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Towards a Missiological Model for Worldview Transformation among Adherents to African Traditional Religion in Yorubaland

Towards a Missiological Model for Worldview Transformation among Adherents to African Traditional Religion in Yorubaland
Kelvin Okey Onongha (EMS Press, 2017)

Seventh-day Adventist missions in the western region of Nigeria are a century old, yet reversion to pre-Christian practices such as divination and sorcery are reported, especially during periods of personal crises. This study sought to understand the influence of the traditional worldview on the practices of divination and sorcery and to develop a model that would move the Yoruba Adventists from dependence on these practices to a biblically shaped faith and praxis.

A grounded theory approach was adopted for conducting this qualitative research. Data were collected from two focus group discussions and from face-to-face interviews with five pastors, five diviners, and three members who had once consulted diviners.

Concepts that emerged from the analyzed data revealed the need for a theory of worldview transformation. This theory entailed having better biblical explanations to counter existing worldview assumptions, the exigency of encountering the power of the gospel in a power-oriented context, and the importance of experiential relationships with Christ to replace the role of diviners in that context.

The study culminated in a worldview transformation model that would lead Yoruba Adventists away from dependence upon pre-Christian customs to a biblically shaped worldview, and authentic faith and discipleship. Central to this worldview transformational paradigm is the Adventist doctrine of the Great Controversy.

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Conversion Narratives in Context: Muslims Turning to Christ in post-Soviet Central Asia

Conversion Narratives in Context: Muslims Turning to Christ in post-Soviet Central Asia
Daniel Gene Hoskins (EMS Press, 2017)

Religious experience is a narrative reality, while it certainly relates to doctrines and rituals, it is embodied by the stories people tell which express the meaning of conversion as understood by the converts themselves. In order to enter this narrative world we must engage the actual stories told by converts, making space for their narratives as they make meaning of their experiences and thus open windows on the emic perspective. Sometimes this happens through stories that are largely thematic—expressing conversion in mainly one metaphor. Other times, narratives may touch on many different ideas, allowing us to discern various internal structures, such as some of the factors leading to conversion.

Nevertheless, as important as these narratives are, they are only part of the picture because religious conversion always takes place in context. Therefore, if we are to properly understand the deeply personal experience we call conversion, we must frame it within the social, cultural and historical currents swirling around that experience. The conversions in this study are rooted in the religious history of Central Asia, particularly the seventy-odd years of Soviet rule. By the end of that era, it is probably more appropriate to think in terms of localized islam, rather than a universal religion based on the text of the Quran. Not only so, but the once proudly distinct Muslim peoples, now living under Russian rule, had become enculturated into Russian patterns of life, thought, and worldview, a process referred to as Russification, something which had profound effects on the way some of them have experienced conversion away from their natal religion.

This study examines both of these aspects, first the contextual and then the personal, through the stories of thirty-six Muslims who converted to faith in Christ in post-Soviet Central Asia. By exploring the deeply personal and the broadly contextual together, this study offers a clear view of the meaning of religious conversion, in a historical, social, and religious context.

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A Grounded Theory of Leadership and Followership in Multicultural Teams in SIL

A Grounded Theory of Leadership and Followership in Multicultural Teams in SIL
EunSun Sunny Hong (EMS Press, 2017)

There is a growing need to understand what effective multicultural leadership and followership look like in a faith-based, nonprofit, international organization where communication is mostly conducted through electronic means. Very little research has been done on this subject. The purpose of this grounded theory study is to understand and describe what leaders and followers want leadership and followership to look like in this kind of setting.

Data for this study were gathered largely through interviews with ten leaders and sixty-five followers working in SIL International and its partner organizations. Study participants originated from twenty-one countries, and, at the time of the study, were based in ten countries. The core elements of desired qualities of leadership and followership emerged through the analysis of these semi-structured interviews.

This study proposes a substantive theory about the perception of leadership and followership: Both followers and leaders in SIL, where computer-aided communication is the most frequently used communication platform, perceive that effective leadership and effective followership derive from specific and identifiable relational qualities, task-oriented competencies, character-related qualities, spiritual qualities, cultural intelligence, and the way communication by computer is used and understood. Strengths and drawbacks of communication methods impact the relationship between leaders and followers.

