Archive for November, 2008

ISAAC publications update (Nov. 25, 2008)

November 25, 2008 Leave a comment

ISAAC is about to publish the following two resources. Check back shortly for ordering information.

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aareader_cover_smThe Pacific Asian American and Canadian Christian Education project (PAACCE) and the Institute for the Study of Asian American Christianity (ISAAC) are delighted to announce the publication of Asian American Christianity: A Reader (available December 2008).

The reader is a collection of historical, sociological, theological, and personal essays that offer insight into Asian American Christianity, past and present. Both scholarly and accessible, the essays in this reader will be useful teaching resources for educators and church leaders.

Contact Tim Tseng for more information.

Sample Essays

“The Changing Face of America” by Timothy Tseng and David Yoo

“Silent Exodus” by Helen Lee

“Christian by Birth or Rebirth? Generation and Difference in an Indian American Christian Church” by Prema Kurien

“Resident Aliens of the Diaspora: 1 Peter and Chinese Protestants in San Francisco” by Russell G. Moy

“Theology From Bamboo, Borders, and Bricks” by Sharon Staley

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bap_2008_cover_smIn 1996, Dr. James Chuck published a report documenting the growth of Chinese congregations in five Bay Area counties from 1950 through the middle of 1996. In the present study, we revisit these same churches, identify new churches started since 1996, make note of changes, and update the church profiles.

Go to the Bay Area Project weblog to download sample chapters

ISAAC Update – Nov. 13, 2008

November 13, 2008 Leave a comment

Happy Thanksgiving friends!

For this month’s electronic newsletter, here are few updates:

The Bay Area Chinese Initiative

1. BAP Conference (Nov. 8, 2008):

Thanks to everyone who attended the first of our three Bay Area Chinese congregational research project conference last Saturday. The half-day conference was held at the Presbyterian Church in Chinatown (San Francisco), the very first Chinese congregation in North America! we are grateful for Rev. David Pan, the Chinese pastor, and Rev. David Mote is the English Ministry Interim pastor, and Jeanne Quock for their hospitality! I was personally delighted to visit this historic church. Its recently renovated worship hall is beautiful!

Dr. Chuck shared an update of the Growth of Chinese churches in the Bay Area since 1996 and I shared about ISAAC’s Equipping and Resource Center for lay and pastoral leaders. We hope to offer seminars, workshops, and classes on subjects as diverse as the history of Asian American Christianity, spiritual formation of leaders in Asian American ministries, teaching Sunday School, and college admissions and vocational counseling. We are also planning an Asian American immersion camp this summer to give youth an opportunity to learn about this history and contemporary situation of Asian Americans in the Bay Area.

2. Upcoming BAP Conferences (Nov. 15 and 22)

There is still time to attend the half-day conferences this Saturday and next Saturday. In addition to sharing about the recent growth of the nearly 200 Chinese churches in the Bay Area, we will also celebrate the publication of the Bay Area Chinese Churches research project report. Information about the report can be found on the ISAAC Blog. We are grateful for Rev. Steve Quen of the Bay Area Bible Church and Dr. Sam Tsang of Overseas Theological Seminary for their support of ISAAC’s work! Here are the locations for the upcoming conferences:
-> Nov. 15: South Bay (Overseas Theological Seminary in San Jose, 9:15 AM – 12:30 PM)
-> Nov. 22: East Bay (Bay Area Chinese Bible Church – Alameda Campus, 9:15 AM – 12:30 PM)
[Go to Bay Area Chinese Churches Project blog for more information. | Register online here]

Other Projects

In partnership with the Pacific Asian American and Canadian Christian Education (PAACCE), we will publish an Asian American Christianity Reader by the end of November. The reader is a collection of historical, sociological, theological, and personal essays that offer insightful into Asian American Christianity. It will be a useful teaching aid for educators and church leaders. Thanks to everyone who has volunteered to review the reader. Preview copies will be emailed to reviewers before Thanksgiving.

The Society of Asian North American Christian Studies (SANACS) will be publishing its inaugural journal this December. We are now making a final call for 2008 membership. Members will receive the 2008 annual journal for free. Click here to learn more about SANACS.

Dr. Russell Moy, ISAAC board member in charge of seminary relations, is serving on the Association of Theological Schools’ planning committee for the upcoming Enhancing Diversity in Theological Education conference at the end of March. He will also complete a report of the Asian and Asian North American Faculty consultation held last December.

We are also planning to develop an lectureship series on Religion in Asian America in which leading scholars of Asian American religions will be invited to speak at partnering universities, colleges, and seminaries around the country. Stayed tuned for more details!

Funding Situation

We are truly grateful for our supporters over the past two years! Regarding of amount of support, they have enabled us to develop resources and programs. And the best is yet to come! So please complete your commitment or pledge for 2008 if you have not yet done so. To make a donation, go to

Some supporters have already made pledges or commitments for 2009 – thank you! You help us plan ahead and give us assurance that we’ll have enough to continue our work. If anyone else would like to make a pledge or commitment for next year, please email or call me and I’ll fill you in on the details.

As you know, we are a “start up” organization and work on a shoe string budget. We can only afford part-time staff (including myself) and volunteers. But with your help, I believe ISAAC can enter 2009 with confidence that our programs will have the greatest impact on educators, scholars, and church leaders. So please consider making a gift this year and pledge or commitment for 2009!


Timothy Tseng [email me]
President & Executive Director
Institute for the Study of Asian American Christianity (
Adjunct Professor, University of San Francisco

Tim Tseng leads workshop at Asian Pastors’ Conference (Oct. 23rd, 2008)

November 3, 2008 1 comment

It was a real privilege and honor to have had the opportunity to lead a workshop at the Asian American Baptist Pastors’ Conference on Oct. 23rd, 2008 in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Daniel L. Wong of Tyndale University in Toronto, Canada, was the keynote speaker. Rev. Florence Li, the Asian Church Strategist for the American Baptist Churches USA and her planning team, organized this annual event. Asian American Ministries, a part of the National Ministries program board of the ABCUSA, is a partner with ISAAC.

The conference was hosted by Rev. Chum Awi and the Chin Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas. Burmese (including Chin, Kachin, Karen, and Burmese) Christians are the fastest growing group among Asian American Baptists – and this was reflected at the conference. Many are refugees from camps along the Myanmer-Thai border and are adjusting to life in the United States.

My presentation, “Cross-Training Leaders in Multiplex Asian American Churches,” tried to encourage our various Asian ethnic/language/generational groups to develop the practice of working across our differences. You can download the presentation here. Please do not use or distribute without my permission.

Cross-Training Leaders for a Multiplex Church (Powerpoint, 2.2 mb)

Tim Tseng