Students of World Christianity and Mission at BU
Students from around the world are attracted to Boston University and the Center for Global Christianity & Mission. Students’ interests are extremely diverse, but are unified by a fascination with global Christianity and mission.
Karyna Do Monte
Karyna Do Monte is a PhD student in the DRTS under the supervision of Dr. Frank Korom. Karyna is also studying World Christianity and Mission with Dr. Dana Robert and Transatlantic History with Dr. John Thornton. Her areas of interest include Latin American and African Diaspora studies, Brazilian studies, World Christianity, and modern missionary movements. Karyna is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Italian. This summer she worked as a research assistant for Dr. Linda Heywood in the African American Studies Department.
Ada Focer is currently working on her dissertation: “Frontiers in Relation: Being Christian in the Post-Colonial World.” She is collecting the life histories of people who, as recent college graduates, participated in Frontier Internship in Mission (FIM), a two year program sponsored by American Mainline Protestant churches between 1961 and 1974. It was then moved to Geneva and internationalized. These histories have stand-alone historical values since these people were active participants in the important changes happening at the time. In addition, patterns and connections within and across the individual life stories may become apparent when analyzed and, when put into conversation with social theory and other scholarship, might offer insight into the relation of religious and social activism during this era and afterwards.
Daryl R. Ireland
Daryl Ireland is exploring the history of Christianity and mission in Asia. He recently published in the Wesleyan Theological Journal some of his findings on the role of women in expanding Christianity in China during the early 20th century. Another study on Chinese female evangelists who worked in Singapore will appear in Popular Spiritual Movements in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, a book project sponsored by the Center for the Study of Christianity in Asia (Trinity Theological College, Singapore), and supported by the Center for Global Christianity and Mission (BU). Fascinated by the figure of 宋尚節 (John Sung), a Chinese evangelist whose itinerant ministry renewed the spiritual life of tens of thousands, Daryl is currently exploring Chinese revivalism and larger revitalization movements. In that vein, he has written “The Church Alive,” an essay in Interpretive Trends in Christian Revitalization for the Early Twenty First Century, and in his dissertation hopes to weave together Asian revivals, the role of women in Christianity, and popular spiritual movements.
Palolil V. Joseph
Palolil V Joseph is a student in the BUSTH-GCTS joint missiology program. He has served as missionary and theological educator in India for more than two decades. He has also been involved in the training of missionaries and pastors for the growing indigenous church movements in several parts of India. His academic interest lies in the area of theology and mission, and he plans to pursue his research in Trinitarian theology and mission. Joseph is interested in bringing western Trinitarian theology into conversation with Indian Christian theology in an attempt to bring out the missiological implication of Trinitarian theology for the Indian context. He is also interested in seeing an increasing recognition of non-western theologies. In this context, he feels that the theological contribution of Indian Christian theology has not received adequate recognition within the global theological academy which is still dominated by the west. In the context of the shift of the center of global Christianity from the west to the non-western world, Joseph thinks, it is important to bring the Indian theological contribution within the broader spectrum of Christian theology for the benefit of the global church, its mission and life.
Gun Cheol Kim
Gun Cheol Kim is a Th.D. student under the guidance of Dr. Dana Robert. As an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church of Korea, he has worked for the Korean immigrant community and adopted people in Stockholm, Sweden as a missionary dispatched by the General Assembly of PCK and recently worked in Seoul, South Korea as an assistant minister. He is studying the history of world Christianity, mission history, and theology of Christian mission. He especially interested in the implication of globalization for the church and mission. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Wellesley, Massachusetts.
Hye Jin Lee
Hye Jin Lee is a Ph.D. student in the Division of Religious and Theological Studies with Dr. Dana Robert as an advisor. He is interested in World Christianity focusing on the evangelical mission works of the Holiness traditions. In particular, he hopes to study the relationship between the American Holiness movement and the Asian Holiness movement from the global perspective. He is also an ordained pastor in Korea Evangelical Holiness Church.
Vincent K. Machozi, is a ThD candidate with a major in Philosophy, Theology and Ethics and a minor in Missions. His research is a social analysis of the pastoral letters of the National Conference of the Catholic Bishops of the D.R. Congo on Peace from 1996-2010. His study question is why the Catholic Church, which constitutes 70% of the Congolese population, has so far been unable to impact effectively the peace process in the 14 year-old armed conflict that has already left 6 million people dead. For this study, he draws on social movement theory and some historical examples of successful faith-based social movements in the area of peace and development. Machozi has participated in the national Congolese inter-dialogue for peace in Sun City, South-Africa (2002-2003) as a delegate of the youth movements of Butembo, North-Kivu Province in Eastern Congo. He has also taught Ecumenism and Fundamental Theology in Major Catholic Seminaries in Butembo (Eastern Congo) and in Kinshasa (the capital city of the D.R. Congo) for 8 years. While in Kinshasa, he also worked for 5 years as the Secretary for Religious Life in the Office of the National Conference of the Catholic Bishops of the D.R. Congo. He keeps a permanent contact with the youth movements of Eastern Congo through the website www.benilubero.com where those who can read French can follow day by day events of the D.R. Congo armed conflict. In the Archdiocese of Boston, Machozi is a weekend Assistant Priest at the Immaculate Conception Parish, in Everett, MA.