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COMIBAM 1984-2000: Historical Analysis of a Majority World Missionary Network

COMIBAM 1984-2000: Historical Analysis of a Majority World Missionary Network
Julio Guarneri (EMS Press, 2017)

This dissertation provides a historical analysis of the Cooperación Misionera Ibero Americana [Ibero American Missionary Cooperation] (COMIBAM). This historical analysis consists of COMIBAM’s first sixteen years (1984-2000). The purpose is to tell the story of this important network and its missionary advance and to provide the baseline for further research on the topic. The thesis posits that COMIBAM as a missionary network from the Majority World represents an indigenous movement that has made a significant impact on the global missionary advance.

Visionary indigenous leadership, a context of ecumenism, missionary fervor and changes in the Latin American landscape have given COMIBAM International the impetus of a movement. This is a case study of the right leadership in the right context producing an effective missionary network. The research method consisted of first reviewing the body of secondary source literature. Secondly, the primary sources were examined. The third step consisted of interviews with COMIBAM leaders, missionaries and other Latin American evangelicals and the examination of the COMIBAM/Bertuzzi archive in order to obtain further data, validation of written documentation and complementation of differing perspectives. The dissertation was written using a humanities paradigm. The study has demonstrated that COMIBAM International was a successful missionary network in the twentieth century in regard to the broadening scope of its outreach, the increased number of missionaries sent, the growth in number of missionary training and sending agencies that were formed, and the longevity of the organization. The study of COMIBAM as a missionary network from the Majority World yields practical insights for the advancement of mission in the twenty-first century. These implications include the impact of missionary sending from the Majority World on the global church, the need for the church in the northern hemisphere and the church in the southern hemisphere to partner in order to effectively fulfill the Great Commission, the urgency of reexamining the mobilization of Hispanic evangelicals in the United States, and the need for the continued development of a Latin American missiology in the twenty-first century.

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Saving God's Face: A Chinese Contextualization of Salvation through Honor and Shame

Saving God's Face: A Chinese Contextualization of Salvation through Honor and Shame
Jackson Wu (WCIU Press, 2013)

Years ago, the author had a startling realization. Theologians and pastors have long taught on the glory of God and its central importance in the Bible.
However, because he was living in East Asia, it also dawned on the author that this sort of talk about God's glory, praising Him, and magnifying His name was simply another way of talking about honor and shame. When the author looked at most theology and ministry-related books, he found that honor and shame seemed to be treated differently. Anthropologists talked about honor-shame, but theologians largely focused more on legal metaphors. The author could see both themes in Scripture but couldn't find help as to how to bring them together. This study was developed in order to address this gap and bring those themes together.
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A Model for Theologizing in Arab Muslim Contexts

A Model for Theologizing in Arab Muslim Contexts
Mark Harlan (WCIU Press, 2013)

The need for this study arose from personal experience as to the inadequate, inappropriate, and ineffective nature of Western Christian theology in Arab Muslim contexts.
Its aim is to explore the issues involved in enabling Western Christian theologians, theological educators, and expatriate workers, as well as Arab Christian and Muslim followers of Christ, to develop appropriate theology for Arab Muslim contexts. The goal of such theology is to present biblical truth that is more natural, relevant, understandable, and transformational.
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Important Factors in Pre-Field and Field Based Preparation of Missionaries Serving with Cross and Crescent International

Important Factors in Pre-Field and Field Based Preparation of Missionaries Serving with Cross and Crescent International
Herbert Brasher, Jr. (WCIU Press, 2013)

he most important event happening in our world today is the story of the Lord Jesus Christ as he works through his people in making disciple multipliers among every people group on earth.
Exactly what kind of disciples are needed to do that? Many pre-field training programs have traditionally been designed within parameters that primarily emphasized the cognitive, with too little emphasis upon the whole person. In addition, very few studies on missionary training, up to this point, have been made by asking the practitioners what they sense was important in their own training. This study examines missionary training within the author's own mission agency, which is dedicated to take the gospel of Christ to unreached Muslim people groups, and seeks to ascertain what was important in pre-field and field-based training for CCI workers.
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Conversion and Post-Conversion Experiences of Hindu-Background Believers with Applications to Local Church Ministry in Southern California

