Professional Academic Associations for Mission Studies

Article excerpt

Scholars who teach and write about Christian missions have formed networks or associations to foster the advancement of their work. To assist and encourage their members these associations hold conferences, support research and publications, and promote collaboration and joint projects.

Missiological Organizations

The following information, organized largely chronologically by year of organizational founding, is taken from the websites and literature of the various associations. (1)

Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Missionswissenschaft (DGMW, German Society for Mission Studies; www.dgmw.org), established in 1918, is the oldest continuing association. Although German in origin, the association from the beginning has included members from other countries: Nathan Soderblom joined in 1919, J. H. Oldham and Samuel M. Zwemer (the first American) in 1926, D. T. Niles in 1954, and Christian Baeta and Paul Devanandan in 1962. The DGMW holds an annual meeting in Germany, provides grants to support research projects and the publication of scholarly studies, and sponsors the publication of a book series and the journal Interkulturelle Theologie: Zeitschrift fur Missionswissenschaft (continuing the former Zeitschrift fur Mission).

Eastern Fellowship of Professors of Mission (www.asmef.org), formally established in 1940, holds yearly meetings in conjunction with the American Society of Missiology, Eastern Region (see below).

Association of Professors of Mission (APM, www.asmweb.org /content/apm), an ecumenical North American fellowship established in 1952, is an outgrowth of the Eastern Fellowship of Professors of Mission. The APM seeks to foster the effective teaching of mission studies. Each June it holds an annual meeting in tandem with the meeting of the American Society of Missiology (see below).

Midwest Mission Studies Fellowship (MMSF, formerly Midwest Fellowship of Professors of Mission), founded in 1957 and ecumenical in composition, consists of faculty teaching mission studies in the Middle United States. It meets annually with a program around a theme of mutual interest.

Evangelical Missiological Society (EMS, www.emsweb.org), formed in 1990, is successor to the Association of Evangelical Professors of Missions in North America, which was established in 1968. It exists to "advance the cause of world evangelization." In addition to an annual conference and eight regional meetings in the United States and Canada, EMS publishes the Occasional Bulletin three times a year as well as a book series.

Southern African Missiological Society (SAMS, http://missio nalia.wordpress.com), successor (in 1983) to the South African Missiological Society, founded in 1968, is a society for those engaged in all aspects of missiological research, especially in Southern Africa. Its journal, Missionalia, published three times a year, is noted especially for its missiological abstracts from a wide range of journals. An annual congress for members is held in South Africa in January.

International Association for Mission Studies (IAMS, www.missionstudies.org), established in 1972, is an international, interconfessional, and interdisciplinary professional society. It holds an international assembly every four years, publishes the journal Mission Studies, and sponsors several interest groups: (1) Healing and Mission, (2) Biblical Studies and Mission, (3) Women and Mission, and (4) Documentation, Archives, Bibliography, and Oral History. The last group held international consultations in Rome in 1980 and 2002, has published a manual on archives management (in English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Swahili, Korean, and Chinese), and has supported regional consultations in Madagascar, India, Singapore, and New Zealand.

Korea Evangelical Missiological Society (KEMS, www.kems.kr), begun in 1972 for evangelical professors and missions pastors, meets two or three times per semester. …