Dr. Sonny Tha Nyan

We’re excited to introduce Dr. Sonny Tha Nyan, coming from Yangon to share with us!

Sonny brings together nearly 40 years of experience in Christian International Relief and Development with actually 36 years focused on the building of an extensive range of human services through the International YMCA Network as General Secretary of the Yangon YMCA.

With educational credentials that enrich and mirror his deep experience, he holds MA and PhD degrees from University of Dublin.

The Yangon YMCA has grown under Sonny’s leadership to deliver a growing impact of integrated social services in the love of God, not only through the Yangon YMCA, but also through a network of health centers, schools, and early childhood development centers. Further, the Yangon YMCA has developed an innovative micro-finance program that has impacted over a thousand mostly women clients with radically increased economic opportunity across Yangon.

After hurricane Nargis, Sonny also managed to greatly leverage international and local relationships to bring significant relief to thousand of affected people in the impacted areas.

Shane Claiborne

Can’t wait to hear Shane Claiborne speak about peacemaking, social justice, and Jesus. With tears and laughter, Shane Claiborne unveils the tragic messes we’ve made of our world and the tangible hope that another world is possible. Shane graduated from Eastern University, and did graduate work at Princeton Seminary. His ministry experience is varied, from a 10-week stint working alongside Mother Teresa in Calcutta, to a year spent serving a wealthy mega-congregation at Willow Creek Community Church outside Chicago. During the recent war in Iraq, Shane spent three weeks in Baghdad with the Iraq Peace Team. Shane is also a founding partner of The Simple Way, a faith community in inner city Philadelphia that has helped to birth and connect radical faith communities around the world. He is featured in the DVD series “Another World Is Possible” and is the author of the several books including The Irresistible Revolution, Jesus for President, and Becoming the Answer to Our Prayers.

If you haven’t already, pick up one of his books and read it before the Summit! We’re sure you won’t regret it!

Rosalee Ewell

We’re so excited to have Rosalee Ewell opening the Summit with a biblical look at urban mission. She’ll also be leading the working group, “Join God in the challenges and opportunities of multi-faith cities”.

Rosalee Velloso Ewell is the Executive Director of the Theological Commission for the World Evangelical Alliance. She is a Brazilian Baptist theologian from São Paulo and has a PhD in theological ethics from Duke University (USA). Rosalee also serves as New Testament editor for the forthcoming Latin American Bible Commentary and is the author and editor of various books and articles. Her other major writing project is a co-authored book on the theological history of mission and evangelism statements from around the world. Rosalee currently lives in Birmingham, UK, with her husband and their 3 children.

Don’t miss out!

Mrs Ruth S. Callanta

We’re excited to begin introducing our keynote speakers for the ISUM Summit 2013–the first ever Summit for the International Society for Urban Mission! Check back each week for another bio. Make sure you have registered, and invite your friends!

Mrs Ruth S. Callanta

Mrs Ruth S. Callanta


Ruth Callanta has been involved in social transformation and social development work for more than 40 years. In 1992 she founded the Center for Community Transformation which has since evolved into a group of ministries that reaches out to the entrepreneurial poor, the homeless, poor children and youth, landless agricultural workers, and informal service workers through integrated services that include feeding, basic healthcare, access to savings and life insurance, vocational skills training, and micro finance. Undergirding all activities of the CCT Group is a strong spiritual development component expressed through evangelism, discipleship and church planting activities.

Reflections on “Relief and Mission” in View of the 3.11 Great East Japan Earthquake Disaster

By President Masashi Moriya, Sendai Baptist Seminary

(translated by Mizue Uchida)


About six years ago, our seminary decided to make a paradigm shift in regards to our traditional theological education and leadership training. Hans Kung in The­ology for the Third Millennium: An Ecumenical View and David J. Bosch in Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission (Japanese translation by Shinkyo Publishers) discuss the paradigm shifts that have taken place in Christian churches up until today and are suggesting new paradigm shifts for the post-modern world. The common thread running through both of these works is a rediscovery of the importance of the local church and its ministry.

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Seek the Shalom of the City

by Doug Priest

Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. (Jer. 29:4-7, NRSV)


The prophet Jeremiah began his ministry in Jerusalem around 627 and saw it fall to Nebuchadnezzar in 597.  At the beginning of Jeremiah’s prophesies Josiah was the king. Josiah had purified the current worship practices by removing the sacred shrines and sacrifices. He made Jerusalem the center of sacrificial practices.

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International Society for Urban Mission

The “International Society for Urban Mission” (ISUM) was formed in Klong Toey slum, Bangkok on January 12-13, 2012. God brought together 30 urban Christian thinkers, activists and leaders who longed for God’s people to take seriously the rise of urban slums and to ‘seek the peace of the city’ (Jeremiah 29:7). We came together as people who have lived in cities across the globe, including: Manila, Yangon, Perth, Mae Sot, Knoxville, Melbourne, Brisbane, Indianapolis, Sydney, Bangkok, Seattle, Manila, Yangon, Auckland, Glasgow, Chiang Mai, Addis Ababa, and several others. Our purpose was to form a fellowship of urban Christians committed to seeking God’s Shalom for our cities, especially those in 10/40 Window Majority World. The focus of ISUM, therefore, is on active reflection, personal solidarity and leadership development in cities. Dr. Ash Barker was named the first Convener of ISUM and commissioned to help launch ISUM in its first year.