In the aftermath of World War II, the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission (FELM) and its missionary training program underwent fundamental reorganization while preserving the legacy of its old missionary training schools for men and women. In the turmoil of World War II, most European mission societies suspended their training activities. Nonetheless, FELM and other organizations adapted and tried to develop alternative types of training. This study investigates the transformation of FELM missionary training during the war and postwar circumstances and discusses the rationales behind the transformation process. Annual reports, minutes, missionary training diaries, letters and journals are used as sources. Finnish postwar society offered good opportunities for reorganizing missionary training. Training was rearranged from vocational education to a shorter but more specialized program, where prospective missionaries were required to bring professional experience suitable for missionary purposes. By the end of World War II, there appeared a sudden demand for new missionaries. FELM had to make up for departing missionaries when war-related travel restrictions were removed. In combination with changes in society like professionalization, the lack of trained missionaries called for a swift adaptation of the training programs in character, scope and length. Shorter and more effective training was needed. At the same time, the transformation resulted in more uniformity, compared to the diversity of prewar missionary training. Due to the professionalization of Finnish society, FELM decided to focus on recruitment and streamlined training. The economic straits of postwar Finland favored short and efficient programs. Postwar missionary training by FELM fulfilled its purpose. By 1950 there was no further need for new missionaries. The training was put on hiatus for three years. The transformation was accomplished. At the same time, it led to a new era, which paved the way for modern, project-based, non-academic missionary training in Finland.
|Title of host publication||Finska kyrkohistoriska samfundets årsskrift 2015|
|Editors||Latvala Piia, Lampinen-Enqvist Olli|
|Publisher||Suomen kirkkohistoriallinen seura = Finska kyrkohistoriska samfundet|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|
|MoE publication type||A3 Part of a book or another research book|