COS 513 - Our Mission from God: Transforming Agent

Instructor: The Rev. Paul Jeffrey

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Course Description

This course will explore what it means for contemporary Christian congregations to be engaged in Christian mission that is scripturally based, ecumenically responsible, and integrated with the resources and strategies of The United Methodist Church. It will examine the historical challenges of mission and critically ponder current mission trends, asking which genuinely reflect Gospel values. It will look at mission as our partnership with God in loving the world, and encourage those who engage in mission to ask the right questions so as to respect John Wesley’s first general rule that we do no harm.

Required Textbooks

Mission: An Essential Guide, Carlos F. Cardoza-Orlandi (Abingdon, 2002)

When Helping Hurts, Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert (Moody, 2009)

In the Company of the Poor, Conversations with Dr. Paul Farmer and Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez (Orbis, Maryknoll, NY 2013)

Christian Mission, How Christianity Became a World Religion, Dana Robert (Wiley-Blackwell 2009)

Good News to the Poor, John Wesley’s Evangelical Economics, Theodore Jennings (Abingdon, 1990)

Recommended Reading

The Next Christendom: the Coming of Global Christianity, Philip Jenkins (Oxford University Press, 2007)

Wisdom from a Rainforest, The Spiritual Journey of an Anthropologist, Stuart Schlegel (University of Georgia Press, 2003)

Saving Christianity from Empire, Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer (Continuum, 2005)

The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver (Harper, 2008)

Together Toward Life: Mission and Evangelism in Changing Landscapes. Available online at

This class requires homework to be turned in before the class starts:
Download class syllabus & pre-class assignments