News of the extended network of faculty, alumni, students, visiting researchers, and mission partners is regularly updated, and some of the big ideas or major events in Global Christianity are covered in the CGCM News.

Bevans addresses practical theology/missiology consultation

By Ada FocerNovember 15th, 2012in Announcements

On November 1st, Dr. Stephen Bevans opened an engaging interchange between missiology and practical theology. In “Forging a Conversation,” Bevans described how the two fields compliment one another without collapsing either discipline into the other. Subsequent presentations were made by faculty of STH: David Jacobsen, Dana Robert, Bryan Stone, and Thomas Thangaraj. Each presenter provided succinct descriptions of his or her own field, as well as impressions of their counterpart’s. This led to ever-deepening exchanges. Dean Bryan Stone, for instance, could reply to Dr. Dana Robert’s representation of Practical Theology by saying, “I don’t recognize my discipline at all in what you just said.” He then went on to give an alternative vision of Practical Theology, and thereby opened up yet other possibilities for collaboration with missiology. The lunch concluded with questions for the panel, but was in some ways extended into the evening when Professor Bevans gave the Brown Lecture in Practical Theology.

Alum Profile: Xiyi Yao, Th.D. 2000

YaoXiyi Yao is an associate professor of World Christianity and Asian Studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He has been an active scholar, publishing numerous works in both English and Chinese. He has a variety of research interests, including the history of Protestant missions and mission theology; the fundamentalist and evangelical movements in China and America; comparative studies of Christianities in China, Korea and Japan; history of Christian pacifism in China; Chinese traditional religions and culture, and their relation with Christianity; and Christian thoughts in contemporary China.

He received his Th.D. from the School of Theology at Boston University in 2000. His dissertation uncovered and clarified the roots of the fundamentalist movement among Protestant missionaries in China focusing on the fundamentalist missionaries’ views and engagement in various aspects of the mission enterprise in China. In this work, he paid particular attention to examining major historical events, issues, individuals, and organizations involved in the fundamentalist missionaries’ fundamentalist campaign in China.

Before coming to his current position at Gordon-Conwell, he worked in Hong Kong and mainland China and was involved in various scholarly works: From 2001 to 2003, he served as a Beijing-based consultant for the China Educational Exchange, a North American Mennonite program. Then, from 2003 to 2010, he worked as an assistant professor at the Department of Theological Studies in China Graduate School of Theology (CGST), in Hong Kong. He has been serving as an associate of the Mennonite Mission Network (U.S.A.) since 2003 as well.

His current research projects are: to trace the history and heritage of the Hunan Bible Institute (Biola in China, 1916-1949). In addition, he is also involved in researching the heritage and theology of Wang Wei-fan, a famous Chinese scholar, as a case study of Protestant theology in contemporary China.


Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

Mennonite Mission Network

by Hye Jin Lee

Dr. Elizabeth Brusco delivers Berger lecture

By Ada FocerNovember 9th, 2012in Announcements

Dr. Elizabeth Brusco, an anthropologist and one of the foremost authorities on global Pentecostalism and gender, gave the second annual Peter Berger lecture. It was entitled “Barred from the Pulpit, Absent from the Stage, and Missing in the Analysis: Why We Must Keep Women in the Foreground in Understanding Global Pentecostalism.”

Profs. Dana Robert and Peter Berger

Profs. Dana Robert and Elizabeth Brusco
Profs. Dana Robert and Elizabeth Brusco

Report from the 2012 ASM Eastern Fellowship

By Ada FocerNovember 7th, 2012in Announcements

Three faculty members–Drs. Robert, Daneel, and Thangaraj–and seven students attended the 2012 ASM Eastern Fellowship last weekend. Daewon Moon filed the following report:

STH alum, Prof. Ben Hartley of Palmer Seminary presided
STH alum, Prof. Ben Hartley of Palmer Seminary presided

The 2012 ASM Eastern Fellowship was held at the Maryknoll Sisters
Center in Maryknoll, New York on November 2–3, with the theme
“Classics of Mission Spirituality.” STH alum, Prof. Ben Hartley of Palmer Seminary, presided.

