THS3300EN - Theology of Hospitality & Presence

Course description

Explores the way biblical virtues of hospitality and fellowship shape who Christians are and how they may extend hospitality to others in their homes and in the household of faith as a means of participating in the mission of God in an unhospitable world.

How this course benefits students

This course is intended to be an introduction to the concept of participating in God’s missions through hospitality and Christian presence. The world around us is increasingly multi-religious and multi-cultural. The political turmoil, civil wars, and the unprecedented rise in religious extremism in the Middle East has given rise to rapid migrations and a huge refugee crisis for the rest of the world, particularly for Europe and North America. As Christians, we need to know how to biblically and theologically respond to this situation by not just perceiving “the other” or stranger as a mere object of our evangelism and conversion but as a neighbor to whom Christian hospitality must be wholeheartedly extended.

Why this course is important

Today the society around us is one of the most religiously and culturally diverse community that we have seen in the history of humankind. Due to immigration, forced or normal migration, or the enormous refugee crisis, every day we encounter people of different religious beliefs and cultural practices in a myriad of settings. How should a Christian respond to these people? They cannot be seen as mere objects of our conversion project. This course will help students learn how to understand the religious other, ourselves, and our God and how to “prepare a table in the midst of our ‘enemies’” and learn to live together as the people of God.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Social Theology
Educational level
Bachelor
Learning type
Instructional
Prerequisites
None
Upcoming terms*
  • 2022-03 (Jan. 2, 2023 - Feb. 26, 2023)
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.
Professor
Dr. Vinod John, Senior Professor of Missional & Social Theology

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

This course will examine the biblical foundations of the Christian virtue of hospitality and being good neighbors to strangers. The Bible is replete with examples of hospitality and the fellowship at the Lord’s Table is the model par excellence for us to practice hospitality to the other.

Missionally driven

Theology informs and is informed by missions. The context of missions today invariably faces the issues of migration, immigration, refugees, homeless, and basically “the other” in our neighborhood. This need to be understood and responded to theologically, which is why this course is designed to provide a theological framework for mission to the strangers.

Contextually informed

Theology is always done in context. The context of mission today cannot escape the reality of millions of people migrating around the world or landing on our shores as refugees. This course will help analyze our context and form a biblical sound theology of hospitality to the stranger in our midst.

Interculturally focused

The crisis of refugees, international migration, and immigration from around the world is changing the traditional landscape and neighborhoods around the world. This course will bring the biblical and theological insights to inform us how to deal with the other and the cultures they bring with them.

Practically minded

Since the refugee crisis is real and migration is almost irreversible, students need to know practical ways to deal with people created in the image of God. The course will help provide practical ways of extending hospitality to the strangers.

Experientially transformed

The course will help gain biblical insights for reaching out to the strangers and people who are different from us. There will be assignments that would encourage students to work among the refugees or the homeless to gain first-hand experience.