Missional Church

BA (Hons) in Theology - Year 1
COURSE UNIT 153 - 8153


This unit provides the theological foundations for a missional ecclesiology and explores contextualised expressions of mission in various shapes of contemporary church.  The missiological significance and potential of both inherited and emerging churches is explored, and emphasis is placed on critically evaluating these.  Consideration is given to building missional churches in a range of settings, including urban, rural and cross-cultural environments, and the dynamics of both large and small mission-shaped churches are discussed.  Throughout the unit students are encouraged to reflect theologically and critically on the models.


Most lectures involve contributions by visiting practitioners sharing from their experience of mission in various contexts in contemporary Britain; digital accounts of practitioner contributions are included on the online version.


To deepen understanding of missional ecclesiology and help students imagine how this might be interpreted and applied in a variety of contexts.


Category of outcome

By the end of this unit students should be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

·      Summarise contemporary thinking about the development of missional or ‘mission-shaped’ churches

Intellectual skills

·      Explain and defend a missional ecclesiology

Practical and Transferable skills; Personal qualities

·      Evaluate and appreciate contributions from a variety of visiting speakers


Assessment task


Weighting within unit



500 words

1500 words




·         153:

·         8153:

A written evaluation

An essay



2000 words

2000 words





·         153:

·         8153:

An essay

An essay

and a learning journal*


* Distance learning students are required to pass this element. So long as this element has been passed, they will be eligible for compensation if the overall unit mark is within the compensation zone (30-39%), and the compensatable credit allowance as set out in the Degree Regulations has not been exceeded.




2 (for 153)

Available on which programme(s)?

BA in Theology


1.    Mission and the local church

2.    Worship and mission

3.    Discipleship and mission

4.    Mission in contemporary Britain

5.    Mission in the local context

6.    Anglican/Methodist/URC Mission-Shaped Church initiative

7.    Mission in an urban context

8.    Organising for mission

9.    Whose mission?

10.  Mission and the occasional offices

11.  Mission and leadership    

Teaching method

Interactive lectures (8153 Distance learning)

Additional eLearning content

Unit materials are available at Spurgeon’s Online to support student learning


Written feedback within 15 working days from submission

Date of approval (for office use)


Information updated on

December 2015

Indicative reading

Cray, Graham et al, Mission-Shaped Church (London: Church House Publishing, 2004)

Cray, Graham, Disciples & Citizens (Nottingham, IVP, 2007)

Frost, Michael, The Road to Missional (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2011)

Guder Darrell L. (ed.), Missional Church (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998)

Hammond, Kim, & Darren Cronshaw, Sentness: Six Postures of Missional Christians (Downers Grove: Inter-Varsity Press,US, 2014)

Roxburgh, Alan J. & M. Scott Boren, Introducing the Missional Church (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2009)

Roxburgh, Alan J., Missional: joining God in the neighborhood (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2011)

Roxburgh, Alan J., Missionary Congregation, Leadership & Liminality (Pennsylvania: Trinity, 1997)

Standing, Roger, ‘As A Fire By Burning …: Mission as the Life of the Local Congregation, (London: SCM, 2013)

Van Gelder, Craig, The Ministry of the Missional Church (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2007)

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Missional Church

BA (Hons) in Theology - Year 1
Course Unit 153 - 8153





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Dr Roger Standing

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