Story Magazine

First Quarter, 2004

M.A. in Mission and World Christianity Prepares Students for 21st Century

by Nancy Giguere, special correspondent

Global mission used to mean taking the gospel to other parts of the world. "But now the world has come to North America," says Richard Bliese, Luther's academic dean and associate professor of mission. He points out that, for example, that Minneapolis and St. Paul are now home to immigrants from South East Asian, Africa and Latin America. And while many are Christian, many are not. In this multi-ethnical, multi-religious context, "the church needs leaders who are capable, ready, and able to cross cultural and religious boundaries with the gospel," Bliese says.

To meet this need, Luther has created the M.A. in Mission and World Christianity. The program includes courses in Bible, the history of Christianity, theology, and confessional writings, as well as world religions, world Christianity, and global mission. All students will participate in an overseas experience outside North America or Western Europe.

According to Frieder Ludwig, associate professor of mission and world Christianity, students will learn to "understand Christianity in different contexts, churches acting in a different context, and theologies developing in a different context."

This understanding will help them connect with global stories and proclaim the Christian faith in a way that is open to non-Christians. "It is important to proclaim the gospel," Ludwig says. "But we must also be able to listen and find ways to live together peacefully."

For more information, visit www.luthersem.edu/madegrees, or call 1-800-3LUTHER.