Wilbert R. Shenk

Senior Professor of Mission History and Contemporary CultureSchool of Intercultural Studies

Contact Information
BA, Goshen College
MA, University of Oregon
PhD, University of Aberdeen

Wilbert Shenk joined the School of Intercultural Studies faculty in 1995. He has previous experience as director of the Mission Training Center and associate professor of mission at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary (1990–95); director of the Overseas Ministries Division of the Mennonite Board of Missions (1965–90); and a teacher in Indonesia (1955–59).

Among Shenk’s more recent publications are North American Foreign Missions, 1810–1914: Theology, Theory, and Policy (2004), Enlarging the Story: Perspectives on Writing World Christian History (2002), By Faith They Went Out: Mennonite Missions, 1850–1999 (2000), and Changing Frontiers of Mission (1999). He was a consulting editor of the Dictionary of Mission Theology: Evangelical Foundations (2007) and the History of the American Society of Missiology, 1973–2013 (2014). In 2006, Evangelical, Ecumenical, and Anabaptist Missiologies in Conversation, edited by James R. Krabill, Walter Sawatsky, and Charles E. Van Engen, was published in Shenk’s honor.

Shenk is a founding member of the American Society of Missiology and served as its secretary-treasurer (1988–89) and president (1995). He is also a member of the International Association for Mission Studies. Shenk coordinated the Missiology of Western Culture Project (1992–98) and was North American coordinator, North Atlantic Missiology Project/Currents in World Christianity (1994–2000). Additionally, Shenk convened the consultation sponsored by Fuller Theological Seminary in 1998 on the topic “Toward a Global Christian History,” with 45 participants from six continents.

Courses Taught

  • MH500: Global Evangelical Movement
  • MH505: Issues in Mission History
  • MH510: The Making of Global Christianity
  • MH701/801: Methods of Historical Research
  • MI510: Thinking Missiologically
  • MP520: Transforming Contemporary Cultures—Macro
  • MP521: Transforming Contemporary Cultures—Micro
  • MP522: Transforming Contemporary Cultures—Mezzo
  • MP891: Theories of Modernity and Postmodernity
  • MT527: Lesslie Newbigin: Theologian of Mission and Ministry
  • MT528: Jesus the Missionary
  • MT529: David Bosch: Missionary Theologian
  • MT530: Contemporary Theologies of Mission
  • MT563: Mission Theology and Anabaptist Perspectives

Areas of Expertise, Research, Writing, and Teaching

Mission history, missiology, mission to contemporary culture

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