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Thomas Goetz


Long-term mission volunteer in Japan since 1989
Serving at Hokusei Gakuen University

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Thomas is occasionally in the USA and available to speak as his schedule permits.  Email him to extend an invitation to visit your congregation or organization.

About Thomas Goetz’ ministry

Thomas Goetz is a long-term volunteer serving as professor of English in the Faculty of Social Welfare at Hokusei Gakuen University in Sapporo, Japan. Hokusei Gakuen University is a four-year liberal arts school founded more than 100 years ago by Presbyterian missionary Sarah Smith.

Country context

Japan is the world’s third largest producer of goods and services in the world and the fourth largest importer and exporter. Japan has a large industrial capacity and is home to some of the largest and most technologically advanced producers of motor vehicles, electronics, machine tools, steel and nonferrous metals, ships, chemical substances, textiles, and processed foods. Japanese workers enjoy a high standard of living.  More than 127 million people live in Japan, making it the 10th most populous country in the world. Most people in Japan consider themselves adherents of Shintoism, Buddhism or both. Fewer than 1 percent are Christian.

About Thomas Goetz

When Thomas came under appointment as a mission associate of the PC(USA) in 1989, he was not a stranger to the East. From 1984 to 1986 he had worked for the Board of Education of the city of Sapporo as a teacher of English. After a year back in the United States working for a summer as the director of a Christian ministry in the U.S. National Parks and as a field education assistant at West Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, Delaware, Thomas returned to Asia. For a short time he taught English at the Faculty of Theology at Payap University in Chiang Mai, Thailand. He then returned to the United States for a brief term as field education assistant for the Japanese Christian Church in Philadelphia.

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Thomas holds a B.A. in psychology from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. He received his Master of Divinity with a specialization in missions and ecumenics from Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey. Thomas was ordained to the ministry of the Word and Sacrament in 1989 and is a member of the Presbytery of Milwaukee as a teaching elder.

Thomas- March 21
Hideko – October 23