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» Pastoral and Chinese Ministries

Pastoral and Chinese Ministries

The Pastoral and Chinese Ministry major trains and mentors you for church leadership in Chinese and multicultural congregations. This English language program helps you complete core academic courses as well as an applied church internship to practice church leadership principles and responsibilities in a church setting.

Possible ministries and positions include:

Associate Pastor
Youth Pastor
Youth Ministry Leaders
Children’s Pastor
Children’s Ministry Leaders
Small Group Ministry
Women’s Ministry
Bible Teachers
Bible Researcher
Missionary Work
Church Planting
Pastoral Counseling
Church Administration


Our program has been recognized by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) as one of the best in North America and the longest-running, ethnic-specific Master of Divinity. Our program teaches you biblical principles, concepts, and models with special attention to the North American Chinese Church context. In addition, you gain insight through our church internship programs for hands-on ministry experience in finding solutions to challenges and problems in church ministry.

Integrative Learning

You will gain broad experience through learning Christian History, Theology, Biblical Studies, and Spiritual Formation. Our faculty tailors and teaches courses relevant to the North American Chinese Church, such as: Issues, Strategies, and Directions in the Chinese Church, Pastoral Counselling in the Ethnic Church Context, and Youth and Family Ministry in the Immigrant Church. Through the courses and internships, you will have the skills and knowledge necessary to develop strategies for cultural challenges and generational conflicts that can be applied to churches today and in the future.

Mentoring and Employment

Over 95% of our students are employed upon graduation for their first five years of ministry. This is because our professors focus on academic excellence, as well as mentoring students. Throughout the program, you will be mentored by expert faculty and you will also have the option to be mentored after graduation. Our mentors provide you with training and support for employment in areas like how to write sermons, how to preach the gospel, and how to counsel and work with people effectively in the Chinese, multigenerational, and multicultural contexts.


The Master of Divinity is a three-year professional ministry degree that provides you with knowledge and skills to be an effective and holistic ministry leader. The MDiv blends academic study, mentored learning and practical experience in a comprehensive program that will prepare you for ordained ministry or for Christian leadership in its various forms.

MDiv students will acquire foundational preparation for ordained ministry and for Christian leadership in congregations and other settings. Students will:

  1. develop breadth of knowledge and critical understanding of the theological disciplines;
  2. acquire capacities for understanding and engaging the cultural, social, and global context of God’s mission in the world;
  3. experience personal and professional growth through a process of intellectual, spiritual and ministry formation;
  4. develop and hone skills for theologically reflective ministry practice in its various forms.


Program Requirements

Each program has a set of specific requirements for completion. Please refer to your Seminary major sheet to determine the exact criteria.

View Seminary Major Sheets

Program requirements subject to change.
View Major Sheets »

The Master of Theological Studies is a two-year graduate degree that helps you understand the biblical, theological and historical foundations of the Christian faith. The MTS is flexible program that can be tailored to meet your learning and ministry interests, or help you prepare you for further studies. Students may select electives from across the curriculum, or use them to focus their studies in a chosen concentration.

Students completing the MTS program will acquire a broad understanding of the theological disciplines for Christian faith and practice. Students will:

  1. gain theological understanding and insight through study of the heritage of Christian scripture, history, theology and ministry;
  2. develop aptitudes for thinking critically, theologically and biblically in relation to faith, vocation and ministry; 
  3. acquire critical awareness of God’s mission in the world in its social, cultural and global contexts;
  4. demonstrate depth of understanding in a particular field (for those opting to concentrate in an area of study).

The MTS Modular is a specialized, cohort-based program that allows students to complete the degree, one evening per week, in a fixed sequence of courses delivered over three years. 

Program Requirements

Each program has a set of specific requirements for completion. Please refer to your Seminary major sheet to determine the exact criteria.

View Seminary Major Sheets

Program requirements subject to change.
View Major Sheets »

The one-year Graduate Diploma program provides you with a foundation of biblical, theological and ministry studies for your spiritual growth and ministry development. The Graduate Diploma allows you to tailor your studies to meet your learning and ministry needs. You may choose a concentration in Christian Studies, Leadership, Global Mission and Intercultural Studies, Pastoral and Chinese Ministry Foundations, Pentecostal Studies, Spiritual Formation or Youth and Family Ministry.

The Diploma in Christian Studies may also be taken on Monday evenings in a modular, cohort-based format with a fixed sequence of nine (9) courses delivered over one and a half years. The MTS (Christian Studies) may be taken entirely online.

All successfully-completed coursework can be transferred to the MDiv and MTS programs.

Program Requirements

Each program has a set of specific requirements for completion. Please refer to your Seminary major sheet to determine the exact criteria.

View Seminary Major Sheets

Program requirements subject to change.
View Major Sheets »

Whether you're interested in vocational ministry and leadership or personal study and enrichment, Tyndale offers a wide range of degree options that will meet your needs and goals.

