The three Congresses held at the Pontifical Urbaniana University during the three preceding academic years, have turned their attention to the necessity to listen to the voices of the African, Asian and American continents, which are indispensable for the Mission of the Church.
The central theme expressed by the many voices we have listened to has been summed up in the category of change, which took place above all, in the last five decades. This reality, combined with the coincidence of the fiftieth anniversary of the promulgation of the Decree Ad Gentes of Vatican Ecumenical Council II, has induced the Urbaniana University, the International Association of Catholic Missiologists and Missio to jointly consider and think over the significance of this Decree, which is the source of the missionary change outlined by the preceding Congresses. 
The aim of this Congress, therefore, is not simply a rereading of the conciliar text, but rather to re-understand its content in the light of the transformation that has taken place in the contemporary world, to revitalise the Christian significance of the same change with the strength of the announcement of the gospel. This Congress wishes to deeply reflect on the present relevance of Mission, on its universality, on the renewed commitments which it solicits and on the essential values that it proposes. This calls for an understanding of the world where we intend to bring the Gospel of Jesus, and the acceptance to share its efforts, its pain, joy and hope, as well as the anxiety, the quest for peace and the innumerable forms of injustice.
The Congress wishes to develop the contents of the message which Benedict XVI addressed to our University on October 21, when our Aula Magna was entitled after his name: “The Risen Lord entrusted his Apostles, and through them every disciple of all times, to bring his Word up to the ends of the earth and to make men his disciples. In the decree ‘Ad Gentes’ the Vatican Council II took up a constant tradition highlighting the profound reasons of this missionary task and thus assigned it with renewed strength to the Church of today. But is it still really valid?” The various sessions of the Congress will reflect on the foundation of Mission in Jesus’ mandate, the way Vatican II assumed the tradition giving it new strength and the journey which ensued, and finally the question of the significance of mission. It is our intention that there emerges the “spirit of Mission”, characteristic of the Church and especially solicited by the atmosphere of attention, reception and love towards all humanity typical of Vatican II,  as well as by the last pontificates, and above all by Pope Francis’ Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. We would like to place ourselves next to each person who searches for the mystery of Christ in order to witness the meaning of our faith in Jesus Christ, aware that the spirit of Jesus indeed precedes, accompanies and determines the missionary action.
We are called to courageously face the new challenges which Mission is called to deal with, in faithfulness to the Gospel of Jesus which we intend to announce, and in response to what Pope Francis demands from all the Church in the Evangelii Gaudium: “In our day Jesus’ command to ‘go and make disciples’ echoes in the changing scenarios and ever new challenges to the Church’s mission of evangelization, and all of us are called to take part in this new missionary ‘going forth’ ”. (n. 20)