Friday, April 17, 2009

McAfee School of Theology Adds Global Christianity Concentration

Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology has added a new concentration in global Christianity to its Master of Divinity program. The concentration will help students explore and address the critical aspects of Christianity’s “shift southward” in the 21st Century and to train new ministers to work in this dynamic environment.

The global Christianity concentration is designed to expand the view of Christianity, that it must be understood as a multi-cultural and global movement, an enduring theological tradition that finds new life in the realities of Africa, Asia and Latin America. Students will also explore how the dramatic growth of world Christianity changes the missionary dimension in all churches, from initiators to receptors, of mission outreach. The concentration will also explore ways to help growing churches in need of theologically trained leaders, ranging from seminary professors to grassroots leaders of indigenous churches. Finally, the concentration will help those who are being educated to lead religious communities to help them incorporate the understanding of these realities into their ministry and outreach.

“This concentration is designed to help our students form partnerships with Christians around the world and to recognize the multi-varied expressions of the Christian faith as it is expressed – especially in the Southern hemisphere,” said Dr. Ronald W. Johnson, professor of mission and evangelism and coordinator of the Global Christianity concentration. “Our students will learn how Christians in other cultures live out their sense of God’s mission in the world and how they express their faith, often in challenging situations. This will help students learn to pray for, cooperate with and support the growth of Christians and the Christian faith around the world. It will give our students an opportunity to share their insights into their faith and to learn from other cultures. The program will also help our students tell the story of faith around the world.”

Students in the Master of Divinity program are eligible to apply to the concentration after one year in the program, and several have already done so. In addition to the core Master of Divinity requirements, students in the global Christianity concentration must complete 12 hours of study in global mission and cultural studies. Students are also encouraged to take their nine free elective hours in cross-cultural or anthropological studies through the Atlanta Theological Association consortium. Students in the concentration will be required to take their Mentoring II course in a cross-cultural, and preferably overseas, placement. In addition, students will be asked to focus on their cross-cultural experience for their capstone paper.

“The concentration in global Christianity has the potential to become a signature program that vastly enlarges our students’ horizons and creates opportunities for them to become global Christian leaders,” said Dean R. Alan Culpepper.

For more information about the Master of Divinity program or the global Christianity concentration, contact the McAfee Admissions Office at (678) 547-6474 or (888) 471-9922 or theoadmiss@mercer.edu.

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