Tag: Fuller Theological Seminary

Blueprint 1543 – A New Science & Theology Venture – Launches

Justin Barrett and Rebecca Dorsey Sok have co-founded a new venture, Blueprint 1543, with a mission to integrate Christian theology and the sciences to answer life’s biggest questions. The Knoxville-based organization is focusing on three broad initiatives—leadership development, sciences-engaged theology, and science stewardship—supported by a portfolio of programs and projects. Blueprint 1543 will be developing their own projects, as well as consulting and coaching for partner organizations. Sok and Barrett have managed over $16 million in grants with multiple funding partners (such as the AT project, and TheoPsych: Bringing Theology to Mind). This new venture signals their exit from running Fuller Theological Seminary’s Office for Science, Theology, and Religion (STAR), which also supported interdisciplinary research and programs in faith-science integration. Sarey Martin Concepción joins Barrett and Sok as Blueprint 1543’s Director of Communication. BP1543 is currently building its roster of partners from the fields of theology, philosophy, and the sciences. To stay up to date on projects and opportunities, follow on Facebook, Twitter, or sign up for their newsletter. More information at www.blueprint1543.org

2020 Missiology Lectures at Fuller Seminary – Migration, Transnationalism, and Faith in Missiological Perspective: Los Angeles as a Global Crossroads


Los Angeles has long been a global crossroad of communities migrating in and out. The Missiology Lectures 2020 will explore this case study of migration, transnationalism, and interfaith engagement through keynote presentations, breakout conversations, and panel discussions over five days.

Event registrants will have access to curated content that will be released each morning, as well as the opportunity to participate in live sessions throughout the day.


Dr. Kirsteen Kim, professor of theology and world Christianity and associate dean for the Center for Missiological Research, School of Intercultural Studies

Dr. Alexia Salvatierra, assistant professor of integral mission and global transformation, School of Intercultural Studies

Dr. Amos Yong, Dean, School of Intercultural Studies and School of Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary

FULLER studio is pleased to offer a selection of the recordings to be released in the months following the event. To stay updated on this content, sign up for the FULLER studio semimonthly email.



Campese, GioacchinoGioacchino Campese

Professor of the Theology of Human Mobility at Pontifical Urbaniana University, Italy

“Catholicity: Migration, Religion, and World Christianity”

Abstract: Migrants and refugees have been since the beginning among the main protagonists of the Christian mission and, as such, the subjects of World Christianity who have carried the faith through their cultural traditions to the ends of the earth. At the same time, with their courage, resiliency, and hope they also represent the pioneers and spokespersons of the Christian pilgrimage toward catholicity––the wholeness, fullness, inclusivity that characterizes God’s reign ––in a globalized world in which conflicts and divisions are politically and religiously motivated. It will be argued that two key concepts and practices that advance the eschatological event of catholicity are synodality and the “culture of encounter” (Pope Francis), which, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, must become two distinctive and essential elements of the mission of World Christianity in the “age of migration”.

Respondent: Dr. Cecil M. Robeck Jr., Senior Professor of Church History and Ecumenics and Special Assistant to the President for Ecumenical Relations

Dochuk, DarrenDarren Dochuk

Associate Professor of History at University of Notre Dame

“Mission: Protestant Migration and the (Re-)Evangelization of California”

Abstract: “Restless tides of humanity” had long made their way to California, with plans for redemption in tow. So noted a Southern Baptist editor when marveling at his denomination’s move into the Golden State “bringing the glad news of salvation and saying to the thousands of lost people, ‘California, here we come.’” Uttered in 1946, amid the state’s postwar boom, these are sentiments that countless Protestants have exclaimed and embraced when first encountering California and its epicenter of cultural transformation, Los Angeles. This presentation will provide a historical overview of Protestant migration in (and out of) Los Angeles from World War II to the present. While observing general patterns of movement and institutional change within Los Angeles’s sprawling Protestant community, it will pay close attention to the ways that migration has made the city a site of particularly intense and innovative evangelization, a crucible of religious transformation on a national scale, and a gateway for global Christianity.

