Rev. Dr. Daniel N. Harmelink
The first of four children, Daniel Nathan Harmelink was born to David J. and Christine Anne (Buck) Harmelink on the 28th of February, 1959 in Kalamazoo, Michigan and received into the Church through the saving waters of Holy Baptism on the 6th of June, 1959. He was confirmed at Saint Michael Lutheran Church in Portage, Michigan on the 27th of May, 1973.
In 1977 Harmelink graduated with honors from Martin Public High School and began work as a graphic artist at the A. D. Johnson Engraving Company in Kalamazoo until 1984, when he enrolled at Christ College Irvine (CCI) in California. Harmelink received the Christ College Irvine Outstanding Achievement Award in 1985 and was listed in the 1987 Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. He was also a student leader of the CCI student evangelism and international student organization between 1984 and 1987, coordinating “Great Commission Week” in 1985 and 1986. He also participated in the 1985 Summer Hispanic Internship Program offered through the Oswald Hoffman School of World Evangelism, serving at Ysleta Mission in El Paso, Texas and Zion Lutheran Church in Denver, Colorado. Harmelink graduated with a B.A. in Comparative Culture in 1988, receiving the Christ College Irvine Senior Award in Art.
He then taught English language and American culture at the YMCA International Center in Himeji, Japan until his marriage to Miki Hashimoto of Okayama, Japan (an international student at CCI during the 1985 – 1986 academic year from Notre Dame Seishin University in Okayama, Japan) in May of 1989 and his enrollment at Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis the same year. During his seminary education, Harmelink served as fieldworker at Saint Peter Lutheran Church in Saint Louis in which English-speaking and Vietnamese-speaking congregations shared worship facilities. The same year he was asked to be research associate for the Institute for World Religions in Irvine, California and subsequently co-wrote several editions of the book World Religions Today: Comparative Outlines of Contemporary Faiths Around the World. In 1992 he completed a one year vicarage at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Hacienda Heights, California, gaining experience with a multi-congregational church of Korean and English-speaking members.
Graduating from Concordia Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree in 1993, Harmelink received a deferment for his placement into the Holy Ministry to continue theological studies in the Ph.D. in Missiology program at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. While a doctoral student, Harmelink was appointed coordinator of the 1994 and 1995 Mission & Communication Congresses, appointed Doctor of Missiology Graduate Assistant from 1994 to 1995, and created and moderated MISSIO, an electronic discussion group on the internet affiliated with the Lutheran Society for Missiology and dedicated to the support and encouragement of Christian missionaries worldwide. He co-authored six manuals for the Ph.D. in Missiology program and in 1995 was asked to be assisting editor of the book The Apostolic Church: One, Holy, Catholic and Missionary by Robert Scudieri.
After successful completion of all coursework and qualifying exams, Harmelink received a call to be co-pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church & School in Huntington Beach, California. On June 23rd, 1996, Harmelink was ordained and installed, serving the congregation with the Rev. William L. Duerr, Jr., and assistant to the pastors, the Rev. Dr. Rod Rosenbladt. Since the fall of 1996 Harmelink has served Concordia University Irvine (CUI), teaching undergraduate courses (Foundation of Religion; World Missions) as well as graduate level courses (Evangelism & Assimilation; History of Missions in Asia and Africa; Contemporary Christian Bodies) for the Ethnic Pastor Certification Program (EPCP). He has been a member of the CUI M.A. in Reformation Theology Thesis Committee (1996-1998); a member of the Executive Committee of CUI’s Ethnic Pastor Certification Program (1996 – 1998); and has been a guest lecturer for CUI graduate courses on topics including: Christian perfectionism, Martin Luther’s patronage of German Mysticism, and the relationship between anthropology and Lutheran theology.
More recently, Harmelink has taught graduate courses on missiology at the California Graduate School of Theology in Westminster, California (Fall 1999); and was guest professor at Bethesda Christian University and Seminary in Anaheim, California, teaching Outreach Strategies (Fall 2000) and Christian Ethics (Spring 2001). During the summer of 1998 Harmelink served as a member of the floor committee on missions for the 70th Regular Convention of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, returning to St. Louis in 2004 as pastoral delegate for that year’s Regular Convention.
In 1997 Harmelink founded Tentatio Press and was project director and editor of a 400 page Festschrift entitled Let Christ Be Christ: Theology, Ethics & World Religions in the Two Kingdoms: Essays in Honor of the Sixty-Fifth Birthday of Charles L. Manske. The book features thirty-one essays by internationally recognized Lutheran theologians and the artwork of Gerald Brommer.
In 2000 Harmleink was also appointed as North American Representative of the Hebner Theological Institute and Library, a confessional Lutheran educational and training institution located in Southern India and operated under the direction of the Rev. Dr. James C. Gamaliel, guest lecturer at Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne and Concordia University Irvine. Harmlink was also instrumental in the formation and development of a Vietnamese Lutheran congregation at Redeemer Lutheran, under the pastorage of Rev. Luv Nguyen.
The year 2001 saw Harmelink teach a college course the Gospel According to Saint John at Lutheran Bible Institute (LBI) on the campus of Concordia University Irvine, and also gave the graduation speech at LBI that same year. Harmelink successfully defended his dissertation with the title “Kenosis and Mission: Discovering, Classifying and Evaluating Contemporary Missiology’s Understanding of ‘Mission’ and Its Appropriation and Use of the ‘Self-Emptying’ of Christ in Philippians 2:7” in February 2003 and was awarded the PhD. in Missiology in May 2003. His bibliography on the subject of mission and kenosis has been internationally recognized as a unique and substantive missiological resource.
Most recently, Harmelink has been interviewed by local newspapers on the subject of the Reformation, and by national Christian radio programs on Christian missions and evangelizing the educated, and has preached on the program “Point of Truth,” broadcast on satellite television and streaming video on the internet.
His hobbies include tennis, collecting memorabilia of the Reformation and research on the proper role of “church growth” and music in the worship of the Christian Church.