The International Association for Mission Studies is an international, interconfessional and interdisciplinary professional society for the scholarly study of Christian witness and its impact in the world and the related field of intercultural theology.

After some preliminary meetings, IAMS was inaugurated in Driebergen, The Netherlands, in 1972.  Since then, every four years an international conference has been held on the different continents.  There are now more than 400 scholars who are members of IAMS as well as over 50 institutions that are corporate members.

Every four years, an Executive Committee is chosen by the members and is responsible for the development of the association and charged to organise the next quadrennial conference.  On this Committee, different regions of the world are represented.  The Secretariat of the association is usually taken charge by one of the associated institutions. Currently the Secretariat is located at Lund University, Sweden.

The objectives of the association are:

  • to promote the scholarly study of systematic, biblical, historical and practical questions relating to mission and intercultural theology
  • to disseminate information concerning mission studies to all those engaged in that and related study fields
  • to promote fellowship, cooperation and mutual assistance in mission studies
  • to organise international conferences of missiologists and intercultural theologians
  • to encourage the creation of centers of research
  • to stimulate publications in missiology and intercultural theology



Upcoming conferences:

There are currently two upcoming IAMS Conferences:

IAMS EUROPE Conference August 23-27, 2019, Sankt Augustin, Germany: Locating European Missions in a Wounded World in Deep Transformation and IAMS 15th General Assembly July 9-14, 2020, Sydney Australia: Powers, Inequalities, and Vulnerabilities: Mission in a Wounded World. For the IAMS Europe Conference the Call for Papers is out (deadline Feb 1st 2019), and for the IAMS Genreal Assembly conference the CfP will be opened in spring 2019. More information on both these conferences below.

Please mark these dates in your calendars for 2019 and 2020.


IAMS 15th General Assembly: Powers, Inequalities, and Vulnerabilities: Mission in a Wounded World

Hosted by Morling College, Sydney and the Australian Association for Mission Studies

Bilden kan innehålla: himmel, utomhus och vatten

The International Association for Mission Studies (IAMS) will convene for its 15th Assembly in Sydney, Australia from July 9 to July 14, 2018. Occurring for the first time in Oceania, the IAMS Assembly will be hosted by the Australian Association for Mission Studies and the meeting will take place at Morling College in greater Sydney.

Call for Panels and Papers will be launched early 2019 on the webpage, facebook page and the newsletter.


IAMS Europe 2019: Locating European Missions in a Wounded World in Deep Transformation

Conference Theme: Living and believing in an unstable and vulnerable world has become
the prevailing experience and challenge for most societies worldwide, and so too for many
parts of Europe, as we move further into the 21st century. Progressive thinking has hit real
barriers for some time now, with no clear vision for our common future available, giving way
to different forms of retrotopian nostalgia which pronounce revisionist hopes of an imagined
past (Zygmunt Bauman, Retrotopia, 2017). Recent analysis, however, proposes reading the
profound changes, risks and vulnerabilities of our current world as being part of a deep, even
metamorphic transformation (Ulrich Beck, Metamorphosis of the World, 2016).

Against such a backdrop, this conference seeks to locate European missions in that wounded world of deep transformation in a three-fold way:

  • We start with naming the wounds and transformations, past and present, which haunt European societies and Christian missions – and re-examine their complex entanglements and complicities in today’s wounded and vulnerable world (day 1).
  • This allows us not only to revisit theologies of mission, foremost missions ad vulnera, but also to rethink them in new perspectives, especially in light of recent shifts in theology and contexts where vulnerability and deep transformation have long been reflected. Here, a special focus is given to new locations and meanings of baptism as part of a missionary spirituality towards deep transformation in Europe (day 2).
  • With such locating, distinct areas of vulnerable missions and commitments as resources of healing, renewal and deep transformation for living and believing in today’s world come to the fore (ecclesial futures; engagement for religious freedom; practices of deep solidarity etc.) (day 3).

The conference seeks to further interdenominational exchange across Europe´s missiological
networks and missionary scholar-practitioners. It represents also a regional (European)
conference in preparation for the global IAMS 2020 conference in Sydney on “Powers,
Inequalities and Vulnerabilities: Mission in a Wounded World”, 9-14 July, 2020.

Coordination: On behalf of IAMS Europe, Institute of Missiology and the Study of Theologies
Beyond Europe, University of Münster, and SVD Missiological Institute, St.Augustin / Bonn,

Contacts: Norbert Hintersteiner, iamseuro[at]uni-muenster.de and ChristianTauchner SVD, 2019IAMS-conference[at]steyler.eu

Coordination draws on a support group and open platform of individual members or
representatives of various European regional missiological networks and interest groups
(NIME, AFOM, CEEAMS, BIAPT(Mission Studies), OMN, IACM Europe, IIMF, DGMW, IIMF, KEK, etc.).


Missionspriesterseminar Sankt Augustin
Arnold Janssen Straße 30
53757 Sankt Augustin


 New IAMS Facebook Page

A new IAMS Facebook page is up and running: https://www.facebook.com/International-Association-for-Mission-Studies-IAMS-345324249216792/. Please invite any mission scholar friends from your network and region to join, like or just simply explore it!

New books series for IAMS

Theology and Mission in World Christianity is a new peer-reviewed series which treats theology, mission, and the interface between them in view of the development of world Christianity. It is edited by Kirsteen Kim, Stephen B. Bevans and Miikka Ruokanen. The series is published by Brill Publishers and also functions as a supplement series for the IAMS journal Mission Studies. The editors welcome scholarly monographs, edited volumes, and outstanding dissertations on contextual and inter-cultural theologies, mission theology, and historical and practical questions relating to mission and Christianity worldwide. For further information, click here.