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Summer 2013/Fuller Live!

Irvine, Phoenix




DESCRIPTION: This course serves as a broad introduction to the Church and churches in historical and contemporary contexts. Students will explore a broad variety of ecclesiological formations, exploring the nature of churches, their liturgies, communal life, and their mission in the world. In this course, students will begin to compare and contrast the historical and contemporary church with their own particular tradition.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: Students will: 1. examine the global church through the study of local churches in their particular historical and cultural contexts; 2. cite their own relationship to churches outside their ecclesiastical tradition, examining their own assumptions in the process; 3. develop an understanding of the nature and mission of the Church and churches, both theologically and sociologically.

COURSE FORMAT: Class will meet as a two-week intensive. Class will feature lectures, discussions, small groups, and various forms of media.

REQUIRED READING: Approximately 1,500 pages of reading from the following texts:

Corcoran, Kevin, ed. Church in the Present Tense. Brazos Press, 2011. ISBN: 978-1587432996, Pub. Price $21.99 [80 pp. assigned].

Escobar, Samuel. The New Global Mission. Intervarsity Press, 2003. ISBN: 978-0830833016, Pub. Price $16.00 [182 pp. assigned].

Gaillardetz, Richard R. Ecclesiology for a Global Church. Orbis, 2008. ISBN: 978-1570757693, Pub. Price $30.00 [100 pp. assigned].

Gibbs, Eddie, and Ryan K. Bolger. Emerging Churches. Baker Books, 2005. ISBN: 978-0801027154, Pub. Price $26.00 [352 pp. assigned].

Jenkins, Philip. The New Faces of Christianity. Oxford University Press, 2008. ISBN: 978-0195368512, Pub. Price $15.95 [200 pp. assigned].

Karkkainen, Veli-Matti. An Introduction to Ecclesiology. InterVarsity Press, 2002. ISBN: 978-0830826889, Pub. Price $20.00 [200 pp. assigned].

Newbigin, Lesslie. The Open Secret. Eerdmans, 1995. ISBN: 978-0802808295, Pub. Price $19.00 [186 pp. assigned].

Tickle, Phyllis. Emergence Christianity. Baker Books, 2012. ISBN: 978-0801013553, Pub. Price $19.99 [200 pp. assigned].


  1. Students will visit a particular church of another race/ethnic tradition twice over the course of the term and write two 1,500-word papers analyzing this community (20%).

  2. Students will write a 2,500 word paper drawing on Bolger/Gibbs, Escobar, Jenkins, and Tickle, examining the emerging US and UK church in light of church development in the global south. (40%).

  3. Students will write a 2,500 word paper drawing on Corcoran, Gaillardetz, Karkkainen, and Newbigin, summarize each author’s views of the nature and mission of the church, and then describe the student’s own position. (40%).


RELATIONSHIP TO CURRICULUM: Seminary core requirement (SCR) for MATM, MAICS, MAFS, MACL (effective Winter 2010); a required core competency course in the MACCS degree (CSCC); meets globalization (GLBL) requirement for SOT MA programs; meets MDiv core requirement in Missions (MIN 8).


NOTE: This ECD is a reliable guide to the course design but is subject to modification. Textbook prices are set by publishers and are subject to change.