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Course, academic year 2023/2024
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Introduction to Missiology - RET6057
Title: EIV-Introduction to Missiology
Guaranteed by: Ecumenical Institute (27-EI)
Faculty: Protestant Theological Faculty
Actual: from 2022
Semester: winter
Points: 6
E-Credits: 6
Examination process: winter s.:
Hours per week, examination: winter s.:0/2, C(+Ex) [HT]
Capacity: unknown / unlimited (unknown)
Min. number of students: unlimited
4EU+: no
Virtual mobility / capacity: no
Key competences:  
State of the course: taught
Language: English
Teaching methods: full-time
Teaching methods: full-time
Note: course can be enrolled in outside the study plan
enabled for web enrollment
Guarantor: doc. Timothy Noble, Ph.D.
Missiology is an academic discipline that undertakes the study of Christian mission in all its complexity. This course seeks to offer an introduction both to the discipline and to the complexity. The word “mission” can evoke all sorts of responses, positive and negative, and it is important to acknowledge these as a hermeneutical starting point. The course will look at mission as an encounter of stories. In Christian theology, the defining story is that of God’s self-revelation to the world, culminating in the coming of Jesus. This story is told in the bible, and the course thus looks at how the bible can be read as a story about the mission of God. But the death and resurrection of Jesus are both the culmination of the story and the beginning of the story of Christianity, and so we will also look at how women and men have engaged in the practice of mission. This mission always takes place somewhere, which makes context of fundamental importance, so we also look at how theology can be / is done contextually. The course will also examine why mission is done, what the aims of it are and what is needed to achieve this aim. But it will also insist that the other, the recipient of mission, is not a passive partner, but actively engaged in the journey towards God. We will finally consider some of the particular challenges of Christian mission in the particular context of the Czech Republic.
Last update: Noble Timothy, doc., Ph.D. (22.09.2021)

Select Bibliography of Books Currently in the Library of ETF UK

Anderson, Gerald H. with John Roxborogh, John M. Prior, Christoffer H. Grundmann (eds.), Witness to World Christianity: the International Association for Mission Studies, 1972-2012. New Haven, CT: Overseas Ministries Study Center, 2012.

Bria, Ion. Orthodox Perspectives on Mission. Geneva: WCC, 1986.

Bosch, David. Witness to the World: the Christian Mission in Theological Perspective. Atlanta, GA: John Knox, 1980.

Castro, Emilio. Sent Free: Mission and Unity in the Perspective of the Kingdom. Geneva: World Council of Churches, 1985.

Costa, Ruy. One Faith, Many Cultures: Inculturation, Indigenization, and Contextualization. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1988.

Fornberg, Tord. Bible, Hermeneutics, Mission: A Contribution to the Contextual Study of Holy Scripture. Uppsala: Swedish Institute for Missionary Research, 1995.

Foust, Thomas (ed.). A Scandalous Prophet: The Way of Mission after Newbigin. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2002.

George, Sherron. Called as Partners in Christ’s Service: the Practice of God’s Mission. Louisville, KY: Geneva, 2004.

Gittins, Anthony. Living Mission Interculturally: Faith, Culture and the Renewal of Praxis. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical, 2015.

Goodman, Martin. Mission and Conversion: Proselytizing in the Religious History of the Roman Empire. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995.

Grau, Marion. Rethinking Mission in the Postcolony. Salvation, Society and Subversion. London: T&T Clark, 2011.

Hiebert, Paul. The Gospel in Human Contexts: Anthropological Explorations for Contemporary Missions. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2009.

Hunsberger, George and Craig Van Gelder (eds.). The Church between Gospel and Culture: The Emerging Mission in North America. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1996.

Kraemer, Hendrik. The Christian Message in a non-Christian World. London: Harper & Brothers, 1938.

Kirk, Andrew and Kevin J. Vanhoozer (eds.). To Stake a Claim: Mission and the Western Crisis of Knowledge. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1999.

Knitter, Paul. Jesus and the Other Names: Christian Mission and Global Responsibility. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1996.

Messer, Donald. A Conspiracy of Goodness: Contemporary Images of Christian Mission. Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1992.

Neill, Stephen. A History of Christian Missions. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1964.

Newbigin, Lesslie. The Gospel in a Pluralist Society. Geneva: WCC Publications, 1989.

Noble, Tim. Mission from the Perspective of the Other. Drawing Together on Holy Ground. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2018.

Okure, Therese. The Johannine Approach to Mission: A Contextual Study of John 4:1-42. Tübingen: Mohr, 1988.

Oleksa, Michael. Orthodox Alaska: a Theology of Mission. Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1992.

