More Information
ISBN: 9781839730726
Imprint: Langham Global Library
Format: Paperback
Dimensions (mm): 229 x 152 x 15
Publication Date: 28/02/2021
Pages: 276
Series: ICETE Series
Language: English

Whole-Life Mission for the Whole Church

Overcoming the Sacred-Secular Divide through Theological Education


The sacred-secular divide permeates our churches, our seminaries, and our lives. By perpetuating the false belief that there are some areas of life that are not important to God, some callings that are second-class, and some spheres of society that are not worth engaging, the sacred-secular divide diminishes our understanding of God, discipleship, missiology, and the gospel itself.

Seeking to liberate the global church from the power of this dichotomy, Whole-Life Mission for the Whole Church provides theological educators with the tools they need to combat the sacred-secular divide in the very realm where it is so often generated: the classroom. Filled with contributions from practitioners around the world, this book contains a wealth of insight into both the nature of the problem and the possibilities for its solution. The approaches suggested here are biblically rooted, contextually appropriate, and experientially tested, offering an excellent resource for educators desiring to transform their institutional cultures, curriculums, and classrooms into environments that envision, empower, and liberate the whole church for its role in the mission of God.

Author Bios

Mark Greene
(Edited By)

MARK GREENE is Mission Champion for the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, having served as Executive Director for twenty-one years. A pioneer for everyday mission and discipleship, Mark has written and spoken widely in the cause of empowering all God’s people for dynamic, fruitful relationship with Christ in all of life.

Ian J. Shaw
(Edited By)

IAN SHAW is CEO of the Opal Trust, a Christian ministry which serves churches in the Majority World through resourcing them with Bibles, evangelical books, and literature. He has spent over twenty years in leadership positions in theological education, including as Provost of Union School of Theology, Bridgend, Wales, and Associate International Director of Langham Scholars.


Traditionally, evangelicals have been very good at reading the Bible, but really poor at “reading” society. This book sets out to address this problem with reference to the sacred-secular divide, especially with regard to theological education.

Mark J. Cartledge, PhD
London School of Theology, UK

This book gives a timely reality check on the sacred-secular divide in the Christian church as well as theological institutions which prepare Christians for the Great Commission in the world.

Clement Mook-Soo Chia, PhD
Principal, Singapore Bible College

Overcoming the sacred–secular divide in theological colleges involves a close look at the culture of the seminary. This book stresses the importance of whole of life discipleship, and how this should extend to all believers as they are salt and light wherever they live and work.

James Dalziel, PhD
Australian College of Theology, Sydney, Australia

Here is a book that seeks to dismantle an invisible, insidious wall, one that has restricted Christians from joyously whooping into the wide open spaces of life and service in the kingdom. The global aspects of this wall as presented here will both caution readers against indifference and motivate them into action.

Havilah Dharamraj, PhD
South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies, Bangolore, India

This is an impressive and important work. Like the church, theological education in service of the church needs to be “always reforming.” This book is truly a fine resource in this ongoing task.

Simo Frestadius, PhD
Dean of Research, Regents Theological College, West Malvern, UK

In dissecting the problem of the sacred-secular divide, the various authors helpfully identify a pathway towards addressing it through a reimagining of theological education of pastors and teachers.

Ian Hussey, PhD
Malyon Theological College, Brisbane, Australia

This book links two crucial aspects in the life of the church – the effective training of ministers and the need to encourage all God’s people to live out their faith in everyday life. Add in an international dimension which brings the conversation into a worldwide arena, and what emerges is a brilliant, engaging and practical book that will inspire and challenge theological educators.

Rt Revd Emma Ineson, PhD
Bishop of Penrith

This book identifies and addresses the urgent need for fundamental change in theological colleges and seminaries, to empower and enable the church to fulfil its call to the mission of God. This book lays a firm foundation biblically and historically, and includes practical ideas representing a global conversation.

Kara Martin
Lecturer, Alphacrucis College, Sydney, Australia

Our dynamically changing world desperately needs fruitful disciples in every sphere. This book is a must-read if you want to see change, and especially if you are in theological education and you want to play your part.

