BIB4230EN - Sensitivity Towards Outsiders: Early Christian Missional Ethics

Course description

Addresses the ethics of missiology in terms of how those outside the Church are viewed and treated by those within it. The early Church’s posture towards outsiders will be assessed for the purposes of imitating their strategies and perspectives. We will assess group identity and behavior towards “others” through the social sciences, applying this both to the text and the contemporary Church. The course will include readings, lectures, discussion forums, an essay, an exam, and a hands on service project.

How this course benefits students

In this course students will critically reflect on the way they view those outside the Christian community. The importance of empathy, sensitivity, and understanding will be explored for the sake of developing compassionate students who engage those deemed to be “others” with the good news.

Why this course is important

As Christians engage in missions and ministry of all varieties, it is important to reflect on the way that those outside the Christian community are treated and viewed. This is a crucial component to our witness. A Christian ethic for our approach towards outsiders and those deemed as “others” informs and impacts the way Christians evangelize and minister to them.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Biblical Studies
Educational level
Learning type
Upcoming terms
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.
Dr. Robert Keay, Professor of Christian Origins

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

This course will look at missionary efforts in the New Testament with regard to the early Church’s posture potential converts and those who are not inclined to convert.

Contextually informed

We will consider the nuance of what constitutes an “outsider” in various contexts, and the role the Church should play in these settings.

Interculturally focused

As we consider the way the early Church engaged those outside their community—those who differed from them culturally, ethnically, religiously, etc—we will address both relevant and contemporary issues for the global, multi-ethnic Church at large, and also pressing local issues.

Practically minded

Looking at the way the early Christians treated, viewed, and shared the gospel with outsiders is meant to have a direct effect on our ministry, missional efforts, evangelism, etc.

Experientially transformed

The class will help foster a sensitivity towards all those labeled “others” and “outsiders” for the sake of impacting our lives and ministries, and will include a hands on service project.