Conversion and Post-Conversion Experiences of Hindu-Background Believers with Applications to Local Church Ministry in Southern California
Asher Mathew (WCIU Press, 2013)

The motivation for this study was to help Indian churches in Southern California be more effective in their evangelistic strategies and discipleship efforts in order to produce new converts who are growing in the Lord.
The author investigated the conversion and post-conversion experiences of believers who were born and brought up in the Hindu religion. Moreover, he discovered the real issues that these converted believers experienced and, in some cases, are still experiencing. The central understanding to emerge from the study was that the Hindu-background believers' [HBB] conversion and post-conversion adaptations are gradual. HBBs consider their experiences to be different from those of traditional converts (i.e., those who grew up in the Church). Persistence is required on the part of believers to bring Hindus to Christ. Due to this gradual process, it takes years for Hindus to come to faith in Christ, which affects the growth of Indian churches in Southern California.
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Reshaping Evangelicalism's Future Leaders: How Short Term Urban Service Experiences are Influencing the Theology, Social Change Strategy, Cultural Awareness, and Social Connections of a Group of Evangelical College Students

Reshaping Evangelicalism's Future Leaders: How Short Term Urban Service Experiences are Influencing the Theology, Social Change Strategy, Cultural Awareness, and Social Connections of a Group of Evangelical College Students
Rick Richardson (WCIU Press, 2013)

Many evangelical college students are going on urban immersion experiences in order to serve the city, learn about justice and poverty, and grow in their connectedness to poor and ethnically diverse people.
These trips cost less than international trips, present fewer language and culture barriers, and often are experienced as life changing events much like international trips. But little research has been done on these urban short term immersion experiences. This dissertation explores the impact on the theology (spiritual capital), social change strategy and cultural awareness (cultural capital), and social connections (social capital) of a group of evangelical college students.
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Textbooks for African Bible Colleges

Textbooks for African Bible Colleges
Thayer Allyn Salisbury (WCIU Press, 2013)

This dissertation examines the effectiveness of using books that are primarily narrative as textbooks in African Bible colleges.
The importance of narrative communication is frequently discussed in the literature. Narrative is considered an important tool in communicating the gospel in many situations. The research upon which this dissertation is based sought to measure the effect of narrative against the effect of essay in an experiment conducted with ninety-three subjects at George Benson Christian College in Zambia and thirty-five subjects at Ghana Baptist Seminary. This study is important because it attempts to examine empirically the theory that narrative communication of the gospel is desirable in Africa or in the third world in general. In this respect it carries forward the work of Steffen and Klem. It also addresses related issues often discussed in the literature, such as field dependency and educational goals in Bible college education. In this respect it carries forward the work of Bowen and Buconyori. This study will be of particular interest to those involved in the training of Christian workers in Africa. It may also be of use to church planters in Africa and to theological educators in other parts of the world.
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Filipino Kingdom Workers: An Ethnographic Study in Diaspora Missiology

Filipino Kingdom Workers: An Ethnographic Study in Diaspora Missiology
Sadiri Emmanuel Santiago B. Tira (WCIU Press, 2012)

Mass migration is an undeniable force in the world today as over 192 million people transverse the globe in unprecedented diaspora.
These migrants are affecting change wherever they go as they intermingle with locals and other migrants. In recent years missiologists recognized the immense potential that Christians in diaspora have as already-deployed Kingdom workers, and joined the growing body of academics tracking international migration. In this dissertation, ethnographic methodology of participant observation and in-depth interview had been employed to gather descriptive data about Filipino Kingdom workers.
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A Grounded Theory of Behavior Transformation among Filipino Christian Women

A Grounded Theory of Behavior Transformation among Filipino Christian Women
Kimberly Fennessey Snider (WCIU Press, 2012)