Dr. Rady Roldan-Figueroa of Boston University gave his presentation on
the spirituality of Bartholome de Las Casas (1484–1566), a Dominican
missionary and social reformer in the Americas. Roldan-Figueroa
discussed the significance of Las Casas’ treatise “De unico vocationis
modo” (“On the Only Way of Conversion”), focusing on distinctive
characteristics of sixteenth-century Spanish spirituality in the
Observance movement within the religious orders.

Sister Claudette LaVerdiere of the Maryknoll Sisters presented her
research on the spirituality of Mother Mary Joseph Rogers (1882–1955),
the founder of the Maryknoll order. While a student at Smith College
in 1904, Mary Josephine organized a Mission Study Club for Catholic
students. Her recognition of women’s power for mission significantly
contributed to the formation of the Maryknoll Sisters, which sent its
first missionary sisters to China in 1921. Mother Mary Joseph’s focus
on cultivating character became an integral part of the spirituality
of the Maryknolls, who adopted the motto “Making God’s love visible.”

STH alum, Dr. Grace May, a conference speaker, with two visiting researchers in World Christianity from the People's Republic of China
STH alum, Dr. Grace May, a conference speaker, with two visiting researchers in World Christianity from the People's Republic of China

Dr. Grace May of City Seminary of New York gave a talk on Margaret
Emma Barber (1866–1929), a missionary to China who was a spiritual
mentor of Watchman Nee, the most influential leader in the Chinese
house church movement. Strongly influenced by the Keswick holiness
movement in England, Barber emphasized the discipleship training of
indigenous people, particularly the training of local “Bible women” to
reach out other women.

Research Update from Mary Lou Shea

By Ada FocerNovember 1st, 2012in Research

Mary Lou Shea, Th.D.

October 30, 2012

Hiram F. Reynolds
Hiram F. Reynolds

Just about one year ago, I began my research into the life and ministry of Hiram F. Reynolds, one of the founders of a Wesleyan-American Holiness denomination, the Church of the Nazarene. As a historian of Christianity with a strong interest, and background, in mission history, I was appalled at my own lack of knowledge about the man who was widely considered “Mr. Missions” by earlier generations of Nazarenes. As an educator serving at a denominationally-affiliated college, my ignorance was galling (to me, at least. Most of the current crop of twenty-somethings have never even heard of Reynolds, and their parents have only vague ideas about who he was and why he might have mattered to their parents and grandparents.) The denominational archivist, Dr. Stan Ingersol, had approached me several years ago at a conference, tempting me with the opportunity to be the first scholar to read the Reynolds collection. Ingersoll was insistent that Reynolds’s story must be told, and I seemed a likely candidate to do the telling. It has taken some time, and a self-funded sabbatical of sorts, but I have finally taken the plunge and spent the last thirteen months immersing myself in the life and ministry of H.F. Reynolds. (It seems, from having read his extensive correspondence, that the Rev. Reynolds was always and only “H.F” to everyone except his closest family. As such, while I have grown to admire and respect him, and even to feel a sort of filial affection, I am more comfortable referring to him as H.F. than as the more intimate “Hiram.”)

