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Rev Dr Jimmy Tan Boon Chai

Rev Dr Jimmy Tan Boon Chai


BSc (University of Houston, USA)
MDiv (Trinity Theological College, Singapore)
ThM, PhD (Fuller Theological Seminary, USA)

Denomination: Presbyterian

Areas of Research: Pastoral and Practical Theology, Christian Spirituality, and Reformed Spirituality

Area of interest:
Spiritual Formation and Direction, Pastoral Theology, Pastoral Care, and Calvin Studies

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Rev Dr Jimmy Tan is chaplain, and lecturer of pastoral and practical theology at Trinity Theological College. He has taught courses on pastoral care, pastoral spirituality, pastoral theology, marriage and family, Christian spirituality & ministry, and pastoral theology and praxis I & II. He regularly leads spiritual retreats and offers spiritual direction at TTC and beyond.

Jimmy previously served as the Teochew congregation pastor at Singapore Life Church (1995) and as the Lead English congregation pastor at Bethel Presbyterian Church (1996-2009). His exposure to pastoral ministry in a multilingual and multicultural ecclesial context has sensitised him to its peculiarities, strengths, and opportunities for ministry. He is passionate about communicating the gospel across languages and generations and sees great relevance for its ministry for Singapore.

Jimmy has served in several capacities in the Synod of The Presbyterian Church in Singapore, and its English Presbytery. He was a member of the Synod’s major initiative on Growing Healthy Churches, its Church Relations Committee, and the Presbyterianism curriculum committee. He served as the Vice-Moderator of the English Presbytery (2006-7) and chairman of its Preachers and Personnel Committee.

He has had opportunity to work with emerging leaders and pastors in several different church contexts. The experiences shaped his view of pastoral and spiritual leadership and prompted him to give particular attention to the work of spiritual formation and guidance.

Jimmy is married to Soh Kwan. They have three daughters, two sons-in-law, and a family canine, Truffles.



“Retaining the tri-perspective of history, theology and method in spiritual direction: a comparative study of Ignatius of Loyola and John Calvin.” PhD diss., Fuller Theological Seminary, 2014.

“Discerning the Leadership of Christ in Times of Transition–Guidance from the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius for Developing Leaders.” MTh thesis, Fuller Theological Seminary, 2006.


  • Tan, Jimmy Boon-Chai. “Christian Spiritual Formation in a Southeast Asian Theological College.” Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care 11 (2018) 163-179.
  • Tan, Jimmy Boon-Chai. “John Calvin on Nurturing Christian Piety.” AICS Occasional Paper Series No. 6. Singapore: The Presbyterian Church in Singapore, Asian Institute of Calvin Studies, 2018.


  • “Spiritual Direction in Theological Education,” in A Beautiful Life: Festschrift in honour of Rev Dr Simon Chan on his 70th birthday. TTC, 2022.


  • “Cultivating Unceasing Prayer in a Southeast Asian Theological College.” Presented at the Third International Ecumenical Conference of the Center for the Study of Christian Spirituality at the University of Zurich (26-27 June, 2017) and the Biennial Meeting of the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality (28-29 June, 2017), celebrating its 25th anniversary. Zurich, Switzerland.


  • “A Tri-Perspective on Christian Spirituality”, Trumpet, Apr 2015, 4-5.
  • “Major Themes in Christian Spirituality”, Trumpet, Aug 2015, 4-5.
  • “Christian Spirituality as Lived Reality”, Trumpet, Dec 2015, 4-5.
  • “On Sound Bites and Silence”, Word on World, Trumpet, Dec 2017.
  • “Spiritual Pursuits and the Deception of the Ego”, Word on World, Trumpet, Aug 2022.
  • “On Presence and Mission”, Hearts Aflame-on fire for God’s Mission, Lawrence Ko, ed. Jan, 2021.