Dr. Lindsay McMillan
Managing Director, Reventure Limited

Asking good questions is one thing, but the strength of this book is that it also offers clear, compelling answers, based on solid theological foundations and drawn from a diverse range of global practitioners. The result is a practical manifesto for re-envisioning theological education to serve God’s mission in the world.

Patrick Mitchel, PhD
Irish Bible Institute, Dublin, Republic of Ireland

This book is packed with fresh ideas, trenchant challenges and global insights which can help raise up Christian leaders able to form missionary disciples.

The Rt Revd Philip North
Bishop of Burnley, UK

This is a must-read book for those committed to theological education that prepares for a whole life perspective on God’s mission in God’s world.

Elizabeth Sendek
Fundación Universitaria Seminario Bíblico de Colombia, Medellín, Colombia

Table of Contents

  1. The Many Hands to Thank
  2. Foreword
  3. Introduction
  4. Section 1: Naming the Issue
    1. Naming the Issue in Our Churches and Institutions Mark Greene
    2. Naming the Issue from Scripture Antony Billington
    3. Naming the Issue Using the Key Historical Texts Edwin E. M. Tay
    4. Naming the Issue Using the Key Contemporary Texts Antony Billington
    5. Naming the Issue in Contemporary Contexts
      1. Part 1: Latin America Dinorah B. Méndez
      2. Part 2: Africa Bernard Boyo
      3. Part 3: Asia Theresa Roco-Lua
      4. Part 4: The Indian Sub-Continent Ivor Poobalan
      5. Part 5: Eastern Europe Marcel V. Măcelaru
      6. Part 6: North America Greg Forster
    6. Naming the Issue in Our Seminaries Ian Shaw
  5. Section 2: Addressing the Issue through Theological Education
    1. Overcoming the SSD through Institutional Change
      1. Part 1: An Introduction Ian Shaw
      2. Part 2: Overcoming the SSD at South American Theological Seminary Antonio Carlos Barro, President
      3. Part 3: Overcoming the SSD at Colombo Theological Seminary Ivor Poobalan, Principal
      4. Part 4: Overcoming the SSD at Daystar University Bernard Boyo, Dean
    2. Overcoming the SSD through Curriculum Change Ian Shaw
    3. Overcoming the SSD through Programme Design Ian Shaw
    4. Overcoming the SSD through Individual Courses (Modules) Ian Shaw
    5. Overcoming the SSD through Lectures Ian Shaw
    6. Overcoming the SSD through Assessments Antony Billington
  6. Section 3: Effecting Change
    1. Effecting Change of Culture Mark Greene
    2. Effecting Change Ian Shaw
    3. Helping the Sacred-Secular Divided Student Ian Shaw
  7. Appendix: Project Participants
  8. Bibliography
  9. About the Editors
  10. Author and Subject Index
  11. Scripture Index


Antony Billington

Edwin E. M. Tay

Dinorah B. Méndez

Bernard Boyo

BERNARD BOYO has a PhD in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA, USA. He is a professor at Daystar University, Nairobi, Kenya, where he teaches theology and biblical studies with an emphasis on hermeneutics and contextualization. His research interests are in areas of public theology, culture, the economic and sociopolitical impacts on suffering communities, and religion’s role and response.

Ivor Poobalan

Marcel V. Mācelaru

Dr Marcel Mācelaru (DPhil, University of Oxford, UK) is Professor of Theology at Aurel Vlaicu University of Arad, Romania.

Greg Forster

Greg Forster (Ph.D., Yale University) is director of the Program in American History, Economics & Religion in the Kern Family Foundation. He is the author of The Contested Public Square: The Crisis of Christianity and Politics (InterVarsity Press) and John Locke's Politics of Moral Consensus (Cambridge University Press). He has also contributed to the leading scholarly journals History of Political Thought, Political Theory, Religion & Politics, Education Next and Teachers College Record, and his articles have appeared in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Inquirer and Chronicle of Higher Education. He is also a senior fellow at the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice.

Moses Iliya Ogidis

MOSES ILIYA OGIDIS is a minister with Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) in Nigeria. Currently he is a PhD candidate in Theology (New Testament) at St. Paul’s University, Limuru, Kenya.

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