Welcome to OC Research


OC Research is a department of One Challenge (OC International).
This site showcases some of the best work of OC workers and offers information, training, and resources for all mission information workers.

  • OC Research FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions about OC's research ministries
  • Research Wiki - practical "how to" information about missionary field research
  • Resources - reports, case studies, training resources and more.
  • Research Links - useful research websites.

For more information about the innovative, world-wide ministries of One Challenge, visit www.OneChallenge.org!

A Cry for Intimacy: Insight for Training Christian Leaders

What are the training needs of South Africa’s Christian leadership? The need for training Church leaders in South Africa has been apparent for many years, but an accurate and comprehensive picture of the needs facing Christian leaders across South Africa has previously never been adequately researched… until now!

A Cry for Intimacy documents the responses from 800 South African pastoral leaders. OC workers in South Africa helped facilitate this extensive research project conducted by TOPIC (Trainers of Pastors International Coalition) Southern Africa involves ten years of scientifically verifiable research. Authors Willie Botha, David Bulger and Karl Teichert provide vital information for the future of the church in South Africa. It answers a number of key questions, including what gaps exist and what urgent needs face Christian leaders in various locations, denominations and cultural segments. It lays a critical foundation for addressing these needs and provides stimulus for further research.

The surprising discovery of the research was that the greatest felt need of South African Church leaders was intimacy with God. This was mentioned twice as often as the next felt need.

Need a helpful book on Research? Check it out from the OC Research Library

OC has 31 research-related books available for loan. If you would like to borrow a book, send us a message so we can send it your way. Here are the available books:

    Breakthrough! Stan Nussbaum
    Case Study Research: Design and Methods. Robert K. Yin.
    Community, Culture and Organizational Processes. Willaim B. Gudyknust et. al. eds.
    Contemporary Christian Communications: Its Theory and Practice. James F. Engel
    Culture’s Consequences: International Differences in Work-Related Values. Geert Hofsted.

Click the "Read more" link to view the entire list of books available.

New Online Research Training at the OC Learning Center

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Level 2.0 of our online research training is now available at the OC Learning Center.

    Module 2.1 focuses on the purposes of mission research
    Module 2.2 provides a overview of a ten step process used in mission research

Modules under development will provide indepth training related to each step of the research process.

Also check out our research wiki for other resources related to research training.

Highlights from the 2016 OC Researchers' Consultation

One Challenge workers seek to serve the global body of Christ by gaining knowledge through research. To better accomplish this, 33 workers gathered together recently for the One Challenge Research Consultation in SE Asia. The event takes place every five years to help researchers, leaders, and mission workers within the OC Global Alliance learn how to systematically ask good questions and manage information to make wiser ministry decisions. The first Research Consultation took place in 1984.

A Unique Consultation
The gathering brought together 16 women and 17 men, ages 22 to 72. While most participants serve with the U.S. Mobilization Center, workers also came from three other OC mobilization centers: Canada, India, and Brazil.

An Ambitious Agenda
Under the theme, “Asking How God is at Work,” the five days were filled with information, interaction, and inspiration. The focus of the first day,"Building on the Past," began with a review of OC’s rich history of mission research. Day two focused on how Quantitative Research or numbers can help us discern how God is at work. The third day focused on Qualitative Research or recording and analyzing people's stories. Each day featured a demonstration of various tools used for collecting data, coding, and analysis. Collaborative discussions punctuated the entire week. The week ended with a challenge to prayerfully envision the future of OC research in our virtual, cloud-sharing world.

Easy Access to Consultation Documents
Those with an account for this website can use their user name and password to log on and view many of the conference documents, These are found in the "OC Research Archive" in the "2016 Research Consultation" folder. If you are not yet have an account, you can request one by clicking the link "create a new account" in the upper right hand corner of this page.

Infographic Features Global Research Team

This infographic features the work the Global Research Team of One Challenge.

Three Eras of OC Research

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In September 2016, 33 OC workers met in Asia for a Global Research Consultation. Upon reviewing the 50+ years of OC’s work in mission research, we realized that we are in a third and new era of OC research. This article will provide an overview of the three eras of OC research and highlight what we envision for the next five years.

Five Quotes for Mission Information Workers

Five researchers from One Challenge participated in the Mission Information Workers Conference, 23-25 August 2016, in Texas. This gathering was sponsored by the Community of Mission Information Workers (CMIW), the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL), Harvest Information System (HIS) and the Seed Company. The program included 14 TED Talks (Technology, Entertainment & Design). A number of the speakers included insightful quotes in their TED Talks. Here are five thought provoking quotes that apply to mission information work.

Let’s start with two quotes attributed to Albert Einstein.

Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.

Second Level of Training for Mission Information Workers Now Available for BETA Testing

The first two modules that make up the second level of training for Mission Information Workers are now available for BETA testing. These modules, which address The Purpose for OC Research and The Research Process, are downloadable from this page.

Level 2 of Finding Your Way with OC Research has in view Mission Information Workers, Field Researchers and Team Leaders already involved in field ministry. Mission Information Workers and Field Researchers are included because they are providers of strategic information. Team Leaders are also included in this training because they are users of strategic information and thus need to understand the purpose and process of mission research. As leaders, they also need to encourage the entire ministry team to value, gather and use good information.

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

“If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants” – Isaac Newton

Why is research important to Christian missions? Why should we make an effort to count the believers and number the churches? What does a mission information worker do anyway?

Over the years these are some of the questions that have come my way about mission research. Based on my limited experience and understanding, I’ve tried to explain how research is helpful to Christian missions. But in recent years I’ve discovered that One Challenge has numerous “research giants” who have greatly helped me understand and articulate the importance of research to Christian mission.

In this article I will focus on the contribution of two of these research giants, whose complementary insights, though made a generation apart, have greatly shaped my understanding of missionary research and what a mission information worker does. Like Isaac Newton, I can see further by standing on the shoulders of these giants! By reading this article you will learn about four categories of mission research, the Mission Information Pyramid and how the Mission Information Pyramid informs the practice and application mission research.

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