OCMS is an independent Christian mission research centre, based in Oxford, UK

Our vision is to see the global church equipped to participate in the realisation of God’s transforming mission through research and applied scholarship.

Whether church or mission leaders, scholars, or practitioners, OCMS exists to bring the understanding and practice of mission into two-way conversation with scholarship, so that the church, in all its rich, global diversity, grows in fruitful, faithful witness to the Lordship of Christ in every sphere of life.

Our Focus Areas

Our goal is to build reflective practitioners equipped to serve the church globally,  as it participates in God’s whole-life mission. We do this in four key ways:


We aim to:

  • Equip God-fearing, servant leaders to become thought leaders in their culture & context
  • Enable mission practitioners and scholars, particularly from the countries of Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe, to develop fresh understanding and practice through relevant and engaged research in service of the Church

We do this through:

  • PhD programme
  • Guided Research Programme
  • Integrated Mission Leadership Programme
  • Partnership development programme with institutions around the world


We aim to:

  • Respond to questions and issues identified by the church with timely, strategic and rigorous research
  • Leverage OCMS’ position as a global hub to prioritise focused mission research that will
  • Support the development of authentic local and cross-cultural mission practices

We do this through:

  • The research of our faculty, students and research associates
  • The OCMS Forum for Faithful Witness and research clusters

Disseminating knowledge

We aim to:

  • Publish cutting edge mission research and scholarship

We do this though:

  • Our book publishing arm: Regnum Books
  • Our journal: Transformation
  • Our public lectures and events, both online and face to face

Creating connections

We aim to:

  • Create spaces where mission practitioners and scholars can engage around key mission issues facing the church
  • Seek to hear and give voice to reflective practitioners who might otherwise not be heard

We do this though:

  • Facilitating and hosting conferences on salient mission issues and challenges
  • Facilitating consultations on key topics facing the church
  • Founding and supporting the Alliance of Mission Researcher and Institutes (AMRI)
  • Functioning as a physical and virtual networking hub

Background: Why OCMS was founded

OCMS grew out of intense discussion by Christian leaders from Africa, Latin America and Asia in the 1970s and early 80s. Their perception was that the emerging global Christianity, with its massive shifts in Christian demographics, was heavily shaped by theology and understanding of mission developed in European and North American contexts. These contexts were very different to their own. They were particularly concerned with two questions:

  • How to develop Christian leaders in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe capable of developing their own mission theology. A theology that reflected conversation with their diverse contexts and empowered their churches for relevant, authentic discipleship and mission.
  • How to shape the global conversation about mission and theology, drawing on the insights and experiences of the church in the majority world. This reflected concerns around reductionist mission theologies that failed to equip the church for missional engagement in the whole of society.

The Oxford Centre of Mission studies was founded in 1983 specifically in order to address these important questions.