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Home News Research in the Spotlight. The work of Associate Professor Darrell Jackson.

Research in the Spotlight. The work of Associate Professor Darrell Jackson.

14 Jul 2023

Whitley’s Associate Professor Darrell Jackson is driven by his commitment to the global Baptist movement. This is evidenced by his service to the Baptist Word Alliance through its Commission for Mission.

The Commission for Mission aims to nurture a passionate commitment to Gospel witness within the BWA and among Baptists worldwide. It works to identify, discuss, and share available insights of the ever-deepening understandings of the mission of the church in the world today in obedience to the Word of God. It also assists the BWA and Baptists worldwide in embracing partnerships for mission, including in church planting and disciple-making, within every context and among every people group. 

The BWA Commissions have a five-year cycle and Darrell is currently in his third term of service. In his current cycle, Darrell has been working with national leaders from the Canadian, Australian, and British mission movements to identify how Global Baptist mission has been shaped and dominated by western movements over the last 400 years.

Discussions are particularly focussed on the BWA’s increasing responsiveness to the growth of churches in the global south, the presence of diaspora Baptists around the world and how western mission movements no longer serve.

At the recent Baptist World Alliance’s 2023 seminar in Birmingham, Alabama, Darrell drafted and presented the ‘Many places, many voices: towards a polycentric and polyvocal missiology’ position paper. He also delivered initial research findings and a case study.

Later this year, Darrell is offering the main plenary missiological inputs at the 2023 meeting of the Baptist World Alliance in Stavanger, Norway. Here he will challenge Baptists globally to adopt practices in mission that are more authentically ‘polycentric and polyvocal’.

While completing his important work, Darrell has enjoyed the research support of Dr Titus Olorunnisola, whose research activity is part-funded by research grants from the University of Divinity and Baptist Mission Australia.

Asked about his hopes for the program, Assoc Professor Jackson says, ‘This research anticipates a more equitable future, by offering global voices an authoritative place at the table of mission operations and governance. We’re striving to be free of the constraints of the colonial legacy of mission and western missiologists, and like me, we might need help to learn how to be more faithful to the witness, service, and discipleship that characterises the ministry of Jesus. This is a moment to reimagine the notion of “Mission from everywhere to everywhere”.’

Darrell features in three short videos that introduce and explain the reasons for these new ways of framing mission practices, and you can see two of them here:

Discovering support for Baptists engaged in polyvocal approaches in mission. 

The Biblical inspiration for polycentric approaches in mission.