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Contextual Theology (MTh / PG Dip)

This award equips you to be effective in facilitating the development of appropriate contextual theologies in diverse local and global contexts.

The All Nations MTh in Contextual Theology is based on the reality that everywhere the Christian church has taken root across the globe, theologies shaped by the local context have been born. This award facilitates the study of this phenomenon and equips students to both understand the theological, social, economic and historical forces at play in the creation of contextual theologies, and to be effective in facilitating the development of appropriate contextual theologies themselves at both a local and global level.

Core Modules

These will equip you to study at Masters level through developing advanced study and research skills, establishing a robust theological and biblical basis for missional engagement and giving you a thorough grounding in the field of social and cultural anthropology.

Holistic Learning Foundations

Students are enabled to develop the study, research and reflective skills required to engage in the theological, missiological and research components of the programme. The module encourages the student to think in a holistic, integrated way about their studies and experience across disciplines, and to develop their skills as reflective practitioners and researchers, with a view to applying these throughout the programme.

Biblical and Theological Foundations for Mission

Provides students with biblical and theological foundations for the study of critical issues in mission, equipping them to apply ideas from the disciplines of biblical studies and theology to the options available within the programme. The module encourages students to engage with a broad range of theological perspectives, highlighting those from the majority world, and to become aware of issues of context, power and voice within the field.

Following a consideration of the missional nature of the Bible, it also explores select biblical themes and key texts with a view to enhance students’ biblical understanding of missiology. This enables them to make strong connections between their particular area of interest and its biblical rationale, and also to apply to their own relevant missional context.

Anthropological Foundations for Mission

Provides a theoretical foundation from the perspective of social and cultural anthropology, as well as other related disciplines, preparing you to understand and engage with issues which may arise in cross-cultural situations. The theories and issues covered are a necessary foundation to developing cross-cultural awareness and sensitivity to the complexities of living and working vocationally in, or with members of, other cultures. The module will also encourage reflection on experience, and may challenge previously held understandings of culture and mission practice.

Specialist Modules

In addition to these core modules, students doing the MTh in Contextual Theology must complete two specialist modules. These are delivered asynchronously through the College’s online learning facility (there is no taught lecture component) with regular interaction with tutors.

Contextual Theology: Methods and Models

Builds on the core ‘Biblical and Theological Foundations’ module, moving on to a critical examination of theologies that are explicitly related to context. Its focus is on theological method, and the use of models to describe and analyse the methods used by theologians from a wide range of cultural backgrounds and theological traditions. Stephen Bevans’ Models of Contextual Theology (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 2002) is used as a framework for this analysis, supplemented by other works on the discipline of contextual theology.

A key emphasis in the module is the de-centering of the Western theological tradition as normative, identifying all theological reflection as essentially contextual. This will be of particular interest to students who wish to examine their own theological process, reflect theologically on their intercultural practice, and to broaden their appreciation of theological insights from other cultures and traditions. Throughout, you will be encouraged to apply your analysis of these methods and models, considering the implications for your own ministry.

Contextual Theology: Contemporary Issues

Extends the focus on explicitly contextual theologies by exploring their application to a range of contemporary missiological issues, including identity, globalisation and power, engagement with other faiths, integral mission, spirituality and discipleship. The issues are considered in the context of World Christianity and intercultural dialogue. For each topic you will analyse how the local and regional context shapes the development of contextual theologies, and how those theologies shape the missiological agenda. This module will be of particular interest to students who are engaged in intercultural ministry, and wish to enrich their missional practice through a process of considered theological reflection.

Students will also have an opportunity to audit a third specialist module should they wish to do so from the range of MA modules.

PG Diploma students also complete either the Independent Study Module or Research in Mission: Strategies.

Master’s students then complete a dissertation allowing them to undertake in-depth research on a specific topic related to Contextual Theology through the writing of their dissertation (15,000 words). This provides you with the opportunity to engage deeply with a subject you are deeply committed to and facilitates the development of skills in research and fieldwork, supported by taught classes and regular interaction with an experienced supervisor.

Who is this course for?

The All Nations Christian College MTh in Contextual Theology is suitable for those involved in any kind of Christian ministry, anywhere in the world, who wish to deepen their understanding of how the dynamics of culture and faith influence our theological thinking and shape our ethics and missional practice as churches. It is particularly helpful for those involved or preparing for roles in theological and missiological training and education.

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