He wrote the book on urban ministry

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Jun 25, 2022

By Brian Walsh

He wrote the book that has been the standard in urban ministry for fifteen years, and now Mark Gornik is coming to Wycliffe College.

Known as a biblical theologian, urban ministry practitioner, innovator in seminary education, church planter, and theological ethnographer, Gornik cut his missional teeth in the New Song Community in the depressed Sandtown neighbourhood of Baltimore. Out of that experience came his ground-breaking book To Live in Peace: Biblical Faith in the Changing Inner City (Eerdmans).

 The book brings together his lived experience in Sandtown with keen socio-political analysis, urban studies, and a richly ecumenical biblical theology. Most MTSD students at Wycliffe College will have read it at some point in their studies. In two weeks’ time, they will have the opportunity to meet its author.

Together with the Christian Reformed Campus Ministry to the University of Toronto, Wycliffe College is partnering with Trinity College, Yonge Street Mission, and St. James Cathedral to host Gornik—who is also the founder and director of City Seminary of New York—for a series of lectures and conversation on March 13 and 14.

The conversations will range from the shape of urban ministry since the publication of To Live in Peace, to Gornik’s model of urban ministry that attends to the five senses, to reimagining seminary education, and a presentation on the global church made flesh in North American urban centres. Gornik will also preach at Wine Before Breakfast on Tuesday morning.

Why come? Gornik brings depth of experience, wisdom and biblical faith to the area of urban ministry and education. Most recently, he has also documented the rise of African Christianity in New York City and has reflected on the significance of newer immigrant churches for the shape of urban Christianity in North America. He has valuable insights to share for those with “ears to hear.” And all of these events are free and open to everyone.