I have often heard it said that “Moody is missions.” Moody Bible Institute’s commitment to spreading the gospel to every nation has been central to our mission from the very beginning.
Just three years following the school’s founding in 1886, 130 former Moody students were serving as foreign missionaries. That same year, D. L. Moody helped organize the Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions, which drew more than 250 students from 89 colleges with a zeal for missionary service. The first formal missionary courses at Moody Bible Institute were introduced in 1904. Students came to receive Bible, theology, and ministry training with the purpose of dedicating their lives to missionary service.
Today, Moody offers six missions majors. Our Moody faculty has a combined total of some 150 years of cross-cultural living experience. They have served in Korea, Sudan, Indonesia, Pakistan, Venezuela, South Africa, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Mexico, Austria, Germany, Nepal, Albania, Romania, Japan, Bolivia, and urban America. Students train to minister both in foreign countries and within the United States—we don’t need to travel far to engage in cross-cultural ministry.
I am honored to lead an organization that has taken Jesus at His word: to “be my witnesses . . . even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Written by Luke, the book of Acts has a prominent missionary theme because it details the rapid growth of the early church and the first missionary efforts. The book begins with the ascension of Jesus into heaven (Acts 1:10), quickly followed by the empowering of the church through the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2).
The early church experienced dramatic growth but also attracted horrific persecution. Acts provides a record of the time between the Gospel narratives and the apostolic letters. During these years, under the leadership of Peter, Paul, and other apostles, the church proclaimed the gospel across cultures, expanding its reach around the world. They took the message that had begun with the Jewish people and shared it with the Gentiles. Through Peter, the church spread from Judea to Galilee to Samaria, Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch. Through Paul, the church extended from Antioch into Rome.
Despite imprisonment and bitter opposition to the followers of Jesus, the gospel became a holy fire that could not be quenched. And these heroic missionary efforts continue today. With each student who graduates from Moody and dedicates his or her life as a witness of the gospel, we continue this journey, answering the command of Jesus to go to “the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).