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GBHEM Publishes the Papers Presented at the Oxford Institute Focused on Wesleyan Communities and the World Beyond Christianity

July 30, 2018

Oxford institute-Campbell Book Cover

The Publishing Office of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM), the leadership development agency of The United Methodist Church, announced the release of a new book “Wesleyan Communities and the World Beyond Christianity,” Ted A. Campbell, general editor. The book showcases the plenary papers from the 13th Oxford Institute of Methodist Theological Studies. 

The 2013 Oxford Institute met at Christ Church, Oxford, in 2013, to explore the theme “Wesleyan Communities and the World Beyond Christianity.” The Institute organizers were intentional to include engagement with governments and nongovernmental organizations, as well as interactions with individuals and communities who do not explicitly profess Christian faith. 

“This book explores a range of perspectives presented at the 13th Oxford Institute that help us to take an in-depth look at our Wesleyan heritage while enriching our church with knowledge and understanding of communities outside of our own,” said Mark Hanshaw, J.D., Ph.D., associate general secretary, Division of Higher Education, GBHEM. “Understanding the past as well as examining how our church engages with other religious communities and organizations outside of faith communities, in the present and future, is vital to our work to make disciples for the transformation of the world.”

Campbell, professor of Church History at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, is the author of “Encoding Methodism: Telling and Re-Telling Narratives of Wesleyan Origins.” Additional information on Campbell and his work are available at 

Contributors to the book include Cheryl B. Anderson, Ted A. Campbell, William Gibson, Rui de Souza Josgrilberg, Beauty Maenzanise. and Stephen Skuce.

“Wesleyan Communities and the World Beyond Christianity” has received praise from across the Methodist Connection. “This is a timely book especially for us who live in the borderlands, whose lives are perpetually shaped by Christian and non-Christian realities, for this book speaks to multiple realities, the past, the present, and the future. A thorough reading of the book helps one realize that ‘the past is not another country’ but permeates into our everyday lives. The issues at stake for those in the border lands include engagement with people of other faiths, worship in the African context, Prosperity Gospel, living with HIV and AIDS in Africa, and the integrity of creation, including the question of the history of the super powers are all engaged in this book. The writers provide a framework of how Methodism has engaged realities of the world beyond Christianity and by so doing became transformed by that world,” said Rev. Dr. Jimmy Dube, general secretary, Methodist Church in Zimbabwe.  

“How do Christians engage the world around them? This volume provides a glimpse into a global conversation on this topic that took place as Methodists gathered for the 13th Oxford Institute. This book helps Methodists bring their theological insights to bear on questions that matter for all, especially those who do not share our tradition and faith. Methodists who want to think about the world as our parish need to read this book,” said Sarah Heaner Lancaster, Ph.D., professor of Theology, Methodist Theological School in Ohio. 

“Wesleyan Communities and the World Beyond Christianity” is available at and For more information about GBHEM’s Publishing Office, visit or follow @GBHEMPublishing on Facebook. 

Wesley’s Foundery Books is an imprint of GBHEM. Foundery books are clearly and accessibly written by Methodist/Wesleyan experts, with an emphasis on church life and ministry. Representing the rich diversity of the church, Wesley’s Foundery Books offer a disciplined and balanced approach.

About GBHEM: As the leadership development agency of The United Methodist Church, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s mission is to build capacity for United Methodist lay and clergy leaders to discover, claim and flourish in Christ’s calling in their lives, by creating connections and providing resources to aid in recruitment, education, professional development and spiritual formation. Every elder, deacon and licensed local pastor benefits from our training and candidacy programs. Many young adults find help in clarifying their vocation and God’s call in their lives through our leadership and discernment programs. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: @GBHEM.