A key question that drives our Postgraduate programme is…how best can we equip leaders to reflect and act missionally in such a way as to bring about genuine life-enhancing transformation in their churches/communities/cities?

We live in a world of insecurity, despair and hopelessness; that is the reality for a major part of humanity as we lurch through economic crisis, displacement of identity, conflict, and a loss of confidence in truth and meaningful existence. In the West, fresh challenges meet us; an angry constituency demands effective political leadership and greater economic justice as food banks struggle to cope with rising levels of poverty.

Distrust in authority, erosion of purpose and weariness of existing brittle structures does, however, leave the community of Christ-followers standing on the threshold of an opportunity that may have been rarely available in the recent past. People are looking for signs of hope amid the rubble of despair, as Lesslie Newbigin once articulated. Generous dialogue with ‘the Other’ is imperative in our cultural milieu.

I choose three key dimensions to consider for church effectiveness; where we are (‘contextual dimension’), who we are (‘empathic dimension’) and where we are going (‘hope dimension’). These dimensions could be understood within an overarching framework; the biblical vision of shalom where we get to be sign-bearers of God’s reign ‘on earth as it is in heaven’. I plan to expand on these in the following series of blogs.

The new MA at ForMission has been designed to provide cutting-edge thinking, foster increased self-awareness, engage with critical emerging issues and provide innovative tools and resources to equip and enable a new generation of missional leaders. Building on the college’s innovative attitude to learning through the employment of fresh and diverse strategies we seek to reinforce our relational and practical values. This approach is underpinned by the excellent quality of materials and teaching delivery, and the support of experienced practitioners.

The programme is novel demonstrated by the model of delivery throughout our campuses. So building on the college’s long-standing expertise in Missional Leadership, we have added focused pathways in Urban Mission, Cross-cultural Mission and Spirituality, and these disciplines all carry their own distinct award.

Like my own journey, many of you will identify with these facets of our common human experience…perhaps Postgraduate study is the next step for you! For more information, click here.

Andy Kingston-Smith
Postgraduate Programme Director