theology of global partnership

A Theology of Partnership in a Globalized World

Author: Eleazar S. Fernandez | Source: Review and Expositor 2016, Vol. 113(1) 23–31.


God has initiated and has continued to be in partnership with humans and the rest of creation. Christians have known this partnership in the particular shape of God’s mission in Christ. Christian unity in Christ and unity in mission are the foundations of this partnership.

The history of Christian mission is full of examples of this partnership, sometimes falling short or missing the mark of God’s embodiment of Christ and, at other times, contributing to the work of making the gospel become real in the lives of communities.

This article continues the conversation around Christian mission and partnership with the hope that it contributes a critical perspective to the discourse. To carry out this task, Eleazar S. Fernandez weaves together the challenges of globalization with a theological framework to propose a theology of partnership for a globalized world. He ends with six guiding principles essential to global, cross-cultural collaboration and partnership.

Resource Link

A Theology of Partnership in a Globalized World

Key Ideas

  1. We live in an increasingly interconnected world of “complex connectivity”. This is creating massive inequalities and power differences even as opportunities for global/local ministry and relationship significantly increase.
  2. We must critique the partnerships we have formed or are planning to form in relation to our globalized realities: our connections and shared vulnerabilities and hopes, power differentials and asymmetries, history of colonizing mission and resistance, massive migration
    and displacement, and innovative and relevant expressions of cooperation.
  3. “… we need to be constantly vigilant and critical of practices that continue
    to perpetuate asymmetrical relations.”
  4. Relationship and unity are the starting points of a theology of partnership.
  5. Six guiding principles of relational partnership for a globalized world

Author Biography

Eleazar S. Fernandez is Professor of Constructive Theology at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, New Brighton, Minnesota, USA. He is an author and editor of several books and articles on missions, the Global South and the global church.


Eleazar S. Fernandez. Review and Expositor. 2016, Vol. 113(1) 23–31.