Looking forward Looking back
Updated: Mar 31, 2022
II Timothy 3:15-17, “… and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Congratulations to California International Theological Seminary (CITS) on its 30th anniversary! The first class that I remember teaching was on the epistles on Paul in 1992. Seven students gathered in the small chapel at the church in Alhambra, California, as I taught from week to week. Somehow the memory of the first class remains in me with a sense of fulfilling a new calling that God had for my life – that of educating and preparing people who were dedicated to the Lord and serious about serving Him. By that time, I was in my thirteenth year of full-time pastoral ministry and was excited about this new venue of work for the Lord. I knew that people with the gift of teaching from the Holy Spirit have a love to learn and study that had been characteristic of my life. Knowledge, both practical and theoretical, has always been my pursuit, and teaching on a seminary level with students willing and eager to learn, is right up my alley of interest. I consider the opportunity to teach at CITS a privilege and blessing.
God will bless any endeavor that equips His people by training them in righteousness for every good work. CITS centers its mission on the training of men and women for the work of sharing the saving message of Jesus Christ and maturing the members of His body, the Church. Therefore, God is working at our school, because it is fulfilling a purpose that is centered in His heart. Looking forward to the future, we can be sure that He will continue to bless and prosper CITS as it stays true to His calling and purpose.
Before I taught at CITS, a pastor prayed for me at a church service. He saw a vision of me ministering and working among Chinese. At the time, my wife and I were pastoring a church in Northridge that was comprised primarily of Japanese and Japanese-Americans, so upon hearing this pastor’s words, I wondered if God wanted me to go overseas as a missionary to the Chinses people. Later after teaching at CITS, I realized that I was to do ministry here for both groups of people, the Japanese through my church work, and the Chinese through seminary work. I could fulfill His full calling on my life!
The above scripture, II Timothy 3:15-17, bears witness to the richness and solidarity of genuine multigenerational faith. Paul reminded Timothy of the faith that was passed on to him from his mother and grandmother (II Tim. 1:5). Verse 15 with the phrase, “from infancy,” alludes to a faith in Timothy that had been developed over several generations and also attests to something that which is deep and secure, now a mark of what CITS is becoming. In the Bible, a generation is considered as a period of forty years. Our school is celebrating its thirtieth year which is almost one generation. It was brought about and has been maintained over the years through the vision, labor, and sacrifice of our president, Dr. Philip Huang along with his wife and professor, Dr. Mihoko. Our thirty-year history is a benchmarking testimony of their dedication, but more than anything, the provision of God who provided a place, personnel, and privileges that enabled CITS to be a viable training institution. It has been my pleasure to teach and fulfill my responsibilities as a professor and dean.
Looking forward, we have many great challenges including the establishment of our accreditation and an increase in faculty, enrollment, and budget to do more teaching and training for the Lord, qualitatively and quantitatively. We need only to believe that God is able to do all things for His good pleasure and glory. May God richly bless CITS in its years to come and you as you support the school!