2023 Annual Conference

EMS 2023 Conference Logo - Educating for Contemporary Mission

Educating for Contemporary Mission

Portrait of Evelyn Hibbert

Evelyn Hibbert

Evelyn has over 30 years’ intercultural educational experience ranging from discipling oral learners through to training post-doctoral researchers. She is a co-leader of the Angelina Noble Centre, a research centre for women in cross-cultural mission. One of her foci has been developing inclusive learning communities whether learners are face-to-face or online, illiterate or highly educated. Evelyn leads the newly established Global Region of the EMS and is also on the Executive Committee of the International Association of Mission Studies. She has co-authored four books for mission practitioners, including books on discipling, leadership development and training missionaries.

John Cheong

John Cheong was raised and educated in Southeast Asia but later left to pursue tertiary education in the U.S. He has two undergraduate degrees in chemistry and education, two graduate degrees (an M. Div and a ThM) with a doctorate in intercultural studies from Trinity International University. After completing his studies, he returned to Southeast Asia, teaching in 3 Southeast Asian nations among 3 distinct people groups for over a decade. He was also the research and teaching associate at-large for the Asian Centre for Mission in Southeast Asia. Since 2022, he joined Grand Canyon University as the associate professor of world religions and missions. He has co-edited or published six books, and written over sixty articles in the areas of world religions, contextual theology, world Christianity and globalization. He has a forthcoming book titled, Emplacing Globalization: Mission in Contexts of People, Processes and Places, that will be published by Regnum Press.

Portrait of Henri Aoun

Henri Aoun

Henri Aoun was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, and completed university studies at American University in Washington, DC. In 1977, he and his wife Ruthie joined the staff of Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ), where they served in Jordan, Syria, and Tunisia. Later, they moved to France where Henri founded the Communication Center—a media outreach to Muslims in North Africa and the Middle East. From 1989-2019, Henri served as the team leader for the North Africa and Middle East region of Cru. Henri has produced three feature films—Magdalena, Damascus, and Augustine, Son of Her Tears—and developed a one-day seminar called The Five Principles that trains believers to share Christ with Muslims. His passion remains making disciples and developing younger leaders to see spiritual movements emerge in the Muslim world.

Photo of Paul Cornelius

Paul Cornelius

Paul was born and raised in India and has had 25 years of experience in theological education in India and across Asia. He currently serves as the President of the William Carey International University. Prior to relocating to Pasadena, California, Paul led the work of Asia Theological
Association (ATA) for the India region, leading and participating in more than a hundred institutional and program evaluations. In more recent years he focused his efforts increasingly on trainings and workshops in the aspects of faculty development, capacity building, curriculum
design and andragogy. Paul also contributed in the development of partnerships with Entrust International in their contextual course design workshop, and with ScholarLeaders International's Vital Sustainability Initiative in Africa and Asia. His areas of interest and teaching have to do with Gospel and Culture, Missions, and Education. In addition to writing various articles, he has worked on the Pastoral Epistles for the South Asia Biblical Commentary, and is currently working on the book of Hebrews for the India Commentary of the New Testament.

 The intersection of education and mission produces a maze of models and practices. From the many pastors’ conferences conducted each year around the globe, to short-term discipleship and leadership development processes utilized by missions sending agencies, to legacy institutions grappling with curricula, the maze grows deeper and more complex. Add into this mix, advances in globalization, urbanization, and technologically-driven educational platforms expedited by the global pandemic, and the maze goes virtual as well.

With these models and opinions, key questions come to the forefront. Among these questions are, What are the missiologically responsible, theologically sound, and effective best practices in education for contemporary mission? The vast diversity of answers are expressed by the differing perspectives within missions–from the academy, the church, and the practitioner. The conference aims to address the role and shape of education and mission today from all of these perspectives.