Christopher B. James

equipping the church for a changing context

Across the nation, pastors and church planters are encountering the reality that the church is in the midst of a season of dramatic cultural and religious shifts. These shifts have profound implications for ministry and mission. Led by Dr. Christopher James and Dr. Alan Roxburgh, this Doctor of Ministry Cohort at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary will go on a journey of discerning the unique character of our emerging context, learn what kind of faithful leadership it requires and develop the critical spiritual and missional practices that equip us to join God’s mission in the midst of our communities and neighborhoods.

Dr. Christopher B. James joins Ben Katt to talk about his research on church planting in Seattle, including the unique dynamics of the so-called "None Zone," the four expressions of church that his extensive research identified (Great Commission Team, Household of the Spirit, New Community, and Neighborhood Incarnation), and the gifts and liabilities of neighborhood expressions of the church.

Learn more about the Master of Arts in Mission and Discipleship at University of Dubuque Theological Seminary.

University of Dubuque Theological Seminary: Master of Arts in Mission and Discipleship

Kathryn Robinson's latest article in the Seattle Met features my research on New Seattle Churches: "Turns out “post-Christian” Seattle is fertile ground for new church starts."
The Pacific Northwest is often called the "None Zone" because of the number of people who claim no religious affiliation. Yet, theologians and sociologists are paying close attention to churches in Seattle.

Perspectives on Ecclesiology and Ethnography (Review)

My review of Perspectives on Ecclesiology and Ethnography edited by Pete Ward. Originally published in Missiology: An International Review.
First United Methodist Church in Portland had a problem, one other churches would envy. So many families with children were regularly attending that the Rev. Donna M.L. Pritchard began one sermon shortly after Easter with an urgent request for more volunteers to teach Sunday school.
Christopher James is hosting a panel on Urban Church Planting in the Pacific Northwest at the Christ & Cascadia Conference. Join him for conversation with some of the most interesting ecclesial pioneers he found in his research for New Churches in the None Zone.


Stories, articles and videos curated by Christopher B. James on church, culture, and neighborhoods.

What Churches Can Learn From New Monasticism

The rise of the “new monasticism” to popular awareness in recent years might lead the uninformed to imagine that Christian communalism is a recent phenomenon. The truth is that Christians have lived in intimate community settings since the very beginnings of the Way. What is new about new monasticism is largely a matter of its historical and geographical contexts, the catchy moniker, and the recent dialog with the Benedictine tradition.

Newbigin's Gospel in a Pluralist Society

A while back I was invited to speak to a group called Theology on Tap about "The Gospel in a Post-Christian World." The topic, it seemed to me, begged two questions. The first is “What is the gospel?” and the second is “Where are we? What is this post-Christian world in which we live?”
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Standing at the front of a small movie theater here, Shaun Cross is doing what he believes he's supposed to be: preaching the word of God to bring urbanites closer to Jesus.
For those who sense that "being missional" is just another Christian guilt trip.