Mount Vernon Nazarene University’s Center for Global Engagement recently hosted the Global Missions Forum and Strategic Planning event on campus Oct. 17-21.
The forum convened missionaries and mission leaders from each region of the Church of the Nazarene with leadership from Nazarene Compassionate Ministries Global Office and Work & Witness to discuss short-term missions and identify new and different ways to equip and mobilize the global church.
“Hosting the team is a way for us to move even deeper into collaboration by inviting a broader audience of Nazarene missionaries and MVNU faculty and staff to engage in discussions about how we might work together in very concrete ways,” said Dr. Brenita Nicholas-Edwards, Director of the Center for Global Engagement.
The Church of the Nazarene network has six regions around the globe and includes almost 500 missionaries from 63 world areas serving in over 90 countries. The Forum hosted 16 representatives from the following countries/regions:
•Kenya — Africa Region
•Europe — Eurasia Region
•Argentina — South America Region
•Central America — Meso America Region
•Dominican Republic — Meso America Region
• Indiana — USA/Canada
“The Church around the world has opportunities for engagement and service. We are also called to be in a relationship with various parts of the body of Christ,” said Stephen Sickel, Global Coordinator of Partnerships and Work & Witness for the Church of the Nazarene. “MVNU represents an important part of that body, and, as we develop training and opportunities, we want to do that with some of our Nazarene schools. MVNU invited us into a partnership, and we are exploring ways to meet common objectives, build relationships and expand the kingdom across all disciplines.”
Missionaries served as guest lecturers for the forum, “The Church in a Diverse World,” where students heard about the church in various contexts and about the creative ways Christians are serving as missionaries to catch a vocational vision for pursing their occupation for Kingdom purposes. In addition, they served on panel discussions for “Missionary Call and Preparation,” and “Cultural Humility and Hospitality.”
MVNU encouraged students to engage in discussion with the missionaries and to hear about the creative ways that missionaries serve to form a “vocational vision” for their “Kingdom purposes.”
Sickle was pleased with the forum and the dialogue that transpired between participants, faculty, staff and students.
“We enjoyed listening to what is going on in the classroom, having our missionaries share what God is doing where they are working, and how we can combine efforts so that both sides can learn from each other,” Sickle said. “We are honored to be invited to walk with MVNU on this journey as we build relationships and connections around the world.”
ABOUT THE CENTER FOR GLOBAL ENGAGEMENT
The mission of the Center for Global Engagement is to provide dynamic and transformative global learning and service opportunities for students, faculty and staff.
To broaden the Center’s reach, it is working to partner with the Church of the Nazarene intentionally and strategically for possible collaborative service-learning projects, as well as off-campus study opportunities.
“I have been in conversation with global leadership about ways we can connect faculty and students to the incredible work being done in the United States and across the globe, including opportunities to engage through teaching an on-location course with a travel component, creating course-embedded service-learning projects or multi-year initiatives,” said Nicholas-Edwards. “I am also encouraging faculty to consider how they might professionally engage in service over a break, in the summer, or for a sabbatical.”
The Center hosts an annual Global Engagement Expo where students can learn more about opportunities to travel, serve and/or study domestically or abroad. Monthly Global Spotlight events highlight the home cultures of MVNU’s global faculty, sharing food, culture, and information about their home countries.
For more information about Nazarene missions, visit https://opportunities.nazarene.org.
Mount Vernon Nazarene University is a private, four-year, intentionally Christian teaching university for traditional age students, graduate students, and working adults. With a 327-acre main campus in Mount Vernon, Ohio, MVNU emphasizes academic excellence, spiritual growth, and service to community and church. MVNU offers an affordable education both in-seat and online to more than 2,100 students from 42 states and nine foreign countries.