The ELCA’s Japan 33-month (J3) program has been around for more than 60 years, as members of the ELCA and its predecessor churches have taught English classes in schools of the Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church (JELC).
Co-teach with Japanese teachers in various classes, with a focus on English conversation.
Prepare lesson plans and teach classes full-time, up to 25 - 30 hours per week.
Participate in school staff meetings and perform administrative duties associated with the curriculum.
Plan and participate in chapel services at the school.
Participate in other school activities, such as extracurricular student group activities.
Participate in congregational ministries in assigned churches, with activities including Bible studies, musical leadership, preaching, youth ministry, etc.
Provide leadership (shared) at the International English-language worship of Kumamoto Lutheran Church.
Prepare lesson plans and teach classes at Hongo Student Center, up to 25 - 30 hours per week.
Teach classes that are pre-arranged through the Hongo Student Center’s activity plan.
Participate and help lead in English camps.
Participate in staff meetings and perform administrative duties associated with the curriculum
Participate in church activities in assigned church(es) as directed by the JELC, with activities including Bible studies, musical leadership, preaching, youth ministry, etc.
This ELCA global personnel position participates in mission interpretation and storytelling. This includes:
Quarterly newsletters to sponsoring congregations and individuals.
Virtual visits throughout the year with sponsoring congregations and individuals.
This is a Japan Thirty-Three Month (J3) teaching assignment. This assignment begins on July 10, 2023. J3 personnel serve under a Letter of Agreement.
Bachelor's degree minimum, or other teaching certification.
Classroom experience helpful.
Commitment to a clear mission engagement in the Lutheran tradition
Teaching credentials in English, ESL, or TEFL.
Christian faith and a commitment to the mission of the church
Openness to various expressions of Christian faith and respect for people of other faiths
Respect for beliefs, values, and customs of church and culture where assigned.
Well-developed interpersonal skills demonstrating understanding and compassion.
Demonstrated ability to carry out the responsibilities and the ability to adapt to different standards and practices.
Ability to work within the framework of a local administration.
Adaptable and flexible sense of humor - good physical and emotional health
Live and serve in a way which reflects the vision and expectations of the ELCA.
The Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church (JELC) has two schools in Kumamoto on the southern island of Kyushu: Kyushu Gakuin school and Kyushu Luther school, each with a middle and senior high school. Classroom teaching follows a curriculum and is done side-by-side with a national English teacher. The English skills of Japanese students are enhanced through the instructions of native English-speaking teachers.
At the same time, students and participants in these schools will encounter the Good News of Jesus Christ through the Christian witness and evangelism work of J-3s.
Another component of the work is in a local Lutheran congregation, to which each J3 is assigned. Members of these congregations receive the witness of faith through activities and shared gifts.
Kumamoto itself is one of the early centers of Lutheran church activities in Japan, which date back more than 100 years. The two schools form part of this heritage, together with five Lutheran congregations within the city limits and a number of Lutheran social service institutions.
Each J3 is provided an apartment in a 6-unit building. Kumamoto is a mid-sized Japanese city. Life is at a much slower pace than other large cities in Japan. The local culture also has different dynamics from other parts of Japan, which highlights the rich cultural heritage of the region.
The Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church has had a student center at Hongo before it had a congregation there. The intent was to provide for evangelical outreach through the medium of English classes with students from nearby universities, especially Tokyo University. In more recent years, as Japanese schools and universities have upgraded English language learning. With this, specific needs for university students to engage in general English learning has diminished. Focus now is more at higher level English learning for university students (intensive English conversation, assistance with English-language essay/papers/thesis work), and community English learning opportunities (local homemakers, children, others).
Through all this, the English skills of Japanese students are enhanced through the instructions of native English-speaking teachers. At the same time, students and participants will encounter the Good News of Jesus Christ through the Christian witness and evangelism work of J-3, and in Bible study components of classes.
Another component of the work is in a local Lutheran congregation, to which each J3 is assigned. Members of these congregations receive the witness of faith through activities and shared gifts
Terms and Conditions
J3 teachers serve for 33 months. ELCA Service and Justice provides international transportation, housing, medical coverage, education loan assistance and a salary.
No provision for dependent spouse or children.
Some Japanese language training provided with program.
Housing provided by Japan Evangelical Lutheran Association and Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church.
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