Transformation of the Church

~ A Database of Historical and Current Data on the Strategic Partnerships &

Interlocking Directorates of Organizations in the Global Ecumenical Movement


The Oxford Centre for Mission Studies/OCMS

– an international hub for control of theological education


Outline for this section as follows:


?         Background on Oxford University

?         INFEMIT/ International Fellowship of Evangelical Mission Theologians

?         Theological Education by Extension/TEE

?         About OCMS Faculty & Staff:

Carl Armerding:

– former president of Regent College

– Regent Summer Class Schedule 2001

Evangelicalism and Catholicism in Dialogue with J.I. Packer & Thomas T. Howard

?         Ward Gasque

?         Peter Kuzmic  

?         Tim Dearborn  

?         Ron Sider

– Network 9:35

– Evangelical Environmental Network  

– Koinonia Leadership Network     

?         Fieldstead and Co., USA:

– Howard Fieldstead Ahmanson

– Council for National Policy

– Claremont Institute


Background on Oxford University


Founded by the Ancient Order of Druids


Richard Cavendish wrote in Man, Myth and Magic of the Druidic gathering which met at the site now occupied by Oxford University: “It is said that in 1245 a gathering [of Druids] was held with representatives from many parts and the objects of the Order were agreed. A grove or group was founded, the Mount Haemus Grove which still exists.” (p. 722)

The Cambridge Encyclopedia states: "Oxford University The oldest university in Britain, having its origins in informal groups of masters and students gathered in Oxford in the 12th-c... The closure of the University of Paris to Englishmen in 1167 accelerated Oxford's development into a universitas... University College 1249." (pp. 823-24)

A History of Pagan Europe refers to the Mount Haemas Grove order as the Ancient Order of Druids of Oxford: “In 1781...the Ancient Order of Druids was set up in London by Henry Hurle, as an esoteric society patterned on Masonic lines. In 1833, a split between the mystics and those who wanted a friendly society led to the majority forming the United Ancient of Druids... The mystical side continued as the Albion Lodge of the Ancient Order of Druids of Oxford, claiming descent from the Mount Haemus Grove.” (Pennick & Jones, p. 211)


The Oxford Movement

Counter-Reformation in England


      “Guided by and receiving its impetus from Oxford University men, the movement also protested state interference in the affairs of the church. On July 14, 1833, in response to the English government's bill reducing bishoprics in Ireland, John Keble preached the sermon ‘National Apostacy’ from the university pulpit. He accused the government of infringing on ‘Christ's Church’ and of disavowing the principle of apostolic succession of the bishops of the Church of England. Insisting that salvation was possible only through the sacraments, Keble defended the Church of England as a divine institution. During the same year John Henry Newman began to publish Tracts for the Times, a series of pamphlets by members of the University of Oxford that supported and propagated the beliefs of the movement. They were widely circulated, and the term ‘Tractarianism’ has often been used for the early stages of the Oxford Movement or, indeed, as a synonym for the movement itself.

      “It is ironic that these tracts (which were supposed to argue ‘against Popery and Dissent’) would lead some of the writers and readers into embracing the Roman Catholic Church. These men found it increasingly impossible to adhere to church polity and practice on Protestant terms. When Newman argued in Tract 90 (1841) that the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England were in harmony with genuine Roman Catholicism, he was attacked with such furor that the series of tracts was brought to an end. Early in 1845, realizing that they would never be allowed to be Anglicans while holding Roman Catholic views, several Oxford reformers joined the Roman Catholic Church. Newman defected later that year, and by 1864 nearly one thousand ministers, theological leaders, and Anglican church members followed his lead. In 1864 Newman's Apologia pro Vita Sua was published, explaining his departure from the Church of England and defending his choice of the Roman Church as the one true church. Newman was made a Roman Catholic cardinal in 1879.

