Moderator of the 138th General Assembly
Since 1999, John Vissers has served as Principal of The Presbyterian College, Montreal and Adjunct Professor of Christian Theology at McGill University. He has also served two terms as Director of the Montreal School of Theology. Ordained as a minister of Word and Sacraments in 1981, he has pastored congregations in British Columbia and Ontario, including historic Knox Church (Spadina) in Toronto. He has also served as Professor of Systematic Theology and Academic Dean at Tyndale Seminary. On January 1, 2013 he will become Director of Academic Programs and Professor of Historical Theology at Knox College, Toronto.
John is a graduate of the University of Toronto (B.A.), Knox College (M.Div.), Princeton Theological Seminary (Th.M.), and the Toronto School of Theology (Th.D.). In 2012 he was awarded an honorary doctorate in sacred theology (D.D.) by the Montreal Diocesan Theological College in recognition of his contribution to ecumenical theological education as a Reformed theologian and academic leader. He has also held appointments as a visiting scholar at Princeton Theological Seminary and has given lectures in the United States, India, Taiwan, and the Philippines. His books include Studies in Canadian Evangelical Renewal (1996, co-edited with K. Quast), The Neo-Orthodox Theology of W.W. Bryden (2006; British edition, 2011); and Calvin @ 500: Theology, History and Practice (2011, co-edited with R. Topping). He has also written numerous articles, both scholarly and popular. He is a regular contributor to the Presbyterian Record.
John has served on numerous committees in the presbyteries of Westminster, West Toronto, Oak Ridges, East Toronto, and Montreal, and was moderator of the Presbytery of Montreal for a term. He served a term as convener of the General Assembly’s Committee on History, as a member of the Committee on Theological Education, and is currently a member of the Committee on Church Doctrine. At present he is also minister-in-association at Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Beaconsfield, Quebec.
John is married to Lynn McEwen who works as non-teaching professional in the area of spirituality, religion, intercultural issues, and pastoral care with the Lester B. Pearson School Board in Montreal. They have three young adult children: Grant, a student in the M.Div. program at Princeton Theological Seminary and a candidate for ministry in the Presbytery of Montreal; Jennifer, studying occupation therapy at McGill University; and Joel, a student in Engineering Technology at John Abbott College, who also serves in the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves.
As moderator Dr. Vissers will emphasize the church’s vocation to bear witness to Jesus Christ and share the gospel with the world. In a secular age he believes it is important that Christians have a deep sense of their identity in Christ as God’s people. He will continue to speak about the things that are important to him: biblical preaching, spiritual formation, theological education, Reformed theology, missional leadership, and congregational renewal.