Christianity in Asian American History: a Candler Foundry Online Short Course

This spring, I’m teaching this Candler Foundry Online Short Course. I would love to see you there! Here are the details:

Dates: April 18th – May 23rd, 2022
(6 weeks, Mondays 7:00 PM ET – 8:30 PM ET)

Cost: $65

Register at:


This short course will provide an overview of the presence and influence of Christianity (primarily Protestantism) in Asian American history. While the stories and voices of Asian American Christians will be the central focus, some attention will be given to the roles that white missionaries and church leaders played in shaping Asian American Christianity. The course will begin with the rise of Asian American consciousness in the late 1960s and early 1970s among primarily mainline Asian American Protestants. Then attention will be given to Asian American evangelicalism and its responses to Asian American consciousness. Asian American consciousness created an interest in exploring Asian American history. We will then engage this history in chronological order, while giving attention to issues of gender, trans-national nationalisms, ethnic-specific histories, race and racial integration. This course will draw, in part, from my forthcoming book, Asian American Christianity and the Quest for a Better Country (tentative title, InterVarsity Press Academic).

Course Overview

I may not commit to the following overview as I prepare the course. But each session will include opportunities for participants to engage in breakout discussions. No reading or writing assignments are required.

1 The Rise of Asian American Consciousness in Mainline Protestantism

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Japanese, Chinese, and Filipino mainline Protestant leaders formed caucuses to encourage ministry among and to advocate for the growing Asian American population. What led to the rise of Asian American consciousness among Protestants?

2 The Emergence of Asian American Evangelicalism

Since the 1965 Immigration Act, the Asian American population has increased tremendously. This new wave of Asian Americans, largely identified with evangelicalism, has reshaped Asian American Christianity by reorienting its focus to immigrant concerns and disconnecting from its pre-1965 history.

3 The World They Made Together: The Formation of Asian American Christianity

We go back to the origins of Asian American Christianity in the 19th century by exploring the collaborative efforts of white missionaries and Asian Americans to build Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, and other Asian American Christian communities in the U.S. (mostly West Coast) and Hawaii.

4 Racial Integration, Cultural Assimilation, and Their Discontents

By the mid-twentieth century, the focus shifted to second generation Asian Americans. With the end of immigration, Americanization became the watch word of the times. Many American-born Asian Christians shared the Protestant hopes for racial integration and acceptance, especially after World War II. Inter-generational tensions within and racial exclusion outside their communities created significant discontent, which would eventually fuel the Asian American movement within the churches.

5 Gender (and Sexuality) in an Asian American Idiom

Gender relations and roles within Asian American Christian communities have been viewed as both evidence of Christian superiority over traditional Asian cultures and as oppressive Christian patriarchy in a Western context. This session hopes to explore how historical contexts shaped and reshaped the Asian American Christianity’s relation to gender and their discourse on gender (and sexuality).

6 The Future of Christian Asian American Consciousness

A concluding session to review the course and discuss the future of Asian American Christianity. We’ll also discuss whether Asian American consciousness has any meaningful role to play in Asian American Christian communities. 

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