Papers & Publications

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World Christianity and the Holiness Movement

By dri
November 16th, 2015 in Alumni Profiles and News, People, Publications, World Christianity.

In September 2015, The Global Institute for the Fourfold Gospel Theology at Seoul Theological University launched the new peer-reviewed journal World Christianity and the Fourfold GospelScholars from around the world contributed articles, launching a new periodical focused on the ways in which the international holiness movement helped to construct world Christianity.

The Advisory Board has three alumni of the Boston University School of Theology: Myung-soo Park (’92), Sung-Deuk Oak (’02), and Brian Clark (’08). In addition, the managing editor is Yeon-seung Lee (’11).

Articles from World Christianity and the Fourfold Gospel will be indexed in Religion Index One: Periodicals, the ATLA Religion Database, published by the American Theological Library Association.

Jesudas Athyal’s new edited volume available

By sjlloyd
November 10th, 2015 in Announcements, Publications, Visiting Researchers.

CGCM visiting researcher Jesudas Athyal’s edited book A Light to the Nations: The Indian Presence in the Ecumenical Movement in the Twentieth Century is now available. Athyal Jesudas portrait

There are a range of contributors in this volume, including Wesley Ariarajah (Former Director of WCC Interfaith department and Professor Emeritus of Ecumenical Theology at Drew University), Fr. K. M. George (Orthodox theologian), Preman Niles (Sri Lankan theologian) and Jayakiran Sebastian (Dean, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia).

World Council of Churches Publications makes this important book available, and it can be purchased at the American Academy of Religion conference in Atlanta, GA this year (WCC Publications booth 613), or through amazon:


Education as a Mission

By dri
October 6th, 2015 in Faculty Associates, People, Publications.

Greatest Work In the World Sept2015BUST 003 (1)Greatest Work In the World Sept2015BUST 002 (1)On September 25, Professor Liz Parsons gave a lecture about her new book The Greatest Work in the World: Education as a Mission of Early Twentieth Century Churches of Christ. She spoke about her research on the exchanges written between Lloyd Cline Sears (1895-1986) and Pattie Hathaway Armstrong (1899-1977), two prominent leaders of Churches of Christ. She talked about the major themes she found in these letters, mainly focusing on their educational philosophy and their counter-cultural perspective. Jeremy Hegi, a third year Ph.D student, responded. There was a lively discussion concerning the practical implication of the letters for contemporary American Christians. Many CGCM faculty members and students joined the discussion. 

School of Theology and the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry Collaborate to Launch Digital Archive of motive Magazine

By dri
September 15th, 2015 in Ada Focer, Announcements, motive, Publications, Research.

by Betty Elrod

“The magazine, motive, challenged me beyond natural ability.”
Jeanne Audrey Powers

On September 16, Boston University School of Theology and the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry will celebrate the launch of a website that digitizes motive magazine and makes it accessible to a new generation of scholars and leaders. motive magazine shaped a generation of young, passionate activists and leaders. The event will feature an art display beginning at 4:30 pm and a celebratory event at 5:00 pm, with a Readers’ Theater, presentation of the new website, and panelists.

motive was the official magazine for the Methodist Student Movement from its founding in 1941 and, for a few years at the end of its life, for the entire University Christian Movement (UCM). Much celebrated even at the time for its avant-garde editorial and artistic vision, in 1966 Time magazine said it stood out among church publications “like a miniskirt at a church social.” It was the single runner-up to Life as Magazine of the Year in 1965. Its strong stance on civil rights, Vietnam, and emerging gender issues were provocative at the time and the magazine ceased publication in 1972.

The Center for Global Christianity and Mission in collaboration with the School of Theology Library has made all of the issues available online and searchable. This event will mark the launch of the new resource on the Church, the student movement, and critical issues from the middle of the 20th century.

Panelists include:
B.J. Stiles, former editor of motive magazine;
Frank Lloyd Dent, author of the dissertation motive magazine: Advocating the Arts and Empowering the Imagination in the Life of the Church; and
Tom Driver, contributor to motive magazine and retired professor at Union Theological Seminary.

- See more at:

Visiting Researcher Writes about H. F. Reynolds and the Foundation of the Church of the Nazarene

By dri
July 28th, 2015 in Alumni Profiles and News, Announcements, People, Publications, Research.

WIPFSTOCK_TemplateFor three years, Mary Lou Shea was a Visiting Researcher at the Center for Global Christianity & Mission. During that time, she devoted herself to uncovering the story of Hiram F. Reynolds, one of the first two General Superintendents in the Church of the Nazarene, and the architect of Nazarene missions around the world. The result of her work has recently been published as In Need of Your Prayers and Patience: The Life and Ministry of Hiram F. Reynolds and the Founding of the Church of the Nazarene.

Recently, Daryl Ireland asked Dr. Shea about the project. This is how she responded:

I did not choose Reynolds; he chose me, with the help of denominational archivist, Dr. Stan Ingersol, who approached me at a conference to ask if I would undertake the monumental task of reading the Reynolds archive and to consider writing his story. Since I knew nothing about Reynolds, and my colleagues (all ordained elders in the Church of the Nazarene) knew shockingly little about him, I said, “Sure.” This is not unusual for me. In the first grade, each student had to choose a bird to report upon to the class. Did I choose the robin? The blue jay? The goldfinch or oriole? No, I picked the phoebe bird. In the fifth grade, we each had to write a report on a hero of the Revolutionary War, so I picked Molly Pitcher. Who wouldn’t? When Reynolds presented himself, I was compelled to take on the challenge. Why write about someone we already know when there is something new to be learned?!

