Dr. Joel P. Okamoto is interim Chief Academic Officer (CAO) and the Waldemar and Mary Griesbach Professor of Systematic Theology at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.
A faculty member since 1998, he is chairman of the Department of Systematic Theology and associate professor of Systematic Theology.
Before joining the Seminary, Okamoto served as assistant pastor at Abiding Savior Lutheran Church in St. Louis (1996-98).
He received his Master of Divinity, Master of Sacred Theology and Doctor of Theology from Concordia Seminary (1993, 1996, 1997). He holds a bachelor’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1982).
His published work includes “Science, Technology, and the American Mind” in The American Mind Meets the Mind of Christ (Concordia Seminary Press) and “‘In ______ We Trust’: Filling in the Blank—American Religion and Biblical Christianity” in The Anonymous God: The Church Confronts Civil Religion and American Society (Concordia Publishing House). His journal articles include “Evangelism in an Age of Normal Nihilism” in Missio Apostolica (now Lutheran Mission Matters) and “Attacks on the Christian Faith: Who? What? Why?” in Issues in Christian Education. Among his research interests are the concept of truth for Christian life and witness, a contemporary account of the theology of Luther and Lutheranism, and the intersection of science and theology.
Okamoto served as chairman of the curriculum review committee as the Seminary transitioned revised its Master of Divinity curriculum and converted from academic quarters to semesters in 2017.
In addition to his Seminary work, he is book review editor for Lutherans Mission Matters, the journal of the Lutheran Society for Missiology.
He and his wife, Ruth, are the parents of three sons; Jacob, Peter and Thomas.