      “After the defections in 1845 the movement was no longer dominated by Oxford men and became more fragmented in its emphases. Edward B Pusey, professor of Hebrew at Oxford and a contributor to Tracts, emerged as the leader of the Anglo-Catholic party, which continued to push for doctrinal modifications and a reunion between the Anglican and Roman churches. Other groups sought to promote High Church ritual within Anglicanism. Many of the sympathizers the Oxford Movement had gained at its inception (before anti - Reformation tendencies were observed) continued to uphold the primary goals and spiritual fervor of the movement. This has had a great significance upon the theological development, polity, and religious life of the Church of England for over a century. Anglican eucharistic worship was transformed, spiritual discipline and monastic orders were revived, social concern was fostered, and an ecumenical spirit has developed in the Church of England.” [Source: Believe]


The Rhodes Scholars


British diamond magnate Cecil Rhodes created the Rhodes Scholarships to bind together the elite of the English-speaking countries by bringing promising young men to Oxford University to “imbibe the English imperial ethos. Successive U.S. administrations (not least Bill Clinton's) have been stuffed with Rhodes’ Scholars.”


“Quoting from Professor Carroll Quigley's monumental history, Tragedy and Hope, [Samuel] Blumenfeld recounts the ‘sensational impact’ that socialist professor John Ruskin had on the young Cecil Rhodes while a student at Oxford. Later, ‘with support from Lord Rothschild and Alfred Beit, [Rhodes] was able to monopolize the diamond mines of South Africa’ and put his enormous, ill-gotten fortune in diamonds and gold to work in his plan for world empire.

“To accomplish this end, Rhodes confided to his intimate friend and executor, William T. Stead, it was necessary to (in Rhodes’ own words) create ‘a society…supported by the accumulated wealth of those whose aspiration is to do something.’ And this ‘something" that Rhodes had in mind for them to ‘do’ with their wealth? Nothing less, said Rhodes, than ‘a scheme to take the government of the whole world.’

“These and other revealing statements are found in an important article on Cecil Rhodes in the New York Times of April 9, 1902, which Blumenfeld has reprinted in The Rhodes Legacy.


“The secret society of which Rhodes spoke was launched, notes Blumenfeld, on February 5, 1891. Forming the executive committee of this society were Rhodes, Stead, Lord Esher, and Alfred Milner. Below them was a ‘Circle of Initiates’ comprised of Lord Balfour, Sir Harry Johnson, Lord Rothschild, Lord Grey, and other scions of Britain's financial and aristocratic elite. According to Professor Quigley, Bill Clinton's mentor at Georgetown University, ‘The scholarships were merely a facade to conceal the secret society, or more accurately, they were to be one of the instruments by which the members of the secret society could carry out his purpose.’ ‘The Rhodes Scholarships,’ Blumenfeld writes, ‘as outlined in Rhodes’ will, became the main instrument whereby the most promising young people throughout the English-speaking world could be recruited to serve an idea that Rhodes thought would take 200 years to fulfill. And, says Blumenfeld:

“‘Obviously, the way the secret society would recruit its future leaders from among the Rhodes scholars was to dangle before them the prospects of future advancement in whatever field they chose to pursue, be it education, politics, government, foundation work, finance, journalism, etc. Thus, if you understood the implicit message being given to you by your sponsors you might one day become president of Harvard, President of the United States, a Supreme Court Judge, a US senator, or president of the Carnegie Foundation. The road to fame and fortune was open as long as you played the game and obeyed the rules. The Association of American Rhodes Scholars has an alumni membership of about 1,600. They have become leading figures in the new ruling elite in America.’” [Source: Reviewing the Rhodes Legacy]



The Oxford Centre for Mission Studies

The Study and Research Centre for the INFEMIT Network

Note: See INFEMIT below


About the Oxford Centre


Historical Perspective


For nearly twenty years the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies (OCMS) has been training a new generation of Evangelical mission scholars and practitioners to become a key resource to the church in mission in contemporary contexts of complexity and diversity. It has drawn key people from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe to its research and post-graduate study programmes.


Through its publications, including the journal ‘Transformation’ and the study programmes, OCMS has been a major influence in shaping Evangelical mission Theology and Strategy in the growing churches of the Two-Third World.