Respondent: Dr. Robert Chao Romero, Associate Professor, César E. Chávez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, UCLA

Flory, RichardRichard Flory

Senior Director of Research and Evaluation at the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at USC

“Los Angeles: Crossroads for Migrating Faith Communities”

Abstract: Los Angeles has long attracted migrants—both from different parts of the US and from other countries—who are seeking new opportunities in life. As such, the single dominant reality of the region is its diversity; there is no single ethnic group, way of life, or industrial sector that dominates the scene. This applies to the LA religion as well. Los Angeles is the most religiously diverse city in the world, as religion has been transported to the city along with those seeking that new start in life. What is it about Los Angeles that attracts and even encourages such a broad range of people and their many different religious expressions? What happens to these religions as they experience and interact with the culture and diversity of Los Angeles? And, how do they maintain their vitality as they face myriad alternative and competing religious groups and the secular pursuits that the region offers?

Respondent: Dr. Alexia Salvatierra, Assistant Professor of Integral Mission and Global Transformation, School of Intercultural Studies

Kassam, ZaynZayn Kassam

John Knox MacLean Professor of Religious Studies at Pomona College

“Faith Resources: Muslim Migration to Los Angeles”

Abstract: In the past few decades, Muslim migration to the Greater Los Angeles area has coalesced into building strong civic and religious institutions that have positioned Muslims to strengthen both their own communities and build interfaith connections. The tragic events of 9/11 and the subsequent War on Terror have led to increased surveillance and violence against Muslims/misidentified Muslims both domestically and abroad. In addition to ongoing deportations, since the inception of the Trump administration the acceptance rates for Muslim refugees and migrants has diminished under the guise of national security. The larger culture of Islamophobia and population racism have brought significant challenges to Muslim communities and individuals, while the work of Muslim faith-based and civic organizations and their interfaith connections in resettling refugees shows a remarkable degree of commitment to their values.

Respondent: Dr. Matthew Kaemingk, Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics and Associate Dean for Fuller Texas

Kim, Rebecca Rebecca Y. Kim

Frank R. Seaver Chair of Social Science, Professor of Sociology, and the Director of the Ethnic Studies program at Pepperdine University

“Inclusion-Exclusion: Asian Migration and ‘Christian’ California”

Abstract: This paper examines how Asian immigrants and their descendants are making their own mark in and outside of the Californian “Christian” landscape despite their history of exclusion in US society. I first discuss the various cultural and structural barriers that Asian immigrants encountered in their efforts to become part of the United States, particularly in California. I then explore how Asian Americans are reshaping and revitalizing the Californian “Christian” landscape through their churches, campus ministries, and missions organizations, and how they are constructing their distinctive faith, theology, and religious practice. I also explain how Asian American Christians hold the keys to a more united multiracial future in California and beyond. I do this by incorporating past and present social scientific research on Asian American Christians, including my own, and drawing from in-depth interview data from the Religious Leadership and Diversity Project (2014–2016).

Respondent: Dr. Daniel D. Lee, Assistant Provost for the Center For Asian American Theology and Ministry and Assistant Professor of Theology and Asian American Ministry

Rodriguez, DanielDaniel Rodríguez

Divisional Dean of the Religion and Philosophy Division and Professor of Religion and Hispanic Studies at Pepperdine University

“Transnationalism: Latino/a Faith Connections with Latin America”

Abstract: This paper contributes to a growing body of literature in the relatively new field of “diaspora missiology,” defined by The Seoul Declaration on Diaspora Missiology as “a missiological framework for understanding and participating in God’s redemptive mission among people living outside their place of origin” (2009). More specifically, this paper advances the diaspora mission discourse in North America by drawing attention to the evangelistic opportunities and theological challenges presented by the Hispanic evangelical church in the United States. Missiological insights from the Latin American diaspora, as well as the early church, suggest that an important step for leaders in the worldwide mission of God is to embrace and actively promote our identity as “a colony of resident aliens” living in modern-day Babylon. The rise of nationalistic, xenophobic, and anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies in the United States underscore the importance of this paper for God’s missionary people in 2020.

Respondent: Dr. Lisseth Rojas-Flores, Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology

Sanchez, LeopoldoLeopoldo A. Sánchez M.

Werner R. H. and Elizabeth R. Krause Professor of Hispanic Ministries at Concordia Seminary

“Theological Approaches to Migration: Their Impact on Missional Thinking and Action”

Abstract: Theological approaches to migration can take as their starting point hospitality to migrants, law and reform considerations, models on the role of the church in society, and the notion of special relations. What are the potential strengths of each of these approaches to migration for dealing with a complex issue? We argue that a multidimensional theology of migration, which accounts for a diversity of perspectives and concerns, has the potential to promote fruitful missional thinking and action.

