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The Revd. & Dr. Seong Sik Heo is a mission scholar who has studied the life and theology of Lesslie Newbigin at Princeton Theological Seminary and about the missional church both in the western and the non-western churches. And Dr. Heo is currently working as the first president of Glocal Vision University of San Francisco, as well as a professor at Hong Kong Liferoad Theological Seminary. He is also working as director of the Institute of Misssional Church in Hong Kong in HKLTS but at the same time as director of the Center of Missional Church in the Non-Western World in GVU. As a pastor, he served as lead pastor of a Korean immigrant church both in the US and Hong Kong, but since 2019, he is serving an international multi-ethnic community in Hong Kong.


As a teenager, he received a call to work as a missionary, so studied the Chinese language and literature at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, and continued to study at Yonsei University’s Graduate School of International Studies, majoring in East Asian Studies, especially Chinese studies. And he began his theological studies when he entered the Presbyterian University and Theological Seminary(PUTS)in 1998. At that time, he translated the most important book of Lesslie Newbigin, The Gospel in a Pluralist Society (IVP, 1998) into Korean. It was possible because of the encouragement of Wesley Wentworth, an American lay missionary, who strongly recommended to translate it into Korean. After being ordained in 2003 in Korea, he entered Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS) in the US and continued his theological studies as a mission scholar, particularly about Lesslie Newbigin and missional church with the teaching and guidance of Dr. Darrell Guder who is one of the leading scholars in the area of Newbigin and missional church studies.


After finishing his doctoral thesis about Lesslie Newbigin’s missional debates, Dr. Heo returned to Korea and taught missiology at various schools such as PUTS, Torch Graduate University, Juan International University, and other schools and institutes. At that time, he published several papers and articles on Lesslie Newbigin and missional church. Ever since he moved to Hong Kong in 2019, he has taught at Full Gospel Hong Kong Seminary and Hong Kong Liferoad Theological Seminary. And he will also teach a course on the history of Korean Christianity at Hong Kong University as a visiting lecturer in the fall semester of 2023.  

As president and director of CMCNWW, Dr. Heo is wrestling with the question of how we should plant and grow up missional churches in the non-Western regions and especially in mission fields, which are historically and culturally different from the western church in post-Christendom. 

The Works of Dr. Heo



  1. “Revisiting Newbigin’s Ambivalence toward Interreligious Dialogues: How Can We Re-engage in Interreligious Dialogues in Asia?” in Converting Witness: The Future of Christian Mission in the New Millennium, Fortress Academic, 2019.

  2. “Christianity and Globalization of Korea: How to make the Korean Church a Glocal and Missional Church,” in Noh Young Sang (ed.,), Our People and Korean Church, Seoul: Institute of Korean Church (PCK), 2018.

  3. The Cross as the Way that the Korean Church should be Missional (a special booklet published in memory of the 160th anniversary of Horace N. Allen, a Korean missionary, June 16, 2018.

  4. Missional Debate: An Interpretive Study of Lesslie Newbigin’s Theological Debates with Diverse Partners (Doctoral Dissertation at Princeton Theological Seminary, 2014)




  1. Translation into Korean of Rodney Stark’s The Triumph of Christianity, Seoul: NewWavePlus, 2020.

  2. Translation into Korean of Darrell Guder’s Called to Witness: Doing Missional Theology, Seoul: NewWavePlus, 2015.

  3. Translation into Korean of Celeste Snowber, The Embodied Prayer, Seoul: IVP, 2002.

  4. Translation into Korean of Lesslie Newbigin’s The Gospel in a Pluralist Society, Seoul: IVP, 1998



  1. Main Features of Missional. Church in the Acts of the Apostles 1-15,” in Current Missional Trends 24: Missional Reading of the Bible and Missional Hermeneutics. Korean Research Institute of Mission, Seoul. 2020.

  2.  “On the Wholistic Understanding of the Church in the Korean Context,” in Wholistic Understanding of the Church and the Nation in Dr. Lee Jong Sung’s Theology, Seoul: PUTS Publishing House, 2020.

  3. “Ernst Troeltsch’s Historical Understanding of the Christian Faith and Its Implication for the Missional Church as Public,” Mission Network Vol. 6. 2018.

  4. The Missiological Implications of Lesslie Newbigin’s Missional Debates,” Korean Presbyterian Journal of Theology, Vol 50. No 2. 2018.

  5. A Review of The Way of the Cross (by Maeng Yi Soon) published in the church magazine of Namdaemoon Presbyterian Church, 2018.

  6.  “A Critical Reflection on Megachurch Debate: Is It Impossible for Megachurches to be Missional?” three essays in a series at Web-magazine of Good Church Academy, Nov. 2017.

  7. “The Missional Implications of Newbigin’s Debates with Diverse Groups on the Korean Church,” a paper presented at the 4th Meeting of the Korean Society of Mission Studies, August 22, 2015, held at Presbyterian University and Theological Seminary, in Seoul, Korea.

  8. “The Missional Implications of Lesslie Newbigin’s Shift of Emphasis from Interreligious Dialogues to Religious Pluralism Debates,” in Korean Presbyterian Journal of Theology, Vol 47. No 3. 2015.

  9. “Lesslie Newbigin’s Debate with Post-Christendom: Public versus Privatized,” in Mission and Theology, Vol. 35. Spring, 2015.

  10. Book Review of Gerald R. McDermott, God’s Rivals: why has God allowed different religions? Insights from the Bible and the Early Church, in Koinonia, 2008

  11. The Great Revival Movement (1903-1907) as Continuous Conversion in the Christianization of the Korean people,” in KIATS Theological Journal, Volume III-1, Spring, 2007.

  12. “Historical Development of the Old Testament Ethics in Old Testament Theology” published in an abbreviated form, Shinhak Chunchu (Presbyterian College and Theological Seminary News Paper), 1999

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