Training Missionaries and Other Leaders Through World Christian Foundations
Rapid church growth in many countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America has heightened the challenge to train leaders able to nurture these new Christians. We need alternative models of mission training in both the Western and non-Western worlds today. One valuable alternative is the World Christian Foundations (WCF) study program.
For example, Cornerstone Vocational Institute (CVI) has recognized the great need for trained leaders in the Great Lakes Region of Africa, and especially in Rwanda. A number of these leaders will soon be bene.ting from the programs of William Carey International University (WCIU) and the WCF study program. During the past two years a CVI coordinator for Uganda and Rwanda (an applicant for the WCIU Ph.D. program) has been mentoring pastors in the Diocese of Gahini, Rwanda. He plans to continue mentoring those who are qualified for master’s-level studies through a WCF facilitation site in Rwanda, with the degree to be granted by WCIU upon completion of the studies.
Another example of WCF’s value comes from Ethiopia. An American missionary hopes to develop a WCF study center there to serve a number of Ethiopian church leaders. Noting that two Ethiopian leaders are already studying WCF, the missionary comments, “They have been recipients of missions; now they want to be missionaries.”
A friend and writer, who has contributed remarkable insights to the mission world, recently commented, “William Carey International University’s mission has always been on the fringe … and has taken pride in that.” Being “on the fringe” includes enabling Western or non-Western leaders in any part of the world to receive quality training “on the job” for less than a third of the fees required to enroll in a traditional university or theological seminary.
Developed by Ralph Winter and other leaders at the U.S. Center for World Mission, the World Christian Foundations study program is speci.cally suited to a growing number of people who wish to earn a master’s degree while continuing to serve on mission .elds. Restoring God’s glory is the theme of models of this 32-semester-unit program. Through their studies, WCF students begin to understand God’s plan for re-establishing His glory through “general” and “special” both the revelation, partnering with humans in de-Western and feating the Evil One, and restoring Creation through Jesus Christ. This innovative, inter-disciplinary curriculum, with mission-oriented content and perspective, addresses many of the topics introduced in traditional university and seminary programs, but with a broad, 4,000-year global perspective and with the .exibility of study anywhere in the world with a quali.ed face-to-face mentor.
William Carey International University offers World Christian Foundations at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Northwestern College also offers WCF at the undergraduate level for degree completion through their Distance Education department.
James Butare is a curriculum developer at WCIU.
Beth Snodderly ([email protected]) serves as WCF Director and Executive Vice President of WCIU.