Finally! Graduation is approaching! After 6 years, I will graduate with a PhD in Missions from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary this December. It has had its challenges, but the doctorate work was the best academic experience I have had. Because of my studies in missions during this time, I now work in a ministry that I love. Throughout the doctorate, I have focused on missions, specifically how the strategies and praxis of missions are applied to the local church. Therefore, it was natural for me to focus my dissertation on strategies and methods of cross-cultural missions from the point of view of the local church. Starting with biblical understanding of God’s mission, I introduced mission strategy, some of the major strategies used in cross-cultural work, and some of the primary methods used to reach cross-culturally. The culmination of the work introduced a framework by which a church can begin or correct existing cross-cultural mission work. The research required for the dissertation will benefit my responsibilities at ICP as I train those who go to teach or support our indigenous partners in their ministries. I will be able to take the concepts of mission strategy and translate them for our co-laborers so that they will be better prepared for communicating biblical truths in a way that is meaningful for indigenous believers. Also, I would love to help churches begin, evaluate, and correct their missional efforts. I believe that the local church is God’s ordained instrument for the progress of the gospel and want to see the church effectively engage in God’s mission.
-Jim Cordes, Missions Training Specialist