Wheaton College Humanitarian Disaster Institute to Research & Compare Korean & Chinese Churches

May 3, 2022

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The Humanitarian Disaster Institute (HDI) at Wheaton College, the first faith-based academic disaster research center in the country, has won a $100,000 grant from the Daofeng and Angela Foundation to compare the development and public engagement of Korean and Chinese churches in the Washington D.C., area.

HDI researchers will conduct practical research including surveys and interviews, after which they will report on the findings and provide implications and suggestions for Chinese American congregations. The final report, expected in February 2023, will be available in Chinese (Mandarin), Korean and English.

While some Christian congregations across the U.S. are declining in engagement, other congregations are growing. Diaspora churches are often considered some of the country’s most successful, part of a great wave of immigration to the United States over the past fifty years.  Yet their own situations are complex and multi-faceted.

Chinese Christian congregations in the United States, for example, have grown according to unique patterns compared to other immigrant churches, such as Korean congregations. These patterns include the development of believers and engagement in the public affairs of their communities.

The COVID-19 global pandemic adds another layer of complexity, impacting the development of Chinese congregations now and into the future.

HDI assistant professor Jamie Goodwin, Ph.D., will lead the research, in partnership with Rev. Andrew Lee, Ph.D., Sam George, Ph.D. of the Global Diaspora Institute, Peter Jantsch, Ph.D., Wheaton Mathematics, and HDI colleagues Joy Lee, Lora Kwan and Anna Liu.

For more information about the work of HDI, visit www.wheaton.edu/hdi.