar offers biblical, historical, and theological perspectives on the global diffusion and development of Christianity. Focusing upon the transmission and transformation of the Christian tradition through cross-cultural encounter, particular attention is given to Christianity’s serial cultural penetration and its diverse local cultural expressions. The emergence of Christianity as a vibrant, predominately non-Western religion, are treated. The course is designed to locate the student’s ministry within the realities of the emerging global church in a pluralistic world.

M610. Survey of African Christianity: From Apollos to Adelaja

Credit, three hours. (Hanciles) (Same as HC610.)

This course provides an exploration of the establishment and growth of Christianity in Africa. Regional experiences and developments form the building blocks of the study. But the assessment aims less to provide detailed historical coverage of the church in every region of the subcontinent than to negotiate major themes, currents and developments constituent to the rise of African Christianity—including the vital role of indigenous religious culture and the interaction with Islam. The significance of colonialism as well as the role and impact of Western missionary enterprise form an overarching theme, but central emphasis will be placed on African initiatives, agency and enterprise as indispensable elements in the development and prospects of the African Church. The emergence of African Christianity as a major factor within world Christianity will also receive attention. (Race, Ethnicity, and Gender)

M612. The Church in Asia

Credit, three hours. (Jones)

This course focuses on the spread and transformation of Christianity across various Asian nations and cultures from its beginnings to the present day. Special attention will be paid to contemporary issues facing Christian communities on the continent.

M619. Social Mission of the Christian Church

Credit, three hours. (Bounds) (Same as ES609.)

The purpose of this course is to critically and faithfully engage the social witness of the church as an integral form of the mission of the church in the world. Students will analyze theological foundations for social witness, develop strategies for identifying and articulating that witness in the local church, and reflect upon a personal theology of social ministry.

M634. Globalization and the Church's Mission

Credit, three hours. (Hanciles) (Same as SR634.)

This course examines the globalization phenomenon and its wide-ranging implications for the contemporary church. It is divided into two parts. Part one provides a detailed assessment of the political, economic, and cultural dimensions of globalization with a view to unravelling myth and reality and applying biblical lenses. Part two examines, among other things, the role of Christianity as a globalizing force, emerging initiatives, models, and strategies of Christian missionary engagement, and plausible responses of the church to the problems, perils, and opportunities of the processes of globalization. Issues to be spotlighted include global processes and local change, missions and money, religious movement and economic development, modernity and religious commitment, some implications of the recent demographic shift in world Christianity for missions. (M634CEE when offered as a Contextual Education elective)

M642. Religion, Culture and Mission in Latin America

Credit, three hours. (de Souza) (Same as EV642.)

This course examines a set of books, chapters, articles, videos, films, and documentaries on religion, culture and society in selective parts of Latin America. Using case-study methods, students will come to appreciate sociocultural diversity and religious pluralism as contexts for Christian mission. (Race, Ethnicity, and Gender) (M642D Religion, Culture, Society and Mission in Latin America when offered as a real-time, distance-based, and shared course between Candler School of Theology and the Methodist University of São Paulo’s School of Theology).

M647. Theologies and Ecclesiologies of Brazil

Credit, two or three hours. (de Souza) (Same as CC647.)

This trip-based course focuses on a set of selected theologies and ecclesiologies at work in Brazil. It assists in establishing a framework for critical understanding and evaluation of contextual theologies and expressions of indigenous churches in their original historical, sociocultural, and demographic contexts. While collecting information and interpreting theological and ecclesial practices from multidisciplinary and contextual perspectives, this study also seeks to explore possible missiological lessons. Students may choose to take the course for two or three credits: two credits for those who do not plan to go to Brazil and three credits for those students who plan to participate on the trip. (Race, Ethnicity, and Gender)

M653. World Evangelism in an Age of Empire

Credit, three hours. (Jones) (Same as HC653, EV653.)

From the beginning of the 19th century until the middle of the 20th century, Christians from North America and Europe were involved in a massive effort to conquer and Christianize the world. This course examines the relationship between Western imperial missions and religious missions, noting the ways in which they both conflicted and cooperated in their endeavors. Attention will be given to indigenous Christians in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, whose life, work and witness was crucial in shaping religious responses to imperialism.

M655. The Church on the Border

Credit, three hours. (Faculty) (Same as CC655.)

This course focuses on immigration and realities facing communities on the U.S.-Mexico border. The class will travel to the U.S.-Mexico border (typically during the A-term, J-term, or Spring Break). There students will study with local church leaders and will have meetings with migrants, federal agents, social justice agencies, community organizers, and congregational leaders. (letter grade only)

M670. Missiology in Ecumencal and Global Perspectives

Credit, three hours. (de Souza)

Designed to foster a study of missiology, the course will explore key historical developments and new understandings of mission in contemporary ecumenical forums and emerging Christian global perspectives, helping students develop into leaders in mission discussions and missional practices.

M675. Interfaith Dialogue as Congregational Mission

Credit, three hours. (Jones, Womack) (Same as WR675.)

Christian mission in the contemporary world takes many different forms and is expressed in a variety of modes. This course explores ways in which Christians in local congregations in the United States can enter into dialogue, which is characterized by mutuality and respect, with persons of other religious traditions in our increasingly religiously pluralistic world. Through such dialogical engagement, congregations respond to Jesus’ command to love God and one’s neighbor. There are three fundamental aims of the course. The first is to provide basic knowledge about religious pluralism in Atlanta and the United States. The second is to introduce students to different reasons for and practices of interfaith dialogue. The third is to prompt students to provide leadership in interfaith dialogue in their congregations. (M675CEE when offered as a Contextual Education elective)

M676. Modern Christianity as a Global Phenomenon

Credit, three hours. (Hanciles) (Same as HC676.)

This course serves as an introduction to the historical study of Christianity as a global phenomenon. It will survey major developments within, as well as significant encounters between, the church in Europe, North and South America, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific from roughly 1600 to the present. Course material will highlight the complex actors and trends that have shaped the church as an indigenous social institution and examine major historical developments that reflect concrete ways in which the church (as a community of faith) has impacted its immediate context and the wider world. Special attention will be given to the critical role of various forms of outreach and missions in Christianity’s global expansion as well as the significant role of non-Western initiatives in shaping global Christianity.

M697. World Methodist Evangelism Seminar

Credit, three hours. (Faculty) (Same as EV697.)

Held in conjunction with the World Methodist Evangelism Institute international seminars, this course develops students’ conceptualization and practice of mission and evangelism in a cross-cultural setting. Students learn about the ways in which churches in different parts of the world are endeavoring to communicate the promise and presence of the reign of God.

M698. Special Topics in Christian Missions

Credit, variable. (Faculty)

Special topic or one-time offering courses led by Candler regular and visiting faculty. Prerequisites may be required and are noted on the course schedule when applicable.