History of Missional Movements

This unit introduces those missional movements which have left an enduring impact on the history and character of the Christian Church. Attention is given to catalytic leaders, but it is the methods they used and the movements which they sparked which hold our primary attention. Missional movements within the Australian church are featured. There is a focus on major movements in the mission of the church, key leaders and thinkers in mission, missiology and missional theology, and their impact on the church’s understanding of its mission. Major social and historical movements, processes and events impacting on the mission of the church are considered within the historical context of mission in Australia, as well as contemporary understandings of mission from a historical perspective and their relevance to present day ministry and missional settings. Potential futures for mission in the Western world in general and Australia in particular are raised.

Study Level



Humanities in the Christian Tradition

Sub Discipline

Church History

Credit Points



9 credit points in Church History.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this unit students will be able to

  1. analyse major missional movements in the history of the church from New Testament times to the present
  2. account for the salient features of missional movements in the church with reference to wider social and historical events, processes and movements – including those most relevant to the Australian context
  3. critically evaluate primary and secondary sources for evidence of missional practices and understandings germane to various historical periods
  4. identify the relevance of a range of historical and contemporary conceptions of mission for present day practice in ministry and mission
  5. uncover the contribution of history to the church’s understanding of its present and past missional orientations.
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