Learning from London: Mission and Evangelism in the 21st Century

Learning from London: Mission and Evangelism in the 21st Century

We have all heard the news and analysis: the Episcopal Church in the US has shrunk by 24% over the last decade, and prospects for much of the church look dim. Many reasons for this decline are offered: growing secularity, the rise of the “nones”, changing attitudes towards religion and religious observance, the encounter with other religions. But inevitable decline is not the only story to be told for Anglicanism in the developed world.

Since 1990, the Diocese of London in the Church of England has grown by 50%. Over the same decade that the Episcopal Church lost 24%, London grew by 17%. Since 2000, London’s giving has increased by 50%. This has come about through a combination of dynamic local parish programs, strategic planning for planting and renewing churches, and an inspiring vision set forth by the diocese. All of this has taken place in the midst of one of the most diverse, vibrant, cosmopolitan, multi-faith and secularized urban centers in the world.

How has this come about? And what may be learned from London’s methods for our own context? Join Dr. Jason Fout for an in-depth introduction to the many facets of the mission and evangelism taking place in the Diocese of London in January of 2015. We will spend our time learning best practices from seasoned practitioners. Plan to come away energized to tell a different story about the possibilities present to the church in America!

This course will be suitable for MDiv or DMin students, as well as anyone charged with leadership in the church.


Learning from London 2015 is sold out! To put your name on the waiting list or get information about the 2016 course, please talk with Professor Fout.

17-23 January 2015
travel dates: 16 January (or earlier), 24 January (or later)

Saturday, January 17: class begins in London
Accommodation at the Royal Foundation of St. Katharine (subject to change), London.
Afternoon meeting at the Royal Foundation of St. Katharine for introduction and overview of the week

Sunday, January 18: Morning – worship; afternoon meetings with diocesan representatives

Monday, January 19: Church planting and renewal in London: four recent examples

Tuesday, January 20: Messy Church and other Fresh Expressions of Church

Wednesday, January 21: Holy Trinity Brompton and the Alpha Course

Thursday, January 22: Catholic mission and growth in London

Friday, January 23: London’s commitment to social transformation and response to crises; final wrap-up conversations and festive farewell dinner.

For those taking the course for credit, class will begin online on December 15. Final assignments will be due February 13. Auditors may participate in all online work and final assignments as needed for their learning goals.

Registration and Cost

To register or receive further information, please email Professor Jason Fout.

Course price: With registration by October 1, price is $1850. For registrations between October 2 and November 11, price is $2050. Price includes including ground transportation, lodging, breakfast and dinner; exclusive of airfare. $1000 deposit due with registration; remainder due by December 1, 2014. Rates are based on shared rooms; single-room occupancy can be accommodated for a supplement of $240 for the week.

Students taking the course for MDiv or DMin credit:  Additional $1620 tuition for three hours of credit.

Register early! Space is strictly limited.

All participants:

  • All participants will be responsible for their own air transportation:  final flight details are to be emailed to Dr. Fout no later than December 1, 2014.

Frequently Asked Questions

What expenses are not covered in the course price?

  • Supplemental medical insurance (not always required – check your insurance carrier)
  • Lunch (£3-5 for a simple lunch most places)
  • Alcohol(optional, at your discretion)
  • Incidentals such as toiletries or souvenirs
  • Ticket price for optional events (theatre one night?)
  • Cell phone/mobile phone costs (check with your carrier for coverage and rates)

Why is airfare not included in the price of the course?

We decided that we would simply meet in London to begin the course since 1) we anticipate having students attending from multiple locations, and rather than flying to Columbus, OH, and then flying to London Heathrow, we would simply meet in London, and 2) airfares vary throughout the year, and sometimes people have strategies for getting an optimal airfare (Hotwire, Priceline, etc.), or have a preferred carrier or class, or have frequent flyer miles they would like to use. Given all of this, it made sense to allow people to make their own flight arrangements. In most cases, this will mean booking a flight that departs the US on January 16, arriving sometime on January 17. The course will begin the afternoon of the 17th.

Can I arrive early or extend my stay?

Certainly! Since you are making your own flight arrangements, you can easily buy a ticket to arrive earlier or depart later. You may find your own pre- or post-trip accommodations, or, if you let us know well in advance – and no later than 1 December – you may remain where the course is staying, depending on availability.

What can I expect of London in January?

London is quite far north, and in January daylight is still in short supply: we should expect 8-9 hours of daylight during our trip. January is also the coldest month in Britain, and London averages 40F – 49F. Although freezing temperatures and snow are not impossible, they are not nearly as common as in the US; temperatures rarely stay freezing for long, and snow doesn’t tend to hang around long. You should plan for cold and likely rainy conditions, although with intermittent warmth and dryness! Come prepared with a warm, waterproof coat of some kind, and consider wearing layers that can be put on or removed with changes in temperature. (We planned the course for January, which is out-of-season for tourists, for the sake of cost: airfares tend to be lower and lodging tends to be more available and cheaper.)

What can I expect of the class work in London?

Our days will start with Morning Prayer and breakfast. We will then assemble to depart for our destinations for that day. We will travel, wherever possible, via Tube, Docklands Light Railway (DLR) or London Overground trains (your course cost includes a travelcard, so this is paid for). Appointments with leaders will typically last an hour to an hour and a half. Lunch will be simple. Dinner will be together. Class will continue into the evening one or two nights. Other evenings will be free (on your own; one day we can arrange an optional theatre outing for those who would like).

Monday through Friday will be full; we will likely be away from our lodging and our rooms 8-10 hours, possibly longer. Come prepared to stand, walk and move as we explore the church in London!

About the author: Jaime