December 2, 2019

Congratulations to Dr. Darrell Guder

The Re. Dr. Darrell Guder

The Centre for Missional Leadership at St. Andrew’s Hall congratulates our Senior Fellow in Residence Rev. Dr. Darrell Guder on the high honour of being selected for the Award in Excellence in Theological Education by The Presbyterian Church (USA).  Dr. Guder will receive this award at the 224th General Assembly of The Presbyterian Church (USA) meeting June 20 to 27, 2020.  

An ordained minister in the PC-USA, Darrell Guder has worked in administration and teaching at the Karlshöhe Ludwigsburg, Fuller Theological Seminary, Whitworth University, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Columbia Theological Seminary, and Princeton Theological Seminary. He is the author of Be My Witnesses: The Church’s Mission, Message, and Messengers (1985), The Incarnation and the Church’s Witness (1999), The Continuing Conversion of the Church (2000), and Called to Witness; Doing Missional Theology (2015); translator of several German academic works; and coordinator and editor of the Gospel and Our Culture Network’s research project, Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America (1998).

Craig Barnes, President of Princeton Theological Seminary, nominated Guder for the honor, and credits Guder pioneering missional theology. His nomination letter reads:

“Missional theology” is now a commonplace term in the church and academy, and Dr. Guder is the pioneer of this body of work. His fundamental conviction that the church does not exist for its own sake but rather to equip disciples of Jesus to go forth in faithful service to God’s mission in the world is at the heart of all his work. Hand-in-glove with his insistence on doing theology “missionally” is his critique of western Christendom, which he understood as the complacency of the church within societies that stems from having cultural power and privilege. With great urgency, Dr. Guder wanted to rouse the North American church from its comfortable slumber and enliven it to recapture the “apostolic” message of the New Testament–that Jesus calls disciples in order to “send” them into the world in his service. As a result of his influence, the attempt to be “missional” is a priority for congregations throughout North America. The impact of his work goes beyond the academy into the actual practices of congregations, which is the greatest testament that can be offered to the significance of someone’s theological achievement.

After three years of study at the University of California at Los Angeles, Dr. Guder transferred to the University of Hamburg, Germany, where he completed his PhD. He was ordained to a Lutheran call in Germany by the Presbytery of Los Angeles of the United Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). He holds two honorary degrees: a Doctor of Divinity from Jamestown College and a Doctor of Divinity from Whitworth University.  Since 2015, Dr. Guder has served in retirement as Senior Fellow in Residence at St. Andrew’s Hall, Vancouver in The Centre for Missional Leadership.