Theological Education

Seminary Teaching in Jun

Dale taught the first half of his modular Contemporary Theology seminary class in Japanese Jun 24-26. The second half will be at the last week of Oct. This is his 22nd year of teaching part-time at Japan Bible Seminary.

He was particularly encouraged by the comment of one his students after his presentation on postmodernism, describing Japan as a soft postmodern culture in which personal relationships are illusive or shallow:

Your description of postmodernism and your classification of Japan as a soft postmodern culture fits me perfectly. Until I became a follower of Christ at the age of 26 I was indeed a soft postmodernist who desperately wanted to develop meaningful personal relationships because I had none. It was only when a Christian church and its people welcomed me into their circle that I was introduced to the love of God and his objective, universal truth.

It seems sometimes theology aligns with reality!…and might move toward doxology.

Sep-Oct in Japan and Asia

Our first trip to Japan in 2023 was in Feb, the second in Jun, and the third from Sep 23 - Oct 21. For the first 10 days of our fall trip we visited Chiang Mai and Singapore as part of our Asia Regional Coordinator role with ServeBeyond. The rest of the time we focused on guiding Tokyo Multicultural Church through leadership transition, Dale meeting one-on-one with pastors and Ann with some of the ladies.

2023_10_17-2 Cheng
The highlight was meeting David & Lina Cheng in-person for the first time. They had arrived with their two children via Hong Kong just a few weeks earlier in order to begin serving as TMC’s full-time Chinese ministries couple. We met with them for orientation to both Tokyo and TMC, as well as to ServeBeyond because they are seconded from SIM Singapore, their sending mission agency. For the next few months we will continue providing them with orientation over zoom a couple times a month. Then after that we will meet with them every 4-6 weeks as we do with most of our ServeBeyond global workers in Asia.

While in Tokyo Dale also preached, led a TMC Members’ Meeting, and finished teaching the last half of his Contemporary Theology modular class this year at Japan Bible Seminary. In addition, TMC held its first children’s blessing event (not to be confused with baby dedication).


June in Japan

Our first trip to Japan in 2023 was Feb 21 - Mar 9 (3 wks). It was supposed to be 4 weeks but we had to shorten it because we both came down with covid (light symptoms) a few days before our original departure from the US. More about that trip here.

Our second trip was May 30 - Jun 29 (4 wks). We travelled to Tokyo on weekends from our house in northern Japan where we stayed mid-week. So we were able to be in-person at Tokyo Multicultural Church every Sunday in June. Read More…

Academic Paper - God’s Ecclesial Mission

2023_03_24 UK
On Mar 21 Dale read a paper in England at Cranmer Hall’s Church Planting Theology Conference (Durham Univ.) titled “Thinking Theologically about Church Planting—God’s Ecclesial Mission and Ours.” Perhaps his paper will appear in a follow-up publication from the conference.

After the conference we enjoyed a week in Scotland, chasing down family roots and friends/relatives.

Twenty Years of Teaching Theology in Japan

2022_10 JBS 2
Dale began teaching his Contemporary Theology class in Japanese at Japan Bible Seminary in 2001. He completed his 20th year in Nov 2022. Due to several home assignments along the way he did not teach the course every year. Class sizes have ranged from 3-4 students (as in the 2022 pic above) up to a dozen. He’ll be continuing to teach for a few more years.

Always enjoyable!…but much more challenging to grade theology papers in Japanese for 12 students than 3.

Teaching Theology in Japan and Canada

In June 2017 Dale began his 15th year of teaching his one semester Contemporary Theology course in Japanese at Japan Bible Seminary (Tokyo). He encourages his students to critically grasp the breadth of Christian theology, with a special emphasis on evangelical theology. He now teaches this course on a modular basis, with one set of classes at the beginning of the semester (June) and another at the end (October), thus reducing his commuting time and increasing flexibility for his students. Read More…

Dale becomes adjunct faculty at ACTS Seminaries

Dale begins teaching “Church Planting Theology” in the fall semester of 2016 and “Asian Theologies” in the spring or fall of 2017. These new graduate level courses offered by ACTS Seminaries are scheduled for alternating years. They will be live streamed from Tokyo Multicultural Church or wherever Dale is located on a home assignment. All requirements, including research, can be done online.

This expansion of Dale’s theological education ministry provides ongoing graduate theological educational opportunities for missionaries in Japan (or anywhere), helps TMC develop future leaders, and might encourage some Canadian seminary students to consider internships and future ministry in Tokyo.

And this development converges with our personal mission statement:

The purpose of our lifetime ministry in Japan is to model and encourage BOTH the vision for making disciples of Jesus Christ through compassionate church planting AND the development of evangelical theology that gives rise to that vision.