During the period 2012-2019 CWM will focus on four priority areas:

  • Deepening Partnership – developing partnership in mission with members and ecumenical partners
  • Research and Reflection – developing resources and educational opportunities for mission
  • Solidarity and prophetic witness – as an essential element of being God’s people in the world
  • Developing missional congregations – this is the hub of CWM’s work which the previous three programmes serve

Each Region of CWM will develop the CWM mission programme as a regional programme reflecting the Regional contexts. From 2013-2017 the European Region will focus on:

  • Missional congregations – exploring the nature of missional congregations in a range of contexts; worship as an expression of affirming life and hope; supporting members in their mission programmes.
  • Missional leaders – explore what missional leadership is required for missional congregations; work with theological institutions to develop resources and shape an annual mission event.
  • Youth programme – part of the missional leaders programme CWM Europe will develop short and long term programmes for young people including summer programmes; the Mission House Amstelrank in Amsterdam and internship opportunities.
Online applications are now open for those of you who are interested in progressing in your theological studies and undertaking a Master of Theology at the Protestant Theological University in the Netherlands. Together with the Protestants Church in the Netherlands and the Protestant Theological University, CWM would like to encourage all eager theologians to take advantage of this opportunity and apply for the new 2018/2019 academic year. The Master of Theology consists of four different tracks, one of which you must choose before beginning the course. If you are interested in enrolling for the 2018-2019 academic year, starting in September 2018, please click here for the application form. If you are part of a CWM Member church, you are also able to apply through the CWM Special Academic Accompaniment Programme (SAAP). For any queries on how you can apply this way, please speak to your member church or contact CWM Empowerment and Training team. The application deadline for non-EU students was 1 April 2018. Applications for non-EU students are now CLOSED. Application deadline for EU students is 1 May 2018.

Freedom from the clutches of Empire: Face to Face with Migration and Human Trafficking.

Face to Face with Migration and Human Trafficking is one of the contexts for the Face to Face programme.  The programme seeks to challenge participants to engage with the realities of how the fullness of life is being denied to a large majority of the world’s population, through the lens of migration and human trafficking.  The programme exposes participants to a context other than their own to stimulate theological reflection, encourage sensitivity to people of other cultures and motivate people to engage in mission. Such exposure might be used to:

  • – Enlarge the horizons of theological understanding of the participant
  • – Experience contextual realities of different communities
  • – Equip someone for multicultural ministry
  • – Explore mission in the context of Empire

At the beginning of June, 2017, 9 participants from around the world arrived in the UK to commence the 6 week Face to Face programme. The participants came from India, Jamaica, Kiribati, Madagascar, Philippines, South Africa, South Korea and Zambia.

During the 6 week period, they had two placement periods whereby they worked alongside churches and voluntary organisations that support and care for migrants and people who may experience trafficking.  They were given placements all across the UK in Blackburn, Cardiff, Colchester, Darwen, Newcastle, Penrhys, Pontypridd,  Sheffield and Southend.

For many of the participants, this was a first time experience working with refugees and victims of human trafficking. Through daily journals and a final presentation, participants were given the ability to reflect on their experiences and how it influenced their theological reflections. This was an important aspect of the programme as it gave CWM facilitators a chance to understand how the participants engaged with the individuals and tasks they faced on their placements.

Overall, at the end of the 6 weeks, many participants felt that the Face to Face programme had not only challenged their views on the world and empire, but also made life changing affects on their personal lives.


What is Missional Leadership?

Enabling member churches to missional congregations inevitably raises questions of what kinds of leadership are needed to grow and nurture missional congregations and how are these leaders formed and resourced themselves. This has led to the development of programmes to focus on developing and encouraging missional leadership.

CWM has supported member churches in exploring future shapes of Christian leadership with a workshop that explored patterns of leadership in the Bible, the world church and business. This supported member churches in considering issues of leadership, how Christian leaders are formed, deployed and supported. Consequently, member churches have begun to explore different leadership styles and ways of equipping leaders.

A workshop called “Mission Shaped Church: Mission Shaped Leaders” supported member churches in thinking about how mission shaped spirituality is foundational to mission shaped churches and inspires and informs mission shaped leaders. Mission shaped spiritualties are at the heart of missional congregations and leadership.

In 2016 CWM will deliver a programme exploring “Mission in Secular Contexts” in partnership with ecumenical partners. Exploring what is secularism and the challenges and opportunities it presents for Christian mission.

