(Director: Dr Allan H Anderson)

Selly Oak Colleges, Birmingham B29 6LQ, UK

Tel 0 (44) 121 415 2294 Fax 0 (44) 121 472 8852



The School of Mission and World Christianity, Selly Oak Colleges, Birmingham, England, in co-operation with the University of Birmingham, has promoted the study of Pentecostalism as a global phenomenon for many years, since Walter J Hollenweger was Professor of Mission here in the 1980s. Pentecostalism is a fact of world Christianity, perhaps the fastest growing religious movement of all time, and a challenge to more "conventional" Christianity, the mission of the church and its theology. This Programme aims to study this multifarious movement with independent academic honesty, considering the lessons such a study has for world Christianity, and enabling Pentecostals and non-Pentecostals alike to reflect academically upon this movement. The Postgraduate Programme in World Pentecostalism offers taught and research graduate degrees, and other assistance for researchers in this field. Selly Oak Colleges has unique and extensive documentation in the internationally acclaimed Harold Turner Collection, housed in its Orchard Learning Resources Centre, with over 25 000 documents on the subject of New Religious Movements, African Initiated Churches and Pentecostalism, and this Collection is constantly being updated and enlarged. This Collection is administered by the Centre for the Study of New Religious Movements (CESNERM), founded at Selly Oak Colleges in 1981 by one of the known pioneers in this field, Dr Harold W Turner.

In 1995 the present Director of CESNERM was appointed, Dr Allan Anderson from South Africa. The Centre became an integral part of the School of Mission and World Christianity, whose academic programmes it supports, accredited by the University of Birmingham. Since 1997, CESNERM has been preparing a computerised bibliographic data base with extensive references to NRMs and Pentecostal movements all over the world. CESNERM produces a regular newsletter, distributes its resources by means of microfiche and other electronic means, and maintains and develops contact with an international network of scholars and Honorary Associates. The director has published widely on Pentecostalism, particularly with reference to Africa and the Third World. A separate brochure on CESNERM is available. The first module of the Postgraduate Programme in World Pentecostalism was introduced at Selly Oak Colleges in September 1997, and forty students from many countries of the world enrolled.


The following programmes are especially suitable for those wishing to pursue research or postgraduate studies in the field of World Pentecostalism. The programmes form an integral part of the MA in Mission Studies offered at Selly Oak and accredited by the University of Birmingham. Further details of these and other available courses are available at the School of Mission and World Christianity, Selly Oak Colleges, Birmingham B29 6LQ.

(A) Short Term Study Programmes

Individual modules of study are offered on a semester basis, consisting of ten weeks (25 hours) of contact study in each of the following postgraduate modules, taught by CESNERMís director. Students wanting to study full-time may also complete the requirements leading to an Award or Certificate in Mission, or alternatively may wish to do personal research in the Harold Turner Collection whilst attending any or all of these modules.

1 Pentecostal Movements (September-December)

2 World Pentecostalism (January-March)

3 African Initiated Churches (January-March)

4 Indigenous Religions (September-December)

The first two of these four modules, described below, form a compulsory part of the requirements for the postgraduate degrees (B) (C) and (D). Each module is assessed by means of a 4 000 word essay, normally submitted at the end of the semester in December or March.

(B) Post Graduate Diploma / Master of Arts in World Pentecostalism

In order to fulfil the requirements for this one year diploma or degree (depending on entrance qualifications and subsequent performance) a candidate must complete six taught modules: at least the first two modules of the four outlined in (A), two out of three foundation modules offered in the School of Missionís postgraduate programmes (either: Theology of Mission, History of Mission, or Missionary Hermeneutics), and two other modules selected in consultation with the director. Details of these modules appear in the School of Missionís MA Prospectus, including a module on New Religious Movements which is the responsibility of CESNERMís director. A thesis of 12 000 words (for the MA) and 10 000 words (for the Diploma) is to be submitted on a subject of the candidateís choice.

(C) Master of Philosophy in World Pentecostalism (partly taught)

Entrance to this one year programme (MPhil) is given to a person with an upper first class or honours degree (and is also available to graduates of the PG/MA programme in (B) above). The programme consists of the first two modules outlined in (A) above, and a 20 000 word dissertation on the subject.

(D) Doctor of Theology

This three year partly taught research degree (ThD) consists of the taught component (six modules) of the M A course followed by a doctoral proposal of 12 000 words submitted at the end of the first year. Once the proposal is accepted, the candidate then proceeds to do field research, which may be done at the candidateís home with arranged local supervision (second year). The final year of the programme is done in Birmingham, and consists of attendance at a Research Colloquium and supervision of a 50 000 word thesis.

(E) Doctor of Philosophy

This is a three year research degree (PhD) which may also take two years following the MPhil, (C) above. It consists of direct supervision in Birmingham of research and the writing of an 80 000 word thesis.


Any of the above programmes may be done part-time, taking twice as long as the times given above.


The four modules deal with the following summarised topics. The four modules consist of taught lectures, directed reading and interaction within an international student body, and guidance for further reading and research.

