James H. Park, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Discipleship and Mission 

The Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies

January, 2009

Teaching Portfolio



Jim Picture






June 21, 1950

As a devout Catholic in Northern California

Became SDA in my early 20s

1978–2003—Southern California Conference

August, 2003–Present—AIIAS Theological Seminary


1978 BA in Theology: Pacific Union College

1984 MDiv Andrews University

1996 MA in Intercultural Studies: Fuller Theological Seminary

“Lord of LA: A Framework for Seventh-day Adventist Urban Church Planning  in Southern California.”

2000 Ph.D. in Missiology Fuller Theological Seminary

“The Incorporation and Release of Disciples for Mission in Contemporary North America.”


Reflection on Life Experience and Teaching Method

In reflecting on my own life experience and how it has impacted my teaching, I have known for some time that the “formal” training received from an institution, while valuable, is augmented in a dynamic way by the discipline the Lord impacts upon my heart and mind in day to day living.   My Catholic background, the conversion to Adventism, the challenges I have faced in my pastoral life have all helped to shape me far beyond the academic training.  At heart, I am a pastor, shaped and molded by the Good Shepherd and now entrusted to train and shape other pastors in their work of being a channel of blessing to others. 

I believe this same “informal” training was evident in the development of Joseph while he was in Egypt,  Moses when he shepherded in the wilderness and Jesus as he toiled in his father’s carpenter’s shop.  I have consciously attempted to carry these twin formal and informal modalities of training into both my pastoral and teaching profession.  What is done inside the church and classroom is only a part of the influence I might share with my congregants and students.  Even more powerful, are the opportunities which must be taken advantage of, to touch people in their homes and day to day living.

For this reason, I not only try to engage the students with my knowledge and experience in the classroom but attempt to visit them in their homes, take them on field trips to churches, walk and talk with them in the countryside and eat a simple meal with them.  Just as Jesus was with His disciples in their day to day ministry, it is a goal of mine to personally be with my students in whatever way I can so that I can share with them the wisdom and grace God has given to me.