I'm currently in a Global Evangelism course at Harding with Dr. Stan Granberg. Though I'm a person who cares a lot for missions, I have not taken many courses in missions. If I had to pick between a missions course and a textual or theological course, I'd pick the textual/theological stuff every time.
But the MDiv requires me to be diverse, and to learn about all different aspects of Christianity, including missions. I've said up to this point that I have not taken a single class at the grad school that has not been worth my time and money. I still maintain this stance.
I think the most interesting thing I've come across in this course is the concept of Redemptive Analogies, described by Don Richardson in the book Perspectives On The World Christian Movement.
A Redemptive Analogy is what a missionary uses as a bridge between the Gospel and one's culture. If we can find an aspect of culture that helps people appreciate the sacrifice of Jesus, then it becomes more real to them.
Jesus himself did this. All Jews would know about Moses lifting up the serpent of brass upon a pole so that the Jews, dying of snake bites, could look at it and be healed. Jesus told Nicodemus that "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Jesus here used a redemptive analogy.
There are several redemptive analogies that Richardson lays out in his chapter. I think they are so cool, and I am going to make a few posts relaying some of the ones he describes. What we find over and over is that God is at work in the mission field long before we get there.