Conference to Explore Global Partnerships Concept

BETHANY, OK (July 30, 2012) - Debbi McCullock from Oklahoma City First Church of the Nazarene came home from a recent trip to Africa saying, "I have learned so much through our Zambia partnership that I didn't realize in 20+ previous mission trips."

Debbi's experiences and those of others in Nazarene churches involved in global partnerships will be explored at the September 28-29 Work & Witness conference on the campus of Southern Nazarene University.

Research by Dr. David Wesley of Nazarene Theological Seminary indicates that half of the Nazarene churches of over 500 people have global partnership agreements in place in addition to their involvement in the World Evangelism Fund giving and other NMI programs.

The keynote speaker for the Friday evening/Saturday morning conference will be Greg Taylor, former missionary and now mobilization coordinator at the Global Ministry Center. SNU's Brent LaVigne, whose wife Michaele serves on the staff of Bethany First Church of the Nazarene, and Debbi McCullock will conduct workshops on Saturday morning on the partnership topic, exploring questions like "How does the partnership program interface with Work & Witness?"

Debbi says that partnerships are helping "reframe Work & Witness as not-about-us, but rather all-about-the-field."  Her slogan for Oklahoma City First's partnership is: "It's more than a trip; it's a mission!"

"Partnerships are a hot-button topic," says Howard Culbertson, SNU professor.  "On our recent student Work & Witness trip to Haiti, missionaries asked us how we saw the grassroots phenomenon of setting of global partnerships fitting into denominational structure and world evangelism strategy.  It's therefore important that we think this through clearly."

For more information regarding the conference, or to register online, please visit www.snu.edu/wrkwtness.  This event is one of four Work & Witness conferences being held in the US this fall.  Other sites include Maryland, Ohio and Oregon.

Southern Nazarene University's mission is to transform lives through higher education in Christ-centered community. As a Christian community of scholars, we model the hospitality of grace, the pursuit of truth and the practice of discipleship, all within the Wesleyan-holiness tradition, as we prepare graduates who THINK with clarity, ACT with integrity and SERVE with purpose.