Module Content

 

M1 Mission Reflection and Integration

This module provides a foundation for the postgraduate programme as a whole. 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 an integrated way about their studies across disciplines and to develop their skills as researchers and reflective practitioners, including preparation for research projects later in the programme (M18 Extended Essay, M20 Research Strategies and M21 Research in Mission). It aims to provide the academic skills necessary for effective postgraduate study. It focuses in particular on the development of the analytical, bibliographic and research skills needed to engage in research and provides an opportunity to develop the ability to bring together personal experience, external resources and the acquisition of new learning in a way that encourages reflective practice.

Classes and activities are designed to enable students to:

  1. Respond theologically and missiologically to different perspectives within the inter-connected disciplines of the postgraduate programme
     
  2. Develop the capacity to critique sources of information from a range of missional, ecclesiastical and religious traditions and engage effectively with literature within their chosen subject disiplines
     
  3. Appreciate the importance of relating theory to real-life settings and apply this to their own context
     
  4. Enhance their skills as independent reserachers
     
  5. Develop and enhance their skills as reflective practitioners

 

M2 Biblical and Theological Foundations for Mission

This module provides students with the opportunity to explore in greater depth selected themes and concepts in Bible and theology as foundational to the study of Christian mission.

The general aim of the module is to develop the student’s understanding of the role of the Bible and theology in shaping Christian mission by means of an in-depth study of certain biblical themes and texts, which have had major influence on the church’s understanding of mission.  This module will enable the students to reflect critically on their own biblical, theological, and hermeneutical convictions as well as their missionary and professional practice.  It therefore serves as a biblical and theological framework for the specialist modules on the MA and MTh programmes.

 

M3 Anthropological Foundations for Mission

We understand missiology to be a reflection on both the context and the practice of mission, informed by biblical principles, theological reflection and anthropological insights. Anthropology, as the study of human cultures in various contexts, is therefore one of the key tools in missiology.

The general aim of this module is to provide students with a foundation of social anthropology and give them tools to understand and engage with complex social and cultural issues within the context where the mission practitioner finds her/himself. The theories and issues covered are a necessary foundation to developing cross-cultural awareness and sensitivity to the complexities of living and working with peoples of other cultures.  The practitioner’s ability to apply anthropological theory and concepts to their vocational context will be emphasised and enhanced during this module. 

The module will also encourage reflection on experience, and may challenge previously held understandings of culture and mission practice.  The content of the module is chosen with the aim of making connections to the major awards, which the student may deepen through the presentation and essay assignment. 

 

M4  Principles and Practices of Community Transformation 

This module is paired with M5, Planning and Managing for Transformational Change, to make up the ‘development studies’ stream of the MA programme. The module explores the concepts and measurement of poverty, inequality and injustice, from both a secular and biblical perspective and reviews changes in global trends.  Theories of development and social change and how they have altered over time are reviewed and critiqued in the light of a biblical understanding, and current cutting edge, alternative approaches considered.  The concept of integral mission is discussed and the characteristics and principles of community transformation explored.  Project, process and presence based approaches to community empowerment are examined, as well as the role of good governance, advocacy and civil-disobedience in tackling unjust structures.  The role of the church in community and the nature of conflict and approaches to peace building and reconciliation are explored.

A key objective of the module is to help students to draw from and reflect on their experience in the field, and explore the interaction between development theory, Scripture and theology. 

 

 

M5  Planning & Managing for Transformational Change 

This module is paired with M4, Principles and Practices of Community Transformation, to make up the development stream of the MA programme.  It provides the practical skills and knowledge to complement the conceptual basis offered in M4.  While the two modules will normally be taken together, each module is self-contained and may be studied separately.

