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The World Acting Globally

Asian American Ministry Leaders Gather

Serving a Changing Church

By Hannah Notess (

Assistant Professor of Old Testament Bo Lim
SPU Assistant Professor of Old Testament Bo Lim (center) led a seminar on "Asian American Theology Today" at the Asian American Ministry Conference, held June 13-15, 2011.

Forty percent of Asian Americans identify as Christian, and they enroll in seminary at twice the rate of the general population.

“As the face of global Christianity is changing, so are the faces of our church leaders,” says Billy
Vo, director of the Asian American Ministry Program in Seattle Pacific University’s School of Theology. “It’s important now more than ever for our students to be exposed to the ways in which God is working globally and locally.”

Developed within the School of Theology’s graduate program, the Asian American Ministry Program prepares graduate students for ministry in immigrant, pan-Asian, or multiethnic churches. Students develop mentor relationships with ministers in local churches, and in Autumn 2012 they will travel to Seoul to study the history, culture, and spiritual practices of the Korean church.

The program’s first year culminated in the inaugural Asian American Ministry Conference.About 200 Asian American pastors, church leaders, and seminary students gathered to discuss the “Past, Present, and Future” of the Asian American church.

Speakers included Soong-Chan Rah, author of The Next Evangelicalism, and Ken Fong, lead pastor of Evergreen Baptist Church of Los Angeles.

“There’s never been a conference like this hosted at a seminary in the Pacific Northwest,” says Vo. “It reaffirmed the importance of the Asian American Ministry Program for our region, our seminary, and our churches.”