In the next of our series, David Baldwin explains how we prepare people for cross-cultural work in the UK and beyond.
What does that little phrase conjure up in your mind, I wonder? Don Carson uses the term to describe the stance and outlook that every believer, saved through the cross of Christ, necessarily has.
Is it possible to be an insular, stand-alone Christian? No. Is it possible to be an ethnocentric or racist Christian? No. Is it possible to be a Christian disinterested in and disconnected from the global church and world mission? At Oak Hill College we are convinced that the answer to that one is also “no.”
It must be, if we recognise what it means to be “in Christ.” He “destroyed the barrier” between different groups and created “in himself one new humanity” (Eph 2:14-15). In him, we are united to believers all over the world. We are one body. We belong to the global church and so we have a concern for its growth and health.
For that reason, the new Graduate Profile at Oak Hill twice highlights “global awareness and missional engagement” as developing characteristics we cherish in all our students, not just those headed overseas. Graduates who work in UK churches need to be world Christians in several ways too, whether it’s sending missionaries well, receiving missionaries from the global south or engaging in cross-cultural outreach in our own back yards.
So, alongside tailored cross-cultural electives in the new curriculum, missions tutors will also drop into many of the core modules to offer global perspectives, across subjects like Scripture for Ministry, Church History and Worldview & Anthropology. Placements (both weekly church placements and block placements during the breaks) will also offer a suite of cross-cultural learning opportunities for all students.
Visiting speakers in chapel, our “Guest Wednesdays,” and regular Global Focus lunches will excite us about what God is doing in various parts of his world, calling us to prayer and challenging us to get involved. The annual trip to Southall exposes us to Christian ministry in multi-cultural and multi-religious contexts. Regular college mission trips overseas engage us directly in global Christian ministry, both as observant learners and active participants.
At Oak Hill College we are for cross-cultural workers. We are for…World Christians.
Director of Global Missions
D.A. Carson, “The Cross and the World Christian” in The Cross and Christian Ministry (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1993).
The 'We are for' series: