My new work…

PACIFIC_GFM_MapTo what should I compare the kingdom of God? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened. — Jesus (Luke 13:20-21)

When I was called to full-time ministry at Urbana 1981, I never imagined that God would take me on a journey into graduate studies, theological education, academia, and ministry. It has been a tremendous privilege to equip seminary students, rub shoulders with religious, theological, and historical studies faculty, and co-labor with Asian American pastors and church leaders!

Now I have the opportunity to return to my roots! Last October, I was appointed to be the Pacific Area Director for Intervarsity Christian Fellowship’s Graduate and Faculty Ministries (GFM). GFM is strategically placed to cultivate a Christian worldview among tomorrow’s leaders and innovators. Indeed, the 3,025,000 graduate students and 1,500,000 faculty on U.S. campuses that we are reaching will make a tremendous impact on industry, politics, the university, and the church. The late Dallas Willard, professor of Philosophy at USC, 1965-2013, once said,

“InterVarsity entered my life when I was a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison…. Over time InterVarsity has nourished so many people through their spirit of openness and freedom, and yet they take very seriously the Bible, the teachings and person of Christ. I don’t think there’s any group that matches that on the campus.”

GFM’s mission is to plant and grow witnessing communities of grad students and faculty who

  1. are committed to spiritual formation, community, evangelism and service, and
  2. take seriously the integration of faith, learning, and practice.

In short, we are called to help students and faculty to become salt and leaven for the sake of God’s Kingdom.

My specific responsibility as Pacific Area Director will be to strengthen existing chapters and plant new grad and faculty ministries on college campuses across Northern California, Northern Nevada, Southern Oregon, and Hawaii. Together with GFM campus staff, we train students and faculty in friendship evangelism and service rooted in biblical social justice/responsibility. Also, we reach out to international students and give attention to Black, Latino, Asian American, Pacific Islander, and women students and faculty. I’ve listed my anticipated activities for 2018 below.

Proposed 2018 Goals for Pacific Area Director

1. PLANT AND GROW COMMUNITIES

  • Expand current communities by 15%.
  • Plan new MBA ministries initiative:
    • Build a council and network of local Christian business leaders and faculty to support and develop two area-wide pre-evangelism events for MBA students (and the wider community). Pacific Area MBA students would also be connected with resources from GFM’s national MBA ministries director, Mark Washington.
    • Explore re-affiliation with existing MBA fellowships.
    • Explore feasibility of planting new MBA fellowships.
    • Explore feasibility of hiring a Pacific Area MBA staff.
  • Explore the feasibility of planting new communities in Hawaii, Oregon, and Nevada.

Minimal Cost:  $80,000

2. WHOLE LIFE TRANSFORMATION

  • Develop whole life leadership training for grad students and faculty. The health of the Church and effectiveness of Christian witness depends, in part, on leaders who are grounded in their faith and thoughtful about their practice. Earning an advanced degree or gaining faculty status does not ensure good Christian leadership. Thus, the Area Director will
    • Form a “council of wise elders,” i.e., a network of pastors, theological and university faculty, and leadership experts who can mentor and train emerging leaders and scholars.
    • Establish programs that promote a renewal of theological reflection and healthy leadership practice among graduate students, alum, faculty, and church members.
  • Grow faculty ministry via networking and conferences, thus strengthening the network of Christian faculty and higher education administrators in the area:
    • The area faculty retreat on Feb. 24, 2018 at Moraga Presbyterian Church.
    • Support faculty initiatives via interest groups.
    • Equip faculty to model Christian vocation and discipleship to students.
    • Recruit Pacific Area Faculty Ministry staff.

Minimal Cost:  $50,000

3. ENGAGE CAMPUS WITH THE GOSPEL

  • Increase outreach to International students and faculty.
  • Train students and faculty in evangelism.
  • Advance church/campus partnerships.

Minimal Cost: $18,600

TOTAL ESTIMATED BUDGET 2018: $153,600

We live in a time of great uncertainty in our world and deep division within the American church. But I still believe that Christianity, when lived out by influencers who are well-rounded and deeply-grounded in their faith, can be a positive force for our common life and a source of healing for our broken world. If you share this conviction with me, please consider being my partner! Join my team of prayer intercessors, volunteers, and financial supporters! Email me at tim.tseng@intervarsity.org

If you are ready to make a contribution to this ministry, go to:
bit.ly/givetoiv-timtseng

May God’s peace and joy fill you up!
TimTsengSignature
Tim Tseng 曾 祥 雨 Ph.D.
Pacific Area Ministry Director (provisional)

2014.03.31_0338_Matt Kirk_small


More background….

I was most recently Pastor of English Ministries at Canaan Taiwanese Christian Church in San Jose, CA (2010-2017) and Executive Director and Founder of the Institute for the Study of Asian American Christianity (2006-2011)

At Denver Seminary (1994-1996), I started my ministry as a theological educator as Assistant Professor of Church History. I then served as Assistant Professor of American Religious History at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School  (1997-2000). My last full-time faculty position was as Associate Professor of American Religious History and Director of the Asian American Center at the American Baptist Seminary of the West at the Graduate Theological Union (2000-2006).

I  received my Ph.D. in American religious history and Masters of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in New York (1994 and 1987).  During this time I was a Youth and Associate Pastor at the Brooklyn Chinese Christian Church (1986-1992).

My academic interests center on Asian and Asian American religious history, Asian Christianity, race and religion in United States, the Chinese Diaspora, American religion, and theology of cultural engagement. I’ve written for several journals and books, including

  • Columbia Guide to Religion in American History
  • Oxford Handbook of Evangelical Theology
  • Honoring the Generations: Learning with Asian North American Congregations
  • Realizing the America of our Hearts: Theological Voices of Asian Americans
  • Revealing the Sacred in Asian and Pacific America
  • Women and Twentieth-Century Protestantism
  • The Social Gospel Today
  • New Spiritual Homes: Religion and Asian Americans.

At the core of my calling is a desire to equip leaders (in particular, Asian and Pacific Islander American leaders) for congregations, community, and society. Since supporting local church ministry leadership has been at the heart of my life work, I have designed resources for those who serve in these ministry settings, such as the Asian American Christianity Reader and the “Five Cries of Asian American Young Adults Today.” In 2005, I facilitated the publication of “Asian American Religious Leadership Today” on behalf of the Pulpit and Pew Project.

I also volunteer for the Healthy Church Leaders Initiative of the Asian American Leadership Center (healthychurchleaders.wordpress.com), a ministry that supports professional church leaders who serve in Asian American contexts through Peer Coaching, continuing education, and mentoring emerging Asian American church leaders. I’ve been an Affiliate for the Asian American Center at Fuller Theological Seminary since 2016.

For a complete list of my publications, look at My Publications page. Some of my leadership resources can be found on the ISAAC blog site.