Office Phone: (540) 432-4262
Cell Phone: (540) 435-3455
Main Campus, Harrisonburg
Office Location: SB 225
“As a disciple of Jesus, my mission is to walk and work with Jesus, to show and tell the poor, the captive, the blind, the oppressed and the lame about God coming to reign among us, gathering and training disciples to enter that reign and take part in God’s mission.”
Dr. Lawrence M. Yoder graduated from college in 1966 and seminary in 1969, and then spent a year taking courses in Islam, Indonesian language, Asian Historiography and Asian and Indonesian church history in preparation for a nine-year assignment teaching church history and Anabaptist studies at Wiyata Wacana Mennonite Seminary in Pati, Indonesia, where he served one year as rektor (president/dean). He also served four and a half years in Indonesia as country administrator for Mennonite Central Committee and two years as researcher and writer for the histories of the Muria Javanese Mennonite Church (GITJ) and the Muria Mennonite Church (GKMI) in both Indonesian and English languages. Earning Th.M. and Ph.D. degrees from Fuller Theological Seminary School of Intercultural Studies further prepared him for teaching mission studies at Eastern Mennonite Seminary since 1983 while remaining involved in Indonesia through frequent teaching, writing, peace building and consulting assignments. In the spring semester of 2008 he taught in the Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies (ICRS), a Ph. D. program in inter-religious studies sponsored jointly by Duta Wacana Christian University, Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University and Gajah Mada State University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. In the summer of 2009 he taught an intensive course in Anabaptist History and Theology in Ethiopia as part of EMS’s course of study at Meserete Kristos College in Debre Zeit. In May 2010 he participated in the celebration in Indonesia of the publication of Tata Injil di Bumi Muria: Sejarah Gereja Injili di Tanah Jawa (Way of the Gospel in the World of the Muria), a history of the Muria Javanese Mennonite Church, which he and Sigit Heru Sukoco wrote together. He is currently preparing an English version of this book for publication.
- 1987. Ph.D. in Missiology. Fuller Theological Seminary School of Intercultural Studies. Pasadena, CA. Major in Contextualization with minors in New Testament and Church History. Dissertation title: “The Introduction and Expression of Islam and Christianity in the Cultural Context of North Central Java.”
- 1981. Th.M. in Missiology. Fuller Theological Seminary School of Intercultural Studies. Pasadena, CA. Mission History. Thesis title: “The Church of the Muria: A History of the Muria Christian Churches of Indonesia—GKMI.”
- 1969. M.Div. Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary. Elkhart, IN. Concentration in Historical Theology and Church History.
- 1966. B.A. Messiah College. Grantham, PA. Major in History Education.
- 1995-1997. Course of training in Gestalt Pastoral Care. Staten Island, NY. Integrating Gestalt psychotherapy, spiritual direction and healing prayer.
- 1969-1970, Special Studies in Islamics and Indonesian Language. Columbia University. New York, NY.
- 1969-1970. Special Studies in Asian Historiography and Asian and Indonesian Church History. New York Theological Seminary. New York, NY.
- 2011. “Transmitting Christian Faith Across the Generations.” In Brethren in Christ History and Life." Vol. XXXIV, No. 1 (April): 103-128.
- 2010. Tata Injil di Bumi Muria, Sejarah Gereja Injili di Tanah Jawa-GITJ (Way of the Gospel in the Muria area, a history of the Javanese Mennonite Church). With Sigit Heru Soekotjo. Semarang, Indonesia: Pustaka Muria.
- 2009. “Inter-Religious Dialogue in the Framework of Formal Graduate Level Studies,” with Mohammad Iqbal Ahnaf. Peace Office Newsletter, 39:4 (October-December 2009): 7-8.
- 2009. “Kekristenan yang Akan Datang di Indonesia Bagaimana Visi, Bentuk dan Komitmennya?” (The Next Christendom—What Will its Vision, Form and Commitments Be?) Gema Teologi, Journal Fakultas Theologia Universitas Kristen Duta Wacana. 32/1 (April): pp. 4-18.