Shandi Mawokomatanda is a Th.D. candidate in Philosophy, Theology and Ethics at Boston University’s School of Theology. His studies focus on global ethics in cultural contexts, ecological ethics, and African studies under the mentorship of professors John Hart and Dana Robert. His research interests include mission, ecclesiology and ethics in Africa’s political economy, the cultural dimensions of peacebuilding in Africa with a special interest in the church’s engagement in the Ministry of Reconciliation in southern Africa. Shandi is a United Methodist minister currently serving as Associate Pastor at Wesley UMC in Worcester, MA. He served as a Chaplain Intern at George Mason University through the United College Ministries of Northern Virginia (2001-2004). At George Mason, Shandi chaired the Interfaith Campus Ministry Association which was responsible for building interfaith dialogue and religious awareness at the University. Shandi also partnered with faculty from the Institute of Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR) at George Mason in sponsoring an educational program on the religious dimensions of conflict and peace.
Daewon Moon is a Th.D. student in the joint missiology program with Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He received his M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 2011. His academic interests include the missionary activities of non-Western Christians in recent decades (particularly the student mission movements in Korea since the 1980s) and African Christianity in the global and urban context of the twenty-first century, with an emphasis on the AIC (African Initiated Church). He has been involved in the Lausanne Movement as one of the Lausanne Younger Leaders since 2010. Daewon and his wife Jeong Hwa have traveled extensively and been involved in various international mission ministries in Asia, Africa, and Europe with YWAM (Youth With A Mission) for the last decade. After he completes his doctoral study in the U.S., they hope to go to Burundi in East Africa as career missionaries.
Travis L. Myers
Travis L. Myers is a Th.D. student in the joint missiology program with Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. His research interests include the history of Protestant Christianity in Europe and North America (especially the projects of John Eliot, Roger Williams, and the Moravians); the history of inter-cultural Christian mission(s) and mission theory; theologies of culture and religion; biblical studies and contextual theologies; as well as world Christianity and the implications of globalization for ecclesiology. As a “missionary” with the Baptist General Conference (now Converge Worldwide) he had the privilege of teaching various theology courses and serving as faculty advisor for a student (and alumni) missions club/organization at the Cameroon Baptist Theological Seminary from February, 2003 to July, 2005. Travis and his wife, Susan, have also been involved with various ministries to children and young adults, the elderly, international students and recent immigrants in Chicago, Minneapolis, Louisville and Boston.
Ruth Padilla DeBorst
Ruth’s studies – under the mentorship of Dr. Dana Robert and Dr. John Hart in areas of missiology and social ethics – are focused on the theological praxis of the integral mission movement, particularly within Latin America, and the impact of this majority world mission theology on the world church. She is interested in how theological and missiological paradigms foster or disempower the church and all its members from engagement in the burning issues of its context such as violence, poverty and injustice. Related concerns are the reconciling role of the church in a continent riddled by ideological polarizations, gender oppression and inequality and ecological degradation. Ruth has been involved in leadership development and theological education for integral mission in her native Latin America as a missionary with Christian Reformed World Missions for many years: first in student ministry with the Comunidad Internacional de Estudiantes Evangélicos (IFES) and then with Seeds of New Creation, a ministry that trains for and promotes holistic mission in El Salvador. She currently serves as General Secretary of the Latin American Theological Fellowship and directs Ediciones Certeza Unida publishing house. She shares parenting of their blended, multi-cultural family of six kids with her husband James Padilla DeBorst. They live in Costa Rica, where Ruth is leading the Institute for the Promotion of Christian Higher Education in Latin America.
Eva Pascal is a first year Ph.D student in the Division of Religious and Theological Studies at the intersection of History of World Christianity and Religion and Society under the supervision of Dr. Dana Robert in history and Dr. Diana Lobel in comparative religion. She received her M.Div from Harvard Divinity School and from 2006-2010 taught classes on Christianity, Buddhism, and gender and religion at the McGilvary School of Divinity at Payap University in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Her broad areas of interest include Christianity outside the West and its encounters with other religious traditions, particularly Buddhism. She is particularly interested in Christian-Buddhist interaction and dialogue by looking at missionary preparation, education and projects. Current research explores the transformation of missions in the last century in Southeast Asia, especially the burgeoning faith-based organizations, with an emphasis on the role and historical contributions of women in this process.
David W. Scott
David W. Scott is a Ph.D. student in the Division of Religious and Theological Studies at Boston University working with Dr. Dana Robert in the fields of missions history and World Christianity. His particular interests include the missions of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Christianity in Southeast Asia, and Methodist education. His dissertation work examines the way in which Methodist missionaries in Malaysia at the turn of the twentieth century participated in and created an expanding array of global networks.
Anneke Stasson is a Ph.D. student in the Division of Religious and Theological Studies, under the guidance of Dr. Dana Robert. She is studying the history of Christian mission and the growth of Christianity in the global south. She is especially interested in the changing views of gender, sexuality, marriage and family in the history of the church and Christian mission. Her dissertation is on 20th century missionaries and marriage counselors, Walter and Ingrid Trobisch. Anneke lives with her husband, Steve, and her two daughers, Mary Lou and Eleanor, in Hyde Park, Massachusetts.
Douglas D. Tzan
Douglas D. Tzan is a Ph.D. student in the History of Christianity programin the Division of Religious and Theological Studies specializing in the history of Christian missions, world Christianity, Methodist history, and general church history. His dissertation is a biography of William Taylor, a late 19th century Methodist missionary, mission theorist, promoter and bishop. He is an ordained Elder in the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church with ten years of pastoral experience.
Bruce Yoder is a Th.D student in the School of Theology focusing on mission history and the history of Christianity with particular interest in West Africa . Bruce has worked in Latin America and most recently in West Africa, participating in programs of theological education among African Initiated Churches as a missionary with Mennonite Mission Network, the mission agency of Mennonite Church USA. His research interests include the emergence of African Christianity and the relationships between North American and Africa Christians.