Its importance has largely been due to the sense of ownership of OCMS by the Evangelical leadership of the Two-Thirds World. These leaders shape its agenda and send their younger colleagues for training. The Centre is now seen as an important instrument in the institutional development of post-graduate training institutions in the Two-Third Worlds.


OCMS Faculty and Staff Team


Edited for purposes of this report. Scroll down for highlighted info in OCMS listing, followed by further background insights about these individuals.


?         Canon Dr. Chris Sugden––Executive Director


Also: Chairman of Traidcraft Foundation Trustees, Executive Secretary of Network for Anglicans in Mission and Evangelism (NAME).

Discipline Areas: Classical Latin and Greek Language, Literature, History and Philosophy; Theology and Biblical Studies; Philosophical and Theological Ethics; Liberation Theology; Missiology and Mission History; Theology and Development.

Current Research: Interface of Missiology and Fair Trade and Economic Development; Role of Faith Based Organisations in Development; Mission and Culture.


?         Dr Bernard Farr––Director of International Masters Programmes


Formerly: Director of Research and Academic Programmes and Head of the School of Theology, Westminster College, Oxford.


?         Professor Deryke Belshaw––Director Of Development Research; Dean Of Development Studies Research Tutor


Current Research: rural and agricultural development; poverty reduction and food security; regional and local government; NGOs and faith-based organisations in decentralised, participatory, community-based development.


Mr Kalyan Das––Director of Finance & Administration

Professor Haddon Willmer––Research Tutor


?         Rev Professor Carl Armerding–– Senior Research Tutor - See below


AB (Gordon College, Boston), Bd (Trinity Evangelical Seminary, Chicago), MA. Ph.D (Brandeis, Boston)

Formerly: Principal, Regent College, Vancouver.


?         Rev Dr Len Bartlotti–– Research Tutor


BA (University Of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), M.Div (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary), Ph.D (Wales).

Dr Rollin Grams–– Research Tutor and Tutor of Biblical Studies Programme Field Co-Ordinator MA Biblical Studies MTS (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary), Ph.D (Duke)

Dr Ben Knighton––Registrar, Research Tutor, Africa Programmes Co-Ordinator, Lead Tutor of Bible in Context, & MA Dissertation

Rev Michael Elliott––Programme Director Ma in Communications at OCMS.

Rev Geoffrey Morgan––Academic Tutor


OCMS Fellows


Professor Robert Frykenberg––University of Wisconsin, USA


?         Dr Ward Gasque––Seattle Association for Theological Education, USA See below


Dr James Grayson––Korean Studies, University of Sheffield

Professor Terry Ranger––Professor of Race Relations at the U. of Oxford

Professor Lamin Sanneh––Professor of Missions and World Christianity, Yale University

Professor Miroslav Volf––Professor of Theology, Yale Divinity School [Rockefeller-affiliated ATS member]


?         Professor Andrew Walls–– Professor of Religious Studies , Aberdeen University; Honorary Professor, Edinburgh University and Curator of Collections at the Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World:

    Guest Professor of Ecumenics and Mission, Princeton Theological Seminary [Rockefeller-affiliated ATS member].


?         Dr Ng Kam Weng––Director, Kairos Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


?         Rev Dr David Wenham––Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University


?         Rev Dr Chris Wright––Principal, All Nations Christian College


[Note: Vice Principal Robert Hunt, All Nations Christian College, is on the staff of the British Church Growth Association/BCGA at The Park, Moggerhanger Trust, UK.]




Revd. Dr Peter Kuzmic  (Croatia)––Chairman.  President of the Evangelical Theological Faculty, Osiejk Croatia 

     Representing INFEMIT Europe See below


Revd. Professor Dr Kwame Bediako (Ghana)

Vice Chairman. Director of the Akrofi-Kristaller Memorial Centre for Mission Research and Applied Theology, Akropong, Ghana. Representing the Africa Theological Fraternity

Revd. Dr Ruben Paredes (Peru)––Vice Chairman. General Secretary of the Latin American Theological Fraternit. Representing the Latin American Theological Fraternity

Revd. Dr Vinay Samuel (India)––Executive Director of INFEMIT

Mr. David Bussau (Australia)––Treasurer


Representing Partnership in Mission Asia

Revd C. B. Samuel (India)––Director of Evangelical Fellowship of India Commission on Relief, New Delhi, India.  