The calibre of agencies and personnel, and the design of interventions, is of the greatest influence in achieving a holistic and sustainable impact on the lives of the poor and marginal groups.  This module examines the social development sector: its strengths, weaknesses, and key challenges and the specific issues facing Christian faith-based organisations as they seek to remain relevant and effective into the future. Using a hands on approach students examine cutting edge approaches and tools in the design and management of social change intiatives, including strength-based approaches, Theory of change, and participatory approaches to project design, monitoring, evaluation and learning. Power and systems theories and alternatives to project based approaches are explored together with tools for advocacy and peace-building. The challenges and opportunities of responding effectively to humanitarian disasters is also considered.

 

M6 Leadership 

This specialist module provides students with opportunities to explore the theory and practice of leadership at the advanced level of leading an organisation. Models of cross-cultural leadership are examined and critiqued and the tensions between a common biblical foundation for leadership and how the practice of leadership is worked out in different cultural contexts is explored. Biblical concepts and models of leadership are examined and their implications explored.  Foundational and cutting edge leadership theories are examined and critiqued from a biblical perspective and the concept of servant leadership is explored in depth.  The role of the leader in shaping vision and values is explored, and the importance and influence of governance and organisational culture are examined. The module also explores the importance of emotional intelligence in the leader and how leaders effectively bring about change and build resilience for the long term.

 

M7 Mission Strategy

This module builds upon the biblical, theological and anthropological foundations of the Core Modules.  It then forms the basis for the second specialist leadership module as strategy formulation and implementation are at the heart of good and effective leadership. Whilst it is a compulsory module for those wishing to exit with an MA in Missional Leadership, this module is relevant for those who find themselves in positions where they or their team has to make decisions on a strategy and determining the future of missions in the context they find themselves in.

The aim of the module is to critically introduce the student to the concept of mission strategy, to examine various historical examples of mission strategy, to critique these strategies biblically, theologically and sociologically and for the student to develop for themselves a personal approach to strategising in mission that is appropriate for various social, political, religious and ideological contexts.

 

M8 Methods and Models of Contextual Theology

This module builds upon the Biblical and Theological Foundations module (M2). It is the first of two modules in contextual theology. The second is M9, and the two modules are mandatory, specialist modules for students studying for the MTh in Contextual Theology. This module provides an introduction to Contextual Theology and allows students to study the origins of the discipline and its validity within the field of theology. Using Stephen Bevans’ Models of Contextual Theology (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 2002) as a core text, students of this module are able to examine and evaluate the methods and models of contextual theology drawn from a multitude of Christian traditions and from different parts of the world. Particular attention is paid to models of contextual theology from Asia, Africa and Latin America, with a view to driving home a core objective of the module, which is to make students aware that all theology, including western models, are of necessity contextual.

 

M9 Missiological Issues in Contextual Theology

This module builds upon Biblical and Theological Foundations (M2) and Methods and Models of Contextual Theology (M8) by studying and evaluating the missiological issues that impact upon the shape and context of any contextual theology. The course outline is framed by the two Edinburgh missionary conferences of 1910 and 2010. The changes within World Christianity in this 100 year period are examined in order to determine their impact on mission and contextual theology and particular attention is also paid to how contextual theologies are shaped by the cultural matrices of the differing regions of the world from which they emerge. The specific missiological issues studied in detail are Mission and Identity, Mission and Postmodernities, Mission and Other Faiths, Forms of Missionary Engagement, Mission and Spirituality and Discipleship.

 

M12 Contextual Engagement with Islam

This module brings together theoretical and practical components.  The theoretical component examines the existence and development of different movements within Islam.  The practical element will look into issues encountered by Christian mission in different contexts.  The course builds on previous study equivalent to the Level 6 Contemporary Islam course in order to engage with the realities of lived Islam from a pragmatic perspective.

The course aims to enable students to distinguish varied expressions of Islam, to identify and evaluate Christian responses, and to be critically reflective of their own practice.

 

M14 Education as Mission

The primary aim of this module is to enable students to create, lead and serve in “education as mission” projects and assist them in their professional development as leaders, teachers and workers in transformational education initiatives. This module will have an important applied component whereby students can reflect on and grow in their capacities and competencies in delivering transformational education services so that they might provide leadership and expertise to initiatives and projects in a variety of cultural contexts.  This module will meet the needs of educational professionals who desire further training in educational leadership; persons who are interested in serving in schools in a variety of capacities and contexts; and persons who are interested in creating informal educational opportunities, such as camps and language learning centres and other projects that meet the needs of persons and groups in their respective communities.

