Prepares students to lead migrant, refugee and displaced peoples by evaluating reasons for immigration as well as physical, mental, emotional and spiritual issues related to relocation. Analyzes the differences between migrants for personal or economic reasons versus those driven out by persecution or war, and the change differences effected by near-culture or drastic cross-cultural adjustment, including hybrid, liminal and transitional states. Examines biblical, historical and contemporary experience, and includes practical applications; also, we assess how technology retains connections and gives potential assistance for growing in community.
Understanding diaspora, how people migrate, why they do, where they're coming from, where they go and everything in-between, is indispensable knowledge for missional Christians as they seek to do mission in the twenty-first century. This course covers the fundamental tenets and principles of diaspora mission to help the Christian worker reach and serve dispersed peoples wherever they're at.
According to the United Nations, there were more than 272 million international migrants on the move around the world in 2019. That's 3.5% of the entire population of the world! For anyone concerned about the work of God in His world, mission to diaspora peoples must be a top priority. God's mission to reach all peoples never changes but the twenty-first century gives us unprecedented access and opportunity to share the everlasting gospel via diaspora mission like never before. We need to enter this field, white for the harvest, fully prepared and ready to minister to these many and diverse peoples on the move.
The Word of God is foundational for all aspects of mission, including diaspora mission. From Genesis through Revelation, the diasporic nature of God's mission in His world can be clearly seen through the revealed text of scripture. This course uses biblical and theological passages from the Bible as its core basis for all theory, method and practice.
Diaspora mission, by its very nature, is missional. Agreeing with the core value definition of Missional University that this word, missional, "applies to every single solitary Christian believer whether they have the traditional missionary role or not," this course helps Christ followers to become just that, missional, for diaspora ministry. Being able to engage and interact with the comings and goings of disparate peoples as the local church is key for fulfilling the mission of God (missio Dei) and the movement of God (motus Dei) in our world.
Diaspora mission cannot help but be contextually informed because people movements change the environs of wherever they stay or even where they pass through. This course explores and utilizes theory and methodology that is sensitive and applicable to specific contexts and peoples using scripture, mission theology and the social sciences to reach diasporas right where they are at.
By its very nature, diaspora is also intercultural simply because there is always a mix of at least two (usually more than two) cultures in a given context. The theories and methodologies of this course focus on these intersections of cultures and personalities and how to reach and minister to people in these spaces.
One of the greatest challenges of diaspora mission today is how to practically engage with them while dealing with governmental, religious, linguistic and other restrictions. Questions of identity, purpose and motive also need to be dealt with on a pragmatic level. This course explores the complexities of engaging diaspora peoples through biblical, God-honoring and relevant techniques and methodologies.
Theory and method are our focus but without also including experiential practicum, this course only stays in the mind. The goal of all the instruction and learning here is on causing students to engage in such a way that they are positively changed and transformed in their thinking and practice for diaspora mission in their own ministries and for the work of their organization.