Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
MaryKate Morse, PhD
Ashley Goad, DMin
Jason Clark, PhD, DMin
The world is a very a different place than it was a century ago, and while the modern missionary movement has slightly evolved through time, many of the accepted standards and approaches are predicated on realities that no longer exist. Global connectivity, the ease of travel, and shift of the global center of Christianity mean that practices which may have been effective even fifty years ago are becoming outdated and fruitless. Nevertheless, mission agencies continue to employ these archaic practices, burning-out missionaries, alienating nationals, and wasting Kingdom resources.
This dissertation proposes cross-cultural collaboration as the needed paradigm for missionary effectiveness and sustainability in the 21st century. Section One explores the current challenges facing cross-cultural Christian missions and describes existing barriers to fruitfulness. It includes a brief overview of modern realities that must be addressed in order to establish mission practices that are relevant to our time. Section Two analyzes the three dominant approaches to cross-cultural mission—the apostolic method, contextualization, and indigenization—and considers their viability for today. It also surveys and evaluates current missionary training and support methods. Section Three recommends a modification of the standard approaches to missions by suggesting a missiology of “With,” in which mission agencies, missionaries, and national partners prioritize collaborative efforts and relational methods. It suggests that doing Mission With would not only increase missionary effectiveness (particularly for future generations of missionaries, including Millennials), but may also reduce missionary attrition. Section Four introduces the artifact, a three-year program called Elan that is designed to help missionaries adapt to the field in France while equipping them to do Mission With. Section Five offers a detailed description of the Elan program, including the program specifications, standards, budget, and evaluative measures. Finally, Section Six is a reflection on my personal learning through the dissertation writing process, with a call for further research on the topic.
Williamson, Jennifer, "A Missiology of With: The Catalyst for Missionary Effectiveness in the 21st Century" (2019). Doctor of Ministry. 365.