- 2008. Review of God Wants His Church to Grow: Building the Model Church, by Bijoy Roul and Fred Holland. Brethren in Christ History and Life 30/1 (April): 146-149.
- 2006 The Muria Story: A History of the Chinese Mennonite Churches of Indonesia. Kitchener, Ontario: Pandora Press.
- 2006 “Church Growth Theories and Indonesia.” In Walter Sawatsky and James R. Krabill, eds. Evangelical, Ecumenical and Anabaptist Missiologies in Conversation. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books.
- 2006-07. Habits and Practices of Excellent and Fruitful Mennonite Pastoral Ministry Scholarship Practice
- 2005. “Indonesia—Javanese Mennonite Church (GITJ)." In James R. Krabill, David W. Shenk, and Linford Stutzman, eds. Anabaptists Meeting Muslims, A Calling for Presence in the Way of Christ (pp. 167-173). Scottdale, PA: Herald Press.
- 2003. “Habits of the Missional Church, Ten Minute Seminars,” a pamphlet written together with Melodie Davis as part of the presentation of the Missional Church Team of Mennonite Church USA to the General Assembly at Atlanta in July.
- 2000-02. Tunas Yang Tumbuh, Sejarah Gereja Kristen Muria Indonesia (The Growing Plant: A History of the Muria Christian Churches of Indonesia). Semarang, Indonesia: Muria Church Communications. A thoroughly revised, two volume version of Tunas Kecil (Little Shoot) originally published in 1985.
- 1999. “Contemporary Global Pluralism: The Approach of Hinduism.” In David W. Shenk and Linford Stutzman, eds. Practicing Truth, Confident Witness in our Pluralistic World. (pp. 102-115). Kitchener, Ontario: Pandora Press.
- 1990. “We why have Changed the Way we Interpret the Bible (Social and cultural factors).” In Owen Alderfer, et. al, eds. The Brethren in Christ and Biblical Interpretation. (pp. 0-0). Nappanee, Indiana: Evangel Press.
- c1990. " ." In Terry Brensinger, ed. Within the Perfection of Christ: Essays on Peace and the Nature of the Church. (pp. 0-0). Nappanee, Indiana: Evangel Press.
- 1990. Articles in Mennonite Encyclopedia volume V: “Gereja Injili di Tanah Jawa,” pp. 333-338; “Persatuan Gereja Kristen Muria Indonesia,” pp. 692-695; “Indonesia,” pp. 436-438; “Java,” pp. 465-466; “Pati,” p. 679; “Semarang,” p. 809; “Tunggul Wulung, Ibrahim,” p. 893; “Pasrah Karso,” pp. 674-675; “Sardjoe Djojodihardjo,” p. 790; “Soehadiweko Djojodihardjo,” pp. 839-840; “Salatiga,” p. 785; “Yogyakarta,” p. 951; “Kudus,” pp. 499-500; “Jakarta,” p. 459; “Church Planting,” pp. 157-159.
Scholarly Presentations and Abstracts
- 2010. “Transmitting the Christian Faith Across the Generations”, one of five presentations at a conference on “Tradition, Blessing or Burden” sponsored by the “Sider Institute for Anabaptist, Pietist and Wesleyan Studies” at Messiah College on November 11.
- 2008. “Misi Kristen dan Dakwah Islam” (Christian Mission and Islamic Da’wah), a presentation in a dialog consultation between Christian missiologists and Islamic scholars of da’wah (Islamic mission) held at Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia on April 3.
- 2008. “Kekristenan Yang Akan Datang di Indonesia: Visi, Bentuk dan Komitmennya Bakal Bagaimana?” (The Next Christendom in Indonesia—What Will its Vision, Forms and Commitments Be?), one of six plenary addresses at a conference on the theme “Will There Be ‘The Next Christendom’?” at Duta Wacana Christian University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, April 2. Other speakers included an European, two Catholics, a Protestant and two Muslims.
- 2006. “Learnings from the Excellent, Fruitful Pastor Project,” Presented at the Conference Ministers’ Meeting of Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada. A part of the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary Lilly Foundation Grant Project. At Gilmary Center, Pittsburg, PA. December 2.
