John Y. Kwak, PhD

John Y. Kwak
Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology
Chair, Center for Ministry and Leadership Studies
Assistant Director, Doctor of Ministry Program
Accreditation Liaison Officer
  • Portland Campus, Bueermann Hall
  • 503.517.1834
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

"Paul calls us to 'be transformed by the renewing of your mind' (Rom. 12:2). I take him to be unapologetically affirming the centrality of mental renewal to our spiritual transformation. In my view there is no real distinction between head knowledge and heart knowledge. There is only true knowledge, the kind that transforms. As a Christian educator, it is my passion to cultivate remarkable transformation rooted in true knowledge of our remarkable God."

Degrees Earned

PhD in Philosophy

University of Rochester

Master of Arts in Philosophy

University of Southern California

Master of Arts in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics

Talbot School of Theology, Biola University

Master of Arts in New Testament

Talbot School of Theology, Biola University

Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Economics-Accounting

Claremont McKenna College

A Defining Moment

"Here are three. First, at a junior high school retreat when I was first brought to my knees, in tears, over the sin in my life that put Christ on the cross. How could one as beautiful as him endure so much, with love for one as broken as me? Second, at an InterVarsity conference at the end of my freshman year in college when God used an inductive study in the Gospel of Mark to wreck my preconception of what authentic Christian faith and followership consists in. Yes, we are saved by grace through faith alone, but authentic faith is one which expresses itself in taking up one's cross and losing one's life for Christ's sake and the gospel. "If anyone wishes to come after Me, ..." (Mk. 8:34-35). Third, when in the midst of working on my senior thesis on faith and reason I became convinced that one does not need to check one's mind at the door in order to maintain one's faith. Ours is a faith that can be held confidently in light of the evidence, not in spite of it."

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Access John Y. Kwak's work and ministry experience, as well as his history in publication:

John Y. Kwak's CV