Respondent: Dr. Carly L. Crouch, David Allan Hubbard Professor of Old Testament

Sexton, Jason_Jason Sexton

Visiting Research Scholar at the California Center for Sustainable Communities in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA

“Borders: Citizenship in California”

Abstract: As California’s cultural epicenter, LA stands at a crossroads: 100+ languages spoken in public schools; the world’s second largest Mexican city; enormous populations of citizens of countries around the world. Like California, LA has projected its image to the world as a place belonging. Yet amid a growing presence of global citizens, this has not always translated to full citizenship. With perpetual amnesia amid the cultural production, especially forgetting injustices done to minorities and Native Californians, California’s residents face difficult positions. Throughout a history of inclusion and exclusion, new ways of coexisting have marked California’s approaches. This was often fueled by California churches’ inchoate understandings of kingdom or heavenly citizenship, which rather than enabling faithful discipleship often disabled more responsible approaches that could have better sought the good of California and its many residents who seek to experience the better lives of the California dream.

Respondent: Dr. Andrea Smith, Professor of Ethnic Studies, UC Riverside

Fuller Seminary Won’t Leave Pasadena After All

Citing restrictions on selling its current Pasadena property and unexpectedly high construction costs, Fuller Theological Seminary officials announced it won’t be moving to Pomona, California, in 2021 as planned.

Fuller president Mark Labberton said Southern California’s high construction costs—higher than the school’s conservative estimates—and “differences with the City of Pasadena” over the sale of the land led the board on October 24 to vote unanimously to stay at its 13-acre Pasadena location.

“Our board just decided … that though our plans were so full of promise and hope and our welcome in Pomona had been so great, that the better and wiser decision for the long-term wellbeing of Fuller is to stay here in Pasadena,” Labberton said in a statement posted last week on the Fuller website.

For the full story see “Christianity Today.”

Fuller Seminary 2019 Missiology Lectures: Becoming Digital Neighbors


How does technology enable or constrain me in loving my (digital) neighbor?

The 2019 Missiology Lectures will look at how emerging technologies shape human interaction and, more specifically, inform cross-cultural or interreligious encounters.

Join us for a gathering of leading scholars of technology as it relates to theology, religion, and formation, to explore the ways in which modern technology is neither solely a dehumanizing force in the world nor a mere instrument for evangelizing the world, but rather the very means by which incarnation living happens—the media in and through which human bodies love the (digital) other.

Conference attendees will talk about technology as they interact with theologians, educators, missionaries, and ministry leaders, as well as engage in hands-on Virtual Reality experiences.

Conference Organizers: Ryan K. Bolger, Kutter Callaway, Kirsteen Kim

FULLER studio is pleased to offer a selection of the recordings to be released in the months following the event. To stay updated on this content, sign up for the FULLER studio semimonthly email.


 Heidi CampbellHeidi Campbell


When Religious Internet Memes about Mean: Loving the Religious Other

This lecture is based on research that explores the tendency for Internet memes about religion to promote problematic religious stereotypes. Specifically, this lecture investigates the role the Internet and social media plays in promoting incivility towards non-Christian religious individuals and cultures. The viral nature of Internet memes can encourage the circulation of biased narratives about the religious other online, which threatens our call to be neighborly to those treated with contempt in a digital age. By studying the dominant messages promoted by Internet memes about religion, especially related to Islam and Judaism, we see that online visual and textual discourse about minority religions within American culture relies on hostile tropes and biases about religious individuals. By investigating how such messages communicate about religious others in popular Internet memes, this lecture will ask how memes can be used as basis of dialogue that enable us to embrace and show care for the religious others in our midst, online and offline.

Respondent: Erik Aasland is affiliate assistant professor of anthropology and coordinator of global initiatives at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Pauline CheongPauline Cheong


Data, Discernment, and Duty: Illuminating Engagement in the Internet of Things

As contemporary technological innovations are embedded in our “smart” homes, schools and churches, sensors in our neighborhoods, and even microchipped in ourselves, what are the human capacities and knowledge needed to thrive in an era of Big Data and the Internet of Things? Drawing upon her empirical research on intercultural communication, social media, and digital platforms, Dr. Cheong will discuss opportunities and challenges in loving our neighbors in light of intensifying mediatization. Understanding evolving and relational practices of datafication will help shed light on newer constructions of knowledge and authority, including implications for missional engagement and service.

