Spring Message from the OCMS Director

In March, OCMS opens its virtual doors to a new intake of scholars, the first since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Of the 21 students, twelve are joining the PhD programme, nine the Guided Study Programme. Visit www.ocms.ac.uk to learn more about the programmes on our transformed website. The new cohort tells the story of the vison and mission of OCMS.

Women and men, with a bias to serve the majority world:

  • 74% of 21 scholars come from Africa, Asia and Latin America
  • 28% are women 
  • The cohort represents 14 countries, but study is focused on 18 different country contexts. 
  • In the spirit of ‘mission from all continents, to all continents’,  there are those studying mission in their own contexts in the global South and global North. There are also those from the South studying a northern context and vice versa. There are those from the global South studying a different southern context (e.g. a Filipino studying a Cambodia issue) and those from the North studying another northern context (a British person studying the Sami of Finland).

Practitioners and academics:

These scholars represent a remarkable range of practitioners and academics. They include:

  • Two academic deans and faculty members of theological colleges
  • Pastors and a regional discipleship trainer for a denomination
  • Country director of an international development agency
  • Regional and national leaders of international mission agencies
  • National mission leaders
  • Cross-cultural workers
  • Charity director

Their areas of study have the potential to make a difference to the church in understanding and participating more fully in God’s mission. For example:

  • The relationship between community development and the emergence of ‘vibrant communities of Jesus followers’ in the Philippines
  • Proximity Access Strategy: Harnessing Christians in neighbouring context to unreached Muslim peoples to make disciples in East Africa
  • Developing a model for a community response to gender-based violence within indigenous Bunong communities struggling with loss of ancestral lands in Cambodia 
  • A missional reading of the gospel of Luke with special focus on the relationship between evil spirits and sicknesses and its implications in Christian mission within an African pastoral setting

In summary, this remarkable cohort of women and men represent those OCMS seeks to serve: academics and practitioners, women and men, those bearing witness to God in their own contexts and those serving interculturally, the sparkling diversity of the global Church and especially the majority world. Please pray for them, as they set out on their research journeys, and for us, that we will serve them well.

Paul Bendor-Samuel

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