Calvin Theological Seminary at its February 2017 Board meeting has elected Rev. Joseph Tong, Ph.D. its distinguished Alumni of the year 2017. A Distinguished Alumni Award Ceremony is planned on May 20th, 2017 at Calvin College and Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Rev. Tong and his family are honored to attend this presentation award ceremony.
Calvin College and Theological Seminary is an official institution of the Christian Reformed Church of North America. For over 141 years it has been teaching and training messengers of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Now it is international with 20+ countries represented besides Canada and the U.S., multi-denominational and 22% female, with growing number of students completing their degrees through distance learning.
Born in Xiamen, China on July 17, 1942. Dr. Tong’s father died when he was 17 months old. Raised by his devout mother, he migrated to Indonesia with his mother with his 4 brothers and 1 sister. He was called to ministry at the age of 16 and entered South East Bible College, Malang-Indonesia at age 17, graduating at age 21. He was ordained as the minister at large of the Synod of Church of Christ the Lord Indonesia at age 24.
Dr. Tong is a graduate of Calvin seminary, (B.A., B.D.1974, and Th.M. 1975), received a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, specializing in Personality and Socialization, Research Methodology and Counseling (1978) at the University of Southern California, and an M.B.A. specializing in Church Administration (1991) at the Graduate Theological Foundation, Indiana.
He has been heavily engaged in Theological Education for nearly 50 years. His concentration is in systematic, philosophical, biblical, pastoral theology, Education and Church Management. Dr. Tong retired from the Presidency of International Theological Seminary (ITS) in Los Angeles, California and Bandung Theological Seminary, in Indonesia 2008 and 2009, respectively. Now he is serving as Professor and President Emeritus at ITS. He was elected and served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of ITS (2010-2012) and has taken the office of Chancellor at ABDI Allah Seminary in Indonesia and China Aletheia Theological Seminary.
In recent years, Rev. Tong has been heavily engaged in speaking at conferences and seminars, teaching in various countries, and serving as an adjunct professor at various seminaries and universities in United States, China, Brazil, the Philippines, and Indonesia. He has founded over eight Theological Seminaries and Training Centers in Indonesia, U.S. and China, and has over 1,000 Baccalaureate graduates in China alone. He was responsible for bringing over 1,300 key church leaders，pastors, and theological teachers from the third-world to the United States to complete their advanced studies, obtain their Master’s and Doctoral degrees, and return to their home countries to serve the Lord there.
Dr. Tong has written hundreds of articles, books, and treatises including Basic Christian Beliefs; A Reflection and Rebuilding of Christian Beliefs; On being a Servant without Shame; Collection of Theological Treatises; Philosophical and Ethical Contemplations, Theological Contemplations, A Study of the First Born Rights. Most of his works have been published in Chinese and/or Indonesian and are available on the web.
ITS faculty, alumni, and student body all are proud to join and celebrate this occasion of Dr. Tong being elected as Distinguished Alumni Award of Calvin Seminary 2017, the first Chinese in its over 141 years history.