Martin Rodriguez sits down with Craig Van Gelder, professor emeritus of congregational mission at Luther Seminary. They discuss his experiences as a North American missiologist and church consultant who has made major contributions to missional ecclesiology, especially in the areas of cultural analysis, missional imagination, and pneumatology.
Craig Van Gelder served as tenured professor of congregational mission at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN, having taken this position in 1998 following ten years as professor of domestic missiology at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, MI. Ordained as a minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 1984 and the Christian Reformed Church in 1990, Van Gelder combines a practical and academic interest in helping congregations engage in mission. Much of his practical interest stems from working as a consultant for over two decades in assisting congregations in strategic planning and processes of organizational change. He continues to engage in some consulting work in addition to his teaching responsibilities.
He is a member of the American Society of Missiology, the Gospel and Our Culture Network, the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, and the Urban Affairs Association.
After earning a BA from Georgia State University in 1970, Van Gelder received an MDiv degree from Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, MS, in 1978. He holds a PhD in missions from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (1982) and a PhD in administration in urban affairs from the University of Texas at Arlington (1985).
He has authored, coauthored, contributed to, and edited numerous volumes, including Participating in God's Mission: A Theological Missiology for the Church in America (2018), The Missional Church in Perspective: Mapping Trends and Shaping the Conversation (2011), The Ministry of the Missional Church: A Community Led by the Spirit (2007), The Essence of the Church: A Community Created by the Spirit (2000), Confident Witness-Changing World: Rediscovering the Gospel in North America (1999), is a contributing author of Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America (1998), and of The Church Between Gospel and Culture: The Emerging Mission in North America (1996).