Respondent: Marcia Clarke is affiliate professor of practical theology at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Ilia DelioIlia Delio, OSF


The Techno Human: Better World or Deeper Problems?

There is no doubt that technology has become embedded in human life, from global communications to biomedical enhancements. It is estimated that by 2025 the quality of human life will be significantly improved for most of the global population. But will we have a more just and sustainable planet? However, the values of enhancement cannot supplant virtues of transformation. A world of compassion and forgiveness requires that we go against our nature, not extend our nature. It is going against our nature, however, that we seek to avoid; hence the lure of artificial intelligence. In this lecture, Dr. Delio will explore the resistance of nature to transcend itself apart from the radical otherness of God and engage the cosmotheandric vision of Teilhard de Chardin and his novel idea of Ultrahumanism.

Respondent: Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen is professor of systematic theology at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Angela GorrellAngela Gorrell


Back to the Future: Immortal But Not Fully Alive

Babel-fish earbuds. The Internet of Things. Generative Adversarial Networks. And on the horizon of technological and informational change—a vision of a new humanity—superhumans made immortal by robotic limbs, microchips, gene modification, and nanosystems. How do we share the gospel in a world where people think of death as a solvable problem? What has God done in and through Jesus Christ that speaks to a digital age? How do we tell the stories of what God is doing in a new media landscape? Together, we will consider why the pursuit of becoming fully human should eclipse the quest to become immortal and, in doing so, shape Christian witness in such a time as this.

Respondent: Wilmer G. Villacorta is associate professor of intercultural studies at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Madison GilbertsonMadison Kawakami Gilbertson



Perhaps too often technology development has neglected the philosophical, moral, and virtue-related elements associated with its production, and therefore the potential for technology to facilitate more positive outcomes for youth has been overlooked. Drawing on the empirical research we have conducted as psychological scientists, we will explore how a virtue-focused approach to tech has the potential to facilitate positive character development outcomes. Instead of inhibiting virtue, how might technology facilitate and instill virtue among users? Rather than trying to persuade adolescents to turn off their devices (a nearly impossible task), we want to present character strength interventions where youth are already spending their time—on their screens. The present tech landscape, the development and outcomes from a virtue-focused technology app, and the missiological significance of this approach will be discussed.

Respondent: Susan L. Maros is Faculty Consultant and Affiliate Assistant Professor of Christian Leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary

NoreenNoreen Herzfeld


A New Neighbor or a Divisive Force?

The term AI conjures images of robots or the quasi-human figures of science fiction and film. We imagine digital companions and co-workers that think and act like ourselves. This vision of AI seems to enlarge our neighborhood, giving us something we innately desire—an “other” with whom we can relate, as we relate to our fellow humans. However, there are two things wrong with this vision. First, without a sensate body, computers are incapable of feeling emotion, making them a poor substitute for human relationships. Second, this isn’t the AI we have. We most frequently encounter AI not in some quasi-human or even robotic form, but in faceless algorithms that aggregate our data and manipulate our behavior online. This AI not only fails to give us new neighbors to love but has proven, so far, to be an isolating and politically divisive force, separating us from the human neighbors we already have.

Respondent: Kirsteen Kim is Associate Dean for the Center of Missiological Research (CMR) and professor of theology and world Christianity at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Sarah SchnitkerSarah A. Schnitker


Positive Youth Development and Technology: Developing Character in Youth in the Present Technological Landscape

Perhaps too often technology development has neglected the philosophical, moral, and virtue-related elements associated with its production, and therefore the potential for technology to facilitate more positive outcomes for youth has been overlooked. Drawing on the empirical research we have conducted as psychological scientists, we will explore how a virtue-focused approach to tech has the potential to facilitate positive character development outcomes. Instead of inhibiting virtue, how might technology facilitate and instill virtue among users? Rather than trying to persuade adolescents to turn off their devices (a nearly impossible task), we want to present character strength interventions where youth are already spending their time—on their screens. The present tech landscape, the development and outcomes from a virtue-focused technology app, and the missiological significance of this approach will be discussed.