Graduate Diploma** MTS
Master of Theological Studies**
Master of Divinity***
Master of Theology
Doctor of Ministry
A program geared toward adult learners interested in being equipped for ministry in their chosen profession A degree that will develop students' theological understanding for general educational purposes A degree designed primarily for those considering vocational, church-based ministry An advanced academic degree that provides an opportunity toexplore biblical, theological or historical studies in preparation for a PhD or ThD program An advanced professional degree designed for church leaders whose ministry will be integrated into their study and research Description
9 18 27 6 courses + thesis 6 intensive modules + a major project


1 year 2 years 3 years 1 year 3 years Duration*
Want to enhance your biblical and theological understandings in a setting that will engage your intellect and deepen your faith Are seeking a foundational graduate degree that can be utilized in a wide range of professional and ministerial contexts Wish to prepare for ordained ministry or for general pastoral and religious leadership responsibilities in congregations and other settings Have completed an MDiv or MTS and wish to enhance your ministerial and missional practice with additional scholarship, or prepare for further study at the doctoral level Have completed an MDiv or equivalent and are engaged in substantive ministry further developing your skills and capacities for effective leadership Pursue if...
* Program durations are based on a traditional, full-time course load of nine courses per year.
** Also offered in a modular format designed to meet the needs of students with full-time demands such as family, church or career.
*** Tyndale also offers an In-Ministry MDiv degree program for people who are engaged in part-time or full-time in vocational Christian ministry.
» Program Coordinator

Rev. Dr. Samuel Chan

Title & Contact Info

Coordinator of Pastoral and Chinese Ministry Program

 Email: schan [at]
 Phone: 416.226.6620 ext. 6714

Academic Credentials

DMin, Fuller Theological Seminary, 1991
MDiv, Tyndale Seminary, 1982
BEd, University of Toronto, 1976
BSc, McMaster University, 1974

Areas of Specialization

Preaching, Servant Leadership, Church Health, Pastoring Team Building


For over 30 years, Rev. Chan has served as the Senior Pastor of Richmond Hill Christian Community Church (RHCCC), one of the largest churches in Toronto. He is widely known and highly regarded for his work in leading RHCCC from its roots as an ethnic Chinese church into a flourishing multicultural, multilingual, multigenerational missional church. Along with his call to church ministry, Rev. Chan is committed to equipping the next generation of pastors and leaders. He has taught courses at Tyndale on an adjunct basis since 1994. In this new chapter as coordinator of the Chinese Ministry program, he will combine his part-time work at Tyndale with continuing service to RHCCC. He will assume a two-fold mandate of providing leadership to the current Chinese Ministry program, while helping to envision a new future for ministry preparation at Tyndale.

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» Program Faculty

Dr. Barbara M. Leung Lai

Title & Contact Info

Research Professor of Old Testament

 Email: blai [at]
 Phone: 416.226.6620 ext. 6714

Academic Credentials

BTh, Alliance Bible Seminary, 1972
MDiv, Fuller Theological Seminary, 1976
ThM, Wycliffe College, University of Toronto, 1979
PhD, University of Sheffield, England, 1997

Areas of Specialization

Wisdom Literature, Apocalyptic Literature, Psychological Hermeneutic of Biblical Themes and Texts, Social Sciences and the Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible, Biblical Interpretation in Postmodern Times, Text and Reading, Gender-Culture Studies, methodological considerations towards the development of Appropriation/Relevance Theories, and Contextual Biblical Interpretation.


Methodologically located in the inter-disciplinary terrain of Social Sciences and Biblical Studies, she distinguishes herself in the advancement of psychological approaches to Biblical texts and themes.

Dr. Leung Lai came to Tyndale in 1997 after 20 years of teaching and equipping ministries in the East and West. She previously taught at Evangel Theological Seminary of Hong Kong (as a missionary with the Evangelical Free Church) and McMaster Divinity College. During her last two sabbatical leaves, she served as Visiting Scholar at Fuller (2003), Princeton (2004), and was a Senior Reader at Tyndale House (Cambridge, England, 2012).

Upon her retirement in July, 2017, she has been reappointed as Research Professor of Old Testament. While continuing her service as Scholar Associate of Wycliffe College, University of Toronto, she is on adjunct faculty at Carey Theological College in Vancouver. Dr. Leung Lai serves the broader academic community through adjunct teaching internationally.

Serving as co-chair of the Psychology and Biblical Studies Section at SBL, Dr. Leung Lai is a frequent presenter at scholarly and professional gatherings (SBL, ISBL, IBR, ATS functions and global consultations). She is the author of three academic monographs, and is completing a new book provisionally entitled Text and Praxis: Toward a Methodology of Appropriation. Dr. Leung Lai has published articles in peer-reviewed journals, chapters in academic books and festschrifts, articles in study Bibles, and dictionary entries. Other than teaching and scholarship, Dr. Leung Lai serves the church community and a sought-after consultant in the area of appropriating the Old Testament to the contemporary human and ecclesiastical contexts.

