As part of our ministry values, our leadership at Cru provides solid theological training. For the last eight years, we’ve been taking classes to complete the eleven required courses. This summer, we finished our last class, Introduction to Missions. Cru will present us with our graduation certificates next summer at our National Staff Conference.
Rollins College was the host site for 400 staff attending Cru’s Institute of Biblical Studies (IBS). We hopped on Orlando’s light rail for Winter Park, Florida. We traveled north every morning for two weeks to commute to class. In the picture, Sus is standing outside the Winter Park depot, a short ten-minute walk to campus. (The train is a great option to avoid Orlando’s heavy traffic!)
Introduction to Missions
Like all the other classes, Introduction to Missions was a graduate-level class. We learned a lot from the assignments and the great content. As part of the class, we attended lectures and a Russian Baptist church worship service. We read textbooks and wrote reports on missionary biographies. (We were very glad we did all our reading assignments ahead of time!)
The following are some of the key concepts we learned.
- God reveals Himself in the Word as a missionary God.
- God invites His church to build His kingdom of redeemed people from every nation for His glory.
- We looked at the biblical and theological aspects of God’s mission.
- Three days focused on the global history of Christian missions from the first century to now.
- We examined how to communicate the gospel cross-culturally.
- We explored how Cru fits into the global story of missions.
We thoroughly enjoyed our teacher, Dr. Michael Ortiz from Dallas Theological Seminary. During every class, he shared stories of his experiences ministering cross-culturally. Many of our classmates also brought their perspectives from their overseas assignments. We enjoyed getting to know more of our fellow missionaries who are working in many parts of God’s kingdom.
How the Classes Help Us in Ministry
Over the years, all the IBS classes definitely help us in our ministries. This year’s class will help both of us in leading our small group at church. We love to dig into the Word with these folks. Some in our group come from Vietnam, Trinidad, and Puerto Rico. Thank you for praying that we would understand their cultural lenses better so we may guide them in understanding God and His Word.
Introduction to Missions has also given Sus ideas for her blog, The Sovereign. Sus created this blog with a global audience in mind.
Some of the class assignments are available online if you would like to read them:
- Stories from our visit to the Russian Baptist church
- Sus’ report on missionary and WWII POW, Darlene Deibler Rose
- Mike’s report on Brother Andrew will be up in August (ask us to send the link)
It’s been a privilege to learn theology, church history, Bible study methods, and more, through the gifted teachers at the Institute of Biblical Studies.
Thank you for your part with us in joining God’s mission to gather a redeemed people from every tribe, tongue and nation for His glory.
NOTE: You might be interested in one of our textbooks, Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer. Through the book, we learned what true service is cross-culturally. The author suggested ways to avoid misunderstandings and to build friendships.