A letter from Tom Harvey in England
Dear Friends and Partners in Mission,
Last week I was reviewing our recent graduates, and I was quite surprised by the results. From January 2012 through March 2013, we have had 23 students take their examination for their Ph.D. or M.Phil. degrees. Nineteen of the 23 will receive their doctoral degree with minor amendments, 1 student will receive his M.Phil., and 3 students have more extensive corrections and revisions to complete within the year. Of these, 9 are from Africa, 3 from South/Southeast Asia, 5 from Central/Eastern Europe, 4 from North America, and 2 from Latin America. External Examiners commendations and recommendations for publication have exceeded over 50 percent of the theses submitted. Over 90 percent of these graduates are now back in their countries, active in ministry or teaching. Their theses have ranged from ministry to the Masai of Kenya in the midst of their herds of cattle to research into violence, reconciliation and peace in Northern Nigeria; to effective ministry to youth in Siberia; to Christ as the fulfillment of classical Chinese philosophy; to reforming Pentecostalism in Honduras to embrace spiritual revival, economic development and social justice; to international adoptions and effective intervention to address debilitating effects on families and children by abandonment syndrome.
What is deeply satisfying about the accomplishments above is that these works represent real transformative engagement that flows from the challenges and experiences of veteran missionaries, development workers, church leaders and educators. They are studies that have resulted in real transformation of individuals and communities engaged in evangelism, education, development, nation building, leadership development, and ministry. Not only do they understand better the problems that they encounter, they are able to share with others how to use research to transform their ministries and societies for the good.
Needless to say, but OCMS, its alumni and students are not resting on their laurels. Rather, we see the centre’s recent accomplishments as the foundation to deepen our work in transformative mission. As I noted in my last newsletter, in August 2013 OCMS will be hosting the 6th annual Symposium on Christianity in China. We now have over 30 leading scholars from leading universities and ministries in China who will be coming to address ideological trends in China and their growing influence of Christianity. Further, we have teamed with Wycliffe Hall, University of Oxford, to not only host the conference but to use it to inaugurate a joint Oxford China Centre for Christian Leadership. This venture will:
- Draw innovative Chinese Christian leaders in academics, NGOs and business who wish to engage and be trained in transformative cross-disciplinary research and mission engagement.
- Develop degree courses at both the master's and doctoral levels for candidates from China. Develop a track for theological degrees through Oxford University and for cross-disciplinary research through Middlesex University, London.
- Provide scholarship resource for students from China as well as underwrite faculty, administrative, technological and physical campus resource for the centre.
- Convene an annual forum/consultation on relevant issues and concerns arising in China and their relevance to effective Chinese Christian engagement in China. These forum/consultations will alternate between traditional academic conferences and engaged consultations that will gather key social and mission persons to discuss and formulate informed paths to transformative engagement.
- Resource Chinese Christian leaders with research models and experience that has proved effective in the Majority World as contextually and globally relevant.
- Connect Chinese Christian scholars and leaders with their global counterparts so as to nurture global collaborative ties and their associated resources.
- Publish scholarly and popular volumes to resource theological and leadership training in China and beyond (Regnum Books: The Publishing Arm of OCMS).
Another venture beginning this year will be the OCMS Consultancies. The Consultancies will involve mission, church and development agencies in joint collaborative research that addresses issues of primary concern to the agencies. Thus, rather than research done on an ad hoc basis by individual researchers pursuing their own research interest, this model would work with the leadership of an agency and key personnel to identify critical challenges and tailor research to address the critical questions they face. This model is being used by leading business and governmental research centres at Duke, Harvard, MIT, London School of Economics, etc. They tend to operate along similar research methodologies such as practitioner research, action research, behavioral economics, etc. To our knowledge no one within mission, development or ministry is approaching research in this manner, so it offers a real opportunity to break new ground.
On the family front, we had a joyous Christmas reunion in Oxford. Though Tom was hobbling around on his cane after having had partial knee replacement in December, it was good to have the family all together this Christmas. Joe and Paul continue with their work in North Carolina and Emma is now in her second year at Durham University. Judy has been putting her study in spiritual direction to good use working with women in our local church. Her current project is developing an “empty nesters” course that will help women to transition their lives and service now that their children have matured and moved out of the home.
Finally, we are thankful for your prayers and financial support. We simply could not accomplish what we have been called to do without your upholding of us. Certainly, the challenges haven’t diminished, but have grown in light of the vision that has been given to us. Nonetheless, we are confident that the one who has brought us safe thus far will accomplish his work in and through us.
Tom, Judy, Joe, Paul and Emma
Address: 25 Hayfield Road
Oxford OX2 6TX England
Tom’s e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Judy’s e-mail: email@example.com
(or use the links below)
The 2013 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 278
Read more about Tom and Judy Harvey's ministry
How to support the Harveys
Individuals may direct their contributions to one or both of the ECO (Extra Commitment Opportunity) accounts that support our work:
For salary and living support write the ECO number (E200358) on the subject line with our name (or use the link above to donate online).
For program support, for Oxford Center for Mission Studies, write the ECO number E052057 on the subject line of the check and our name (or use the link above to donate online).
All ECO checks should be sent to:
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Individual Remittance Processing
P.O. Box 643700
Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700