- 2005. “150 Years of Mennonite Witness in Indonesia.” A series of four lectures presented at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community, Harrisonburg, VA. October 18, November 29 and December 13, 2004, and January 24.
Church, Community and Professional Service
- 2012. “Healing Ministry in the Missional Church,” an intensive seminary course taught at the Harrisonburg campus May 8 to 30.
- 2011-2012. Served as Transition Executive Pastor at Harrisonburg Mennonite Church from September 15 to April 30.
- 2011. “Collaborating with the Holy Spirit in Healing,” two workshop presentations in Eastern Mennonite Seminary’s School for Leadership Training, January 18 & 19. in Harrisonburg.
- 2009. “Anabaptist History and Theology,” an intensive seminary course taught as a part of EMS’s course of study in Ethiopia on the campus of Meserete Kriston College, Debre Zeit, July 28-August 14.
- 2008. “Engaging the World of Islam,” a presentation for adults at Stephens City Mennonite Church, Stephens City Virginia on Sunday, November 2.
- 2008. "Peter and the Spirit Transcend a Great Barrier, Acts 10:34-48, a sermon preached at Stephens City Mennonite Chuch in Stephens City, Virginia on Sunday morning, November 2.
- 2008. “Expansion of the World Christian Movement,” session 6 of the Shenandoah Valley “Perspectives on the World Christian Movement” course presented on the campus of Eastern Mennonite Seminary in Harrisonburg, Virginia on October 7.
- 2008. “Engaging the World of Islam in Indonesia,” a presentation to the Colloquy class at Park View Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg, Virginia on October 5.
- 2008. “Suffering in Islam,” a presentation in the EMU Senior Seminar, An Exploration of Suffering on September 5.
- 2008. “Mary Becoming Part of Jesus’ Family,” a meditation given in an EMS Faculty Meeting on September 1.
- 2008. “Turning to the Foreigner,” Isaiah 56:1, 6-8; Psalm 67; Matthew 15:21-28, a sermon preached in an EMS Chapel service on September 2 and at Park View Mennonite Church, Harrisonburg, VA, August 17.
- 2008. “God’s Holy Spirit: What the Indonesian Churches Teach about God Present and Working in the Here and Now,” Matthew 3:13-17; John 20:19-23; Ephesians 6:10-18, a sermon preached at Trissels Mennonite Church, Broadway, VA, July 27.
- 2008. “Teaching and Learning: Building Bridges to Muslims,” Vespers presentation at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community, Harrisonburg, VA, Sunday, July 20.
- 2008. “Teaching and Learning: Religions and Arts,” Arts and Education program at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community, Harrisonburg, VA, Monday, July 21.
- 2008. “Teaching and Learning: Building Bridges to Muslims,” and “Teaching and Learning: Confessing Jesus in a Pluralistic Context,” class presentations for the tran-Send Orientation at Virginia Mennonite Missions, Harrisonburg, VA, Friday, July 18.
- 2008. “Mengasihi Kristus walau Belum Melihat” (Loving Jesus before Seeing Him), I Peter 1:3-9, a sermon preached at Yogyakarta Javanese Mennonite Church, March 30.
- 2008. 1. “Personal Transitions: Journey into the Life of Indonesian Mennonite Churches”; 2. “Transition into Mission: The Beginning of the Mennonite Mission Story”; 3. “Transition through Listening I: The Pieter Jansz—Tunggul Wulung Story”; 4. “Transition through Listening II: The People’s Story, the Bird Story and God’s Story”; and 5. a Good Friday meditation: “Jesus Washing Peter’s Feet,” John 13:2c-17; presentations given for the annual Mennonite Central Committee Indonesia Staff Retreat at Lovina Rambutan, Bali, Indonesia, March 16-22.
- 2008. “Bertumbuh Dalam Mengucap Syukur” (Growing in Thanksgiving), 2 Peter 3:18a, a sermon preached at Yogyakarta Muria Mennonite Church in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, March 2.
