Studying Missiology

Louis Luzbetak defines missiology:

"Missiology is derived from the Latin missio ("a sending forth with a special message to proclaim or with a special task to perform") and the Greek logos ("a study, word or discourse"). Etymologically, missiology is a study of the sending forth or expansion of the Church." -- from The Church and Cultures (Orbis)

Learning about world missions

Need a good definition of missions? It's the cross-cultural expansion of the Church of Jesus Christ. Missiology is the integrative study of the cross-cultural expansion of Christianity as it has been fostered by expatriate Christian missionaries. Missiology -- the study of missionary work -- draws together scholarship in biblical, historical, doctrinal and practical theological studies.

As missiologists reflect on the global march of the Church, they use tools from the social sciences to understand various dynamics. Ins are drawn from cultural anthropology, ethnology, sociology, geography, and political science.

Missiology seeks to develop strategies for effective missionary work and church planting. In doing their work, missiologists interact with a wide range of professions, especially those of agriculture, education, medicine and public health.

Want to know how to become a missionary? Then, the study of missiology is for you!

Global passion at the college level

Want to help the missions program of your local church? Check out this resources on this website for Nazarene Missions International ( NMI ) groups.

Nazarene Bible College's world missions course via distance education

Global evangelism - a 6-week fully-online course that looks at biblical foundations, missions history, the implications of culture, today's missions methods and practices, a look at the job yet to be done and a case study of one denomination's world missions efforts (the Church of the Nazarene).

ebook: Jonah, the reluctant missionary

Jonah's story is not about disobedience. Jonah is the reluctant missionary of the Old Testament who refuses to get his heart in tune with God's heart.

Missions information and facts

Click hereBeing a good missions mobilizer means you must have a grasp of the facts and of information. Being able to pray intelligently means you must know what is going on. [ more ]

"While looking at your website, I have been very impressed with both the volume of information and the thoroughness with which you explore missions." -- Jack L., Arkansas, USA

Snapshot of the ideal graduate from a worldl missions program

Adoniram Judson's son wrote that his dad -- pioneer missionary to what is now called Myanmar -- was an ideal missionary because of his "scholarly tastes, affectionate disposition, and fervent piety." That's a good combination. Here's a longer listing:

  1. The ideal graduate of a missiology mission program would be an individual of deep spirituality. Key word: "Faithfulness"
  2. The person would be both curious and humble in his or her approach to cultures as well possessing as a desire to interact with people very different from him or her. Key thought: "Willingness to study and adapt"
  3. There would be an understanding of and an eagerness to work with contextualization issues. Key word: "Discernment"
  4. The person would be passionate about achieving long-term Kingdom goals rather than being content with short-term successes.
  5. The person would be committed to the Church as an organism and as an institution. Key word: "Dedication"
  6. The ideal graduates of a missiology program would have a drive to speak well the language of the people to whom they will go. Key word: "Communicator"
  7. The person could effectively communicate with home constituency about ministry vision, activities and needs. Key word: "Mobilizer"
  8. The person would feel at ease being in company with and in making friends with educated people of other cultures
  9. The person would have a "clear missionary vision," i.e. a sense of what God has called the Church to do and where we are in terms of fulfilling that call. Key thought: "On fire with love"
  10. The person would be, as was said of William Borden, a "striking example of Christian stewardship." He or she would know how to husband resources as well as being both strategic and creative in using what is available. Key word: "Versatile"

What should that ideal graduate have read?

Jim Johnson Missions scholarship fund

Helping train future missionaries

In January of 1998, Mexico's Nazarene Mission Teams director Jim Johnson died in a traffic accident while coordinating SNU's Commission Unto Mexico, a large, short-term mission trip to northern Mexico over the New Year's holiday involving construction projects, children's ministry, medical clinics and soccer ministry.

Missionary Jim had been involved in coordinating all of the first nine SNU Commission Unto Mexico trips.

His widow, Mary Johnson Runion, has established an endowed scholarship fund in his memory. Scholarships from this fund will aid young people called to be Christian missionaries.

Would you join us in building this memorial scholarship fund? We need several thousand more dollars. Those could come in big chunks . . . or it could happen with lots and lots of $5 bills!

Tax-deductible contributions to this scholarship endowment can be given online or via checks made payable to Southern Nazarene University and sent to the Development Office, Southern Nazarene University, 6729 NW 39th, Bethany, OK 73008. If you give online, be sure to specify clearly that it is for the Johnson Memorial Missions Scholarship.

    -- Howard Culbertson,


Missiology is the academic study of missions within the context of Christian theology. It encompasses various disciplines such as anthropology, sociology, history, theology, and cultural studies, all applied to the understanding and practice of missionary work. Missiologists explore topics like the theology of mission, cross-cultural communication, the history of missionary movements, contextualization of the gospel, and the role of missionaries in engaging with different cultures and societies. The aim of missiology is to critically analyze and improve the theory and practice of missions, with the ultimate goal of spreading the Gospel message effectively and respectfully across diverse cultural and geographical contexts.

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