This is an article from the November-December 1992 issue: Building the Mission Bridge

An Announcement You Can Act On!

An Announcement You Can Act On!

We now have more than 500 requests for information in response to the kind of announcement you see across the page. It is about our new expansion into a part-time, off-campus, individualized study program (also described by Steve Burris on pages 6 and 7).

This massive effort has become necessary because of the success of the widespread Perspectives Study Program. As a result of the Perspectives network, a large number of people have expressed the desire to study further--people who cannot pick up and go off to seminary or graduate school.

With such an expansion in place, we can expect graduates of this program to help supervise or teach Perspective classes. They are also the best ones to help us recruit B.A.-level "6/6" students, who, as part of their educational program, will work six months a year overseas. Some of these M.A. graduates will, no doubt, eventually earn a Ph.D. degree.

This new off-campus M.A. has now cleared all the internal academic hurdles here. It is an upgrade and integration of our former Year of Bible as well as the academic dimension of our short and long internship programs.

Unlike our former programs, however, those who enroll in this new M.A. degree program can study anywhere in the world, even right here in Pasadena. They must have a good grasp of English and be linked with a qualified mentor with whom they can meet weekly.

The program at this point is no longer a dream. A team of nine here at the Center have been working full time to put all this together. (See the photo on page 6.) I also have been working closely with this team. The first semester will begin in February,1993, but because of the way the program is constructed, after that date a student can begin his course of studies at any time.

This new M.A. program allows for special flavors. For example, a mission which adopts it might include a lot of studies on Islam, or perhaps pertinent information about the internal culture of the mission and do so as part of the credit-bearing content with the basic structure and coverage--and degree--still intact. American missionary candidates might be required to take the first semester wherever they are located in this country before leaving for the field, and then finish the next three semesters on the field.

One of the key things you do in school is to acquire the basic, key books which will have lasting value beyond the courses you take. Below is the list we have chosen for the first semester (some of which will be of value for succeeding semesters as well). Buying these in quantity we are able to secure these for about half price for those who enroll in the program.

Boorstin, Daniel J.
1992 The Creators: A History of Heroes of the Imagination. New York: Random House

Burnett, David
1990 Clash of Worlds. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers

Dockery, Davis S.
1992 Holman Bible Handbook. Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers

Durant, Will & Ariel
1963 The Story of Civilization. 11 Vols. New York: Simon & Schuster. For Semester One: Vol. 1, Our Oriental Heritage

Elwell, Walter A., ed.
1989 Evangelical Commentary on the Bible. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House

Gardner, Joseph L., ed.
1981 Reader's Digest Atlas of the Bible. Pleasantville, N.Y.: The Reader's Digest Association

Godwin, Johnnie and Ray Edgerman,,
1988 Disciples Study Bible, Nashville,TN: Holman Bible Publishers

Johnson, Philip E.
1991 Darwin On Trial. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, .

Kaiser, Walter C., Jr.
1978 Toward an Old Testament Theology. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House

Kaiser, Walter C., Jr.
1987 Toward Rediscovering The Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House

Lewis, James F. and William G. Travis.
1991 Religious Traditions of the World. Grand Rapids: Zondervan

Moore, Hyatt, ed.
1991 The Alphabet Makers. Huntington Beach, California: Summer Institute of Linguistics

Ross, Hugh.
1991 The Fingerprint of God. Second Edition, Orange, California: Promise Publishing Co.

The pattern for each "day" of study is as follows:

  1. Listening to a 15-20-minute audio-cassette introduction to the material for the day.
  2. Looking over the three "reflection" questions to be answered.
  3. Reading the assigned material with those questions in mind.
  4. Writing down (during and after the reading) your answers to the reflection questions.
  5. Listening, finally, to the "Debriefing" cassette so as to evaluate your answers in the light of comments on tape given by the different scholars on the same questions.

This course of study is coordinated by the Training Division of the USCWM in association with the Perspectives Study Program, and accredited schools which have chosen to participate--such as Columbia Biblical Seminary, Wheaton, Fuller, and our own university.

They can participate in any one of four ways (transcripting credit, grading papers, providing course materials, selecting and approving the on-sight mentors and supervising their weekly meetings with students.

Obviously, in view of the number of students we expect to enroll, we need as many schools as possible to participate--just as we currently draw on about 500 professors from many different schools to teach in our various Perspectives classes (see pages 26-27). We hope and expect that the students in this kind of a program will be mission mobilizers who can help us administer the program, as well as mission candidates, field missionaries, and national leaders worldwide.


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