Missiology -- the study of God's mission to seek and save the lost -- is a cross-disciplinary field. It combines all the disciplines of Theology, the social sciences, linguistics and other fields. A pastor engaging in mission work must often range far afield to build bridges to new peoples and cultures.
The links on this page are selected to help you locate these types of resources. Please note that most of the sites listed here are not maintained by members of the Lutheran Church -- Missouri Synod. The theology, opinions and philosophies of pages beyond the LSFM website are those of their creators and not necessarily those of the Lutheran Society for Missiology or The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod.Adherents.com
The opening paragraphs on the site's home page say it all: "Adherents.com is a growing collection of over 52,000 adherent statistics and religious geography citations -- references to published membership/ adherent statistics and congregation statistics for over 4,200 religions, churches, denominations, religious bodies, faith groups, tribes, cultures, movements, ultimate concerns, etc. Basically, researchers can use this site to answer such questions as "How many Methodists live in Washington, D.C.?", "What are the major religions of South Korea?", or "What percentage of the world is Sikh?" We present data from both primary research sources such as government census reports, statistical sampling surveys and organizational reporting, as well as citations from secondary literature which mention adherent statistics. Adherents.com is an Internet initiative and is not affiliated with any religious, political, educational, or commercial organization. Adherents.com is the 2nd most frequently visited general religion site on the Internet." This site is a treasure trove of data on various religious groups. The level of detail sometimes goes down to the county level in the US. Come here first when you need head counts for religious groups.Africabib.org
From the Sahara Desert to the Cape of Good Hope, Africa is a place that contains many climates, cultures and languages. For almost all of the Church's history, Christians have lived and labored to bring the gospel to all corners of this continent. Yet because most areas of Africa remain poor, it has been difficult to find scholarly information about its peoples. Africabib.org helps to fill this need. Three databases at this site allow a researcher to look for titles, using a powerful search engine. The user may search by keyword, limit by region and nation, and view the results by author, title or date. This site is an excellent tool to begin missiological research on subjects related to Africa.American Religion Data Archive
What do American Catholics believe? How many Americans claim to be Lutheran? Where do American Muslims live? A source of reliable, scientifically gathered data on these and similar questions used to be very difficult to find. The American Religion Data Archive, a project supported by the Lilly Endowment, gathers together such studies and makes them accessible on the World Wide Web. This site is very well designed, with easy navigation and powerful search tools. It is sure to become a standard resource in years to come.Apologetics Index
You've just settled your library on the oak shelves of your study at your first parish, when you learn that the daughter of a member is into Eckankar. But you didn't study Eckankar in religious bodies class at the seminary! So, how do you learn about them quickly!?! Well, you might reach for Mather and Nichols' Dictionary of Cults, Sects, Religions and the Occult, if you had thought to buy it before you left! Gospelcomm's Apologetics Index is there to help you! This site contains a wealth of news, articles, links and other information on religious cults, sects, movements, doctrines, new and alternative religions. The information compiled here is well-researched, complete with quotations from authorities within the group described and within the Christian apologetic and missions communities. There is both a search engine and an alphabetic approach for easy navigation. This site is a good place to begin your search for ways to witness to religious non-Christians.Beliefnet
Think of it as an electronic, spiritual agora. Beliefnet is a service that helps people pursue their own spiritual paths and converse with those of other religions and religious traditions. Columnists ranging from Colin Powell to Gary Bauer to John Shelby Spong to Starhawk write on a variety of topics. Members can exchange views, ask for prayer, search their sacred scriptures or locate a place of worship. This is a good place to see what folks committed to other faiths believe and maybe even do a little bit of witnessing.Catholic Church.Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Declaration Dominus Iesus. Dominus Iesus
In September of 2000, the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued this declaration. In it, the Catholic Church states clearly that salvation comes through Jesus Christ alone and that there is no Christian Church outside of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. Read this controversial document by following this link.
Evangelical Mission Quarterly
Evangelism & Missions Information Service
Henry Martyn Centre
This website is an online portal the wealth of missiological scholarship gathered at the Henry Martyn Centre. The Henry Martyn Centre is an institution that promotes scholarship in Missiology, especially at Cambridge University. Its website includes the full text of selected seminar papers and articles in the field of Missiology, access to the catalog of the library and much more. Go to this site for in-depth research into God's mission to seek and save the lost.
Lutheran Heritage Foundation
When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, the door opened to mission work among the nations of the former Soviet Union. After nearly a century of persecution, Lutheran churches emerged from hiding to a vast harvest of souls, ripe for reaping. Strong in faith, but with few resources, these churches appealed to their western sister synods for help. The Lutheran Heritage Foundation is one of the answers God provided to their prayers. By distributing Bibles, translating the works of Luther and Confessional Lutherans into many languages, and by building the libraries of new seminaries arising there, The LHF site is designed to keep you up-to-date on their activities. Here you can find a list by languages of the works translated, areas in need of support and ways to contact the foundation to help. This is a great place to prepare for mission Sundays, LWML meetings and other opportunities to share with God's people the needs of the Great Harvest Field of Souls. The Lutheran Heritage Foundation has donated many of their works to Concordia Theological Seminary's Walther library.
Operation World Database
Project Wittenberg is home to works by and about Martin Luther and other Lutherans. Here you will find all manner of texts from short quotations to commentaries, hymns to statements of faith, theological treatises to biographies, and links to other places where words and images from the history of Lutheranism live.Quran Browser
To witness effectively to Muslims, you must understand the Quran. As the holy scripture of Islam, they respect it as fully as we respect the scripture. This search engine, provided by the Scholarly Technology Group at Brown University allows you to search the text of the Quran, go to a specific passage, read it in context or link to a specific spot in it. Several different translations are provided for use. A valuable tool for witnessing to Islam.Summer Institute of Linguistics
The Summer Institute of Linguistics is a well-respected organization devoted to the study of lesser-known languages and linguistic groups. It provides support for the study of these tongues, the development of writing systems, literacy and translation of the Bible and other literature. This site provides electronic versions of many of SIL's high-quality resources, support for the use of computers to aid linguistic and translation work, software, fonts and more. This site is an essential first stop for the translator of God's Word.World Christian Database
Yale University Library Research Guide
So you've got a paper to write on the history of missions in Africa. Yet you do not have a clue where to start. This site, provided by the Yale University Divinity School Library is a great place to start. Pages with lists of mission-related subject headings (These work in our catalog and most other U.S. Libraries, too.), bibliographies, journals and online resources will help you begin your quest. This site is a great place to launch any quest to read about God's mission to seek and save the lost.