Dr David Samuel (India)––Director, The Association for Theological Education by Extension (TAFTEE), Bangalore, India.

   [See About Theological Education by Extension/TEE, below]

Revd Dr Hwa Yung  (Malaysia)––Principal of Seminari Theologi Malaysia (STM), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


Representing the African Theological Fraternity

Most Revd. David Gitari (Kenya)––Archbishop of Kenya

Representing the Latin American Theological Fraternity

Ms. Lilia Gongora ( Colombia)


Representing the INFEMIT USA


?         Revd. Dr Tim Dearborn––Dean of Chapel, Seattle Pacific University, Seattle USA See below

?         Revd. Dr Ron Sider––President, Evangelicals for Social Action, USA See below


Representing the INFEMIT Europe


Rt Rev Dr Michael Nazir Ali (Pakistan)––Bishop of Rochester (UK)

Revd. Dr Klaus Schaefer  (Germany)––Mission Secretary, Evangelisches Misionswerk, Hamburg, Germany

Canon Dr Chris Sugden  (UK)––Director of Academic Affairs, OCMS


Members at Large


?         Dr David Cook  (UK)––Director of Whitefield Institute, Oxford.  UK

?         Mr Steve Ferguson (USA)––Fieldstead and Co., USA See below


Course Faculty for Master of Arts in Communication


David Adams––Dean of Communication Studies & Director of the IICE, UK

Lars Dahle––Academic Dean, Gimlekollen School of Journalism and Communication, Norway

Dr Knud Jorgensen––Director, Christian Mission to Buddhists, Norway/Denmark

Kaare Melhus––Journalism Faculty, Gimlekollen School of Journalism and Communication, Norway

Dr Graham Mytton––former Head of International Audience Research, BBC, UK

Dr Juan Rogers––Assistant Professor, School of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USA

Dr Wing Tai Leung––Associate General Secretary, Breakthrough Communications, Hong Kong

© Oxford Centre for Mission Studies 2000  


About Theological Education by Extension/TEE


Billy Graham Center Evangelism Library


Theological Education by Extension (TEE)


TEE has become an important method of training Christian leaders in the rapidly growing churches of developing countries

Some of the organizations represented in the collection are:


[Scroll to Red]

• Comision Internacional de Teologia y Educacion (C.I.T.A.) -- Wyoming, Michigan

• Conservative Baptist Extension Seminary Training -- Manila, Philippines

• Escola de Educacao Teologica das Assembleias de Deus (E.E.T.A.D.) -- Campinas, S.P., Brazil

• Evangelical Publishing House -- Kisumu, Kenya

• International Correspondence Institute -- Brussels, Belgium

• Lutheran Church in the Philippines Theological Education by Extension -- Manila, Philippines

• Philippine Association for Theological Education by Extension (P.A.F.T.E.E.) -- Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines

• PhilBEST -- Davao City, Philippines

• The Association for Theological Extension Education (T.A.F.T.E.E.) -- Bangalore, India [TAFTEE is mentioned above in OCMS listing]

• West Indies Mission Learning Resource Center -- Coral Gables, Florida

• World Evangelical Fellowship Theological Commission


Wheaton College Home Page


Names from OCMS listing above


Carl Armerding


Armerding was for many years professor of Old Testament and principal at Regent College [see below], Vancouver. In 1968-9 he held a postdoctoral fellowship in archaeology in Jerusalem. He is currently director of the Schloss Mittersill Study Centre, Austria, and he is senior academic adviser to the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies. In both capacities he works extensively with theological education in the emerging democracies of eastern Europe. Armerding has published commentaries, a volume on Old Testament criticism and work on ancient Israel's charismatic leadership.