- 2008. “Jepara, Kota Kelahiran GITJ” (Jepara, the Birth City of the Javanese Mennonite Church), a presentation given at the Jepara Muria Javanese Mennonite Church, Jepara, Indonesia, February 14.
- 2007. “The Faith of Islam,” a presentation to Weavers Church Men’s Group, Harrisonburg, VA, Saturday, December 8.
- 2007. “Among ‘Christian Muslims,’” a sermon preached at First Church of the Brethren in Ashland, OH, Sunday, November 4.
- 2007. “On Board with God’s Healing,” a sermon preached two times at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community, Harrisonburg, VA, Sunday, August 12.
- 2007. “Personal Spiritual Formation,” “Spiritual Conflict and the Reign of God” and “Signs, Wonders and the Reign of God.” Four sessions of the World Mission Institute of Eastern Mennonite Mission, at Lancaster Mennonite High School. Lancaster PA. June 27.
- 2007. “The History of Mennonites Meeting Muslims: The Indonesia Story.” A presentation as part of two larger events entitled “Peacemaking with Militant Islam: From Indonesia to our Backyard.” With Paulus Hartono and David W. Shenk. 8 AM at Lancaster Mennonite High School and 6 PM at Mellengers Mennonite Church, Lancaster, PA. June 23.
- 2007. Preached a sermon entitled “Nazareth Deserves Your Touch, Jesus” at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community, Sunday, January 28, (two services). Scripture text: Jeremiah 1;4-10; Luke 4:21-30.
- 2006-2007. Leading Excellent, Fruitful Pastors Project of the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary’s Lilly Foundation Grant.
- 2006. Receiving the Javanese Mennonite Church (GITJ) Networking Tour group in the Harrisonburg area. November 2-6.
- 2006. Participating in a Meeting of the Missional Church Team of Mennonite Church USA in Chicago, IL. March 26 to 28.
- 2005. Led a LEAP Team (11 persons) to Indonesia, July 21 to August 4.
- 2005. Consultant for the Javanese Mennonite Church Synod
dealing with issues of program agencies and real estate ownership, May 6-13, 2005.
- 2004. Led a series of four workshops at Raleigh Mennonite Church in Raleigh, NC on the Church’s Healing Ministry on November 6 and 7, 2004. The presentations were entitled Recovering the Church’s Healing Ministry, The Practice of Healing in the Life of the Church—Patterns for
Ministry, and Healing our Community—Corporate Aspects of Healing—1 and 2.
- 2004. Presented a lecture entitled “Langkah-langkah Yang Harus Diambil oleh GITJ Menuju Gereja Yang Misioner” (Steps the Javanese Mennonite Church needs to take toward becoming a missional church) as part of a day long seminar on the future of the Javanese Mennonite Church,
involving two other key presentations and workshop sessions. March 15. Pati, Indonesia.
- 2004 Led (with Ed Bontrager) a group of 26 persons on a three-week tour to Indonesia to participate in the week-long celebration of the 150th anniversary of the first baptisms and the formation in 1854 of the initial congregation in Jepara, Central Java, of what eventually became the Javanese Mennonite Synod. The tour included numerous historical talks and a formal lecture on the early indigenous leadership of the churches of this synod.
- 2003. Presentation on the “Response of Indonesian Christians to Islam,” with particular reference to the Javanese Mennonite Church, in an Anabaptist Consultation on Islam entitled "The Church Meets the Muslim Community.” Eastern Mennonite Seminary, Harrisonburg, VA, October 23-26.
- 2003. Presentation of the keynote address entitled “Partners with God and Each Other” for the Mennonite Mission Network Partnership Leaders Consultation held a Mennonite Media offices in Harrisonburg, VA on October 23.
- 2003- Member of the mission-service Program Committee of Virginia Mennonite Board of Missions, Harrisonburg, VA.
- 2003. Member of the planning committee for the Mission Festival of Park View Mennonite Church, Harrisonburg, VA, May 17-18.
- 2003. Member of the Planning Group of the Missional Church Team of Mennonite Church USA for the General Assembly held in Atlanta in July.
