- For pentecostal fullness worldwide.
- My accepted placement in PhD programme at Bangor University (Wales, UK); The Centre of Pentecostal & Charismatic Studies.
On 3 April I was scheduled to formally begin my PhD programme with Bangor University (Wales, UK), under the Center for Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies. I was privileged to have as my doctoral supervisor, Dr Frank D. Macchia, a world-class pentecostal theologian. Visit his website at https://www.frankdmacchia.com/bangor-u . There you will find my profile as one of his PhD students.
I was to enrol from 25 March to 10 April. Unfortunately, I could not complete the procedure as I could not meet the first year’s tuition fee of £6,200 [Total cost: 4 years x £6,200 plus yearly meeting trip]. Last year I applied for a local scholarship, which we believed would kick-start the programme. But in early April, they informed me that I did not meet the demographic requirements. Hence, for now, my Bangor programme is on hold, until I can meet for starters, the first year’s tuition fee.
Let me describe the working relationship I have enjoyed with Dr Macchia, what I already achieved since having the dissertation thesis approved last year, and the momentum we both saw towards now writing the dissertation manuscript. For those familiar with the research involved, I will share some of the technical details.
The title is, “Towards a Pentecostal Liturgical Theology/Aesthetic and Practice of Sacred Time.” Liturgical studies is an emerging and exciting new field within pentecostal scholarship. I believe I have a substantial contribution to make to it. So I would also like to see my eventual dissertation published.
The first “methodology” chapter foremost builds on the work of Walter Hollenweger, father of modern pentecostal scholarship, who seminally demonstrated the notions of pentecostal oral spirituality/liturgy/theology. He argued that the great contribution of Pentecostalism to world Christianity is not pneumatology, but “liturgy.” .The middle chapters comprise evaluative conversations with three selected interlocutors: Daniel Albrecht, Simon Chan, and James K.A. Smith; three theologians who have constructed liturgically-oriented theologies from or in behalf of pentecostal concerns and/or intuitions.
Last year it took me several months to craft the dissertation proposal, having gone through some revisions. I thus crafted the approved version as a tightly worded yet thorough and focused document. Since January this year, Dr Macchia began monthly conversations with me; and we had a great in-person meeting at the SPS meeting last March in St Louis, Missouri. In fact, he made certain investment in beginning my programme, by providing research resources I need to engage. Early this year, he advised to me start writing the first chapter, and aim to complete it by November this year. I believe we both knew that I had already completed enough research, and can confidently move forward in writing the manuscript. In fact, I believe the middle chapters may prove even easier, because I already have a good grasp of my selected interlocutors.
While I am not able to presently enrol and formally begin the programme, I am advised to stay on the project, so that once, God willing, I am able to do so, I may proceed with greater speed. I have decided that I will attempt to do this. Meaning, I will try in the meantime, to start writing the first chapter, though I am now not able to enrol.
Let me close with some comments about risk-taking, faith, and victory.
Over these past months, the Lord has encountered me with encouraging and even supernatural affirmations. I can accurately say He has revealed His manifest glory to Jee Fong and I. He has consistently been dropping Words in my heart about these themes. So even as God opens our posture the whole world and His mission for its healing— we see the whole world and future before us. Our desire is that on the way to “Spain” (Rom 15:23, 28-29) that God’s Spirit may move us outward and forward— to wherever and however we might best come to all people, in the fullness of Christ’s blessing.
I will therefore close by again including here the Mission / Vision Statement I have earlier articulated for framing these endeavours, and the need that must be met for enrolling at Bangor University. We deeply appreciate your continued prayers towards:
- Immediate tuition funding that I may now enrol.
- Long-term strategies for meeting the 4-year PhD expenses.
- Any new ministerial, church, organisational, or collaborative relations that may also help towards the short or long-term funding of this venture.
If you feel prompted to further converse towards seeing these aims come to pass, feel free to write me:
Mission / Vision Statement
To preach the Gospel for all creation, fostering pentecostal spirituality and its theological tradition worldwide— for the unifying renewal of the global Church.
Missional framing of the Bangor PhD programme
Before God, as best my wife Jee Fong and I discern, I am entering this programme with this renewed sense of life mission.
Hence, before God as best my wife and I also discern, we enter this programme with readiness to go wherever He may send us in convergence to this doctoral project’s purpose and outcomes for:
- The global renewing of pentecostal spirituality.
- The growing renaissance of this tradition’s theological tradition.
- In ecumenical service for the unifying renewal of the Church of God worldwide and the greater glory of God.
We are thus ready to go wherever its labour may take us, to maximise its purpose and potential outcomes for the good of the global Pentecostal tradition, and the worldwide Church of God.
For the healing of our Father’s world,
May we of many tongues
Be made one
Before God: Practice mercy, cause justice, heal the world.