Dr. Rodger Nishioka has announced his resignation as Benton Family Associate Professor of Christian Education at Columbia Theological Seminary effective March 31, 2016. He was recently introduced to the Village Presbyterian Church in Prairie Village, KS as their new director of Adult Educational Ministries.
Born in Honolulu and raised in Seattle at the Japanese Presbyterian Church, Rodger is the son of a retired Presbyterian minister. Rodger has taught at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decutur, GA near Atlanta for 15 years engaging seminary students and pastors to be teachers and leaders in the ministry of Christian education, particularly for youth and young adults.
“Rodger Nishioka is one of the most energetic and animated speakers I have ever witnessed,” said Dr. Leanne Van Dyk, President of Columbia Theological Seminary. “His passion is infectious! He has truly been a gift to our community, and we know he will make a great impact in and through the work of Village Church.”
“As often happens with the Holy Spirit, this new call has surprised me and captured my imagination,” said Dr. Nishioka. “It has been my great privilege to work at Columbia Seminary these many years. My heart is full with the graciousness and kindness others have shown me on this journey.”
Prior to teaching at Columbia Theological Seminary, Rodger was the national coordinator for Youth and Young Adult Ministries for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and previous to that taught English and Social Sciences at Curtis Junior High School in Tacoma, WA. Rodger received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Social and Cultural Foundations of Education from Georgia State University. He earned his Master of Arts in Theological Studies with an emphasis in biblical studies and theology from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, and a Bachelor of Arts in English with Minor in History and a Teaching Certificate for Secondary Education (Grades 6-12).
Dr. Nishioka is the author of Sowing the Seeds (Witherspoon Street Press, 1999), an exploration of faith development in adolescents. He also wrote The Roots of Who We Are (Witherspoon Street Press, 1997), an exploration of youth ministry and Reformed Theology. Dr. Nishioka is currently working on new book projects with Westminster/John Knox Press and Witherspoon Street Press.
He has received such honors as the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators Educator of the Year Award (1992) and the Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Related Ministries Children’s Champion Award (2002). This fall, Rodger was a member of the Joy and Adolescent Faith and Flourishing Advisory Board of the Theology of Joy and the Good Life project based at the Yale Center for Faith & Culture.
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, please visit www.ctsnet.edu.