Respondent: Susan L. Maros is Faculty Consultant and Affiliate Assistant Professor of Christian Leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary

Update: The Sale of Fuller Seminary’s Pasadena Campus

An update on Fuller Theological Seminary’s status regarding the sale of its Pasadena property…

Dear Fuller Community,

Earlier today the board met in an urgent session to discuss the surprising turn of events last week when the buyer for the Pasadena property withdrew. As promised, we are updating you with new developments, knowing that not all questions can be answered.

For many months now, the trustees, administration, faculty, and staff have been working hard on multiple initiatives whose common purpose is to put Fuller on a far more focused path to a flourishing future. While there is much positive momentum, we have met major challenges to the reset for future sustainability. Since formulating our original Pasadena to Pomona move, several things have dramatically changed, including: the buyer we’ve been working with since January has dropped out owing to decisions made by the City of Pasadena, and construction costs for the Pomona campus have escalated significantly.

What are the immediate options?
The Executive Committee of Trustees, senior administrators, and the Real Estate Task Force set in motion immediately to establish two scenarios that we presented this morning to the board for review and final decision in October: (1) pivot to a combination of Pasadena/Houston/Arizona/virtual campus distribution or (2) delay but proceed with the Pomona/Houston/Arizona/virtual option.

There are strong cases for both scenarios which can be discussed in future meetings (including next week’s special employee meeting); however, there are practical measures we must enact immediately in any case, which will include the sale of properties outside the “core” of the Pasadena campus.

The Executive Committee and Administration will deliver to the October Board meeting a strategic plan and fully informed recommendations for a long-term campus strategy with all of these new developments considered. Those scenarios include:

Scenario 1: Pomona/Houston/Arizona/Virtual
The board’s original vision was a Spirit-led one that had the short and long-term future firmly in view. The decision to leave Pasadena as a strategy for establishing long-term sustainability was and is still necessary for Fuller’s viability. The original vision for Pomona is bold, mission-centered, and future thinking. We must determine a location that will best support Fuller’s future.

Scenario 2: Pasadena/Houston/Arizona/Virtual
Our original vision was a good one, but fundamental changes require a major reboot. In this scenario, we keep a portion of the Pasadena campus and split our operations with Houston, Phoenix, and virtual offices offering near-term financial benefits, avoiding escalating construction costs and the disruption associated with building a new campus.

In the next two months, we will engage the research and due diligence necessary to evaluate these scenarios for board consideration in October to determine the direction that we will pursue.

Conclusions for Now
As we wrestle with all of this, it is easy to get overwhelmed. It is important to remember that our overarching goal is to create a new and better Fuller—we are continuing to move forward on that path. There is much good news, there are many ways in which Fuller is strong, and we must remember that God is with us. Whatever scenarios the board finally approves, we will make Fuller stronger with these initiatives:

  • Simplify, streamline, and better integrate our degree programs and schools
  • Scale Fuller’s students, faculty, staff, and facility size to projected demand
  • Eliminate our operating deficit to work with a balanced budget
  • Pay off our debt
  • Reduce the cost of living for many in the Fuller community
  • Create faculty, staff, and educational environments better tuned to the 21st century
  • Raise financial resources for Fuller’s long-term benefit

Yours in Christ,


Dwight Radcliff Named Assistant Professor of Mission, Theology, and Culture and Director of the William Pannell Center for African American Church Studies

Fuller Theological Seminary is excited to announce the appointment of Dwight Radcliff Jr. as director of the William E. Pannell Center for African American Church Studies and assistant professor of mission, theology, and culture, effective July 1, 2019. Dr. Radcliff will work alongside Assistant Provost Clifton Clarke in Southern California and in collaboration with Vince Bantu, assistant professor of church history and Black church studies, in Texas in the work of the Pannell Center advancing Black church scholarship, nurturing connections with local churches, and providing mentorship and advocacy for African American students.

“Dr. Dwight Radcliff is an exciting addition to the Pannell Center team,” said Dr. Clarke. “As a former student of Fuller, Dr. Radcliff is the ideal person to support the formation of students and the promotion of Black church studies at Fuller. As a pastor and scholar, he brings tremendous ministry experience and insight with regard to the opportunities and challenges facing the Black church in America in the 21st century.” Regarding his new position, Radcliff said he hopes to “contribute significantly to the current work and legacy of the Pannell Center” as he joins Fuller leadership in an historic season of change.

For the full story see here: https://www.fuller.edu/posts/dwight-radcliff-named-assistant-professor-of-mission-theology-and-culture-and-director-of-the-william-e-pannell-center-for-african-american-church-studies/