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Missionaries from everywhere to everywhere: A delphi study to identify the emerging roles of United States missionaries in the majority world

The geographic center of Christianity has shifted from the West. Countries once receiving missionaries are sending their own. What should be the roles of United States (US) missionaries serving in these countries? The current study identified the emerging roles of US missionaries serving in the Majority World through utilization of the Delphi method for consensus. The Majority World referred to Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The non-Majority World referred to countries outside Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

The first of a four-round online survey administered via SurveyMonkey© asked two panels of mission leaders—Majority World and non-Majority World—to list emerging roles of US missionaries serving in the Majority World. Each of the successive three rounds built upon comments and ratings from the previous round. By the end of four rounds, 72 Majority World panelists identified 15 roles, and 117 non-Majority World panelists identified 10 roles. Six roles that reached consensus in both panels were friend, intercessor, learner, listener, servant, and translator of the Bible. The current study also examined the similarities and differences between the views of mission leaders from the Majority World and the non-Majority World. In addition to rating roles in Rounds 2, 3, and 4, leaders listed the top five roles for the future and offered advice in round 4. Learn, serve, and listen were the most commonly used.

Hatley, Karen A.. Dallas Baptist University, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2015. 3716287.

Dr. Karen Hatley is Professor of Missional Leadership, Collaboration & Networking Specialist in the Department of Organizational Leadership in the School of Missional Practice at Missional University. Her academic credentials include a B.S. in Education, Southwest Texas State University (USA); M.Div. in Missions & World Christianity, Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University (USA); and a PhD in Leadership Studies with a Specialization in Ministry, Dallas Baptist University (USA).

Link to the Dissertation.

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