Popular Courses

  • OT Theology and History
  • Biblical Interpretation
  • Wisdom Literature
  • Proverbs
  • Ecclesiastes

Favourite Place on Campus

The cafeteria

Favourite Place in Toronto

Edwards Botanical Garden

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Dr. Vincent H. K. Poon

Title & Contact Info

Professor Emeritus, Counselling

 Email: vpoon [at]
 Phone: 416.226.6620 ext. 6786

Academic Credentials

BSc, University of Manitoba, 1968
MD, University of Manitoba, 1972
MTS, Tyndale Seminary, 1982
DMin, Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1988
PsyD, Newport University, 1991

Areas of Specialization

Marriage and family therapy, Whole Person and Family Centered Care, Family Medicine, Psychotherapy and Psychology, Pastoral Counselling, Family Ministry


Dr. Poon joined the Tyndale counselling ministries faculty in 1991. He has a wealth of experience in the disciplines of family medicine, theology, counselling, psychology, pastoral counselling and marriage and family therapy. He is an approved supervisor with the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, a Fellow of the College of Family Physicians of Canada, a Fellow and Diplomate of the American Board of Medical Psychotherapists and a faculty member of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. He has published widely and has presented many papers both in Canada and internationally. He ascribes to a truly whole-person and family-centered approach in the well being of individuals and families by looking at the bio-psycho-social-cultural-spiritual aspects of persons. Dr. Poon was a key member of the team that founded the Chinese Ministry Program at Tyndale in 1988. His teaching involvement at Tyndale includes counselling, pastoral counselling, family ministry and pastoral and Chinese ministry. He has served as the Chair of the Advisory Council at Tyndale. He directs the Mentoring and Pastoral Support Network of the Hudson Taylor Centre. Dr. Poon is an ordained counselling minister with the Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec.

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Rev. Warren W. H. Lai

Title & Contact Info

Adjunct Professor of Pastoral & Chinese Ministry

 Email: wlai [at]
 Phone: 416.226.6620 ext. 2154

Academic Credentials

BSEE, University of California, 1968
MSc, University of Southern California, 1972
MDiv, Fuller Theological Seminary, 1975
ThM, Wycliffe College, University of Toronto, 1979
ThD (ABD), Wycliffe College, University of Toronto.

Areas of Specialization

Preaching, Futures Studies, Team Building, Strategic Planning, Pauline Literature, Social Sciences and the New Testament


Rev. Warren Lai’s passion is in the study and proclamation of the Word of God. He is devoted to the careful study and exegesis of the Biblical text and its exposition to various cultural congregations in the contemporary society. In both his preaching and teaching of the Bible, he strives to help Christians to put into practice their privilege and responsibility of interpreting and appropriating the Word.

Rev. Lai is also a student of the trends and developments in society and their interaction with Pastoral ministry. His burden is to prepare church leaders to face the turbulant changes ahead, and “ride the waves of the Spirit”.
Rev. Lai has been a pastor-teacher. He has taught at the Evangel Theological College, OBC - OTS, and McMaster Divinity College. He considers this dual role as both an opportunity to summarize, reflect on, and refine what he has been practicing, and also an opportunity to put theories in the classroom through the crucibles of real-world practice.

Rev. Lai has a broad spectrum of experience in Pastoral ministry: church planting consultant (Mississauga CBC, Tuen Mun EFC, Markham CBC, and Pickering CBC), equipping specialist (Toronto Chinese Alliance Church), and missionary (with the Evangelical Free Church of North America). He has served on the board of many organizations, including the Council of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada. Since returning to Canada in 1986, he has been the senior pastor of a multi-congregational church (Scarborough Chinese Baptist Church)—a ‘traditional’ church that can change and adopt quite a few ‘ahead of the curve’ ideas.

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Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

The program seeks to provide candidates with a collegial, academic and professional milieu in which you will advance your understanding of the nature, purposes, and practice of ministry; enhance your leadership and formational competencies in discernment, theological reflection, and in-ministry research; gain opportunities for personal and spiritual growth. Learn More | View Requirements

Canadian Chinese School of Theology (CCST)

Tyndale University College & Seminary (Tyndale) and Association of Canadian Chinese Theological Education (ACCTE) have collaborated in a strategic partnership to organize the Canadian Chinese School of Theology (Toronto). Learn More | View Requirements

Visiting/Occasional Students

I wish to take classes at Tyndale Seminary but do not want to be admitted into a degree or certificate program. If you have completed a bachelor's degree and wish to take graduate-level course you can become an occasional student or audit a course. Or if you are registered at another graduate theological institution and are eligible to take courses at Tyndale Seminary, you can submit a Letter of Permission. Apply as a visiting/occasional student

Need help? Contact Admissions at: 1.877.TYNDALE (896.3253) | 416.218.6757 (local) | admissions [at] tyndale [dot] ca

The following is a list of all degrees, diplomas, and areas of study offered at Tyndale Seminary. As a graduate theological school, Tyndale Seminary admits students who have completed a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university or college (see admissions requirements). Click on each of the items below to find descriptions, opportunities and course requirements.