Sixteen years ago, Inus Daneel and I started the Center for Global Christianity and Mission at the Boston University School of Theology. Started without any funds, the CGCM was initially a virtual reality. Fifteen years later, the Center now occupies a physical space at the School of Theology, it has added an Associate Director, and its projects have expanded and deepened. It supports the teaching mission of the School of Theology by attracting and assisting a significant number of students. In fact, according to the International Bulletin of Missionary Research, no other mainline university-based program in North America has produced as many dissertations in Mission Studies over the past decade as Boston University. Much to my joy, the CGCM now plays a leading role in the growing network of scholarship about World Christianity and Mission.
A sampling of events suggests the vitality of the CGCM. Recently, the Center:
- Gathered prominent scholars from Africa, Europe, and North America to explore the significance of biographies for African Christianity, in conjunction with the Dictionary of African Christian Biography
- Initiated the first-ever meeting of the heads of Centers of Global or World Christianity in North America.
- Sponsored missionaries-in-residence to speak and meet with students interested in becoming missionaries
- Upgraded the History of Missiology website, the oldest digital project at Boston University
- Provided a missional “Day of Service” option for entering Master of Divinity students
- Collaborated with the School of Theology library and the United Methodist Seminary in Moscow to create a digital archive for Russian Methodism
- Directed four years (and counting) of students’ research on the Boston Korean diaspora
- Launched a successful project to digitize motive, the magazine of the Methodist Student Movement.
- Created discussion groups for graduate students in the Boston area doing research on Christianity in Asia and Africa
- Provided financial support for graduate students and visiting researchers to present papers at conferences on Mission Studies and World Christianity
- Expanded the curriculum by paying for courses in mission and development studies
I am setting a goal of raising $15,000 to support the infrastructure of the Center. In addition to the funds needed to sustain our forward momentum, we also need seed money for new projects in the works, such as research on Chinese Christian posters from the mid-20th century, and a conference on mid 20th-century mainline ecumenical missionaries. I have already personally pledged $2,000. Would you be willing to make a one-time contribution or a multi-year pledge to the CGCM?
You will be able to follow the impact of your investment through the CGCM News, which is mailed out three times a year. You can also follow CGCM projects, speakers, and special events online. In fact, I encourage you to check in and to send news items, because we aim to create an interactive network of scholars and activists. Your participation will add momentum to the expanding role that the GCGM is playing in interpreting World Christianity and Mission for the Academy and Church.
Dana L. Robert
Truman Collins Professor of World Christianity and History of Mission
Clicking the Donate button will direct you to the BU secure giving website. Instructions for routing money to the CGCM are as follows:
- Press the button that says, “Click Here to Choose a Fund.”
- A pop-up box will open that gives you six “General BU Funds.” Those are not the only giving options. Scroll to the bottom so you may select “Other,” and then press “Continue” in the bottom left hand of that pop-up box.
- Now, you may type “Center for Global Christianity and Mission” in the space that asks “If ‘Other’ was selected above, please indicate where you would like your gift to be directed.”
- Now you can make a donation to the CGCM. Thank you!