Training in Missions

On occasion I have thought about what topics should be covered in Missions Training. I looked at some stuff I put together in 2010. Looking it over, I liked a lot of it. The main lacking I think was not recognizing the importance of theology in missions. So I would like to divide missions training into three levels and three areas.

Missions Areas:

Missiological. This is a vague term, but relates courses that fit into a lot of the “practical topics” that fit into missions.

Theological. While many of the missiological topics could be described as being part of practical theology, this section involves very intentional theological rigor as it relates to Missions.

Sociological. This is that part of Missions that focuses on the social sciences… especially anthropology.


Level One. Should be taken by all seminary or Bible school students. Or, for those seeking to g. o formally into missions, these may include courses that would be considered introductory… and perhaps taken in the first year or semester or module (depending on the structure of the training)

Level Two. Should be taken by all missions students— especially in the middle, meaty, part of the training.

Level Three. Electives or finishing courses for missions students.

With that in mind, the curriculum would break down something like this (I guess):


-Level One

-Introduction to Missiology

-Level Two

-Missions History

-Strategy and Planning of Missions

-Contemporary Issues in Missions

-Level Three (examples)

-Missionary Member Care

-Short-term Missions

-Urban Missions

-Community Development


Level One

-Biblical Theology of Missions (NOT “Biblical Basis for Missions”)

Level Two

-Missions Theology

Level Three

-Localizing Theology


Level One

-Introduction to World Religions

Level Two

-Cultural Anthropology

-Cross-cultural Communication

-Interfaith Dialogue

-Ethnographic Research

Level Three (Possible examples)


-Specific culture/religion-targeted missions

Of course this list presupposes other trainings that are more general but valuable to missions students. I am assuming that Evangelism, Discipleship, and Churchplanting are not seen as specifically in the Missions Department— even though in the areas above they would loosely fit under the Missiological section. Likewise, it is presumed that students would get Biblical Theology, Historical Theology, and Systematic Theology (along with Biblical Studies) from other departments. And in terms of the sociological side of things, it is assumed that students are trained in other departments homiletics, Christian education, music and worship.

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