The Fourth Self

Theological Education to Facilitate Self-Theologizing for Local Church Leaders in Kenya

by Richard E. Trull (Author)
©2014 Monographs X, 211 Pages
Series: Bible and Theology in Africa, Volume 14


The research and reflections in The Fourth Self come from the author’s almost thirty years of interaction in mission endeavors, primarily in Kenya, starting with an evangelism and church planting emphasis, to maturing young churches, and then various methods of leadership development. Much of what the author has learned on his pilgrimage in search of the fourth self, he owes to his Kenyan brothers and sisters with whom he has shared this journey. The Fourth Self will assist the reader in sharing in this journey more fully.
Given the influence of the Western theological heritage in East Africa, it is important that the value of the theological education be evaluated from the perception of the participants in the educational process. This intercultural pilgrimage has been in the making for many decades, and it has been a journey for both African and Western participants as they both learned from and taught one another. This volume articulates the voices of the participants in a theological process while engaging their cultural contexts with the gospel, searching for what Paul Hiebert calls the «fourth self», self-theologizing. Furthermore, it evaluates which factors in the theological education process and ministry experiences contributed significantly to the leaders developing their own theological understanding of scripture as it applies to their cultural and ministry contexts, that is, practicing the fourth self. Professors, especially cross-cultural theological educators, will find this text to be useful in delving into the always dynamic cauldron of contexualization, self-theologizing, and global theologizing. In addition, this volume sets a solid foundation for improvements in ministry, theological interchange, and theological education in Africa.


X, 211
ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2016 (April)
pilgrimage evangelism heritage
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2014. 211 pp., num. ill.

Biographical notes

Richard E. Trull (Author)

Richard E. Trull, Jr. earned his PhD in intercultural studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and is currently Professor of Missions at Faulkner University in the V. P. Black College of Biblical Studies. After serving over ten years as a missionary in Meru, Kenya, he is now the Director of the Meru School of Theology. His publications include «Letter to the Colossians» in the Commentary on the New Testament in Simple English (1991). He has given presentations such as «Discerning Worldviews: Distinguishing Core Perceptions in Conceptualizing Worldview Distances» at the Evangelical Missiological Society and Evangelical Theological Society. In addition, he is a consulting editor for the online journal, Missio Dei: A Journal of Missional Theology and Praxis and recipient of the Excellence in Service Award (2008–2009) by Faulkner University.


Title: The Fourth Self