 

M16 Church Re-imagined for a Global Age

This module builds upon the Biblical and Theological Foundations module (M2) and upon the Anthropological Foundations for Mission module (M3). This is a 40 credit module and is the single, mandatory, specialist module for students studying for the MA in Missional Ecclesiology. This module allows students to engage in an in-depth study of the essential elements relating to ecclesiology in the global age. This involves becoming familiar with the major trends in global ecclesiologies and examining the theological and sociological factors that are shaping them; understanding how the multitudinous forms of church in the world are shaped by theology and context and how these in turn influence a church’s missional vision and practice; learning the vital principles of mission strategy and how to apply these in creating new forms of church and mission practice; drawing on local art forms to create and establish more culturally appropriate liturgies and forms of worship for specific church contexts.

 

M17 Multicultural Ministry 

This module provides students the opportunity to participate in an in-depth study of the multicultural church phenomenon. As an ecclesiology, multicultural church is attracting the attention of more and more researchers and writers, and an increased number of churches within urban contexts are self-designating as “multicultural”. The core Biblical studies (M2B), Theology (M2T), and Anthropology (M3) modules provide important foundational material that will equip the student to research and critically analyse the multi-cultural church paradigm.

The aims of the module are to facilitate research and analysis of: 1) How the multicultural context influences forms of ministry and theological reflection. 2) How this particular context shapes the mission of a local multicultural congregation, with particular attention to issues of poverty, racism and inequality. 3) The models and qualities of leadership necessary for the multicultural church. 4) How local art forms can shape worship and liturgy for a multicultural context. This module is particularly relevant for those already involved in ongoing ministry within a multicultural church or engaged in ministry within a multi-cultural context.

 

M18 Extended Essay

The Extended Essay is designed to bring together the wide range of knowledge and skills acquired throughout the Programme. It provides students with an opportunity to conduct an independent, sustained and intensive investigation into a topic of their choice and to present their findings through a piece of formal academic writing. It provides an opportunity to draw upon study and research skills developed within other modules (particularly M1 Mission Reflection and Integration) and enhance skills as independent learners and reflective practitioners.

 

M20 Research Strategies 

This module enables students to understand the research theories, strategies and processes required to undertake effectively traditional academic research or a practice based project (certain awards only) in the field of Mission Studies. The learning will culminate in the formal, assessed presentation of a research proposal or project design on a topic within their chosen discipline. The final proposal/design will later be implemented in practice within module M21 (Research in Mission) or practice-based project portfolio. It builds upon skills learned in M1 Research, Reflection and Integration and is a prerequisite for M21 (Research in Mission).

Through instruction and the successful presentation of a research poster and proposal/design on a topic related to the subject discipline, students will demonstrate their ability to systematically carry out preliminary investigations into a specialised subject area and produce a viable strategy for a future project based upon those investigations.

 

M21 Research in Practice (Dissertation)

This module enables students to undertake either a traditional academic research or practice based project (certain awards only) within their chosen subject area. The research will be presented in the form of a 15,000 word dissertation or delivery of a practice-based project, and submission of a project portfolio (7,500 words). It builds upon skills learned in M1 Research, Reflection and Integration and upon the learning gained and resulting proposal or project design submitted in M20 Research Strategies.

The module provides the environment in which the student will put research skills into practice within the mission context through engaging in a substantial piece of work. It is designed to bring together the knowledge and skills acquired throughout the course and provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to systematically investigate a specialised subject area of their choice using research, critical thinking, synthesising and communication skills (oral and written) acquired during the course. 

It is anticipated that through this module, students will not only develop their skills as independent researchers and reflective practitioners but make a significant, original contribution to the field of mission studies and related disciplines.

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