I worked with lots of primary materials.  Reynolds was kind enough to save what must have been every piece of correspondence he ever received!  (Well, maybe not every one, since the archival material grew exponentially once the Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene was created.) He also kept carbon copies of most of his outgoing correspondence. So, I had an abundance of letters, cables and wires, sermon outlines, schedules, to-do lists, receipts, article manuscripts and photographs to fill in the details. I also had access to personal letters to and from his wife and children. He also left an unpublished memoir written when he was 75 and reflecting, from his perspective, on the life he had led. This was especially crucial in filling in the details of his youth and his years as a Methodist Episcopal minister in Vermont. Together, I was given an unusually well-rounded portrait, written in his own hand. In addition, I had access to holiness newspapers and, from their first issues, of denominational newspapers that followed his travels, printed his columns and editorials, and reported on his work as a General Superintendent and missionary leader. Then there were the minutes of meetings, some handwritten, from a variety of sources including Annual Conferences, General Assemblies, meetings of the Women’s Missionary Society,  gatherings of denominational mission leadership (like the General Board of Foreign Missions) and other such groups. For me, the difficulty was not in gathering enough material to piece together a biography. It was sifting through mountains of material, knowing that every choice I made to include one thing meant choosing to exclude others. I tried very conscientiously to chose representative materials that could offer glimpses into much larger volumes of related materials across the breadth of his responsibilities. The incidents, people, concerns, policies and practices that receive the most attention are the ones that Reynolds, himself, spent the most ink and time trying to resolve, create, or manage. Since they dominated weeks, months, or years of his documented time and effort, they became important aspects of this book.

Some folks have gently wondered if I have soft-soaped his story because, when I talk about him, he sounds too good to be true. That always makes me sad. Reynolds was human and he was bold in revealing his own faults and sinfulness to any who would listen to his testimony of God’s grace and the joys of living a holy (sanctified) life. Still, during a tumultuous life filled with adventure, illness, and disaster, he strove, day in and day out, to live up to his calling as a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So far as I could ascertain, once he set off to follow Jesus he never committed adultery, lined his own pockets with church money, cheated anyone he met, or indulged in drinking alcohol, smoking, or gambling. Unhappily, with our societal taste for scandal, we find it hard to believe that an honest biography could present a man of integrity. What a shame that scandals have become so associated with Christianity that a biography is suspect if there are no lurid skeletons being dragged out of the closet. Perhaps this book can offer an alternative to the standard hypocrisy narrative, for I believe it accurately captures a person who embraced the joys of holiness, setting an example we might all do well to follow.


Rethinking Methodism

By dri
June 12th, 2015 in Announcements, motive, People, Publications, SCM-USA.

In a recent essay, Chris Evans explored important questions scholars need to raise when they think about American Methodism, particularly after the Civil War. One way to reconsider the role of Methodism, Evans argued, would be to look at the role of Methodist young people, citing the motive magazine as a rich and untapped source. The Center for Global Christianity & Mission will have the entire run of motive available for digital research in September 2015.

Reflections on the Methodist Historical Pie

The Making of Korean Christianity

By dri
May 4th, 2015 in Alumni Profiles and News, People, Publications, Research, Reviews, Students, World Christianity.

UnknownThe award winning book, The Making of Korean Christianity: Protestant Encounters with Korean Religions, 1879-1915 was recently reviewed in the Africanas Journal. The publication is doubly significant for the Center for Global Christianity & Mission, as the author of the book, Sung-Deuk Oak, graduated from the Boston University School of Theology in 2002. The review was written by Gun Cheol Kim, a current PhD candidate in Mission Studies at the School of Theology.

Christianity and Innovation

By dri
April 16th, 2015 in Dana L. Robert, Dana L. Robert, People, Publications, Research, World Christianity.

9781472591012The Historical Society received funding from the John Templeton Foundation to explore Religion and Innovation in Human Affairs. Research in various fields was conducted from 2011 to 2014, and the results were often counterintuitive. Counter to popular images of religion as a conservative force that regularly inhibits creativity, scholars described a more dynamic religious impulse. Dana Robert, Director of the Center for Global Christianity & Mission, participated in the project, arguing that Protestant missions were a major source of social innovation and democratic nationalism at the beginning of the twentieth-century. A preview of her research and that of others, may be found in: What Connection is There, if any, Between Christianity and Innovation?

Mega Churches in the Global South

By dri
January 20th, 2015 in People, Publications, Visiting Researchers, World Christianity.

65109_9789351500582wThe evidence continues to mount that the current center of the Christian faith is neither in North America or in Europe, but in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the Pacific. Most recently, Jonathan James of Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia, edited a book, A Moving Faith: Mega Churches Go South that documents the rise of mega churches in the global south. Jesudas Athyal, a Visiting Researcher at the Center for Global Christianity & Mission, contributed the chapter, “Southern Christianity: Key Considerations and Characteristics.”

Religious Vibrancy: A Look at the Numbers

By dri
October 21st, 2014 in Publications.

65509Gina Zurlo co-edited the Yearbook of International Religious Demography, the first in an annual series that gives a snapshot of the world’s religious landscape, coupled with social scientific articles on specific countries and trends in religion around the world.