Why Urban Missiology?
Every urban community encounters challenging situations, some the same the world over, and others specific to each context. Within these communities are committed professionals and experienced leaders with experts who make a significant difference by challenging the norms, advocating for change, and creating transformative responses to issues impacting the mental, social, physical, and spiritual health and well-being of individuals, organizations, and society. Urban Missiology exists to tell their stories, thereby promoting social change and transformation. Thus, UM is essential for two primary reasons:
Urban: While much of what we see on television and read in social media about urban cities, both large and small, are often biased, negative, coded and based on stereotypes, UM is about examining the real lived issues- mental, social, physical and spiritual- that deeply and profoundly impact the lives of men, women, and children who desire social change and transformation. By focusing on these five distinct disciplines (or practices) of UM, we are better able to understand, identify, address, and advocate for appropriate responses to social inequities:
Urban Issues that Matter
Stories that Matter (Personal and Communal)
Dialogues that Matter
Teaching and Learning that Matter
Mentoring that Matters
In other words, UM is about accentuating holistic and positive urban solutions, leadership formations, programs, approaches, and collaborations that transform individuals, teams, organizations, the academy, and society.
Missiology: Traditional understandings of the academic discipline of missiology tend to focus on Christian mission studies as viewed through the lens of the official church hierarchy, traditional documents and pontifications, cultural hegemony, and residuals of the western religious mindset. But what if we flipped the script, and instead of focusing on the church's mission, we seek to understand missiology as God's mission being lived out in the work and actions of ordinary men and women who act to socially transform both self and others, working for a more just world?
While the two fundamental principles of Christian missiology undergird Urban Missiology, an understanding (1) that mission is of God (missio Dei) and it is a divine activity carried out in every place and culture, and (2) that every person is created in the image of God (imago Dei), in 2020 it is crucial to gain a fresh perspective that allows us to see missiology as a bold challenge to be lived out in the lives of ordinary people, and that it is also a call to affirm human diversity, social responsibility, integrity in all areas of life, and wisdom to evaluate personal, organizational and societal structures to promote social justice and global citizenship.
Urban Missiology is an online community dedicated to publishing content related to social change and transformation.
Our vision is that Urban Missiology creates a better future as it becomes the central hub for publishing content related to social change, justice, and transformation in urban contexts from around the world, representing the intersection of urban ecology, faith, gender, and public life.
The mission of Urban Missiology is to form an online global multidisciplinary team of professionals committed to challenging ourselves and others to reach beyond our current limitations to empower this current and the next generation as intentional social change agents for urban communities via the UM website. Our goal is to bring educators, community activists, public servants, faith leaders, and other interested persons together in a dialogical context to promote change and social transformation through the online presence of a variety of submissions of teaching and learning resources including blogs, contextual models, leadership formation, teaching perspectives, solutions, programs, approaches, collaborative efforts, and thoughtful reflections.
The goal of UM is accomplished through five primary discipline practices designed to foster interactive communications:
Urban Issues and Themes (Situated Learning that Matters)
Our Stories Online (Stories that Matter)
Missiology as Intercultural Studies (Dialogues that Matter)
Teaching and Learning (Competence that Matter)
Mentors, Mentees, and Mentorship (Mentoring that Matters)