E. Stanley Jones Associate Professor of Evangelism
I have three primary goals in teaching evangelism: First, I want my students to expand their views of what evangelism is. The word "evangelism" carries an enormous amount of baggage with it, and for many people that baggage is negative. It is often linked to confrontational and condemning presentations of the Christian faith. I want my students to recognize that evangelism is about good news, and that there are a wide variety of ways to embody that good news.Second, I want my students to claim what evangelism means for them. In my courses I call this "conceptualizing evangelism." This is a particularly important task because it allows students to reclaim the practice of evangelism regardless of the cultural or theological perspectives they hold. While American evangelical theology has long been associated with evangelism, all forms of Christian theology from around the world can be witnesses of the grace of God offered through Jesus Christ. Third, I want my students to be empowered to become evangelists. Constructive theological education is only meaningful if those who undertake it are motivated to do the work of God. Unless my students leave my courses with a desire to share the gospel in whatever way is most authentic to who they are and how they understand God to be active through Jesus Christ, then all the work done in the courses is worth very little. Among my greatest joys is having former students who let me know that they have made use of what we discussed in class and that it is a help to them in ministry.