- 2002. Consultant for an evaluation of the 25-year involvement of Mennonite Brethren Mission Services International (MBMSI) based in Fresno, CA with PIPKA, the mission board of Gereja Kristen Muria Indonesia (Muria
Mennonite Christian Churches of Indonesia). At the request of MBMSI. Involving field research in Indonesia. Presented in September.
- 2002. Participating in the Delegate Assembly of the Gereja Kristen Muria Indonesia in Kali Urang, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, August 7-9.
- 2002. Leading a workshop on “Healing Ministry as a Spiritual Discipline” for the Native Assembly (Mennonite Church USA) in Houma, LA July 21-August 2, 2002.
- 2002. Leading a workshop on “Integrating Jesus’ Healing Ministry and Ours” at the annual meeting of the Mennonite Health Association at Knoxville, TN. February 29 to March 2.
- 2002. Presentation on “Islam in Today’s World” at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community in Harrisonburg, VA February 17.
- 2001-2006. Member of the Missional Church Team of Mennonite Church USA which is responsible for projecting and tending the missional vision church-wide for the various conferences and agencies of Mennonite Church USA.
- 2001. Leading a workshop on “Healing Ministry as a Spiritual Discipline,” at the General Assembly of the Mennonite Church USA in Nashville, TN, July 2-7, 2001.
- 1997-2000. Conflict mediator with the Javanese Mennonite Synod in Indonesia seeking transformation and healing of the schism in this nearly 150-year-old synod of Mennonite churches. Involved five trips to Indonesia over three years at various stages of the conflict transformation process, culminating in a “Reconciling General Assembly” in Bandungan, Indonesia in November 2000, which elected a single new executive board.
Honors, Awards and Grants
- Appointed John S. Coffman Professor of Missiology. Eastern Mennonite Seminary. 1988.
- Contextualization Award for Ph.D. dissertation. Fuller Theological Seminary. 1987.
- Mission History Award for Th.M. thesis. Fuller Theological Seminary. 1981.
- Teaching Assistantship, Fuller Theological Seminary School of Intercultural Studies, 1980-1983.
- Young Alumnus Achievement Award. Messiah College Alumni Association. 1976.
- Outstanding Young Men of America. 1971, 1972.
Certifications and Licenses
- Ordained to Ministries of Seminary Teaching and Healing. Virginia Mennonite Conference. Harrisonburg, VA. 1994.
- Licensed to Christian Ministry. Board for Ministry and Doctrine. Brethren in Christ Church. 1970.
- American Society of Missiology (ASM)
- Association of Professors of Mission (APM)
- Gospel in our Culture Network (GOCN)
- Association of Anabaptist Missiologists (AAM)
- Anabaptist-Mennonite Scholars Network (AMSN)
Professional Conferences Attended
- 2008. American Society of Missiology, Annual Meeting, Divine Word Conference Center, Techny IL, June 20-22.
- 2008. Association of Professors of Mission, Annual Meeting, Divine World Conference Center, Techny IL, June 19-20.
New Courses Taught
- 2009. “Anabaptist History and Theology,” an intensive seminary course taught as a part of EMS’s course of study in Ethiopia on the campus of Meserete Kristos College in Debre Zeit, July 28-August 14.
- 2008. “History of Religions in Indonesia since 1945,” co-taught with Dr. Syafa’atun Almirzanah, an Islamic scholar of comparative religion, and Dr. Bernard Adeney-Risakotta, at the Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies (ICRS), a Ph.D. studies program sponsored jointly by Gajah Mada State University, Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University and Duta Wacana Christian University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, January-May.
- 2008. “Conflict Mapping,” an intensive MA course co-taught with Dr. Paulus Widjaja at the Peace Development and Study Center of Duta Wacana Christian University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, April 21-25.
- Began service at EMS in August 1983, teaching evangelism, church planting and mission studies.
- Served as the Director for the John S. Coffman Center for Evangelism and Church Planting from 1983 through 1995.
- Retired in the Spring of 2009 upon completion 26 years of service.
- Taught May term courses on Healing Ministry in Missional Church in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2017and team taught NT Text in Context in the spring semester of 2011.