Professor of Urban & Intercultural Ministry
Office: Alexander & Adelaide Hall 206
Education: BA, University of Washington, 2001; MCS, Regent College, 2005; PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary, 2010. At SPU since 2008.
David Leong came to SPU to oversee the Global and Urban Ministry minor in 2008. Prior to teaching at SPU, he served in churches in urban Seattle through ministries focused on community groups and neighborhood involvement.
Dr. Leong’s teaching and research examine the theological meaning of the city in an increasingly globalized and urbanized world. At the intersection of intercultural and missiological discourse, he sees the city as a rich context for theological reflection about topics ranging from hip hop and the built environment to multiculturalism and missional ecclesiology. Dr. Leong lives in Seattle's Rainier Valley with his wife and two sons, and together they worship at Rainier Avenue Church.
Please view Dr. Leong’s CV (PDF) for more information.
Race and Place: How Urban Geography Shapes the Journey to Reconciliation
IVP Books, 2017
Geography matters. We long for diverse, thriving neighborhoods and churches, yet racial injustices persist. Why? Because geographic structures and systems create barriers to reconciliation and prevent the flourishing of our communities. Race and Place reveals the profound ways in which these geographic forces and structures sustain the divisions among us. Urban missiologist David Leong, who resides in one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the country, unpacks the systemic challenges that are rarely addressed in the conversation about racial justice. The evening news may deliver story after story that causes us to despair. But Leong envisions a future of belonging and hope in our streets, towns, cities, and churches. A discussion about race needs to go hand in hand with a discussion about place. This book is a welcome addition to a conversation that needs to include both.
Street Signs: Toward a Missional Theology of Urban Cultural Engagement
Street Signs is an engaging missiological inquiry into the cultural and theological meaning of the city. Through the lens of Seattle's Rainier Valley, one of the most ethnically and socioeonomically diverse communities in the US, this work constructs an urban, missional, and contextual theology shaped by the local realities of urban neighborhoods but relevant to cities everywhere. Focused on the themes of incarnation, confrontation, and imagination, Street Signs explores the contours of missional theology in urban contexts marked by physical density, social diversity, and economic disparity, utilizing creative research methods such as urban exegesis, cultural semiotics, and theology of the built environment.