The Australian Association for Mission Studies (AAMS) grew out of the former South Pacific Association for Mission Studies (SPAMS) at the Australian Missiology Conference in 2005 and was formally constituted in 2006.
SPAMS had been established by a regular meeting of missiologists in Sydney in the early 1980s. Rev Dr Cyril Hally SSC recognised that the South Pacific was the only region without its own missiological journal and, with the strong support of Rev Dr Don Wodarz, laid plans to publish a journal for the region. Don Wodarz had a long involvement with the International Association for Mission Studies (IAMS) and the journal Missiology.
Supporting the Journal was a Board, which quickly established a Sydney chapter of SPAMS, affiliated with the International Association for Mission Studies (IAMS) as the South Pacific chapter and sought to facilitate the establishment of chapters in the other states.
The Sydney chapter organised a number of significant meetings and seminars with visiting missiologists and church or mission leaders. However, on the 6th April 2005 the SPAMS Board decided to relocate the organisation to Melbourne by the end of the year.
It was agreed at the Australian Missiology Conference in September 2005, that SPAMS should be renamed the Australian Association for Mission Studies, with links to the Aotearoa New Zealand Association for Mission Studies (ANZAMS), and the International Association for Mission Studies (IAMS).
The new association would be run by a Melbourne-based organising committee with interstate corresponding members. All those on the Australian Missiology Conference publicity list were invited to join the new association as members, committee members or editorial board members.
The Melbourne-based Mission Studies Network took the initiative in forming the new association’s committee and the first committee meeting of the new Australian Association for Mission Studies was held on 6 February 2006. AAMS was formally constituted on the 17th August 2006.