A newsletter for friends of the Global Mission Institute, Luther Seminary

Global Vision - Fall 2010

View more articles in the Fall 2010 issue.

Director's Corner

GMI Transitions for the Future

This academic year, the Global Mission Institute (GMI) and the Cross-Cultural Education (CCE) office have been joined under the interim directorship of Rev. Orin Cummings '03. In this role, Orin will work to develop the network of congregations and individuals who support the GMI, while also providing oversight for the Cross-Cultural Education program. The GMI also welcomed former student worker Elizabeth Flomo, '10, as the GMI/CCE project coordinator.

Luther Seminary remains committed to global mission, and the GMI is the shepherd for that work. There is a missional dimension to cross-cultural awareness at Luther. Indeed, we find it hard to leave the campus without being aware of what God is doing in the world. This is most evident in the 60 international students studying at Luther this year!

As the GMI transitions into an expanded role at Luther Seminary, we have found ourselves reflecting upon the strong roots of the GMI and how that gives our work the wings upon which to go forward.


The roots laid down by the early founders of the GMI have been validated over the years and have made an impact on students. The founders understood how important it was for local church leaders to have a global awareness of what God was doing in the world. That idea has been reinforced again and again.


While the initial vision was shaped by a one-directional understanding of "mission," we are now challenged to view global mission in a new way, and for the GMI to continue to play a role in this. There is a "new type of missionary;" one who comes to the U.S. from another country and engages in cross-cultural work by translating the gospel into U.S. culture. We recognize this with the new immigrant congregations in the ELCA.

The Rev. Dr. Y. Franklin Ishida, director for Asia-Pacific Continental Desk Global Mission, ELCA, wrote, "GMI continues to play a significant role in linking the world, church, seminary, and community into a web of mission consciousness. From hospitality toward international students to assuring that the academic scene is infused with appropriate global and cross-cultural components, GMI is the global 'face' that we all should have within our lives." 

We also see new types of missionaries in Luther Seminary graduates engaging, with their congregations, increasingly diverse communities. And while the ELCA continues to send missionaries to other countries, they do so embracing the value of accompaniment, walking alongside one another as partners in mission.

We ask for your continued prayers and support of the GMI as we look toward the future!

Richard H. Bliese                        
President, Luther Seminary

Orin W. Cummings
Interim Director of the Global Mission Institute and Cross-Cultural Education