As members of the worldwide Church of Jesus Christ, joyfully affirming our commitment to the living God and his saving purposes through the Lord Jesus Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, our vision is to establish and sustain a community of Christian institutions, networks, and individuals engaged in mission research, facilitated through a secure online platform.
Imbalance in mission research capacity: With the shift in the global church to the ‘majority world’, considerable efforts have been made to develop the capacity of the majority church to provide theological formation by majority world institutions. Efforts to develop the capacity for rigorous mission research have lagged behind. Despite the existence of many fine scholars and reflective practitioners in the majority world, the capacity for doing and publishing mission research remains largely located in North America, Europe and Oceania.
Ignorance of mission research agenda: There is currently no systemic data on what mission research is being done by the mission research community, either regionally or globally. Nor do we know what gaps exist in mission research. There is no systemic data on who is doing the research and where. This information gap makes it difficult to identify strategic priorities for research.
Lack of voice: Mission research appears to be driven largely by the interest of individual scholars or institutions. Since most mission research is being done by ‘Western’ individuals and institutions, it is safe to assume that the voice of the majority church is still insufficiently shaping the Church’s research agenda. Further, most published research is produced by scholars trained in Western approaches to research that assume higher degrees as a basis for credible research. Reflective practitioners have limited opportunities for publishing their work.
Lack of collaboration and connectedness between researchers: If the problems identified above are to be addressed it will require better understanding to the current realities, intentional building of research capacity in parts of the global church and greater collaboration and connectedness between mission research institutions, networks and individual researchers.
The AMRIConnect platform has been created to address these issues.
Project history: The project emerged from discussions within the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, Oxford, UK, related to the trajectory of mission research and scholarship globally. The Akrofi-Christaller Institute of Theology, Mission and Culture (ACI) agreed to co-facilitate a project designed to enable mission research to better serve the church. A steering group was established and through numerous cycles of prayerful reflection, planning and review, the vision for an Alliance of Mission researchers and institutions was born. This has led to the creation of a dynamic digital platform for documentation, analysis and collaboration between mission research centres globally.
In February 2019, 14 institutions from all continents attended a two-day workshop in Oxford to discuss in detail the desired functionality of the digital platform. This group agreed the vision and mission of the Alliance and its key features.
Key features: At its core, AMRIConnect aims to support a mission research community through three primary functions: Sharing of research, connection to fellow researchers and collaboration in research and scholarship. Since the aim is to democratise the capacity and capability of all parts of the global church to contribute to mission research and make this available to the church-in-mission, the following key features have defined the development of this platform:
AMRI has a Steering Group that is responsible for all aspects of the platform development, maintenance, and content. The Steering Group is elected by AMRI institution and network members.
The current members of the Steering Group are:
Paul Bendor-Samuel, Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, UK
Ben Quarshie, Akrofi-Christaller Institute, Ghana
Larry Kraft, One Challenge, UK
Scott Cost, One Challenge, USA
Bokyoung Park, Presbyterian University and Theological Seminary, South Korea
Nelson Jennings, Global Missiology, USA
Bright Myeong-Seok Lee, ACTS University (Asian Center for Theological Studies and Mission), South Korea
Jorge Barro, Faculdade Teologica Sul Americana, Brazil
Robert Buckeldee, AMRIConnect Administrator, UK
The AMRIConnect Platform Administrator is managed by and is responsible to the Steering Group. To contact the AMRIConnect Platform Administrator, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
AMRI is currently operating under the umbrella governance of Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, with a Memorandum of Understanding in place to ensure AMRI maintains independence on key issues.
The Oxford Centre for Mission Studies is a registered charity in England & Wales No. 290112 and is a company limited by guarantee registered in England & Wales No. 1835274
Oxford Centre For Mission Studies
St Philip and St James Church
Oxford, OX2 6HR