Assistant Professor of Church History and Mission Studies
“The resurrected, reigning, and returning King Jesus is building his glocal church to his Father’s manifold glory by his Spirit’s use of his Word proclaimed and put into practice by his suffering yet satisfied people among every tribe and tongue on his good but groaning earth in this eschatological Day of Salvation.”
Christ rescued Travis through the humble, intellectually-engaged outreach and Spirit-fructified community life of a very ethnically diverse chapter of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in 1994. As a missionary with the Baptist General Conference (now Converge Worldwide) from 2003 to 2005 he had the privilege of teaching various theology courses at the Cameroon Baptist Theological Seminary and serving as faculty advisor for a student club and alumni organization for missions among francophone unreached people groups. His current research interests include the history of Christian missions and mission theory; theologies of culture and religion; biblical studies, biblical theology, and contextualization; as well as world Christianity and the implications of globalization for applied ecclesiology.
Travis and his skillful wife, Susan, have been involved with various ministries to children and young adults, the elderly, international students, and recent immigrants in Chicago, Minneapolis, Louisville, and Boston. They share a call to missions mobilization via theological education, resource development, global networking, and mentoring. They enjoy coffee and morning devotions together, watching international films and walking around the lakes of Minneapolis, shopping at (urban) Aldi’s and eating Susan’s cooking.
In 2015, Travis finished a dissertation on the way that the Congregational ecclesiology and Puritan piety of John Eliot (1604-1690) shaped his church planting ministry to Native Americans in colonial Massachusetts. Travis is currently writing a book on the theology of global outreach and cross-cultural ministry as well as a book concerning the history of Protestant cross-cultural ministry in emerging global context. He enjoys serving as the book review editor for the Journal of Global Christianity published by Training Leaders International.
- B.A., University of Illinois
- M.A., William Carey International University
- M.Div., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
- Ph.D., Boston University and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
- Additional Studies: Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; The Bethlehem Institute; Harvard Divinity School; Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Theological Seminary; Lakeland Community College
- “A City Under a Hill: Five Problems with Insider Movements” on Desiring God and ABWE International.
- “Jesus as Prototokos in Hebrews and the African Phenomenon of Eldest Brother: An Analysis of a Potential Illustration.” Journal of Global Christianity 5.1 (February 2019): 44-55.
- Review of Encountering the History of Missions: From Early Church to Today by John Mark Terry and Robert Gallagher (Baker) in Journal of Global Christianity 5.1 (February 2019): 119-126. A shorter version is published at Themelios 43.3 (December, 2018): 536-537.
- “The ‘Peculiar Qualifications’ and Goals of Frontier Church Planters and Other Missionaries According to the Serampore Form of Agreement (1805)” in Journal of Global Christianity 3.1 (2017) 9-23.
- Review of Bonhoeffer’s Seminary Vision: A Case for Costly Discipleship and Life Together in Themelios 40 no. 3 (Dec. 2015): 538-541.
- Review of Missions and Money: Affluence as a Missionary Problem. Revised and Expanded in Journal of Global Christianity 1, no. 1 (2015) 107-109.
- Review of Whose Religion is Christianity? The Gospel beyond the West in Journal of Global Christianity 1, no. 1 (2015) 116-117.
- “A Limited Survey of Theological Rationales Proposed for Social Action in ‘Mission‘” (Association of Professors of Mission, 2013). Papers. Book 23.
- “What Is the Sound of One Hand Clapping? The Complexity and Embeddedness of Biblical Pneumatology in Consideration of a Theology of Interreligious Dialogue” in Glossolalia (December 2012): 22-43.
- Co-editor with Todd Johnson, Rodney Petersen and Gina Bellofatto, 2010 Boston: The Changing Contours of World Mission and Christianity (Pickwick Publications, 2012).
- “Tracing a Theology of the Kingdom of God in William Carey’s Enquiry: A Case Study in Complex Mission Motivation as Component of ‘Missionary Spirituality'” in Missiology: An International Review 40, no. 1 (Jan 2012): 37-47.
- Review of Local Theology for the Global Church: Principles for an Evangelical Approach to Contextualization in Missiology: An International Review 39, no. 3 (July 2011): 413-414.
- “‘Get as Near to God as You Can’: A New Proposal for the Kind of ‘Civility’ Pursued for the Praying Indians of New England by the Congregationalist Reverend John Eliot (1604-1690).” Paper presented at the American Society of Church History Annual Meeting. Washington, D.C. January, 2018.
- “The ‘Pilgrim Principle’ as Interpretive Motif for Understanding Hostilities Encountered by Moravians in Colonial New York and Pennsylvania.” Paper presented at the American Society of Church History Annual Meeting. Chicago. January, 2012.
- “Toward a US American Ecclesiology of Mission Considering the Meta-Contexts of Globalization and a Global Church.” Paper presented at 2010 Boston: The Changing Contours of Mission and World Christianity, a special conference of the Boston Theological Institute. Boston. November, 2010.
- “Pentecost’s Power and Purpose: Seven Things the Holy Spirit Did at Pentecost.” Bethlehem College & Seminary chapel message.
- Interview on The Missions Podcast about British Particular Baptist pastor and missions administrator: Andrew Fuller: The Man Behind the Man Behind Modern Missions.
- “Jesus, the Hope of the Nations” Bethlehem College & Seminary chapel message.
- “Think Revisited: Thinking About the World” Bethlehem College & Seminary Seminar.
- “How the Holy Spirit Guards the Good Deposit: A Response to a Troubling Trend in Missions” Bethlehem Conference for Pastors + Church Leaders.
“Ulrich Zwingli – Prolific Swiss Reformer of the Church and Bold Standard Bearer for Christ” Bethlehem College & Seminary chapel message.
- “Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531): The Swiss Giant” (written as part of the Here We Stand series) at DesiringGod.org
- “God Loves to Work in Our Weakness” at Desiring God.org
- “Oh, Come Let Us Adore Him: A Missionary’s Refrain to the First Americans” at Desiring God.org
- “Learning to Lament through the Gift of Lymphoma” (a sermon on 1 Peter 1:3-9 at Bethlehem Baptist Church)
- “Doing Missions When Living is Gain” at DesiringGod.org
- “How to Grow as a Missiologist” at trainingleadersinternational.org
- “Time Tested Tactics for Fighting Temptation” at Desiring God.org
“Christ Equips His Churches for Every-Member Ministry So That His Body Builds Itself Up in Love” (a sermon on Ephesians 4:7-16) at Word of Grace Baptist Church.
- “Waban and John Eliot: A Testimony of Partnership and Perseverance in Cross-Cultural Ministry” Bethlehem College & Seminary Chapel Message.
- “4 Lessons We Should Learn from 19th-Century Missionaries” 9Marks online journal.