Rodger Nishioka Appointed to Leadership for Theology of Joy and the Good Life Project

Rodger Nishioka Appointed to Leadership for Theology of Joy and the Good Life Project

Columbia Theological Seminary’s Rodger Nishioka, Benton Family Associate Professor of Christian Education, has been appointed to the Joy and Adolescent Faith and Flourishing (JAFF) Advisory Board of the Theology of Joy and the Good Life project based at the Yale Center for Faith & Culture. The three-year research project is made possible by a $4.2 million grant from The John Templeton Foundation.

The JAFF Advisory Board will assemble some of the nation’s foremost scholars of youth ministry. As a member of the board, Dr. Nishioka will conduct research and direct the project in collaboration with the project’s principal investigator, Miroslav Volf, Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School, and an extraordinary group of scholars and religious leaders from institutions around the globe, including Jürgen Moltmann, Jonathan Sacks, N. T. Wright, and Nicholas Wolterstorff.

Nishioka contributed to a 2014 planning project on the Theology of Joy, during which the fundamental questions of the Theology of Joy and the Good Life project were formulated. The Theology of Joy and the Good Life project will conduct research and facilitate interdisciplinary conferences and other gatherings to build a transformative movement driven by a Christian articulation of the joy that attends the flourishing human life.

As a major area of focus in the project, the Joy and Adolescent Faith and Flourishing subproject will examine adolescence as a uniquely opportune and consequential phase of moral and spiritual development with profound implications for long-term prospects of a life of joyful flourishing. JAFF will conduct a three-year series of 34 lectures on the foundations of adolescent joy and flourishing, publish scholarly articles, an anthology, a major theological monograph, and curricular materials on the foundations of joy and flourishing life and on the spiritual resources supporting resilience in the face of common sources of adolescent suffering.

“We are very excited to have Dr. Nishioka’s leadership in this project,” said Volf. “We are working to identify the practices and attitudes that hinder and develop sustained joy in adolescence, so that we can offer resources that will enable adolescents to live lives of joyful flourishing. Having Dr. Nishioka’s expertise in Christian education and the formation of faith in young people is essential for this important project.”

More information about the Theology of Joy and the Good Life project is available at, which will be periodically updated with news and resources generated by the project.

The John Templeton Foundation serves as a philanthropic catalyst for discovery in areas engaging life’s biggest questions, ranging from explorations into the laws of nature and the universe to questions on the nature of love, gratitude, forgiveness, and creativity. Visit for more information.

The Yale Center for Faith and Culture was established in 2003 to critically examine and promote practices of faith which advance authentic human flourishing and the global common good. The Center’s core programs are God & Human Flourishing, Life Worth Living, and Adolescent Faith & Flourishing. Visit for more information.

Columbia Theological Seminary is committed to “educating imaginative, resilient leaders for God’s changing world.” As an educational institution of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Columbia is a community of theological inquiry and formation for ministry in the service of the Church of Jesus Christ. Columbia offers seven graduate degree programs and dozens of courses and events as a resource for church professionals and lay people through the Center for Lifelong Learning. For more information about Columbia Theological Seminary, please visit

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