A Sampling of Regent College Courses


Summer Courses 2001


Weeks 3 & 4: July 16–27

*Gordon Fee     BIBLE

What has Philippi to do with Vancouver? A Study in Philippians

*Peter Flint   BIBLE

Exploring the Dead Sea Scrolls

[Info on Peter Flint will be posted in Mission Mobilization, Evangelical Alliance and the Modern Bible Versions, Dead Sea Scrolls]


Weeks 3, 4 & 5: July 16–August 3

*J.I. Packer & Tom Howard     THEOLOGY  [See below]

Evangelicalism and Catholicism in Dialogue


Week 5—July 30–August 3

*Miriam Adeney  [also on faculty at Seattle Pacific University/SPU]    

Sense and Sensibility: Women in the World Christian Movement

*Carl Armerding    BIBLE  [former President of Regent College]

Light From the Dark Ages: An Exposition of Judges and Ruth


          2001 Regent College summer course taught by J.I. Packer and Thomas Howard:

Evangelicalism and Catholicism in Dialogue [page no longer available]


Controversy between Evangelicals and Roman Catholics has been constant since the sixteenth century. Controversy aims to refute, that is, to show that the positions opposed are wrong, and ought not to exist in their present form, and that those who support them need to change. This course is a venture not in controversy but in dialogue, that is, in the kind of exposition and interchange that enables those on both sides to map in depth the nature and range of their differences, and to see how it is that both bodies of opinion believe themselves to be discerning and obeying God’s truth revealed in Christ in those areas where they part company.


Topics for exploration include: the church, faith & assurance, priesthood & ministry, the sacramental system, the eucharist, the place of Mary & canonized saints, purgatory, indulgences, and prayers for the departed and what Evangelicals and Catholics may and should do together. [emphasis added]


1997 Regent College course taught by J.I. Packer and Bradley Nassif:

Eastern Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism in Dialogue


By virtually all accounts, J.I. Packer is one of this century's greatest Evangelical statesmen. As he reaches the golden years of his career we notice that he has begun to take a serious interest in conservative Christian dialogue with the hopes of forming a common agenda for the church' s unified witness in the modern world. His work in "Evangelical ecumenics" (to coin a phrase) began most visibly in his dialogue with Catholics in 1995 which led to his signing the document "Evangelicals and Catholics Together." Although his interest in Orthodoxy began much earlier, it was not until 1995 that it took concrete expression at a conservative ecumenical gathering of Catholics, Orthodox and Evangelicals called the "Rose Hill" conference. It was there that Dr. Packer and the present author worked as formal dialogue partners. At Rose Hill, Packer delivered a paper titled, "On from Orr: Cultural Crisis, Rational Realism and Incarnational Ontology," to which I responded with "An Eastern Orthodox Response to J.I. Packer." The dialogue was followed up in 1997 when Packer and the author [Bradley Nassif, Ph.D.] team-taught a course at Regent College titled, "Eastern Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism in Dialogue."




J.I. Packer

Some of Dr. Packer’s books are: Knowing God; Christianity: The True Humanism (with Thomas Howard), Rediscovering Holiness, Concise Theology, and A Passion For Faithfulness. Education: Oxford University. Packer is Director of the Anglican Studies Program of Regent College; a signer of the Evangelicals and Catholics Together Documents I and II; co-author of “Resolutions for Roman Catholic and Evangelical Dialogue”; a signer of the Evangelical Declaration on Care of Creation [Interfaith/Earth Summit]; a member of the Board of Reference of Renovaré, a mystical movement founded and directed by Quaker psychologist, Richard Foster. See exposes: Dr. James I. Packer-Rediscovering Holiness; J.I. Packer: General Teachings/Activities]


Thomas T. Howard

Chairman (ret.), Department of English, St. John’s Seminary, Boston. BA (Wheaton), MA (Illinois), PhD (New York).   

Dr. Howard has written twelve books, including Christianity: The True Humanism, Evangelical is Not Enough, and On Being Catholic.


[Ed. Note: Thomas Howard made the following statement after visiting an Episcopal church, an experience which led to his being confirmed the Anglican Church and eventually joining the Roman Catholic Church: "That time I was pierced to the heart. I was enthralled by the candles and vestments. I felt as though my heart would break. Something had been touched inside me, and I could not rest until I attended to it." Source: Miles J. Stanford]


Bradley Nassif, Ph.D.

