Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Theology (ThD)


Historical Theology

First Advisor

Quentin Wesselschmidt


This paper seeks to explain the success and failure of Presbyterian missions to Indians in western Canada. It attempts to discover if there has been an authentic engagement between the Gospel of Christ and the cultures of these Indians. The focus is on the theology of missions and its application. The question of Christian relationship to culture is an important issue.

The problem that the Presbyterian Church in Canada faced in its missions to Indians was theological. The Christian faith challenged an Indian religion. It was theology that determined how the religion of the Indian should be approached by Presbyterian missions, how the Indian should accept the Christian faith, and how the Indian should be accepted by the Christian church. The purpose of this work is not to write a paper on comparative religions. Rather, it is to discover an effective way to relate the Christian faith to a unique culture.

Theological outlook is reflected in mission policy. This was demonstrated in a negative manner by a "fatalistic “form of Calvinism that would not support William Carey' and in a positive manner by David Brainerd2 in his mission to Indians in the "American Colonies." It is the theology behind the mission that determines the personnel and the responsibilities of such personnel. This theology ultimately determines the success or failure of the mission.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.