“…, and what can that movement teach Christian leaders in North America and elsewhere who are involved with new forms of ecumenism and mission today? ”
Nobel Peace Prize laureate John R. Mott (1865-1955) was arguably the most important organizer of early twentieth century mission and ecumenical organizations which included the YMCA, the World’s Student Christian Federation, and the International Missionary Council. As Christian leaders in North America and around the world collaborate in new expressions of Christian unity and mission today it is important that the contributions of John R. Mott and the circle of friends with whom he worked – several from countries outside the western hemisphere – be reassessed. This proposal primarily requests financial assistance to cover the costs of travel to several archives which are critical sources to examine for a new biography about this important Christian leader. But the focus of the biography is not on Mott alone. What made him a respected leader was in many ways the cross-cultural friendships he developed - the fruit of which can still be seen in Christian churches around the world and in immigrant congregations in the United States. It is hoped that this biographical project will inspire a new generation of Christian leaders to learn from the history of ecumenism and mission in order to imagine new expressions of Christian fellowship which cross continental, ethnic, and cultural barriers.