A Brief History of the GMI
The Global Mission Institute (GMI) began as a grass-roots effort to lift up global mission at LNTS (Luther Northwestern Theological Seminary), and to be a blessing to the whole Church through creative programs in mission education and global evangelization.Those who envisioned the beginnings of the GMI over 25 years ago wanted to establish a center that would be deeply involved in the life of the seminary, providing a place where students could be exposed to the most current missiological trends as they sought understand Christ’s call to “mission” the world.
This vision for establishing a center at the seminary was in response to the passionate, mission-minded voices that were heard in the local congregations who sensed a great need for future pastors to learn about and to experience the global church.It was also to be a place where those who might feel the call to global service could explore the possibilities and be encouraged in following that call.
The GMI was to be a place where the call to ministry, both lay and ordained, and the passion for mission in the local congregations met.Many local congregations and individuals caught the vision for, and understood the potential of, the GMI and became its first supporters through their prayers, words of advice and financial support.Consequently through the years, the GMI has been deeply committed and accountable to both the seminary community and to the local congregations for its support and guidance.
Through this, the GMI has grown to include promising programs in global mission education, support for international students and visiting scholars, and to challenge the Luther Seminary community to discover its many relationships with World Christianity.
At the beginning of this 21st century, the GMI recognizes that the context of World Christianity is shifting, with its center of gravity now in the Southern hemisphere. It also recognizes that within the American context, there is a rich cultural and religious diversity in our cities and towns.It remains the task and challenge of the GMI in this new century to continue to be that bridging place where theological education and the call to ministry and service encounters the realities of Christ’s presence in the world through the local and global churches as we seek to live out our vocation in response to the Great Commission.