“Take heed that you not be deceived." Luke 21:8

Rockefeller & Global Missions


Notes and links from Susan Conway


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Over the past 5 months, as I have continued my study and gone down what might seem like "rabbit trails," one of those trails has been going toward a study of the Student Volunteer Movement. This turns out to be quite significant.

I know that in past years I have heard it referred to. In studying such things as AD2000 and Beyond, the DAWN Movement, the Perspectives Course, and now in more detail the U S Center for World Mission, the SVM has repeatedly come up.

Last weekend I was looking through a biography of Robert E. Speer, one of the movement's early leaders. He was having discussions with John R. Mott (another leader) and John D Rockefeller ( not sure yet which one, the time was in the early 1930s) with requests for money to fund projects....


See the rest of Susan's introduction to the Student Volunteer Movement


John D. Rockefeller, 3rd, 1906-1978

The young Rockefeller also developed his own interests. Through his work as a member of the board of directors of the Bureau of Social Hygiene (to which he was appointed in 1928), Rockefeller began a lifelong commitment to the issues of population and birth control. In 1932, he became chairman of the Delinquency Committee of the Boys Bureau of New York City. Six years later the Committee published its recommendations for handling youthful offenders in Youth in the Toils. ...............................................................

In July 1942, Rockefeller joined the Navy. He served with the rank of lieutenant commander in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and worked in an interagency task force devoted to planning postwar policy for Japan. Rockefeller was released from active duty in 1945 but his wartime experience led to his appointment as a cultural consultant to John Foster Dulles during the Japanese peace treaty negotiations. His broad assignment to consider ways to improve U.S.- Japan relations fostered his deep interest in Japan and in all of Asia. Rockefeller came to love the country, its culture, and its people, so much so that Japan became a second home to Rockefeller and his wife. It was during this time, the latter 1940s, that he and his wife began collecting Asian art, albeit on an intermittent and amateur basis. ...................................................

With the founding of the Population Council in 1952, Rockefeller hoped to bring the problem of overpopulation to global attention. His travels throughout Asia convinced him that population growth had to be checked if underdeveloped countries were to achieve political stability. In 1970, President Nixon appointed Rockefeller to the chairmanship of the Commission on Population Growth and the American Future.


The "contextualizing" of the gospel, which credit is given to Donald McGavran, in reality began with Mott's survey which resulted in the report, "Rethinking Missions." Mott's ecumenical influence is widespread and is found as a mainstay in teaching courses such as Perspectives, and throughout mission thought.



In 1929 the building was purchased by the Canadian School for Missions to serve as a centre for returning missionaries, offering a library and facilities for conference and study. It also provided lectures to divinity students in order to provide orientation to overseas missions, and served for many years as the base for the Student Volunteer Movement. As the result of a fund-raising campaign, supplemented by grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, Dr. Lowell Murray, the first Director, was able to enlarge the building with a two-story addition to accommodate a chapel and lecture room. The inscription in stone above the door, Canadian School for Missions;, dates from 1929.


1988: first of three conferences on "The Body and Spirituality," funded by Laurance Rockefeller's Fund for the Enhancement of the Human Spirit,


Laurance S. Rockefeller and his Fund for the Enhancement of the Human Spirit have financed New Agers Matthew Fox, Barbara Marx Hubbard, and Bishop Swing's Grace Cathedral.


She created Quest: Grace Cathedral Center for Spiritual Wholeness in 1987 through the Laurence S. Rockefeller's Fund for The Enhancement of the Human Spirit.


A common funding source for Episcopalian, New Age antics

There's at least one common source of funding for these Episcopalian, New Age antics. Laurance S. Rockefeller and his Fund for the Enhancement of the Human Spirit have funded Matthew Fox,(639) the Quest Program,(640) Grace

Cathedral,(641) and Barbara Marx Hubbard. In one book, Marx Hubbard describes Rockefeller as her "beloved patron," (642) and in another, she says that Rockefeller's "intuition about 'the Christ of the 21st Century' deeply inspired me."(643)



See also Conforming the Church to the New Millennium


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