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John Hull’s teaching in the Queen’s Foundation is mainly to do with missiology and prophetic ministry. Missiology includes the biblical basis of the Christian mission, its history and present developments. The module ‘Introduction to Christian Mission’ is taught to first-year students in the Autumn term, and is organised around the Five Marks of Mission recognised by the Anglican Communion. Similar material is taught in the weekend course ‘Mission and Ministry’, which is the second year of a three-year training programme.

The other main area of teaching has to do with social justice, for which we use the expression Prophetic Church. The concept and its implementation at Queen's are explained below.

Queen's Foundation campus Birmingham
The Queen's Foundation
The following reports are on activities at Queen's which have been arranged as practical examples of this. They will open as Word documents:

15/02/10:  The Queen’s Community Blockades Aldermaston
20/03/09:  Procession of Grief for the Iraq War
28/11/08:  Alternative Christmas Carols
17/10/08:  Lamentation at Aldermaston
19/03/08:  Lamentation for the Iraq War
10/06/07:  Pilgrimage to Faslane Naval Base

Training for a Prophetic Church

The Anglican Communion and the Methodist Church recognize Five Marks of Christian Mission:

  1. To proclaim the good news of the Kingdom
  2. To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
  3. To respond to human need by loving service
  4. To seek to transform unjust structures of society
  5. To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and to sustain the life of the earth

Most Christian congregations respond readily to the first three Marks, but Marks Four and Five, which relate particularly to the modern world, can easily be overlooked. Nevertheless, all five Marks are essential for a faithful response by the church to the mission of God.

In order to provide for the full range of preparation for mission, The Queen's Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education in Birmingham has created a Prophetic Church Committee, which has the task of encouraging Marks Four and Five, resisting the unjust structures and caring for the environment.

Prophetic ministry may refer to several aspects of discipleship. It can be mainly futuristic looking to the fulfilment of biblical prophesy; it can also refer to the ministry of deliverance and counselling for individuals. There is a third meaning of prophesy: the questioning and criticism of the nations and of the surrounding society in the name of the God of justice and peace. Up to a point, prophetic actions of this kind are more or less equivalent to acts of social justice, but may be wider or deeper than these.

The advantage of describing actions for social justice as prophetic is that it links such actions with the tradition of the biblical prophets and particularly with the ministry of Jesus, the prophet mighty in word and deed, who was more than a prophet. The prophets saw deeply into contemporary affairs. They saw what to most people was hidden. They spoke out when most people were indifferent. Prophetic actions of this kind may also be an effective form of evangelism. In other words, Marks Four and Five can contribute to the second mark, the making of Christian disciples.

In order to offer experiences of prophetic ministry to members of the Queen’s community, a Prophetic Church Committee was created in the Spring Term 2008, chaired by John Hull. Although part of the Centre for Ministerial Formation, the Committee and its activities are open to all members of the community. A number of activities have been organised under the general direction of the Committee, and there are links to reports on some these above.

Students may also opt for the module ‘Studies in Prophetic Ministry’. This is a project module which involves the student in carrying out some aspect of prophetic ministry, or by carefully studying an action carried out by others. The student writes a report and is orally examined. In the year 2010-11 the students undertaking this module carried out a survey of fairly-traded coffee and tea in the shopping streets nearest to the Foundation.

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