Mission Research & Archives

Mission Research



OMF Mission Research publishes the Mission Round Table journal, organizes a mission research consultation every three years, interacts with field and sending centers about important missiological issues, networks with worldwide archives.

Why does OMF do mission research? Read more >

If you have questions for the Mission Research Department, please submit them using the contact form below.

OMF Archives_600

Collecting our past today, preserving it for tomorrow

MRT cover for webpage3

The OMF Journal for Reflective Practitioners


Book reviews and bibliographies

OMF Archives

Collecting our past today and preserving it for tomorrow

The materials preserved give insight into the past and provide historical information relating to the growth of Christ’s church in East Asia.

CIM-OMF archive materials are held in various OMF centers as well as the institutions listed below.

Researchers who wish to access materials at the OMF International Center Archives can apply to do so by submitting the contact form below.  The form must be received at least one month before a proposed visit.

We welcome donations of materials of historical interest related to CIM/OMF.

If you wish to donate materials, please tell us more about the items by submitting the contact form to our archives.

International Center Archives

The holdings at OMF International Center include collections of CIM-OMF books, public and internal publications, audio-visual materials produced by CIM-OMF, and microfilm of CIM holdings in the Billy Graham Center. Documents held relate to CIM, most of which are post-1950 relating to the operations of OMF International Headquarters.

OMF UK Archives

The holdings at OMF UK include extensive collections of photos, books, periodicals, prayer letters, maps and other records, some dating from the foundation of CIM, and some relating to mission in China generally, pre-dating CIM. There is also an archive of individual CIM/OMF missionaries’ documents, both paper and electronic. There are also audio-visual materials relating to OMF.

OMF US Archives

The OMF USA archives is composed primarily of books and periodicals relating to the history and work of CIM/OMF in East Asia, as well as information relating to various American missionaries affiliated with the organization; material specific to the US offices (previously located in Pennsylvania); and post-1950s operations and administrative documentation.

Archives of CIM Publications

China Inland Mission published the first edition of its monthly magazine China’s Millions in London in July 1875. Publication of the North American and Australisian editions of China’s Millions began in 1893. Scanned copies of the British and North American editions of China’s Millions (1875-1935) can be downloaded from the Internet Archives and Yale University.

Other CIM publications, including books and reports are also available for download from the Internet Archives.

There are also archive holdings of CIM-OMF materials in:

SOAS Library, Archives & Special Collections, London

Billy Graham Center Archives at Wheaton College, USA

Hong Kong Baptist University Library, Hong Kong

SOAS University of London

The holdings are mainly pre-1950s: CIM-OMF records, including London Council minutes; CIM China Council minutes; James Hudson Taylor papers; personal and private papers of missionaries; records relating to Chefoo Schools; CIM photographs; CIM-OMF publications (directories of missionaries and mission stations, field bulletins, China Millions/East Asia Millions, etc).

Billy Graham Center

The holdings are mainly pre-1950s: correspondence, minutes, directories, newsletters, brochures, photographs, book manuscripts, slides, audio tapes, photo albums, and materials documenting the origins of the CIM North American branch; church planting, evangelistic, medical, educational and literature work in China up to 1951; CIM’s reorganization into OMF.

Hong Kong Baptist University

The holdings are microform materials from SOAS. Its section on Digitization Projects includes a “China Through the Eyes of CIM Missionaries” database that contains 225 lantern slide and glass plate negative images of portraits, landscapes, scenery and architecture in China as well as shots documenting the socio-economic activities of the Chinese from the 1900s to the 1930s.

Mission Round Table

The OMF journal for Reflective Practitioners

Mission Round Table focuses on contemporary mission in Asia viewed from the perspective of reflective practitioners. Articles are designed to provide biblical, theological, and missiological foundations for thinking about mission and real-life examples that anchor the theory in practice.

Latest Issue

MRT 14.2 (May-Aug 2019) Sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ in all its Fullness

Volume 14 no. 2 (May-Aug 2019) Sharing the good news of Jesus Christ in all its fullness

Some five years ago OMF leadership made a decision to reformulate our mission statement with the goal “not to change or review our mission but to in order to better express it and explain it.” And whether we read the old statement that proclaimed the Fellowship exists “To glorify God by the urgent evangelization of East Asia’s millions” or the new one that declares “We share the good news of Jesus Christ in all its fullness with East Asia’s peoples to the glory of God,” the center is the revelation of God’s glory through the proclamation of the gospel. The connection between God’s glory and the preaching of the gospel is significant. God is glorified as the gospel is preached and as it is believed. For this reason, it is essential that we know what the gospel is, how it is good news for people today, and how it can be rightly shared in our context.