Professor, Antiochian House of Studies (USA), a graduate program of St. John of Damascus Seminary, Balamand University (Lebanon); Director of academic programs at Fuller Theological Seminary, Southern California Extension; founder of the Society for the Study of Eastern Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism. [Dr. Nassif defends Orthodox kissing of icons in Christianity Today]


Returning to names on OCMS listing above…


Dr Ward Gasque––Seattle Association for Theological Education, USA

Now renamed Pacific Association for Theological Education/PATE  

which is Fuller Theological Seminary's Theological Education by Extension/TEE to the Northwest. Gasque is credited as being the co-founder of Regent College, Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Regent College is a partner with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/IVCF.


Representing INFEMIT Europe

Dr Peter Kuzmic    


The following Kuzmic profile is found on the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary faculty web site:


PETER KUZMIC, Dr. Theol. Eva B. and Paul E. Toms Distinguished Professor of World Missions and European Studies, 1993. B.A. (Southern California College); M.A. (Wheaton College Graduate School); M.Th., Dr. theol. (University of Zagreb).


Dr. Peter Kuzmic is the Eva B. and Paul E. Toms Distinguished Professor of World Missions and European Studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary [Rockefeller-affiliated ATS member]. A native of Slovenia and a citizen of Croatia in former Yugoslavia, Dr. Kuzmic is the foremost evangelical scholar in Eastern Europe and is considered an authority on the subject of Christian response to Marxism and on Christian ministry in post-Communist contexts.


Fluent in several languages, Dr. Kuzmic completed all his studies summa cum laude. He is a graduate of a German Bible College; received his B.A. from Southern California College in Costa Mesa, CA [now renamed Vangard University which is a partner with Oxford Centre for Mission Studies]; M.A. from Wheaton Graduate School, Chicago, IL; and M.Th. and D.Th from the University of Zagreb. In 1992 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree by Asbury Theological Seminary [Rockefeller-affiliated ATS member].


A former pastor of two churches, he is a founder and currently the director of the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Osijek, Croatia, the only evangelical graduate theological institution in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. He is also co-founder and chairman of the Council of the Evangelical Christians of (former) Yugoslavia, and president of the Protestant Evangelical Council of Croatia. As founding president of Agape and New Europe Vision (evangelical relief ministries in Croatia and Bosnia), he takes an active role in ministering to the physical and spiritual needs of his fellow citizens.


Dr. Kuzmic is in great demand as a speaker. His global platform has included plenary addresses at Lausanne II in Manila (1989), Urbana (1990), the European Leadership Consultation (1992), the National Association of Evangelicals Fiftieth Anniversary (1992), as well as other international gatherings. He has ministered in more than 60 nations on every continent.

An award-winning writer, Dr. Kuzmic has authored various articles and books including a major study on the influence of Slavic Bible translations upon Slavic literature, language and culture. He has also authored two textbooks, The Gospel of John and Biblical Hermeneutics and has contributed to numerous compendiums, handbooks and encyclopedias. A columnist for several religious and secular newspapers, he also serves as editor of Izvori,a Christian monthly journal in the Croatian language.


From 1986 to 1996, Dr. Kuzmic chaired the Theological Commission of the World Evangelical Fellowship. He now chairs the Theology and Strategy Working Group of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. He is one of the founding executives of the Council of Evangelical Christians of Yugoslavia…


Copyright ©2000 by the Trustees of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary


Representing the INFEMIT USA


Tim Dearborn––Dean of Chapel, Seattle Pacific University, Seattle USA


Dearborn was educated at Fuller Theological Seminary and was a founder, with Ward Gasque, of Fuller's Theological Education Extension program, Pacific Association of Theological Education/PATE when it began in Seattle. At the same time Dearborn was identified as director of World Vision's Institute for Global Engagement, founded by then WV President Robert Seiple.


