Nelson Hayashida

Dr. Nelson Hayashida


Nelson Hayashida was born on the Big Island of Hawai’I, to a Japanese American father and a Japanese immigrant mother. Growing up in a sugar cane plantation camp (Camp 28), little did he know he would eventually venture far from his roots of pidgin English, bare feet, and poi.

Nelson served 25 years as a theological educator in Africa and additional years in the U.S. He also served as a Board Certified Chaplain (BCC) in hospitals and hospice organizations in the U.S.

He earned a DTh (Doctor of Theology) from the University of South Africa, Pretoria, in Missiology, researching the struggles of multi-racial South African women seeking church leadership; a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, relying on the disciplines of Phenomenology of Religion and Anthropology to assess the religious impact of dreams and visions in the urban and rural churches of Zambia; a DMin from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY, in Spiritual Formation, developing a model for instilling positive attitudes toward the Christian church among multi-cultural students at the University of Hawai’i, Manoa Campus; an MDiv from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, Mill Valley, CA; an MA from Baylor University, Waco, TX, studying world religions with a focus on Zen Buddhism; and a BA from Wayland Baptist College, Plainview, TX, with primary attention to Religion and History courses.

Nelson taught at Westmont College, Santa Barbara, CA (Adjunct Professor); Zambia International Theological College (Principal and Theology Professor); Hawaii Institute of Theological Studies, Hilo, HI (Principal and Professor); Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA (Adjunct Professor); Katholei Karen Baptist Bible Institute, Mae Sot, Thailand (visiting lecturer); Eastern University, St Davids, PA (Professor); Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, PA (Adjunct Professor); Baptist College, Soweto, South Africa (Academic Dean and Professor); Baptist International Theological Seminary, Debe Nek, South Africa (Academic Dean and Professor); University of South Africa, Pretoria (Adjunct DTh Dissertation Reader); Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, Mill Valley, CA (Visiting Professor); Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (D.Min. Field Supervisor); Baptist Theological Seminary of Zambia (Curriculum Coordinator and Professor); Director of Theological Education by Extension, Zambia.

His Clinical Pastoral Education (8 CPE units)) was completed at Albert Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA, with a one-year residency, and at Stanford University Medical Center/VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, CA, with an additional one-year residency. He is a Board Certified Chaplain (BBC), accredited through the National Association of VA Chaplains (NAVAC), Hampton, VA. Nelson is a Life Member of the Military Chaplains Association (MCA).

He was the Recovery Support Liaison (Chaplain) at Enloe Medical Center, Chico, CA; a Spiritual Care Counselor at Hospice of Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA; an On-Call Chaplain at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital; a Volunteer Pastoral Care Counselor at Mount Nittany Medical Center, State College, PA; a resident at Albert Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA; a Volunteer Chaplain at Hilo Medical Center, Hilo, HI; a Chaplain at Kilauea Military Camp, Kilaeua, HI; and a resident at Stanford University Medical Center/VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, CA.

Nelson’s books include Women and Leadership in the Baptist Convention Churches of South Africa, William Carey University Library Publishers, Pasadena, CA; and Dreams in the African Church: The Significance of Dreams and Visions in the Baptist Churches of Zambia, Rodopi Publications, Amsterdam, Holland.

Writing articles for magazines, newspapers and journals has been a passion for many years. Included in that was his role for several years as Religion Columnist for the Hawai’I Tribune-Herald. Nelson has contributed articles to Currents in World Christianity, “Red Booklet Series,” Cambridge University, England; Journal of Constructive Theology, University of Durban-Westville, South Africa; Christian Ethics Today, The Center for Christian Ethics, Baylor University, USA; and The South African Baptist Journal of Theology, Cape Town, South Africa. He has written a chapter in a book ("Tat'omkhulu," in The Making of an African Person, University of South Africa, Pretoria); and a review of a book (“Bstan-‘dzin-rgya-mtsho, Dalai Lama XIV,” Ethics for the New Millennium, American Baptist Quarterly).

Nelson has presented numerous papers at ecumenical and academic events, such as Inter-Faith forums, Rotary Clubs, Education Commission of Baptist World Alliance, Princeton Theological Seminary, McMaster Divinity College (McMaster University), Baylor University, and the South African Council for Theological Education.