Vulnerable Mission Conference 2012

2012 Conference announcement     (click here to register for the conference)  


2012 Vulnerable Mission conference to be held at Abilene Christian University, Texas, March 7th to 10th.  Click here for: (Satellite conference, Cliff College, Derbyshire, UK, March 21st 2012).  See the call for papers and the call for seminar leaders below.


Conference purpose


Global Conference on Vulnerable Mission

Post-colonial mission and development at depth without dependency

The AVM (Alliance for Vulnerable Mission) sees vulnerability in mission as a good thing. It advocates that the ministry activities of some missionaries or development workers should be economically dependent on those in the country being reached. Also – that some foreigners use the language of the locals instead of the other way around. In one fell swoop, that would get rid of much of the neo-colonial mission practice that is so pervasive today. Please come and join us to pray, think, talk and explore some more … .


Call for Conference Papers


ACU (Abilene Christian University) together with AVM (Alliance for Vulnerable Mission) are jointly arranging a conference to be held 7th to 10th March 2012 at ACU. The convenors of this conference are looking for writers to contribute academic papers, with a view subsequently to incorporating these into a publication that will emerge from the conference.


Papers may be between 3,000 and 8,000 words in length. Formatting should follow the style used by Missiology ( ). Writers will be assessed on the suitability of their papers for presentation at the conference, and then through a blind peer review process for suitability for subsequent publication. Versions of the papers to be presented orally at the conference will need to be adapted to fit into limited presentation time.


Papers to be submitted are expected to focus on the advantages of either use of indigenous languages in mission and development, or the advantages accruing from the use of indigenous resources in mission and development, or both. The following may be submitted:


•  Original articles in basic and applied research.

•  Case studies.

•  Critical reviews, surveys, opinions, commentaries and essays.


Please send proposed papers to Deadline for completed papers 7th February 2012.



Call for Conference Seminar Leaders


We will need people to lead some of the seminars / workshops at the 2012 conference. Please let Fiona Adams know ( if you would like to lead one of the sessions. The working-list of titles for the sessions is as follows:

Seminars on books/videos

    • “When Helping Hurts” (book by Brian Fikkert)
    • “Cross-Cultural Partnerships: Navigating the Complexities of Money and Mission” (book by Mary Lederleitner)
    • “God the Real Superpower” (book by Nelson Jennings)
    • Examples of VM by Indians and Ugandans (videos)


    Seminars on VM contexts

    • Encouraging VM in mission agencies—what if the system is anti-VM?
    • Encouraging VM in universities and mission training centers; advising young or potential VMers
    • VM vs. short-term mission? Communicating VM in local churches
    • Married VMers and families.


    Theoretical issues

    • A biblical case for VM.
    • Definition of VM—just the old dependency debate?
    • The linguistics of untranslatability.
    • Prophetic VM – where will we be in 10 years?


(click here to register for the conference)  

More information on the conference:

Conference title: Global Conference on Vulnerable Mission

Conference subtitle: Post-colonial mission and development at depth without dependency

Dates: Wednesday March 7th to Saturday March 10th2012.

Location: Abilene Christian University, Abilene, Texas, url:

Cost:  $100 per person – covers all meals. After 7th Feb. – $120.

For student discount contact:

Programme: mornings will be focused on the more academic / theoretical side of the questions addressed by AVM. The afternoons will be more practical and participatory. We are now looking for people who will prepare to share papers in the mornings (with a view to subsequent publication) and to lead seminars and workshops that are to be held in the afternoons.

For more information:   (click here to register for the conference)  

On the Texas conference contact the administrative coordinator for the Halbert Institute for Missions Deborah Niccum as follows:

work phone        325-674-3711
work fax        325-674-6716
address: Halbert Institute for Mission
ACU Box 29433
Onstead-Packer Building
Abilene TX 79699-9433
United States


Click here for : (Satellite conference, Cliff College, Derbyshire, UK, March 21st 2012).

Speakers at the AVM conference are to include:

Kent Smith from Abilene Christian University (,
Paul DeNui (North Park Sem. (, talking about an indigenous church planting movement in NE Thailand),
Paul Yin (whose book is about Paul and weakness in mission),
Robert Reese from Mid Atlantic Christian University whose book is entitled Roots and remedies of the dependency syndrom in world missions.
Woodrow Walton, long time missionary and scholar with the Assemblies of God.
Jean Johnson who encourages Christians and missionaries to avoid dependency in their ministries, working with World Mission Associates.
Stan Nussbaum, executive board member of the Alliance for Vulnerable Mission
Jim Harries, chairman of the Alliance for Vulnerable Mission
Chris Flanders, director of the Halbert Institute for Missions
Steve Skuce, academic dean, Cliff College, UK.

And others.