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UPCOMING EVENTS

THE CITY, ARTS & CHRISTIAN FAITH
June 30 - July 10, 2009
Montréal, Canada

Montréal, considered the North American version of an European city. Steeped in old world architecture, there is no better place to be in the world than Montreal in the summer. Students will be initiated into a critical reflection on three artistic expressions that dominate urban life: jazz, cinema and the fine arts within the Christian traditions. The Montréal International Jazz Festival will be the primary venue for the course.

OVERTURE II: CENTRAL AMERICA
July 13-24, 2009
Costa Rica & Mexico City

This extensive experience will include a connection with holistic, transformational ministries in both countries, fashioned amidst the realities of poverty, oppression, localized political turmoil and geopolitical tensions. This course will combine exposure to those stark realities with the beauty of Tico and Mexican culture, in an unforgettable experience.

PRINCIPLES OF MANAGEMENT
August 13-15, 2009
Seattle, WA

This MBA course provides an advanced overview of the field of management from the perspective of a manager who wishes to be effective and also hold to Judeo-Christian principles as they apply in the marketplace. The values implicit in different management approaches will be evaluated in light of Scripture.

OLD TESTAMENT THEOLOGY
October 2-4, 2009
Seattle, WA

Walk through the Old Testament while exploring through the lens of intentional global and contextual reading. You will wrestle with ancient themes and seek to build a hermeneutical bridge to your own context of ministry. Themes to be treated include God, creation, redemption, promise, covenant, people and the land.

You can register by clicking this link, or contact Shirley Akers (800-935-4723 or shirleya@bgu.edu) for more information.

INNOVATIVE RESOURCE

The Blessing of Africa

The Blessing of Africa: The Bible and African Christianity
by Keith Burton

helps us to see that all roads do not lead to Rome. Keith traces the story of biblical Africa and the place of the Bible in the land of Ham. Beginning with the Old Testament, he explores the geography of biblical Africa and moves beyond stereotypical discussions of African ethnicity and identity. He then chronicles the African presence in the church from the New Testament onward, paying particular attention to the growth of Islam in Africa as well as the impact of European colonialism and the slave trade. Coming to the modern era, he examines the achievements of African Christianity and visionary efforts to adapt and reclaim Christianity for the African context.

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    May 2009

    FOUR-CENTURY-OLD STALEMATE IN AFRICA 
    For centuries, Islam has attempted to move southward on the continent of Africa. In spite of wars, political upheavals, and massive financial investments, the spread of Islam has remained stalled for 400 years just south of the Sahara desert and just inland of the eastern coast. The Islamic and Christian worldviews remain deadlocked in front-line nations such as Somalia, Sudan, and Mali. North of this line, wealthy foundations from the Middle East have poured money into colossal mosques, Islamic schools, and economic development. The strategies to reinforce this front line appear to be well-coordinated efforts to use money, impressive buildings, and children's education to shore up the future of Islam in the region.
     
    Map of Africa where Islam and Christianity meetSouth of this line, on the west, is the nation of Nigeria: home to one seventh of the population of Africa. The oil-center city of Lagos, Nigeria, is also home to many US businessmen and engineers. On the east is Nairobi Kenya, a city with the largest concentration of western missionaries and relief agencies in all of Africa. Between Kenya and Nigeria lie the central African nations of Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Rwanda - countries which have experienced genocides, rebel armies, and ethnic cleansing for the past 20 years. Not surprisingly, this is also the region where US churches are pouring in volunteers for short-term mission trips, and where western relief agencies are concentrating their healthcare, refugee relief, and micro-economic development work.
     
    It appears as if God is reinforcing the African front-line from the south with resources from the west. This is not a centrally-planned strategy, but the movement of the Holy Spirit in churches, businesses and governments. Many who supply relief and education probably aren't aware that they have been sent by their Creator to accomplish His purposes in the region. Others are acutely aware of His call.
     
    Among our students at BGU are many of the in-country leaders who regularly host those who come from the west. It is essential that they understand God's call and their great personal responsibility to steward this massive influx of resources for God's purposes. BGU has created a center in Accra, Ghana, which is just south of Nigeria. In Accra this past March, eighteen students from six African countries, two European cities and two opposite coasts in the US gathered together for our first African on-ramp to the Doctor of Ministry degree.
     
    BGU has four permanent venues for Overtures: OVI: Seattle/June, OVII:Central America/July, OVI: Manila/October, and OVII: India/November.
     
    Accra provided a fertile and dramatic backdrop to the focus on "Transformational Leadership for the Global City". The peer learning groups included amazing practitioners and lecturers who delivered incredible content on youth development, women's issues, political involvement, business as mission, and the many different kinds of leadership necessary to seek the well-being of the city.
     
    Students were also able to interact personally with churches and ministries in mega-slums (including one called "Sodom and Gomorrah"), as well as visit and reflect on the impact of the Cape Coast slave embarkation point - where the majority of African slaves passed through the "door of no return" on their way to Britain and the US. This was a moving encounter for all.
     
    Many of our new doctoral students have come from remarkable situations of deprivation and violence, including civil war. But the proof of any experience is what it ignites; and again, the plans that students developed as a result of this Overture 1 were nothing short of remarkable.
  • One student from Sierra Leon is creating a training program for women, involving micro-finance.
  • Another student from New York City is building an organization for lay leaders to embrace transformational ministry in the boroughs.
  • A Nigerian student has resolved to work with street children.

    These are only a few examples! We are so thankful.God is growing something new in Ghana that is beginning to bear fruit around the world.

  •  
    Written by:
    Dr. Brad Smith, President of BGU
    Dr. Randy White, Associate Director of DMin Program and Professor of Urban Studies
    Bakke Graduate University (BGU) is the educational arm of a network assembled over a span of 30 years, around the values and practice of the whole church engaging the whole of culture with the whole gospel. Participants include church, business, government and non-profit leaders in 250 of the world's largest cities. BGU conducts city consultations and training programs, as well as offering accredited doctoral and masters degrees in theology. GlobalScape is an expression of this network.
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