This study proposes a substantive theory about the transformation process: conversion initiates a process wherein Filipinas come to understand the Bible as the standard of truth; subsequently, they become conscious that their behavior needs to mirror this standard.
This understanding, added to empowering elements and catalysts, and conveyed by culturally appropriate delivery systems, results in behavior transformation.
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A Theological Analysis of the Insider Movement Paradigm from Four Perspectives: Theology of Religions, Revelation, Soteriology and Ecclesiology

A Theological Analysis of the Insider Movement Paradigm from Four Perspectives: Theology of Religions, Revelation, Soteriology and Ecclesiology
Doug Coleman (WCIU Press, 2011)

Combining elements of the missiological concepts of people movements and high-level contextualization, the Insider Movement paradigm (IMP) proposes that biblical faith in Jesus can potentially be lived out within any religious culture.
Therefore faith in Jesus does not require severing ties with one's pre-faith religious community. This claim represents a new paradigm for ministry among peoples living in predominantly non-Christian religious cultures. To support this claim, IMP proponents appeal to a number of arguments, some of them sociological but others biblical and theological. Many of these claims intersect with four areas of theology: theology of religions, the doctrine of revelation, soteriology, and ecclesiology. This dissertation evaluates the IMP from these four perspectives.
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Muslim Conversions to Christ: An Investigation of Palestinian Converts Living in the Holy Land

Muslim Conversions to Christ: An Investigation of Palestinian Converts Living in the Holy Land
Ant Greenham (WCIU Press, 2011)

Despite the difficulties of reaching the world of Islam with the gospel, individual Muslims do put their faith in Christ.
Literature on the subject of Muslim conversions identifies an interesting range of conversion factors. However, little detail is available on Palestinian converts. This qualitative study seeks to identify key conversion factors and test whether these apply to other Muslim converts.
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An Interdependence Model for Mission: Alliance between the Oregon Ministry Network and the Malawi Assemblies of God

An Interdependence Model for Mission: Alliance between the Oregon Ministry Network and the Malawi Assemblies of God
Boyd S. Powers (WCIU Press, 2011)

The confluence of three streams-the success of the modern missionary movement, the pervasiveness of globalization, and the latent potential of the interdependent body of Christ-indicate that advancing the mission of God in the twenty first century calls for new ways of thinking and doing mission.
This project demonstrated that these three existing conditions afford the Church the opportunity to employ international ministry partnerships as a means of engaging the whole Church in the mission of God for the whole world.
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The Use of Business in Missions in Chiang Mai, Thailand

The Use of Business in Missions in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Mark L. Russell (WCIU Press, 2011)

Business as mission (BAM) is an emerging term and a developing concept. There has been much fascination in both mission and business circles with the concept of strategically using business to accomplish missional purposes.
Conferences and consultations have been held around the world. Though the term BAM is ubiquitous in mission circles, there is great disparity in what it means. There has been much talk about BAM in theory, but far less research done on how it works out in reality. The purpose of this study is to help remedy this situation by taking an in-depth look at business as mission in a single cultural context, namely Chiang Mai, Thailand.
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God First-Go Forward: The Impact of the South Africa General Mission/Africa Evangelical Fellowship on the Africa Evangelical Church, 1962-1994

God First-Go Forward: The Impact of the South Africa General Mission/Africa Evangelical Fellowship on the Africa Evangelical Church, 1962-1994
Thomas Kopp (WCIU Press, 2011)

This study examines archival materials, pertinent literary sources, and fifteen interviews in order to understand the impact on the Africa Evangelical Church (AEC) by its founding body, the South Africa General Mission/Africa Evangelical Fellowship (AEF).
It also explores the possible contributions that both the Mission and the Church could make to their continued growth as they move together into the 21st century.
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Finishing Well: Encouraging Pastors to Persevere under Persecution

Finishing Well: Encouraging Pastors to Persevere under Persecution
Kurt Nelson (WCIU Press, 2011)

What are the factors that cause pastors to give up their calling and what can be done to mitigate those factors?
What can the North American Church do to encourage pastors to remain faithful to their calling to serve and lead local churches? Ultimately the purpose of this qualitative study is to discover the factors that enabled pastors in a particular context to successfully persevere under persecution and to fulfill their calling as pastors so that these principles may be applied to persecuted Christians worldwide.
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