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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Laying an Historical Foundation to Examine the African-American Church’s Relationship to 21st Century Global Missions to Create a Contextualized Missions Training Model for Future Generations of African-American Missionaries
by Saunders, Linda P., Ph.D., Columbia International University, 2020, 305; 28022635
Abstract (Summary)

The African-American church has a rich missional history, worthy of being told in its entirety and with accuracy. Her journey from missionary pioneer to missional obscurity is a journey of victory and defeat chronicling the history of a people forced to adopt and adapt to a new identity which included a transformation from African to African-American. In the process of this metamorphosis she embraced the tenets of Christianity which induced her passion for global missions. After an intense struggle to preserve her missionary zeal, the African-American church succumbed to an insular worldview in an effort to survive the harsh realities of racism and racial inequality in the United States. Finding a way to re-engage the African-American church in global missions is a daunting, but worthy task.

An historical examination of the Black church’s praxis for missions sending and training situates this research study in its proper context to examine the “perfect storm” which tore the African-American church from her missionary post. An analysis of the historical data–including letters, biographies, and other historical documents–as well as pastoral interviews and case studies allows the researcher to juxtapose the historical evidence against the twenty-first century African-American church to establish a case for creating a contextualized missions training model.

The African-American church began as an autonomous body who placed missionary sending and training as the apex of her worship service. However, the stranglehold of colonialism, Jim Crow laws and White missions boards who refused to accept Black missionary candidates drove the African-American church into a protective shell. Thus, the African-American church embraced the Uplift Theology in an effort to lift her people above the racial quagmire. For self-preservation, the African-American church’s global missions activity ceased. To re-engage the African-American church in global missions requires a thoroughgoing analysis of her global missions worldview. To move closer to a contextualized missions training model for African-American missionaries, the researcher conceptualized a classification for the African-American church which served as a blueprint for such a model.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Cashin, David
Commitee: Smither, Edward L., Nickens, Mark
School: Columbia International University
Department: Humanities
School Location: United States -- South Carolina
Source: DAI-A 82/1(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: African American Studies, Black studies, Ethnic studies, Theology, Religious education
Keywords: African American history, African American missionary, African American missionary history, African American missionary training, Historical Black church, Intercultural studies
Publication Number: 28022635
ISBN: 9798662398658
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