For AU School of Theology students, Dr. Robert Langat of Kenya hopes to shine a new light on perceptions of missions work.
During his year-long residency at AU, Langat will teach three classes: African Religion and Culture, History of Missions and Biblical Theology of Poverty. In addition to teaching, he will offer two public lectures: "Understanding Leadership in a Culture Not Our Own" and "Theology of the Poor."
With one semester already under his belt at AU, Langat is enthusiastic about interacting with students. "I ask them to compare African and American culture and then ask them what they learned," he said.
He hopes that his classes will illuminate new perspectives about the role of missions for seminary students. "I hope that the History of Missions class will help students know how to do it better. They don't want to make mistakes that have already been made. Historically, many have condemned culture without considering what is Christian and what is cultural," Langat said. "There is a new way to do missions work: Partnership. Missionaries must understand the culture they are in."
Many students are anticipating Dr. Langat's class, Biblical Theology of Poverty. According to Dr. Langat, the course will explore the relationship between God, people and property from a biblical standpoint. "All material things were created by God. However, God did not want people to be poor. The idea of property was created by people. However, there is a distinction between theology of poverty and the prosperity gospel."
Dr. Langat came to AU through a relationship with a former SOT student who visited Kenya and stayed at their house for several weeks. Through this relationship Dr. Langat became connected to AU. "I got invited by Dr. Sebastian to be a professor in residence," he explained. "I am happy to be here. My colleagues are well informed. During our discussions we share our experiences and share our culture as we sit around the table."
—David Hynds is the Web Content Specialist for Anderson University.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,750 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the fourth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.