Also in 2016 CWM will co-host a consultation “Re-imagining Protestantism” which will take place in Wittenberg, Germany. The consultation will look at the need to re-imaging and reform Protestantism for our contemporary mission contexts and that this reform is in keeping with the intention of the Reformation(s) to continually reform the church for mission.

Elwyn Richards from the Presbyterian Church of Wales explores Missional Leadership and Missional Church and how we might equip missional leaders:

Michal Volland from the Church of England explores Missional Leadership:

CWM recognises the vital role of local congregations as the primary agent in mission. The role of CWM is to equip member churches to enable local missional congregations – that is local congregations that have mission as their primary focus.

Missional congregations include the following elements:

  • Exploring the nature of missional congregations in a range of contexts
  • Encouraging conversations about worship as expressions of hope and life in all its fullness
  • Holding the Hearing God’s Cry programme with member churches to explore missional congregations
  • Accompanying member churches in their mission programmes
  • Developing Member Mission Forums as a means of enabling and equipping members.

What is a Missional Congregation?

At the Council for World Mission (CWM) we talk a lot about Missional congregations and mission shaped church, but what does it all mean?

Over the past few years, extensive efforts have been made to put together a definition of a Missional congregation or community that can be easily recognised and worked towards. For CWM, the terms Missional congregations and mission shaped church are used interchangeably to mean the same thing.

Drawing on the work of our members CWM has created the following definition of a Missional Congregation:

A Missional congregation:

Lives a spirituality of engagement, that is reflected in its worship, and in the nurture and support of its members

Is attuned to the communities in which it is set and alert to the needs of the world, so that it is willing to stand alongside and speak out with those who are suffering or are marginalised

Does not work alone, being in active partnership with other groups who share similar concerns

Is a learning community, with its members taking seriously their reading of the Bible and their reflection on their experience, both as individuals and as a community.

All of which leads the congregation to be a community of transformation, manifesting the reign of God in its midst as lives are made new and justice is realised for those who have been denied fullness of life. (CWM, 2013)

We asked two European member church practitioners what mission shaped church looks like for them:

Barbara Bridges, Congregational Federation

Janet Sutton Webb, United Reformed Church

We also asked what the denominations that make up the European membership could do to support these Missional congregations:

Craig Bowman, United Reformed Church

St Ives Free Church

CWM believes in equipping and enabling young people to participate in God’s mission not as objects of mission but as full partners and participants.  CWM has an active and exciting range of opportunities open to young people that encourage full participation in the life of CWM and also develop young people’s involvement in God’s mission.

Training in Mission (TIM)

The Training in Mission (TIM) programme brings together a group of 10-12 young people from the churches and ecumenical partners for 10 months of intensive mission training. TIM uses an action-reflection model of learning that broadens experience, understanding and perspectives in mission, self awareness and spirituality.

Training in Mission participants should be at least 18 to 30 years old at the start of the programme, single and not an ordained minister. Participant must be able to spend ten (10) months away from home; interested in exploring mission issues in an international and multicultural context; able to relate well with others and mature enough to cope with stress; and committed to sharing experiences upon returning home. Experience in project work through voluntary or paid involvement in church programmes or with secular NGOs is also an advantage. Ideally, the participant must have completed high school and preferably other further training. English proficiency is an advantage, as this is the language of communication in the programme.

Face to Face

Face to Face is a programme of intense theological, sociological and contextual exposure and engagement. It challenges participants to engage with the realities of how the fullness of life is being denied to a large majority of the world’s population. It seeks not only expose but also to engage participants in cultural, social, theological and contextual realities so that they may grapple with and be motivated by the world around them. The programme is challenging as well as socially and theologically transformative for all participants. This programme exposes students to a context other than their own to stimulate theological reflection, encourage sensitivity to people of other cultures and motivate people to engage in mission. Such exposure might be used to:

  • – Enlarge the horizons of theological understanding of the participant
  • – Experience contextual realities of different communities
  • – Equip someone for multicultural ministry
  • – Explore Mission in the context of Empire

Participants from around the world gather in one of the three (3) Face to Face locations for a total of seven to eight weeks. They are being exposed to the context, hear and witness the narratives of the people, encounter diverse theologies, histories, societies, social realities and personal stories. They will be required to reflect both practically and in writing on their Face to Face journey.

Regional Youth Forum

CWM are committed to including young people in its programme but also in ensuring the voices of young people are heard in the CWM structures.  In 2018 CWM will hold a Regional Youth Forum which will bring together young people from all the CWM member churches and ecumenical partners to explore mission in a global context.
If you are interested in any of these opportunities or would like further information, do please contact the CWM(UK) offices using the contacts page.