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Mission Studies 36.1. Special Issue: Mission and Development

Call for Papers

Christian mission is closely linked to international development. Since Harry Truman proposed a “program of development” in 1949, Christian bodies have been among the largest Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) delivering it. There is a growing recognition of the contribution that Faith-Based Organisations (FBOs) make to development—as shown, for example, by their inclusion in the United Nations consultation process that shaped the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals. And long before the “era of development”, Christian missions were delivering education, health care, and other activities that are now included in the development agenda. However, there is tension among mission practitioners and missiologists about whether or not Christian mission should include participation in development activities. In some contexts mission and development are closely intertwined but in others there is a divide between Christian organizations working with the international development agenda and other bodies that are focused on evangelism and church development. Development itself is challenged on grounds that it is a political tool, creates dependency, distorts local economies, and fails to challenge unjust structures.

The editors of Mission Studies invite contributions to a special issue (36.1, April 2019) that explore the relationship between mission and development historically, theologically, and in practice, and the issues it raises from a mission studies perspective. Articles drawing on case studies are welcome. Topics that could be explored include:

  • How compatible is “good news to the poor” with the agenda of international development?
  • What is a missional assessment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals?
  • To what extent is there historical continuity between international development and colonial missions?
  • What is the theology of development in different traditions?
  • How do Christian development organisations relate to other development agencies?
  • What role(s) do/should churches play in development?
  • How do mission agencies negotiate the secular nature of development programs and their funding?

By the usual process of double-blind peer review, five or 6 of the submitted articles will be selected for publication in the special issue. We are delighted that Bryant L. Myers, Professor of Transformational Development at Fuller Theological Seminary, USA, and previously Vice President for International Program Strategy at World Vision International, has agreed to write the lead article.

Mission Studies is the journal of the International Association for Mission Studies (IAMS) and is published by Brill Publishers, Leiden, Netherlands. For further information about the journal, see, and IAMS, see Articles for the special issue should be submitted at They must be between 6,000 and 10,000 words (including references) and must follow the Author Instructions. Please add a note to your submission requesting consideration for the special issue. The deadline for submissions is 31 March 2018.

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