The American Evangelical Academy And The World: A Challenge To Practice More Globally -- By: D. Keith Campbell

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 56:2 (Jun 2013)
Article: The American Evangelical Academy And The World: A Challenge To Practice More Globally
Author: D. Keith Campbell

The American Evangelical Academy And The World: A Challenge To Practice More Globally

D. Keith Campbell*

* Keith Campbell is visiting lecturer of NT and Christian studies at Shanghai Normal University, 100 Gui Lin Road, Shanghai, China 200235, and adjunct instructor of NT and theology at Malaysia Baptist Theological Seminary, 40 Liangmaqiao Road, Beijing, China 100016.

I. Introduction

The majority of American evangelical seminaries admirably teach classes on missions, encourage their undergraduate and graduate students to consider vocational missions, and participate in programs that place their students in cross-cultural settings.1 Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary’s stated mission, for example, is “To glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping students to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission.”2 Similarly, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary’s vision statement is “To advance Christ’s kingdom in every sphere of life by equipping Church leaders to think theologically, engage globally and live Biblically.”3 A quick perusal of seminary websites shows many more globally-focused mission statements, all of which share as a primary goal to teach students to think and practice their respective vocations missionally. In my experience, most evangelical seminary graduates and undergraduates indeed emerge from their degrees with an intentional global vision for the world—a vision that has significantly impacted the practical ministries of the American local church.4

In the more specialized field of evangelical academic scholarship, from budding Ph.D. student to established scholar, the global vision is the same, but the practical focus is often different.5 That is, American evangelical scholars tend to focus their academic disciplines predominantly within the U.S. borders. Nijay K.

Gupta, recent University of Durham graduate and rising Pauline scholar (co-editor with Michael F. Bird of the new Journal for the Study of Paul and His Letters), inadvertently reflects this geographical myopia in his successful blog (over 350,000 hits to date) in posing the question, “Does the World Need Any More Theology/Bible Professors?”6Although phrasing the question within a global context, Gupta answers the question with only the American (and perhaps Western European) context in mind.You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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