1 Pentecostal Movements

  1. Roots and origins. Pentecostal phenomena in history, theological and historical background in North America, including African roots, Methodism, the Holiness movement and revivalism, the Apostolic Faith and the Azusa Street revival.
  2. Growth and proliferation. Early divisions in the USA, expansion in Europe, global missions, types of pentecostal movements.
  3. North American and European movements. Pentecostal denominations and organisations in North America and Europe, pentecostal women, ecumenism, the Charismatic Movement, recent developments.
  4. Latin American movements. rise and reasons for growth of Pentecostalism in Latin America, the question of indigenisation.
  5. African movements. Spiritual and aladura churches, pentecostals, Zionists, Kimbanguists, new pentecostal churches, relationship with African religions and culture.
  6. Asian movements. Pentecostal growth in India, Indonesia, Philippines, indigenous churches in China and Taiwan, Korean pentecostals and the "shamanism" question, interaction and attitudes to Asian religions and culture.
  7. Religious and cultural issues. Indigenisation and inculturation, pentecostal proclamation, mass conversions, attitudes to indigenous religions, "syncretism" and spirituality.
  8. Sociopolitical issues. Pentecostal theology of liberation, class, race and womenís issues, social concern.
  9. Theological issues. Pentecostal hermeneutics, "initial evidence", spiritual gifts, the essence of pentecostal theology.
  10. Towards a pentecostal missiology. reasons for growth, pentecostal models for mission, pentecostal evangelism, strengths and weaknesses, challenge to the church.

2 World Pentecostalism

  1. Typologies. Defining "Pentecostal", the plurality and variety of global Pentecostal and Charismatic movements, case studies: Chile, Korea, South Africa.
  2. Oral Origins. The significance of the oral and African roots of Pentecostalism to the present nature of the movements, Pentecostal historiography, William J Seymour, Black Pentecostalism in Africa, Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas.
  3. Methodist and Holiness Roots. The influence of Wesley and Catholicism, the Holiness Movement and revivalism, John Alexander Dowie, Charles F Parham, Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran Charismatics, Holiness Pentecostals.
  4. Evangelical and Baptist Roots. The influence of William Durham, the "evangelicalisation" of North American Pentecostalism, the creation of major Pentecostal denominations.
  5. Ecumenism and Critical Scholarship. Pentecostalism and the ecumenical movement, Pentecostal scholarship and some major themes.
  6. Spirituality. The characteristics of a Pentecostal spirituality, its interaction with religions in the Third World, and its influence on the future shape of world Christianity, the question of "syncretism".
  7. Pneumatology. The emphasis on the Holy Spirit, manifestations of the Spirit, the questions of "subsequence" and "consequence", implications for contextual theologies of the Spirit.
  8. Soteriology and Ecclesiology. Holistic salvation expressed in theologies of healing and "deliverance" from evil powers, "signs and wonders", charisma and institutionalisation, socio-political concerns.
  9. Eschatology. The Pentecostal concept of a "realised eschatology", "prosperity", its influence on the shaping of Pentecostalism.
  10. Missiology. The Pentecostal understanding of mission and evangelism, reasons for the worldwide expansion of Pentecostalism.

3 African Initiated Churches

  1. Introduction and Typology. AICs from the earliest "Ethiopian" and "African" churches, to the later and more prolific "prophet-healing" and "spiritual" churches and the most recent "new pentecostal" churches.
  2. Causative Factors. Analysis of the different causes given by researchers for the emergence, proliferation and development of the AIC movement.
  3. Approaches to African Religions and Culture. The adaptations made and attitudes to older African religious beliefs, such as the ancestors, divination, traditional medicine and healing, polygyny, and patterns of leadership.
  4. Theological Issues. The contribution made by AICs to an "enacted" African theology, the hermeneutical processes of AICs, and their contribution towards a contextualised African soteriology, pneumatology and Christology. A discussion of "messianism" and "millenialism".
  5. Missiological Evaluation. The missionary initiatives of AICs and the challenge to mission. The contribution of AICs to our understanding of issues like contextualisation, inculturation, syncretism, and how the gospel relates to culture.
  6. The Beginnings. Kimpa Vita and the birth of the AIC movement in the Kongo Kingdom, and the early movements in West Africa and South Africa at the end of the nineteenth century.
  7. West African Movements. William Wade Harris and the Harrist movement, their influence on AICs throughout West Africa, rise of spiritual churches in Ghana and aladura churches in Nigeria.
  8. Central and East African Movements. Simon Kimbangu and Kimbanguism in the Congo, the rise of Ngunzism, AIC movements in East and Central Africa, Alice Lenshina and the Lumpa movement in Zambia.
  9. Southern African Movements. Zionists, Apostolics and Pentecostals in Southern Africa, Engenas Lekganyane and the Zion Christian Church, Shembe and the Amanazaretha, Zionist and Apostolic movements in Zimbabwe.
  10. New Pentecostal Movements. The rise of new revivalist independent pentecostal churches in Africa and the challenges of these rapidly growing movements.

4 Indigenous Religions

  1. World Views. An introduction to the subject, defining terms and subjects to be studied, the elements of indigenous world views.
  2. Theism. Concepts of a supreme creator God and other divinities, approaches to divinity, creation myths, the problem of evil.
  3. Community and Ritual. Concepts of personality, the sacredness of the community, taboos, rituals and passage rites.
  4. Ancestors and the Spirit World. The veneration of ancestors, ideas of spirits (good and evil), spirit possession.
  5. Death and the Afterlife. "Death" and "life", concepts of time, the afterlife, reincarnation and transmigration, burial rites and mourning customs.
  6. Dynamism. Power and "life-force" (mana), the manipulation of power, diviners, shamans and "witchdoctors", magic, witchcraft and sorcery.
  7. Salvation and Healing. Salvation in the present, methods of healing, the use of magical instruments for protection, healing and deliverance.
  8. Spirituality and Religious Experience. The wholism of religious concepts and the place of ecstatic experience, divine involvement, the revival of spirituality in the light of the secularisation debate.
  9. Inculturation and Adaptation. The flexibility of indigenous religions, the syncretising process, indigenous religions and culture, the question of continuity.
  10. Indigenous Religions and Mission. Issues raised for the mission of the church by indigenous religious concepts, the relevance of Christian spirituality.

Further enquiries: The Director, CESNERM, Selly Oak Colleges, Birmingham B29 6LQ, England

Tel (44) 121 415 2294 Fax (44) 121 472 8852 Email