During the first week of June 2019, OMF held its sixth Mission Research Consultation on the theme “Sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ in All its Fullness” and discussed how it impacts our ministry. Four of the major papers from the Consultation form the bulk of this issue of Mission Round Table, each one pushing our understanding of the gospel in a slightly different direction.

Browse Back Issues

MRT 14.1 (Jan-Apr 2019) As the Father has sent me

Jan – Apr 2019

“As the Father has sent me, I ham sending you.”

MRT 13.3 (Sep-Dec 2018) The Church in Mission and the World

Sep – Dec 2018

The Church in Mission and the World

MRT 13.2 The Bible in Mission and the World

May – Aug 2018

The Bible in Mission and in the World

MRT 13.1 (Jan-Apr 2018) Thinking Christianly in a Pluralistic world

Jan – Apr 2018

Thinking Christianly in a Pluralistic World

MRT 12.3 (Sep-Dec 2017) Suffering and the Church

Sep – Dec 2017

Take Up Your Cross: Suffering and the Church

MRT 12.2 (May-Aug 2017) Strangers in a strange land

May – Aug 2017

Ministry to Diaspora and Sojourning Peoples

MRT 12.1 (Jan-Apr 2017) Mission Agencies in the 21st Century

Jan – Apr 2017

Mission Agencies in the 21st Century

MRT 11.3 (Sep-Dec 2016) Mission from the Majority World

Sep – Dec 2016

Mission from the Majority World

MRT v11.2 (May-Aug2016) Journeys with Jesus

May – Aug 2016

Journeys with Jesus

MRT v11.1 (Jan 2016) Tell them the old old story

Jan 2016

Tell them the Old, Old Story

MRT v10.3 (Sept 2015) Christ Meets Culture

September 2015

Christ and Culture

MRT 10.2 Who am I

May 2015

Identity in Christ and in the World

MRT 10.1 Fellowship and Partnership

January 2015

Fellowship & Partnership in Mission & in the Church

MRT 9.2 Discipleship in East Asia

September 2014

Discipleship in East Asia

MRT 9.1 Creation care

May 2014

Missional Creation Care

Browse by Topic

CIM/OMF and the Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement

Synopsis: Traces the response of CIM and OMF leadership to the challenges of accepting members from Pentecostal and charismatic backgrounds into a mission that is broadly evangelical. These challenges have not gone away. The discussion concludes with considerations about how we can maintain unity amidst differing theological understandings and practices. Walter McConnell Walter’s journey began [...]

Mission Round Table—Vol. 14 No.2 May-Aug 2019

The cover photographs show different ways in which OMF workers have shared the gospel in East Asia since the 1950s. Sharing the good news of Jesus Christ in all its fullness The connection between God’s glory and the preaching of the gospel is significant. God is glorified as the gospel is preached and as it [...]

Mission Round Table—Vol. 14 No.1 Jan-Apr 2019

"As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." Some stories are well known and repeated so often that one storyteller can pick up where another has left off without missing a beat. While the voice changes, and some details may be enhanced or slightly modified, the underlying story remains the same. This is [...]

A Description of CIM Missionary Workers to the Tibetan Highlands Prior to 1950

Synopsis: This research paper describes the sociodemographic characteristics of early CIM pioneers who sought to take the gospel to the Tibetan plateau prior to the withdrawal of CIM from China in 1952. By Zi Yu Mission Round Table Vol. 12 No. 1 (January-April 2017): 42-46 Introduction The Tibetan Highlands, also known as the Tibetan Plateau, [...]

Reflections on the Korean Missionary Movement: A Critical Review of Recent Research

Synopsis: This paper reflects on how recent scrutiny of the Korean Missionary Movement sheds insights on the contexts of Korean mission and the development of Korean mission agencies. Warren Beattie Reflections on the Korean Missionary Movement: A Critical Review of Recent Research Mission Round Table Vol. 12 No. 1 (January-April 2017): 35-41 Rev. Dr. Warren [...]

Mission and the Internet

Synopsis: The paper looks at the impact of the internet based on statistics for Southeast Asia, China, and Japan, and focuses on the development of an internet ministry in Thailand for evangelism and Christian nurture. It presents four stepping stones that can be used to develop an effective internet ministry and how this can be [...]

Books & Resources

Book cover - Building bridges to oral cultures

Book review – Building Bridges to Oral Cultures: Journeys to the Least-reached by K. Carla Bowman with James Bowman

Seeking A City With Foundations

Book review – Seeking a City with Foundations: Theology for an Urban World by David W. Smith

Insider Jesus

Book review – Insider Jesus: Theological Reflections on New Christian Movement by William Dyrness

Book cover - Planting an indigenous church

Book review – Planting an Indigenous Church: The Case of the Borneo Evangelical Mission by Jin Huat Tan

MRT 12.2 cover

Books and Resources for ministry to diaspora