Waterloo Lutheran Seminary
Dr. Alan Lai Appointed to WLS Faculty
Dr. David Pfrimmer
Waterloo Lutheran Seminary
(519) 884-0710 ext. 3229
WATERLOO – An experienced professor and highly respected pastor has accepted an appointment to the faculty at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary. Dr. Alan Lai has been appointed by the WLS Board of Governors to the faculty position of Assistant Professor of Christian Studies and Global Citizenship to teach in the new Seminary undergraduate program effective July 1, 2012.
The Rev. Dr. Alan Lai was born and raised in Hong Kong. When he was 19, Alan came to Canada to pursue his university education. During the course of his studies and work, Alan has lived in many North American cities such as Toronto, Sherbrooke, Regina, Saskatoon, New York City and Vancouver. In Canada, Alan earned an undergraduate degree in Economics and two master degrees in theology; and in the United States, a Doctor of Education degree from Columbia University in New York City. Alan is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC). Alan has served on the B.C. Synod’s Colloquy Examination committee, the ELCIC’s Committee on Faith and Doctrine, and the recently established ELCIC Taskforce on the Future of Theological Education.
From 2002 to 2006, Dr. Lai taught at Vancouver School of Theology; and from 2006 to just prior to coming to Waterloo, he was the Pastor of Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in North Vancouver. Alan speaks Cantonese and English; he has a working knowledge of Mandarin. He has studied classical and New Testament Greek, Hebrew, German and Japanese. Alan’s goal in teaching is to prepare competent, passionate and caring leaders who are skillful in examining the past, articulating faith in contemporary social contexts, and carrying humble services to the world. Gender, sexual, social, economic and ecological justice are integral to his educational commitments.
Dr. Lai in accepting this appointment said, “I look forward to this opportunity. I am passionate about educating toward global citizenship and teaching and learning in multicultural contexts.” Alan was one of the fifteen selected participants of the Wabash Center Workshop on Teaching and Learning for Pre-tenured professors, and one of the selected recipients of the Summer Fellowship offered by Wabash Center. He was also a past recipient of a Lilly Research Grant administered by the Association of Theological Schools. In the international arena, Alan has participated in theological consultations organized by the Lutheran World Federation in Germany.
Dr. Lai will help to initiate and lead the Seminary’s new undergraduate program in Christian Studies and Global Citizenship. The program will be offered beginning September 1, 2012 in Waterloo. The aim of this program is to help students be more aware of how people of faith might most effectively engage the world and to assist students find their “life’s work” as a vocational expression of their faith.
“I am very very pleased that Alan will be joining the Waterloo faculty,” said Dr. David Pfrimmer the Principal-Dean at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary. “Alan has a wide variety of teaching and pastoral experience. Most importantly, he concretely embodies what it means to be a ‘global citizen,’” noted Pfrimmer. “I know that his heart for students and passionate academic interests will ensure that students and faculty alike will learn more about what the world needs of us.”
The Board of Governors made this appointment at its March 23-24, 2012 meeting in Waterloo. “This new program is important to the Seminary and we are just simply elated to have Alan agree to come to Waterloo,” said Marge Watters Knebel, Chairperson of Waterloo Lutheran Seminary’s Board of Governors. “He is competent to teach in a number of fields which can only enhance the community of learning and scholarship that exists at the Seminary.”
Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, supported by the Eastern Synod, is one of two theological schools of the 190,000-member Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada and is a federated college of Wilfrid Laurier University