Christopher B. James

cultivating church for a changing context

Church Planting in Post-Christian Soil: Theology and Practice

My first book is now available for pre-order! This book shares the findings from my research among church plants in Seattle, WA, one the nation's most unchurched cities.

University of Dubuque May 2017 Commencement Address

May 13, 2017 - Dr. Christopher James, MDiv, PhD, assistant professor of Evangelism and Missional Christianity at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, delivered the commencement address, titled "The Question."
Marcie Sillman talks with Christopher James of the University of Dubuque about his study of new Seattle churches and what they can tell us about the future of religion.
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.
Is this really a church? Yes. What’s it doing in bar? We’ll get to that. Isn’t it unusual to have church outside a church building? Apparently not. Forty-four percent of the new Christian churches founded in Seattle between 2001 and 2014 met in non-traditional spaces like community centers and living rooms, according to research by professor Christopher James of the University of Dubuque. Fascinating, right?

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?”
The Pacific Northwest is one of the most fertile seedbeds for religious innovation and creativity in North America. To be sure, the separation of church and state has historically made North America as a whole an exceptionally open religious environment. That said, the Pacific Northwest (PNW) seems to exceed all other regions in its receptivity to religious experimentation.
The church is in the midst of a season of dramatic cultural and religious shifts. 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.

Quoted in "'Beer and Hymns'? Some say the practice is new and old"

“(Alcohol) is meant and used to sort of bring groups together, forge community or unity at an event,” James said. “That’s how hymns are supposed to function in the life of the church. It’s a way of together declaring what we believe or expressing to God what we want to express. …. They’re both communal practices.”