Tell us a little bit about your background.
My father (now deceased) was American, and my mother is Thai. They met when my father was stationed in Thailand for seven years. When he retired from the military, they moved to California, where I was born, and raised with my two sisters. I grew up in a non-religious environment and came to know the Lord at the age of 19. I quickly felt a call into ministry, which included studies. Ironically, I hated school as a teenager and vowed not to return once I had completed high school. Instead, I did vocational degrees in welding and machining and had planned to go into one of these trades. The Lord changed this direction and ultimately changed my attitude toward education. I grew to love learning and the holistic transformation that could take place through Christian higher education.
My wife’s name is Vanessa, and we have two children—Sierra (15) and Brenden (13). Vanessa and I were married in 2005, and that same year, I was ordained in the Church of the Nazarene.
How has your knowledge of The Salvation Army led to your decision to become involved with Booth UC?
In my years of pastoral ministry (mostly in the areas of youth work, discipleship and community outreach), I quickly gravitated toward acts of service as a way of evidencing the love of God and building new and deeper relationships. I came to understand and believe that all Christians are called to love and serve others in tangible ways, especially “the least of these.” Through these ministries, I came to know The Salvation Army and partnered with them in various ways in each of my ministry assignments. When I moved into higher education, these partnerships continued, just in slightly different ways. I have a deep respect for The Salvation Army and the work they do around the world. That is why this opportunity to join the Booth UC community and work side-by-side with The Salvation Army in Canada (and beyond) is so exciting to me.
What gives you inspiration/motivation in your field?
I enjoy journeying with others toward shared goals and helping them to excel in their areas of gifting. I love dreaming together and then working to see these dreams become a reality. This is not an easy process. It takes wrestling together, learning together, compromising together and even failing together. But my calling is first and foremost focused on relationship and, as cliché as it may sound, I do believe we are better together and can accomplish more kingdom results together. Others inspire me and I hope that I inspire them as well. I believe God doesn’t necessarily call us to success as much as God calls us to faithfulness and love. These must remain our primary goals.
How does your research and/or teaching help “Education for a Better World”?
My areas of research and teaching are biblical studies and biblical theology with a primary focus on New Testament and hermeneutics. I enjoy helping students learn to read and interpret Scripture with more depth and from a Wesleyan perspective. I believe the stories and teachings of the Bible help us to better understand who this God is and who we are in light of this God. As we study the whole of Scripture, we see the story of a relational God who continues to pursue us with love and mercy and who calls believers to a ministry of reconciliation, justice, compassion and grace in our world. This excites me!
Outside of your work at Booth UC, what are you interested in?
Even though I love people and love being with others, I am an introvert who has learned how to thrive in extroverted situations. Therefore, in my down time, I prefer smaller groups or one-on-one time with others. This is especially enjoyed over good food or playing almost any board or card game. I also enjoy most things related to creativity. This includes reading, writing, playing guitar, writing the occasional song, watching the arts, and dabbling in a number of other creative ventures.
Reprinted from Booth UC Connect, Summer 2023.