Dr. Winter Communicates His Concerns

The faculty of Fuller Theological Seminary’s School of World Mission (SWM) were quite a community together when Dr. Ralph Winter was there in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They respected each other for the knowledge each one had and their common goal was to educate students in order that they would participate in the Great Commission after graduation in whatever capacity God called them. These professors’ offices were in a building that was originally a house, and there was a common room in the middle of the offices so that they were bound to see one another in this common room when they were going to and from their offices. They all got together for a meeting at least once a week to discuss SWM matters, and they enjoyed interacting with their students inside and outside of the classroom.

On September 25, 1972, Dr. Winter wrote a note to the SWM faculty about topics that he believed needed to be discussed on Friday, four days later. He mentions a problem he has talked about preliminarily with Arthur Glasser and Alan Tippett and it is that there are numerous books like Tippett’s Bibliography for Cross Cultural Workers, Donald McGavran’s Crucial Issues and Peter Wagner’s Church/Mission Tensions Today which conceivably no class will use extensively because the professor does not require the students to read these texts. Winter says, “If I…knew that the students had these books, I would assign certain chapters as required readings which at the present I am unable to do.” The Evangelical Missions Quarterly bound volumes are another favorite of his. He asks should missiologists not own books with chapters which SWM’s faculty have written? The Church Growth Bulletins promoted by McGavran would also be useful in the classroom. He assures his colleagues he is not only referring to books published by the publishing company Winter started known as William Carey Library.   He just thinks the SWM students ought to leave equipped with a basic missiological library and it is the faculty’s jobs to make sure various books do not slip between the courses.

Dr. Winter also believes the SWM needs a weekly all-school bulletin. He writes, “If…any one of us announces anything in any of our classes that is intended for the whole school[’]s consumption, some of the students and most of the faculty will inevitably miss out, even if it is announced verbally at a convocation of the SWM.” Winter thinks the all-school bulletin would be the solution to any lack of communication within SWM. It does not have to be long—just a one-sided page would suffice most of the time. What does he mean to go in this bulletin? Examples he offers are wives’ meetings, a slide-making camera copying set-up being available, general instructions on term paper formats that apply to all classes, convocation speakers, and joys and concerns for prayer.

                                     The Catalyst at Fuller

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