Western Theological Seminary welcomes Dr. Tite Tiénou as a visiting scholar for the fall semester. Dr. Tiénou occupies the Tite Tiénou Chair of Global Theology and World Christianity and is Research Professor of Theology of Mission at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. After serving as the Dean of TEDS for 13 years, he now holds the title of Dean Emeritus. He would like the Western community to know that he is “an ordinary person on a long journey.” He is now embarking on his 51st year of being a minister of the gospel and has lived in the United States for about four decades. One of Dr. Tiénou’s highest values is upholding the dignity of all people, especially those who are ordinarily cast down. In particular, he believes strongly in the empowerment of women.
Dr. Tiénou abides by the idea that “theology is a process, not a product.” He explained that theology is not closed but in constant flux and growth. He defines theology in the following way: “What are the questions that require answering for Christian living?” In other words, when we’re studying theology, we’re really asking questions such as, What does our theology mean in practice? What does our theology mean to us today? How does our theology affect our lives? These are the kind of questions Dr. Tiénou seeks to invite his students to ask of Scripture.
During his time at Western this autumn, Dr. Tiénou plans to work on a variety of projects. He is specifically interested in topics such as hybridity and diaspora as they relate to mission. He will engage in research, writing, and a variety of speaking engagements surrounding these topics.
“We are so pleased to welcome Dr. Tiénou to the WTS learning community,” noted WTS President, Felix Theonugraha. “He is a theologian, scholar, and pastor of the highest order. He brings a wealth of experience and wisdom to our learning community while also demonstrating a lifetime commitment to theological education. Most recently, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Theological Schools, an award given to a person of exceptional vision, leadership, and influence who advances the causes of theological education. His contribution to WTS during his time here will be a blessing to our community.”
While staying in Holland for the Fall, Dr. Tiénou and his wife Marie are looking forward to exploring the local history with his family as well as enjoying the local produce, especially the apples and peaches. He will be at Western from September to November. Dr. Tiénou will be giving a public lecture, “Christian Theology in an Age of World Christianity: An Unfinished Agenda” on Monday, November 1 at 3:15 pm. This lecture is open to the community.