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Global Community of Church Leaders to Gather for 'Great Commission Summit' at Concordia University Irvine

Global Community of Church Leaders to Gather for 'Great Commission Summit' at Concordia University Irvine


contact:   Sabrina Suarez, Echo Media Group

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IRVINE, Calif. (May 14, 2015)Concordia University Irvine today announced details for the 2015 Great Commission Summit, a church leadership conference designed to connect, equip and teach pastors and church leaders to be effective ministers of the gospel amid the changing dynamic of global Christianity. Taking place at Concordia University Irvine, June 1-2, the Great Commission Summit aims to create a relational network of church leaders and build an understanding of how the global reach of Christianity can impact individual church communities.

According to the Rev. Bil Hood, Director of Church Relations at Concordia University Irvine, over the last century, the center of gravity in the Christian world has shifted inexorably away from Europe and North America, southward, to Africa and Latin America, and eastward, toward Asia. Additionally, while church attendance in the U.S. is decreasing,the population in the U.S. is growing rapidly through migration. As of 2010,the U.S. had the largest number of international migrants. According to Pew Research, 74 percent of an estimated 42,810,000 immigrants to the U.S. are Christian.

“The church is driven by the Great Commission to make disciples, and Western church leaders have the unique opportunity to learn from the global community about the changing cultural realities that impact religious growth,” said Rev. Hood. “The Great Commission Summit welcomes church leaders to contextualize the principles of global Christianity to their own communities and engage their networks of fellow leaders and their congregations to better understand the impact of local ministry.”


Sessions and Speakers Provide a Global Perspective

The conference keynote will be given by the Rev. Dr. Soong Chan Rah, author and Milton B. Engebretson Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism, Chicago, and Ed Stetzer, executive director of Life Way Research, author and well-known conference and seminar leader residing in Hendersonville, Tennessee.

Rah has extensive experience in cross-cultural preaching and is the author of The Next Evangelicalism: Freeing the Church from Western Cultural Captivity, Many Colors: Cultural Intelligence for a Changing Church and co-editor of Honoring the Generations: Learning with Asian North American Congregations. He also serves on the boards of World Vision, Sojourners, the Christian Community Development Association, Evangelicals 4 Justice and the Catalyst Leadership Center.  He is formerly the founding Senior Pastor of the Cambridge Community Fellowship Church (CCFC), a multi-ethnic, urban ministry-focused church committed to living out the values of racial reconciliation and social justice in the urban context.

    Stetzer has planted, revitalized, and pastored churches, trained pastors and church planters on six continents, holds two masters degrees and two doctorates, and has written dozens of articles and books. He serves as Visiting Professor of Research and Missiology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Visiting Research Professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and has taught at many other colleges and seminaries.

The conference will also bring together a panel of Christian leaders including:

  • Dr. Charles Arand - Concordia Seminary, St. Louis - Confessional Theology and the Global South
  • Mark Whitlock - Christ Our Redeemer AME, Irvine - The Word Becomes Flesh – Pentecostalism and the Global South
  • Gerardo Magaña - Mariners Church, Santa Ana - Church Planting to 2nd Generation Latinos
  • Fr. Horan & Katie Dawson - Diocese of Orange - New Evangelism

Early bird registration at $75 is open now through May 15. On May 16, ticket prices increase to $95. For more information or to register, visit For event news and live updates, follow #CUIGCS on Twitter.


About Concordia University Irvine

Concordia University Irvine prepares students for their vocations—their calling in life. Concordia University Irvine offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and adult degree programs in a beautiful Southern California location in the City of Irvine, with online and regional cohort options. Concordia’s undergraduate program is distinctive among universities in California because of its nationally recognized Core Curriculum, and its Lutheran heritage that provides a thoughtful and caring Christian community that lives out the theology of "Grace Alone. Faith Alone." Concordia is a U.S. News Top Tier Regional University and has been named by The Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the fastest growing private nonprofit master's institutions. Concordia University Irvine enrolls over 4,000 students.



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