It has taken thirteen months of nearly constant work to feel that I have consulted the most important sources for one simple reason: Reynolds is an extraordinarily well-documented individual. He kept what appears to be most of the correspondence he ever received (or, at least, representative examples of every sort of correspondence.) He also developed the habit, early on in his tenure as a leader of the Church of the Nazarene, of making carbon copies of his out-going correspondence. As such, I was gifted with an estimated thirteen cubic feet of papers – and that may be a modest estimate. In addition, there are thousands of photographs taken by, and of, him. There are family albums, including an especially sweet and insightful one that formerly belonged to his granddaughter, Frances, whom he and Mrs. Reynolds raised from birth and later adopted. There are minutes of the various boards and meetings: the General Board of Foreign Missions, his baby for a quarter century; the Women’s Foreign Missionary Society; the General Board; the General Assemblies of the Church of the Nazarene; and more. There were the denominational publications, including the first twenty-six and a half years of “The Other Sheep,” the missions magazine and of “The Herald of Holiness,” a publication directed at the general population of the church; and almost as many issues of “The Beulah Christian,” the publication of the Association of Pentecostal Churches of America, with which Reynolds was associated prior to the foundation of the Church of the Nazarene. There were reports from the Annual Conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Vermont, where Reynolds served as a pastor and evangelist for a dozen years at the beginning of his career. And, of course, there were the early denominational books about Reynolds – most of them written for youngsters, and many of them sounding suspiciously “inspirational,” and none of them boasting a single footnote! Reynolds himself wrote a book about his first round-the-world mission tour, which coincided with the outbreak of World War I and provided numerous thrilling adventures (including being aboard a German ship off the coast of southern Africa when war was declared. He ended up 3,000 miles off course and had to finagle his way across the Atlantic – twice – during the first months of the conflict.) Finally, Reynolds penned an autobiography while in his seventies. It was never published, although it did provide material for a popular biography written at the end of his life by Amy Hinshaw, who wrote similarly exciting stories about several of the more heroic Nazarene missionaries of the early years.

I have been delighted and relieved to discover, along the way, two important things. First, H.F. Reynolds has turned out to be a man possessing rare and important characteristics, including a healthy sense of humor; a deep and stalwart commitment to Christ and the church; a real knack for administration (including both a strong practicality and the astounding ability to listen closely to people); a genuine humility that made him approachable and encouraging to others who struggled along the way; and an enthusiasm for missions that combined with a willingness to invent or adopt approaches that made missions matter to everyone. I have been greatly relieved to discover that I like H.F. Reynolds. I would relish the chance to have him as my pastor, neighbor or brother-in-law. He is worth knowing, and I am honored to introduce him to his beneficiaries (both Nazarene and others) through the biography I intend to write, starting at the first of the year.

Second, I have been blessed by the professionalism, encouragement and generosity of the archivists and librarians with whom I have been privileged to work over these otherwise solitary months. Materials have been loaned, dug out of archival stacks, and hunted down through library networks. I have been given dedicated research space, assistance with photocopying and scanning, ready audiences when I have stumbled across something especially riveting or entertaining, and pep talks when I have been bleary-eyed. (I have discovered something about myself. I am good for no more than 52 issues of a newspaper or magazine, of 32 pages each, in a single day of reading. If the material is on microfilm, I may not quite make even that goal.) Scholarly research is often lonely, and sometimes confounding, and I suspect that, without the generous support of those who safeguard and share our documents, it would be impossible.

I am now the proud (?) owner of a stack of binders, full of research notes, that is roughly the size of my living room couch. I begin to realize that this assignment is rather more like my dissertation than I had imagined . . .just when one feels that one has scaled to the mountain top, it becomes apparent that those were only the foothills one was climbing. The Everest experience awaits. Happily, the climb will be in good company – H.F. and his stories will see me to the summit!

New WSCF web-posters capture its Legacy

By Ada FocerOctober 31st, 2012in SCM history, SCM-USA

The WSCF just put out a few great new web-posters through Facebook that perfectly capture the astonishing degree to which the WSCF was at the forefront of the need to humanize modernity and globalization because of the experience of participating in a transnational and transcultural network and point-of-view grounded in a common Christian faith. Check out their Facebook page.