Representing the INFEMIT USA


Ron Sider––President, Evangelicals for Social Action, USA  


ESA History Over the past two decades-plus, Evangelicals for Social Action has become the primary organizational leader for progressive evangelical voices and a primary inspiration of renewed evangelical concern for the poor, equality for women and minorities, and care for the environment.


ESA began with a weekend meeting of forty prominent evangelical leaders in Chicago in 1973. Dick Ostling of Time said that weekend was the first time in the twentieth century that a prominent group of evangelical leaders spent that much time on social issues, and the Chicago Tribune called the meeting the most important church-related event of 1973. The resulting document, The Chicago Declaration of Evangelical Social Concern, was a ringing call for Christians to challenge racial and economic injustice and work for the full dignity and equality of women and minorities.


ESA and ESA's founder Dr. Ronald J. Sider (Ph.D., Yale) have long been at the center of renewed evangelical concern for the poor. Sider's book, Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger, is now in its fourth edition with over 350,000 copies in seven different languages. In its cover story on Sider, Christianity Today (evangelicalism's most influential magazine) highlighted Sider's and ESA's leadership on the question of economic justice and listed the publication of Rich Christians along with President Jimmy Carter's election and Pat Robertson's run for the Presidency as one of the eighteen especially important events in the emergence of evangelical Christianity in the last fifty years.


ESA has played a central role in developing a new evangelical environmental movement in the last ten years. ESA was the central leader in forming the Evangelical Environmental Network (one of four partners along with the NCC, the U.S. Catholic Conference, and the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life). [Note: The EEN web site states that only World Vision and Evangelicals for Social Action founded this organization.]


EEN, which ESA continues to lead, now enjoys the active participation of 14 mainstream evangelical organizations all of whom are strengthening their environmental work. In early 1995, when a new conservative Congress sought to drastically weaken the Endangered Species Act, ESA and EEN played a key role in defending the environment. At a news conference in Washington widely reported on ABC Evening News and dozens of major newspapers across the U.S., ESA called on Congress to preserve a strong Endangered Species Act in order to care for God's creation. A comment by a key environmental staffer at the Sierra Club is widely accepted in the larger environmental community: "We won this battle because of the evangelicals."


ESA is a strong voice for the full equality of women in church and society. ESA has encouraged the development of Christians for Biblical Equality, the primary evangelical feminist network, and continues to work with its leaders.


In recent years, ESA has played a key role in the founding and development of Call to Renewal (a progressive network of evangelicals, Catholics, mainline Protestants, and historic black and Hispanic Christians coordinated by Jim Wallis), and continues to be a leader of the evangelical wing of the Call to Renewal. [See: Constance Cumbey on Jim Wallis: “Wallis’ group has clearly been mainstream New Age from way back.”]


From the Billy Graham Center Archives

ESA Historical Background


After World War II, several of the younger leaders of American Protestant evangelicals became concerned over what they saw as a lack of commitment among evangelicals to the proclamation and achievement of social justice. Partly this was a legacy of the most publicized split between the "fundamentalists" and "liberals" in the early years of the century which made many evangelicals suspicious of the so-called social gospel. However, in the 1960's and 1970's some evangelical preachers, theologians, and educators began to feel that they had gotten too far away from the Biblical injunctions on helping the poor and oppressed. Some of these men and women gathered together in Chicago in 1973 to prepare a statement on the need for Christian social action. According to the letter of invitation which went out, "At a recent conference at Calvin College, a planning committee (John Alexander, Myron Augsburger, Paul Henry, Rufus Jones, David O. Moberg, William Pannell, Richard Pierard, Ronald J. Sider, Lewis Smedes, and Jim Wallis [Sojourners and Call to Renewal] was formed to plan a Thanksgiving Workshop on Evangelicals and Social Concern. It is a workshop, not a conference. It will be a time for discussing, praying, and concrete planning, not a time for listening to papers." At this workshop, a statement called "A Declaration of Evangelical Social Concern" (also known as the Chicago Declaration) was signed by participants. In this statement they admitted that they had individually and corporately participated in forms of racism and exploitation and pledged themselves, according to a press release, to "rethink their lifestyle and work for a more just distribution of the world's resources." Out of this workshop grew the annual meetings of Evangelicals for Social Actions which were concerned with ways for implementing their concern. A Christian feminist group, the Evangelical Women's Caucus, in part grew out of the meetings of ESA.


