better theological education for Asian seminarians

December 20, 2007

Key leaders from seminaries recently explored how to increase effectiveness of seminary training at the ATS Asian/Asian North American seminary faculty consultation (reported at the ISAAC blog)::

Fifty Asian and Asian North American (AANA) seminary faculty gathered in Dallas, Texas on Dec. 7-9, 2007 to discuss how to make Theological Education more effective for AANA seminarians. The findings will be summarized in a report for the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) early in 2008. The ATS credentials seminaries in the United States and Canada, approves their degree programs, and sponsored this consultation. The Institute for the Study of Asian American Christianity (ISAAC) facilitated the planning of the consultation and will draft the report.

… In 2006, AANAs made up 7.5% of the total ATS student body – which is a higher percentage than their overall population and slightly higher than their percentages in other graduate level programs (6.5%). This is equivalent to the percentage of Visa (or international) students, of whom a large number come from Asian nations. 13% of the total student body are African Americans/Canadians (which is equivalent to their population in North America) and only 3% are Hispanics (compared to their general population of 13%).

Among the AANA seminarians, only 35% are enrolled in M.Div. programs – an indicator that the traditional church ministry route is not as popular as it once was or that churches and ministry organizations are more open to hiring AANA graduates without M.Div. degrees. Approximately 4,000 AANA students attend evangelical seminaries (9% of the student body), 750 attend mainline Protestant seminaries (3.5%), and less than 500 attend Roman Catholic seminaries (6.7%). Interestingly, 6% of the faculty in evangelical seminaries are AANA, 4.7% in mainline Protestant seminaries, and 3% in Roman Catholic seminaries.

Read the entire report for detailed event summary >>

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