Income Inequality in Election Years Past

By Ada FocerOctober 31st, 2012in motive

A cartoon by motive cartoonist Jim Crane in 1960 and a print by Robert Hodgell in 1968 both address the issue of income inequality and how people think about their money. Either could have been done yesterday. The Hodgell print was included in a recent Eckerd College exhibit, “Robert Hodgell in an Election Year.”


by Jim Crane, motive, April 1960
by Jim Crane, motive, April 1960

by Robert Hodgell, 1968
by Robert Hodgell, 1968

motive Editor and Cartoonist Meet Again!

By Ada FocerOctober 30th, 2012in Announcements, motive, SCM-USA

With support from the Society for the Arts in Religious and Theological Studies, 1960s-era motive magazine editor, B.J. Stiles, and Ada Focer, Research Director of CGCM, were able to travel to St. Petersburg, Florida to meet with 1950s and 1960s-era motive artist Jim Crane, best known for his cartoons, and the people at Eckerd College where Crane, Peg Rigg, and Robert Hodgell all worked for decades after motive shut down, who are preserving and exhibiting these artists’ work.

B.J. Stiles and Jim Crane
B.J. Stiles and Jim Crane

WSCF seeks volunteer Ecumenical Accompaniers

By Ada FocerOctober 30th, 2012in Announcements

WSCF seeks volunteer Ecumenical Accompaniers for PEAC: The Program for Ecumenical Accompaniment in Colombia from 1 December 2012 to 1 March 2013 as part of the PEAC Pilot Project in San Onofre, in the Montes de Maria Region in the Caribbean Coast area of Colombia.

Profile of Ecumenical Accompaniers:
· Age: adults over 21.
· Men and women. Couples will not go to the same communities.
· Willingness to move around to different places within Colombia (travel by air, road, paths, horseback and walking).
· Capacity to understand and respect local culture and customs.
· Sensitivity to the situations in which people and communities find themselves. Refrain from any sort of abuse of power.
· Basic understanding of human rights, international humanitarian law, advocacy and training on how to act in conflict situations. Further training will be offered.

: Commitment to nonviolent principles of accompaniment.

· Language: Accompaniers must have a working knowledge of Spanish.
· Capacity to work in a team and systematise experiences.
· Accompaniers must be endorsed by the faith communities or organisations that send them, so that they have established networks in their home countries able to give them personal, moral and spiritual accompaniment. An Accompanier and his/her organisation or community must be in permanent contact, so that the latter is aware of the accompanier’s well-being and the situation in the area where he or she is staying.
· Accompaniers must know and agree to PEAC codes of conduct (including the ACT Code of Conduct).

· Must have ecumenical commitment. Ecumenical training and experience an asset.

Training and orientation will be offered before traveling to Colombia and full orientation and training for the work of ecumenical accompaniment will be offered in Colombia for the pilot project team before taking up their responsibilities on the ground.

The EAs will be part of a small team of 4 to 6 people living and working in and around the municipality of San Onofre, Department of Sucre. The team will live and work out of the PEAC house in San Onofre and will be supported and supervised by the PEAC National Coordinator Dra. Blanca Lucia Echeverry. The team will also be actively supported by both a local and regional reference group made up of members of the supporting churches and social organisations as well as members of the local communities who have invited PEAC to accompany them.

The principal work of the team consists of physical,visible, active, non-violent accompaniment presence in the context of fear, intimidation and violence related to the continuing violation of victims rights and the land restitution process in Colombia. hey will accompany social organisations and communities involved in and impacted by these processes. They will carry our regular observation ad monitoring of the human rights situation in the zone. as part of their responsibilities they will write reports and shared information about the situation both with the PEAC for international distribution and with their sending organisation. The team will be fully oriented, supported and supervised in their work and responsibilities.

The return airfare and related travel expenses will be provided by the program. During the three months all basic living expenses will be covered as will all job related travel and work costs. Provision will be made for regular time off and rest periods as APPROPRIATE. Basic health insurance will be provided.

The EAs will be also trained and supported by their sending organisations and will be expected to participate in ecumenical advocacy upon their return.

For more information and to apply for this program, please contact Luciano Kovacs, North America Regional Secretary, WSCF