Tyndale extends heartfelt congratulations to Dr. James Pedlar, Associate Professor of Theology, as he officially takes on the position of the Donald N. and Kathleen G. Bastian Chair of Wesley Studies. The installation service will take place in the Chapel on October 16 at 11:15 am.
Dr. Pedlar has taught at Tyndale for six years. In that time, his work has included organizing the Wesley Studies Symposium each year and the Wesley Ministry Conference that takes place every three years. Both these major events support Wesleyans as they come together to network and promote ongoing theological work and engagement.
Tyndale has the only Chair of Wesley Studies in Canada, and this specifically enables students from Wesleyan churches to meet their denominational requirements. This includes teachings on the Wesleyan tradition as well as being mentored by a Wesleyan faculty member.
The Chair is named in honour of Donald N. Bastian, the Bishop Emeritus of the Free Methodist Church in Canada, and his wife Kathleen. The Bastians have had an enduring impact on the Canadian Wesleyan tradition through twenty years of service as denominational leaders, and the Bishop was instrumental in the establishment of the Wesley Chair at Tyndale. Bishop Bastian and other members of the Bastian family will be present for the installation service.
Dr. Pedlar’s own roots are in the Salvation Army, and he is currently a pastor of the Wesley Chapel Free Methodist Church in Toronto. With his graduate degree from Wycliffe College and his PhD from St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto, Dr. Pedlar brings his uniquely Canadian experience to the Wesleyan context. “I try to help students understand how theology has developed in response to concrete situations in the life and ministry of the church throughout history. The Wesleyan tradition frames theology as ‘Practical Divinity,’ a phrase that comes from John Wesley, and indicates that theology and practice should always be in dialogue. Wesleyans tend to see theology as a discipline that shapes both our minds and our hearts so that we are able to live holy lives engaged in mission in the world,” shares Dr. Pedlar.
The Wesley Studies Committee Chair, Rev. Lloyd Eyre of The Free Methodist Church in Canada, has this to say of the new Chair, “Dr. Pedlar is a highly regarded teacher. He has displayed an incredible knack of connecting with Wesleyan scholars around the world in the short space of time he has been [at Tyndale]. As a result, he has reached out to the larger Wesleyan family, literally around the globe. We’ve been really excited about that.”