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Tanaw  “Theology is an academic discipline, to be pursued like other disciplines, with rigor; but its sources lie not in the study or the library, but in the nature of Christian life. The mainspring of theology is in the decisions that Christians—all Christians—have to make; simply because they are Christians.”

-Andrew F. Walls, Foreword to Re-Imagining African Christologies ed. Victor Ezigbo (Pickwick, 2010).


OMSC@PTS’s new online certificate program seeks to train a new generation of global scholars and church leaders to better observe and share how God is at work in their particular social and cultural contexts.  The curriculum brings together video lectures, online seminars, personal mentoring, and collaborative workshops to provide participants the tools and support they need to plan and execute their own lived theology projects in a online community of practice and theological reflection.  Participants who complete the requirements of the curriculum will be awarded a certificate in Lived Theology and World Christianity through OMSC and Princeton Theological Seminary’s Office of Continuing Education and Digital Learning.

For the 2024-25 academic year, we are pleased to announce a new initiative within this online certificate program.  Working in collaboration with our global partners, we will be able to offer on-site learning hubs in Ghana (Accra), and the Philippines (Manila).  At each learning hub, a dedicated course instructor will meet in person with a small group of 3-4 participants to discuss the course content and advise on research projects.  Please contact Dr. Easten Law if you have questions about this new opportunity.

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Applications for 2024-25 academic year are now CLOSED


Deadline: June 30, 2024

Acceptance Notifications: August 1, 2024

Time frame of Course: September 9, 2024–June 20, 2025

Participation Cost: $600

(Full scholarships are available for those w/ financial need)


Applications for 2025-26 academic year will open April 1, 2025

This certificate program prioritizes participants from the global south including graduate level students seeking additional training/resources for their research and ministry leaders and practitioners working in congregations, denominational leadership, and/or faith based NGOs seeking to reflect theologically on their contexts to gain new insights into their ministries.  Each year’s cohort is limited to up to ten participants.

This course of study will be delivered fully online and led by Dr. Easten Law, OMSC@PTS’s Assistant Director for Academic Programs. It will take place across an academic school year from September to June in a largely asynchronous format with regular opportunities for synchronous engagement throughout the academic year.  While modules may be completed at your own pace, plan to spend four to five hours a week on this course.  A stable internet connection is necessary to participate.

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Lived theology is an emerging sub-discipline at the intersection of sociological, anthropological, and theological research that seeks to discern and articulate how God is present and engaged in and through the lived experiences of the church.  We believe it is a promising paradigm for the multidisciplinary fields of Mission Studies, World Christianity, and Intercultural Theology.  Curious to learn more?  You can view Dr. Easten Law’s introductory lecture on Lived Theology and World Christianity below.

Lived Theology & Methodology in World Christianity


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Learning Outcomes:

In keeping with OMSC’s legacy, this curriculum and certificate is designed to, first and foremost, engage in God’s mission by amplifying the voices of the world Christian movement.  By the close of this course, students will be able to…

  • … Recognize and understand the basis for the emerging field of lived theology and consider its implications for the study of mission, world Christianity, and intercultural theology.
  • … Experiment with qualitative research methods as a tool for theological reflection and pastoral engagement within their sense of vocation and their ministry/research contexts.
  • … Explore the ways lived theology and its various methods are being adopted in scholarship from different parts of the world.
  • … Reflect on lived theology’s potential for addressing foundational questions of mission and discipleship in the world church.


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Curriculum Structure

This online course of study consists of content units and workshop forums.  Each month, a module and workshop will be released.  The goal of this curriculum is not only to strengthen learning and research but also to build a online community of practice and theological reflection that strengthens the witness of the world church.

Content Units are largely self-guided and asynchronous, which means that much of the work will be completed on your own time. Each unit brings together video lectures with some of the top scholars in practical theology and world Christianity as well as new emerging voices from around the world.  These lectures are paired with a curated set of readings that will introduce the foundations of world Christianity and lived theology. While all readings and video lectures will be completed independently, group discussion boards provide opportunities to discuss the material with one another.  In addition,  synchronous online meetings will be scheduled every two to three months to provide space for face to face conversations.  Unit topics include (but will not be limited to)…

  • What is Lived Theology?
  • What is World Christianity?
  • Qualitative Studies of Living Faith – A Methodological Review
  • Qualitative Research & Theological Construction
  • Majority World Perspectives & Case Studies
  • Ecumenical & Missional Impulses

Each unit features video lectures from prominent scholars and practitioners including…

  • Dr. Pete Ward (Durham University)
  • Dr. Nancy Ammerman (Boston University)
  • Dr. John Swinton (Aberdeen University)
  • Dr. Sabrina Müller (University of Zurich)
  • Dr. Mary Clark Moschella (Yale Divinity School)
  • Dr. Gina Zurlo (Center for the Study of Global Christianity)
  • Dr. Sam George (Wheaton College)
  • …and many more!

Workshop Forums are oriented toward providing space to explore the implications of the content in your own sense of vocation, research, and ministry.  They provide the backdrop from which you will plan and execute their own lived theology projects. Workshop forums consist of three components: (1) active participation in a series of questions posed in the discussion board on the month’s topic, (2) Written assignments that culminate in a small research project that bring together theology and qualitative research, and (3) individual and/or small group coaching with the instructor on a bi-monthly basis.

  • Articulating our Theological Standpoints
  • Discerning Questions & Methods
  • Analyzing of Culture and Contexts
  • Exploring Living Faith in Multiple Contexts
  • Negotiating Living Faith Inwardly & Outwardly
  • Discerning God’s Presence and Theologizing Together.

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Please click on the DONATE button at the top of the page to designate a gift in support of our Digital Curriculum. 

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