Additional Sider Info…


In 1969 Sider served with Bruce Nicholls on the World Evangelical Fellowship/WEF's Theological Commission and chaired a committee at the 7th WEF General Assembly, Consultation on a Simple Life Style [one of six consultations] sponsored jointly by The Theology and Education Group of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization [John Stott] and the Unit on Ethics and Society of the Theological Commission of WEF [Ronald Sider].


Sider is a corresponding editor for Billy Graham's Christianity Today. His organization Evangelicals for Social Action has been the recipient of grants from Pew Charitable Trust and ESA has been involved at the policy-setting level for faith-based welfare reform.



The ESA web site links to three ministries which are outworkings of ESA…


?         Network 9:35

?         Evangelical Environmental Network  

?         Koinonia Leadership Network  


About ESA link…

Network 9:35


–– Connecting Churches in Wholistic Ministry


Network Partners include:

?         Evangelicals for Social Action

?         Christian Community Development Association

  [John D. Perkins, who is a Mission America co-chair with Billy Graham and Bill Bright]

?         World Relief––an affiliate of the National Assoc. of Evangelicals/NAE.

  NAE is a regional member and founder of the World Evangelical Fellowship/WEF.


Network 9:35 is promoting the NACSW Convention “Building Communities and Strengthening Families” One of the keynote speakers for this conference is Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund/CDF.



About ESA link…

Evangelical Environmental Network and Creation Care Magazine


EEN is a unique evangelical ministry initiated by World Vision and Evangelicals for Social Action as part of a growing movement among Christians to respond faithfully to our biblical mandate for caring stewardship of God's creation. EEN was formed because we recognize many environmental problems are fundamentally spiritual problems.  EEN's flagship publication, Creation Care magazine [published by ESA],  provides you with biblically informed and timely articles on topics ranging from how to protect your loved ones against environmental threats to how you can more fully praise the Creator for the wonder of His creation…


Evangelical Declaration on the Care of Creation

The declaration is a carefully considered statement on earth stewardship. Since the day we released it four years ago, hundreds of evangelical leaders in North America have expressed their agreement with the principles of the declaration by signing on.

Care of Creation signators [represents a Who's Who of ecumenical fellows!]


The EEN brings together major evangelical ministries, such as InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and World Vision, for fellowship and strategic planning to integrate God's mandate for stewardship into their efforts.


About ESA link…

Koinonia Leadership Network


Last year we reconnected with Evangelicals for Social Action (ESA), which for us has become a marriage made in heaven. Since the late 70's ESA has been one of the most respected inter-denominational evangelical voices encouraging the church to create wholistic ministries that meet the profound needs of our world in Jesus name (evangelism and social concern). ESA has invited us to create a specialized leadership development ministry to college students that allows these students to rub shoulders with and work alongside some of the most talented wholistic ministers in the world. We call this ministry Koinonia Leadership Mission and our goal is to recruit and train college students to become church related, wholistic ministry servant leaders!


Fieldstead and Co., USA


Both the Fieldstead Institute [Howard Fieldstead Ahmanson] and the Ethics and Public Policy Center [Elliot Abrams, CFR and U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom/USCIRF] are credited by Amy Sherman for the funding of her book Restorers of Hope: …church-based ministries that work. The book was a promo for faith-based welfare reform/charitable choice. The federal welfare legislation passed in 1996. Sherman was the change-agent sent by Manhattan Institute and Hudson Institute to various states' church networks; advising them on compliance for becoming FBOs [faith-based organizations].


Howard Ahmanson is a member of the secretive Council for National Policy/CNP and is on the Claremont Institute Board of Directors. The Claremont Institute sponsored a trip to Rome 2000 which featured, in the itinerary, "an audience with the Pope."



Transformation of the Church Database