I am delighted to be able to share the news that I have been appointed to a new position of Lecturer in Mission and New Testament at Edinburgh Theological Seminary. It is anticipated that I will assume this new role in January 2018. The formal announcement on the Free Church of Scotland website can be read here.
This appointment is an exciting opportunity to serve the church by bringing together, in the Lord’s providence, central aspects of my experience and training in both exegesis of Scripture and mission. As I look forward to this new role, I also recognise that I have been significantly shaped by the settings in which I have worked during the past two decades. I would like to record my grateful thanks to, and warm appreciation of, the principal, staff, and students of Highland Theological College, where I have been privileged to teach for two distinct periods. I would also like to acknowledge the important role that colleagues and students at Dumisani Theological Institute (in King William’s Town, South Africa) played in shaping my thinking about global mission.
In this post I will highlight briefly some of my priorities as I anticipate the work to which I have been called.
- To Listen and to Learn. As I look forward to entering a new phase of service, I am eager to build relationships with missionaries in various fields, leaders of mission agencies, and academics with an emphasis on mission. I look forward to hearing their views on the issues relating to mission that deserve emphasis and analysis in mission education and training.
- To Inform and to Encourage. I have been reading serious studies of mission for most of the last twenty years. There are many remarkable resources available that address biblical, theological, historical, and other aspects of mission. I hope to encourage as many people as possible to read some of these resources and to become fascinated and enthused by the church’s mission.
- To Write and to Engage. Mission has already been a significant theme in various articles I have written over the years. While recognising the realities of life in a busy theological college, I hope to work on various writing projects that may be of use to students of mission at various levels and in various contexts. I hope, where possible, to attend and present papers at conferences dedicated to mission.
- To Participate and to Practice. I am aware that it would be very easy to treat mission as an interesting academic topic and to allow study and reflection to take the place of active participation in the task. I am thankful for opportunities in to be actively involved in the mission of the church, both in the UK and overseas, both long-term and short-term. I hope to be able to continue to serve the church through involvement in mission work of various kinds in the UK and internationally.
I am grateful for this new opportunity and I look forward to getting started in due course. For the next few months, however, I look forward to contributing to the mission of the church by helping to train students at HTC to become more competent and sensitive interpreters of Scripture.