Faculty Profiles

Faculty Profile Variant

Michael Hakmin Lee, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Ministry Leadership, Guest Instructor for Christian Formation and Ministry

Michael Hakmin Lee is Assistant Professor of Ministry and Leadership. Michael was born in Seoul, Korea, and immigrated with his family to the U.S., eventually settling in Houston, Texas. Michael became very involved in campus ministries during his junior and senior years of college at the University of Texas at Austin and sensed God’s calling to vocational Christian ministry as he neared graduation. After graduating with a degree in biochemistry, Michael returned home to Houston, where he worked as a full-time school teacher, planting and leading a youth ministry as a bi-vocational minister while pursuing seminary training.

An ordained minister, Michael continued to serve in pastoral ministries during and after completing his Th.M. in Systematic Theology and Intercultural Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. He earned a Ph.D. in Intercultural Studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and has taught at several schools prior to coming to Wheaton College. He wrote his dissertation on Christian deconversion, specifically exploring the experiences of former evangelical missionaries and pastors who have abandoned the Christian faith.

Michael has been an active participant in several missiological societies, having presented and published papers in the areas of the theology/philosophy of religions, race and ethnicity, and religious mobility. Michael enjoys outdoor activities like fishing and is active in coaching and playing baseball and judo along with his three boys.  

Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Ph.D., Intercultural Studies

Dallas Theological Seminary
Th.M., Systematic Theology

University of Texas at Austin
B.A., Biochemistry

  • Missiology
  • Intercultural Studies
  • Religious Conversion and Deconversion
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Theology of Religions

Doubt Is Not Unbelief: Evangelicals and the Stigma of Doubt
Christianity Today

The commitment of American evangelicals towards gospel propagation is evident from their dominant presence in Protestant mission (vast majority of U.S. based Protestant missionaries are evangelicals) and in the identities of their greatest heroes like Billy Graham...

view more

Are You a Trustworthy Person? [Gospel Life Podcast]
Christianity Today

Today, Michael Hakmin Lee, Research Fellow at the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College, talks about trustworthy people and the credibility of others. Who you trust, and why? What does it mean to trust someone? How does this relate to our gospel witness. As you consider your own trustworthiness, would you say it hinders or helps others to be drawn to Christ? We must cultivate trust in others so that Christ will be elevated. Think of one way you can make a deposit in someone’s trust bank this week...

view more

Understanding Worldview and the Flag
Christianity Today

Following the widespread NFL protests last Sunday, Ed wrote a thoughtful post in which he expressed that he found “such protests disrespectful” and questioned whether the playing of the national anthem was a proper time to protest. Not stating explicitly whether or not the protests were disrespectful, John countered that “during the anthem is the right time and place for such demonstrations.”...

view more

Race and Ethnicity
Christianity Today

In my previous post, I offered some reflections on the racist incidences at Fenway Park. In this follow-up post, I will attempt to explain why I believe the local church is an ideal context in which to pursue racial reconciliation...

view more

Prejudice and Discrimination: Why We Can’t Keep Covering Them Up
Christianity Today

Racial and ethnic diversity among Major League Baseball (MLB) players has grown significantly since Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier on April 15, 1947. This past season, a record 259 players (or 29.8%) on the 2017 Opening Day active and inactive rosters for all 30 teams (total 868 players) were born outside of the U.S. (50 states), mostly notably from Latin America. In the 70 years since Jackie Robinson paved the way for minority players, the demographics of MLB rosters have changed drastically but, apparently, discrimination against African-Americans players persists...

view more

Interdisciplinary reflections on the resilience of racial constructs Missiology, 2016

 Why are racial constructs so resilient in the USA? This article proposes that the resilience of pernicious racial constructs in the Western world can be explained in part by people’s predilection for the bounded-set race schema and that any constructive attempt at addressing racism should acknowledge the reality that people are intrinsically category-makers. Part of the solution then involves encouraging greater awareness of category-building strategies, aided and informed by positive intergroup contact and experiences. view more

From faith and advocacy to unbelief and defection: Exploring the concomitants and consequences of deconversion among evangelical ministers and missionaries Trinity International University, 2015
Drawing on prior research on religious conversion, apostasy, disaffiliation, and deconversion, this study seeks to explore the experiences of former Christian missionaries and ministers who have left the Christian faith, including the antecedents, processes, and the aftermath of leaving. Based on in-depth interviews with twenty-five former evangelical ministers and missionaries, the purpose of this qualitative study is to richly describe and explore various factors that might have contributed to their deconversion and the implications of their decision to leave.
Theology of Religions and the Intuitive Dimension: How Do We Construct and Perceive God’s Fairness? Missiology, 2013
With pluralism increasingly becoming the dominant explanatory paradigm for religious diversity in Europe and North America, Christians must contend with the reality that their fundamental conviction of salvation being mediated uniquely and exclusively through Jesus Christ is widely perceived as being parochial, intolerant, or even unconscionable. This article explores and challenges what appears to be a common and significant, but not often examined, assumption underlying protests against claims of Christian particularity—an unfairness intuition. Considerations include recent research on culture and notions of fairness/justice and biblical-theological reflections on fairness/justice. view more
Book Review: Witnessing to Christ in a Pluralistic Age: Christian Mission among other Faiths Missiology, 2012 view more
Book Review: Transcending Racial Barriers: Toward a Mutual Obligations Approach Missiology, 2012 view more