The Mission of God in Local Contexts

May 6-10, 2019

Pasadena, CA


Lesslie Newbigin wrote that the only hermeneutic of the gospel is a congregation of men and women who believe it and live by it. The only church that makes a difference in culture is a real, tangible, visible church. Too many congregations have very little impact on culture, choosing instead to live in isolation and irrelevance. Any congregation in any setting has the opportunity, and the obligation to be a missional outpost. But beyond that, the local church must begin to see itself in terms of being a dynamic movement rather than a static organization. This course will explore movement dynamics and will investigate how the church can re-conceive and structure itself for multiplication and influence. We will explore the theological, missiological, as well as the sociological basis for missional movements and how that identity emerges and is lived out in the practices of a local congregation.


  • "The course challenged me to think deeply about the structures that I put in place in order to carry out the stated mission and my understanding of the mission of our organization. It calls everything into question, and ultimately challenges my courage."
  • "This course allowed me to gain practical methods of how to train leaders to be better equipped with an apostolic mindset."

Kurt Fredrickson is the Associate Dean of Doctor of Ministry and Continuing Education and Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry at Fuller. Prior to this assignment, he was part of the pastoral team at Simi Covenant Church in Simi Valley, CA for twenty-four years (eighteen of those years he was senior pastor). Kurt has served at the regional and national level with his denomination, the Evangelical Covenant Church, as well as in his community as a member of the Rotary Club of Simi Sunrise, a board member of the Free Clinic of Simi Valley, a member of the City of Simi Valley’s Task Force on Homelessness, and as the supervising chaplain with the Simi Valley Police Department. Kurt received his MDiv and DMin degrees from Fuller, and he earned his PhD with Fuller’s School of Intercultural Studies in the area of missional church structures for North America. He co-authored with Cameron Lee That Their Work Will Be a Joy: Understanding and Coping With the Challenges of Ministry(Cascade). His areas of research include the missional church in local contexts with emphasis on the role of pastors, the church and religion in American culture, and the history and future of renewal movements, especially American evangelicalism. He is currently working on a book on the pastor as missionary and shepherd.

John R. Franke is professor of missional theology at Yellowstone Theological Institute in Bozeman, MT and general coordinator for The Gospel and Our Culture Network in North America. He holds the DPhil degree from the University of Oxford and is particularly interested in engaging postmodern thought and culture from the perspective of missional Christian faith. He has spoken on the relationships between the gospel, theology, mission, and culture throughout the U.S. and around the world. He is the author of numerous articles and reviews as well as several books including Beyond Foundationalism: Shaping Theology in a Postmodern Context (Westminster John Knox), The Character of Theology: An Introduction to its Nature, Task, and Purpose (Baker Academic), Barth for Armchair Theologians (Westminster John Knox), and Manifold Witness: The Plurality of Truth (Abingdon). His next book, Missional Theology: Reforming Christianity for the Sake of the World is forthcoming from Baker Academic.

For more information about this course, please email the DMIN office at