Oleksa, Michael (ed.). Alaskan Missionary Spirituality. Crestwood, NY: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2010.

Papathanasiou, Athanasios. Future, the Background of History: Essays on Church Mission in an Age of Globalization. Montréal: Alexander Press, 2005.

Skreslet, Stanley. Picturing Christian Witness: New Testament Images of Disciples in Mission. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2006.

Stamoolis, James. Eastern Orthodox Mission Theology Today. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1986.

Verkuyl, Johannes. Contemporary Missiology: An Introduction. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1978.

Weaver, Dorothy Jean. Matthew's Missionary Discourse: A Literary Critical Analysis. Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1990.

Yates, Timothy. Christian Mission in the Twentieth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Yong, Amos. The Missiological Spirit: Christian Mission Theology for the Third Millennium Global Context. Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2014.

Last update: Noble Timothy, doc., Ph.D. (15.09.2023)
Teaching methods

Teaching will happen face to face. There will be lectures, but with the opportunity for engagement. Some reading will be suggested, and there will be a final paper to be handed in by the end of the examination period. It is necessary to attend classes, and if you fail to do so without contacting me beforehand, you may fail the course.

Last update: Noble Timothy, doc., Ph.D. (15.09.2023)


4          What is Mission?

            This class will offer an overview of the course. We will concentrate on particular stories, seeing what they can tell us about how to understand mission. But first we begin by offering definitions of mission – what kind of images, thoughts, expectations, fears, hopes, etc., does the word evoke? In order to progress further in the class, what will we need to consider, what do we need to know, what do we need to confront?

11        Studying Mission

Like all disciplines, missiology has a history. So we will look at some of the people who have marked that history, what they have been trying to do, what they contributed, what they neglected? What are the current trends and practices, where and why is mission studied?

18        Missional Hermeneutics        

In this course, we are looking at mission as an encounter of stories. For Christians, the defining story is always the story of God’s self-revelation to and interaction with the world, culminating in the coming of Jesus. This story is told in the Bible. So how do we encounter the Bible as a story about mission, about the Father sending the Son and the Holy Spirit, about God sending Israel, about Jesus sending out his disciples. But before we look in more detail at the particular stories, we consider a way of reading the bible from the perspective of mission, that is, a missional hermeneutics.

25        No Class


 1         The Old Testament: Please note: This class will take place in the Mála posluchárna

This week’s class will take the story of Jeremiah, not normally regarded as being primarily about mission. We will read this story, using the missional hermeneutics we examined previously, to see what the story might have to tell us about the nature of mission, of being sent by God. We consider the person of the missionary, the techniques, word and deed, the necessary involvement in politics, the tasks of the missionary to proclaim truth against lies, and so on.

  8        No Class

15        The New Testament

The focus this week will be the mission discourses of Matthew and Luke especially, and what they suggest about the task of mission. We will also consider Jesus’ own encounters with the other, especially the non-Israelite other, and what that tells us about how we go about encountering people on the journey.

22        Mission Histories

We look at some histories of missionaries, looking at how they encountered the other. This week we will look at some missionaries from different traditions to see what they can teach us.

29        Mission Histories

We continue, this time taking the story of women missionaries, and considering to what extent there are differences in the way men and women engage in mission and what each can learn from the other.


 6         Where Do We Meet? Places and People

One of the most fundamental claims of modern mission studies is the importance of paying attention to local cultures and contexts. In this class we will examine this aspect, discussing what the role of culture and context is, how both to affirm and challenge it, and what we need to learn from the other in order to communicate with them. We will examine some models of contextual theology, considering which might be most appropriate for our own home contexts.

13        Why Do We Meet? Aims of Mission

This week’s class will look at the reasons for doing mission and the ends it has in sight. What these are will influence greatly how the missionary acts. It may be conversion, or evangelisation, or it may be about deepening one’s own faith in contact with others, or it may be an innate belief in the superiority of one’s own faith and culture (or indeed in the inferiority of one’s own faith and culture). But how do these different beliefs and starting points and desired end points influence mission and how it is done?



  3        What Do We Bring?

To do anything requires certain skills and the ability to make use of the talents we have for the purpose in mind. This is true for mission. So what are the skills required to do mission and how can they be developed? What are the different talents that can be used? How do we encounter the giftedness of the other, so that the other can also be a co-traveller on the journey to God? These questions force us also to consider who the missionary is, and what it means to suggest that all Christians are called to mission.


10        What Do We Do?

This week we will reflect on what it means to engage in mission, reflecting concretely on what is involved, the different ways of engaging in mission.

Last update: Noble Timothy, doc., Ph.D. (15.09.2023)
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