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Testimonies

Anniversary June 2008

Warm Praise for OCMS from Senior Church Leaders, Academics and Students

 
“I have been a strong supporter of OCMS and am very appreciative of the partnership between OCMS and the Langham Partnership”
 
Rev Dr John Stott.
 
 
 
“[The] OCMS research seminar provides more rigorous research scrutiny than anywhere else in Oxford.”
 
Professor Terrence Ranger, Emeritus Professor, St Anthony’s College, Oxford and former Rhodes Professor of Race Relations in the University of Oxford.
 
 
 
I was also going to say to you, how much I have really enjoyed my studies with OCMS. I was not disappointed. It has been a truly 'transformational' experience and I am grateful to God for the opportunity.
 
Student from Kenya
 
 
 
"The Oxford Centre for Mission Studies does extremely valuable work supporting Christian leaders in the developing world. I particularly appreciate the fact that their programmes are concerned not just with individuals but with the transformation of whole societies."
 
Revd Richard Harries, Former Bishop of Oxford.
 
 
 
"We are very pleased with the work that [our students] are doing at OCMS and the excellent guidance they have received. From our side of their efforts, they have been very conscientious about their work and faithful to the task. What a great asset to our school they both are. Beyond that, they provide excellent training, leadership, and example to our students."
 
From East Africa.
 
"The staff and scholars at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies have been an academic family. Thank you all. The community at OCMS provided an atmosphere of discussion and integration, which in hindsight was central to the shaping of the dissertation. It has been my experience at OCMS that the conversations with staff and church leaders from all over the world has brought about the catholicity we celebrate at the table of the Lord. In them mercy and justice meet; to sit at the table and to have one's voice heard is mercy, to be challenged is justice."
US Ph.D graduate
 
"I want to express my thanks for all the encouragements you have given me during my study period with you. I have to tell you that those 10 weeks of research were some of the most significant time in my life. I think the Tuesday lectures and the Wednesday devotional time and seminars are the factors that make OCMS such an excellent community, where learning and spiritual growth can develop intensely."
Director of a Christian agency, Indonesia.
 
OCMS has been a model for me in taking education to those who are practitioners out there in the real world who may never be able to take the time to attend a traditional residential academic institution.  It provides for me a unique forum for looking at theological and missiological issues from a Two-Thirds World perspective with global input.
 
I found my visit most interesting and was very impressed with the work and spirit of the Centre.
Revd Dominic Walker, former Bishop of Reading
 
... special thanks go to the community of OCMS. The Centre has not been a mere institute - it has been a place to experience loving support and care, a place of worship, friendship, sharing of concerns, sorrow and joy, scholarly discussion with a holistic outlook not only to missiology but theology. It has also been driven home to me that doing a research at OCMS is much like waiting for Jesus - we must be prepared at any time to give an account of what we have done. In one word, it has provided a stimulating atmosphere and vision so essential for research and life. It is one of the few institutions I have seen where not solely the brain is involved in doing theology but the whole person, indeed community.
 
OCMS Scholar
 
 
 

Excerpts from student's papers commenting on their experience of OCMS

"OCMS has shaped me in (i) thinking, linking new ideas and adapt it in my own situation; (ii) Broaden my perspective, not limiting within my own context; and (iii) from [your] exemplary life style - raising new, young dynamic leadership both in the Church and society."
 
"...if my time at OCMS taught me anything, it is the importance of basing our development strategies on well thought out Biblical principles which integrate the local context. Everyday I try to reflect on why I am here. I now realize how much of a luxury my time in Oxford was."
 
"Coming to OCMS was a major step in my life. Looking back, I realise that I was truly apprehensive about leaving my family behind for such an extended length of time (one year) and taking up residence in a foreign land. I was not even sure of what to expect. Surprisingly, the welcome turned out to be very warm, with all the staff, faculty and students making personal efforts to settle our class in. In no time, we had become part of the great OCMS family and participated in most activities at the centre."
 
"The high time of the week was Wednesday when the whole OCMS community met for chapel followed by a family lunch. I still miss those wonderful times of fellowship! Study time was intense, and needed personal commitment and discipline to research. I found that there was no shortage of personal help when one encountered a mental block! Most everyone was ever so friendly and helpful."
 
"OCMS is indeed an intensely academic place that allows for spiritual development and proactive fun. This combination creates a welcome balance. OCMS afforded me an opportunity to be part of the academic Oxford. In short, my one-year at OCMS was a serious time of study, but also a very rewarding one. Indeed, I have fond memories of OCMS."
 
"Transforming the world with Christian mission needs transformed Christian leaders, and I am convinced that the OCMS is a place to develop the leadership of Christian leaders spiritually and intellectually."
 
"My studies at OCMS were "transforming" on several levels. I gained a much deeper understanding of scholarship from my exceptional Senior Supervisor. Our association was without question the highlight of my doctoral experience. I believe I gained many skills, all of which I am able to use in my new ministry (University Professor). I also was transformed by my contact with the staff and other students at OCMS. In particular, my understanding of holistic ministry was broadened. I saw many kinds of ministries and learned a great deal from the research seminars and informal conversations. The OCMS environment was intellectually stimulating, and I feel the integration of Christian faith and rigorous scholarship is very unique. In short, my engagement at OCMS was very positive. I have recommended it to others, and will continue to do so."

Student blog

Terry Garde - Kenya Fieldwork Diary
Flora and the OCMS family
Usha Reifsnider
Interfaith and International Vigil for Peace
Worku Mohammed
Anonymous Student - This student wishes to remain anonymous due to the sensitive situation he currently works in

Student blog

Students are encouraged to submit blog entries for this space, either about their time in residence in Oxford, or their work in the field, or their life outside of OCMS.