DepartmentDepartment of Intercultural Studies
Biola AffiliationsFaculty
Social Media



  • Ph.D., Biola University
  • M.Div., Anderson School of Theology
  • B.A., University of California, Irvine


Kenneth Nehrbass was a pastor before he and his wife Mendy joined Wycliffe Bible Translators in 2000. In 2002, they moved to the island of Tanna (in Vanuatu) to translate the New Testament with a team of nationals. In 2012 they moved back to the USA, and Nehrbass became assistant professor of International Studies at Belhaven University. In 2014, he moved to Biola to teach and direct the M.A. and Ph.D. Programs in intercultural studies. He continues to volunteer as a translation and anthropology consultant with SIL and the Seed Company. His research focuses on contextual theology and missiological anthropology. He and his wife have four children.


  • Member American Society of Missiology 2008 — present
  • Member Evangelical Missiological Society 2008 — present

Publications (Selected)

Books Published

  • Nehrbass, Kenneth (2016). God’s image and global cultures: Integrating theology and culture. Eugene, OR: Cascade.
  • Nehrbass, K., Aiyoh, J., Kilion Yo, et. al., transl. (2012). Nakwakwa kape Kughen [New Testament in the Southwest Tanna language]. Orlando, Fl: Wycliffe Bible Translators.
  • Nehrbass, Kenneth. (2012). Christianity and animism in Melanesia: Four approaches to Gospel and Culture. Pasadena, Ca: William Carey Library Press.
  • Nehrbass, Kenneth. (2012). A comparison of lexemes in the major languages of Tanna (Vanuatu). Dallas, Tx: Summer Institute of Linguistics.
  • Nehrbass, Kenneth. (2009). Anthropological field guide for Vanuatu. Port Vila, Vanuatu: SIL Vanuatu.

Book Chapters

  • Nehrbass, Kenneth (2016). “The impact of images of US Americans on mission strategy” in Ed Smither and Rochelle Scheuermann (eds). Controversies in Mission: EMS monograph series. William Carey Library Press, pp. 142–164.

Journal Articles

  • Poon, Rosanna and Nehrbass, Kenneth (2019). “An Evaluation of Holy Yoga as a Contextualized Strategy for Reaching Hindus.” Global Missiology. 2 (16).
  • Nehrbass, Kenneth and Dunaetz, David (2018) “A Multiple Motives Theory of Church and Missionary Relationships.” Missiology. 46 (4) pp. 388-406.
  • Nehrbass, Kenneth (2018). “Managing Missionary Identity in the Digital Age: How Missionaries Utilize Digital Media among Multiple Social Groups.” Missiology. 46 (2) 183-195.
  • Edwards, Lewis and Nehrbass, Kenneth. (2017). “Higher Education as Mission.” Great Commission Research Journal. 9 (1) pp. 71–80.
  • Gong, Wenhui and Nehrbass, Kenneth. (2017). “Barriers and Bridges.” Missiology. 45 (3) pp. 236-251.
  • Nehrbass, Kenneth (2017). “Melanesian morality and biblical virtues.” Melanesian Journal of Theology. 32 (2) 81–102.
  • Nehrbass, Kenneth (2016). “Does missiology have three legs to stand on? The upsurge of interdisciplinarity” in Missiology. 44: 50–65.
  • Nehrbass, Kenneth. (2014). “Do Multilingual Speakers Understand the Bible Best in Their Heart Language? A Tool for Comparing Comprehension of Translations in Vernacular Languages and Languages of Wider Communication.” Bible Translator.  65 (1). 88–103.
  • Nehrbass, Kenneth. (2014) “The half-life of missiological facts.” Missiology. 42 (3), 284–292.
  • Nehrbass, Kenneth. (2012).  “Korean Missiology: A Survey of dissertations and theses from Western Institutions.“ Reformed Life Theology and Mission. (2012, vol. 2), 149–173
  • Nehrbass, Kenneth. (2012).  “Translator’s toolbox: How Bible translation techniques can help anyone communicate the Gospel cross-culturally.” Evangelical Missions Quarterly. April, 198–204.
  • Nehrbass, Kenneth. (2011). “Dealing with Disaster: Critical contextualization of misfortune in an animistic setting.” Missiology, 39 (4), 459–471.
  • Nehrbass, Kenneth. (2011). “Formal Theological Education in Vanuatu: Hopes, challenges and solutions.” Melanesian Journal of Theology, 27 (2), 54–72.
  • Nehrbass, Kenneth. (2007). “God's Story.” Word&Deed, 6 (2).
  • Nehrbass, Kenneth. (2007). “Megabenefits from Megavoice.” Word&Deed, 6 (2).

Encyclopedia Articles

  • Nehrbass, Kenneth (2018). Mark Lamport (ed.) “Interpreting the Bible in Oceania” Encyclopedia of Christianity in the Global South. Rowman & Littlefield, pp. 393-394
  • Nehrbass, Kenneth (2018). Mark Lamport (ed.) “Leadership in Oceania” Encyclopedia of Christianity in the Global South. Rowman & Littlefield, p. 454.
  • Nehrbass, Kenneth (2018). Mark Lamport (ed.) “Acculturation” Encyclopedia of Christianity in the Global South. Rowman & Littlefield, pp. 2-4.
  • Nehrbass, Kenneth (2018). Mark Lamport (ed.) “Vanuatu” Encyclopedia of Christianity in the Global South. Rowman & Littlefield, pp. 835-838.
  • Nehrbass, Kenneth. (2013). “The Haystack Revival.” In D. Mitchell & E. Hindson (Eds.), Popular Encyclopedia of Christian History: Eugene, OR: Harvest House, pp. 170-171.

Areas of Expertise for Media Interviews

  • Cross-cultural Issues
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Evangelism
  • Intercultural Studies
  • Linguistics
  • Ministry
  • Missions
  • Multicultural Issues
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