The recent Global Pentecostal Summit (GPS), held in Singapore from 3rd to 6th November and themed ‘Voices Loud and Clear’, marked a notable convergence of distinguished scholars and leaders in the Pentecostal sphere. This event was particularly significant for the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies (OCMS), as it involved a carefully discerned collaboration with the City Harvest Church in Singapore. Acknowledging the church’s journey through and emergence from a period of challenges, the partnership signified a testament to resilience and renewal. OCMS, as the official academic partner, proudly showcased its scholarly excellence. OCMS leaders Dr. Paul Bendor-Samuel and Dr. Guichun Jun, as well as a number of OCMS alumni gave presentations on various aspects of our Christian faith.
Dr Bendor-Samuel presented the vision, mission, and ministries of OCMS to the participants. He also responded to a paper presented by Dr Kim-Kwong Chan about the future of Christianity in China. In addition, Dr Bendor-Samuel led a morning devotion from Acts 1, which was well-received with much appreciation by everyone in attendance. Dr Jun, on the other hand, presented a paper on ‘Digital Pneumatology: The presence and power of the Holy Spirit in the metaverse,’ which was a theological speculation that explored the possibility of experiencing the third person of the Holy Trinity in virtual reality. Dr Jun’s presentation received significant attention from the attendees, as the metaverse has become a mission field, yet many Christian leaders do not understand how to effectively use it for future mission.
The GPS was a testament to OCMS’s global impact on mission education. Nearly half of the scholars contributing papers or responses were connected to OCMS, highlighting the organisation’s significant academic footprint. This roster included Dr. Doug Peterson as one of the main moderators and Dr. Byron Klaus, who, while not an alumnus, is a supportive figure in the OCMS community. OCMS alumni like Dr. Ivan Satyavrata and Dr. Eva Wong also contributed their insights. Adding to this distinguished group were Dr. Kwabena Asamoa-Gyadu, a former OCMS council trustee, and Dr. Won-suk Ma and Dr. Julie Ma, who have previously held roles as director and tutor at OCMS, respectively.
Listen to Professor Doug Peterson, a renowned authority on Pentecostalism, as he reflects on his early days as a doctoral student at Oxford and his enduring connection with OCMS. He expresses his appreciation to the current Director, Dr. Paul Bendor-Samuel, for his continued stewardship of OCMS which has affiliations with many of the scholars presenting at the conference.
Dr Mary Mahon is one of the current scholars on the Integrated Mission Leadership (IML). During the GPS, OCMS-related people, along with current Singaporean students of OCMS in various programmes, gathered to share and pray for the work of OCMS to continually impact the transformation of God’s mission in this rapidly changing world.
The GPS was universally recognised by attendees as an innovative model for global conferences, uniquely blending the expertise of an academic institute with the community spirit of a local church. Far from a one-way transfer of knowledge, the summit fostered a dynamic exchange of ideas and practical insights between scholars and over 1,000 participants, creating a rich, collaborative learning environment. The conference struck an admirable balance, intertwining academic explorations across various facets of Pentecostalism with spiritual worship sessions. These elements combined to offer deep insights into Pentecostal spirituality, nuanced biblical interpretations, and the complexities of contextual and global missions in today’s era of world Christianity.
It is expected that the GPS will continually make an impact on individual lives, church ministries, and mission at both local and global levels, as the Spirit of God continually moves beyond the Summit. Regnum Books, the publishing arm of OCMS, is set to publish a compilation of the scholarly papers presented, further extending the conference’s influence and scholarly contributions.