Rev. Dr. James Chuck, a professor of theology and church ministry at the American Baptist Seminary of the West (ABSW) in California, is a recipient for the Luther Wesley Smith Award who will be honored by the Asian American Center (AAC) at ABSW through a "Congregational Studies Fund."
The "James Chuck Congregational Studies Fund" initiated by the Asian American students at ABSW in conjunction with AAC will honor Dr. Chuck's many years of service in theological education and his research.
In Sept 1996, Dr. Chuck completed a study that documented the growth of Chinese Protestant congregations from 1950 to mid-1996 in five bay area counties—San Francisco, San Mateo, Contra Costa, Alameda, and Santa Clara.
According to AAC, Dr. Chuck will lead a follow-up study in 2006 entitled, Bay Area Chinese Churches Research Project: Phase II, which will revisit churches that were studied in Phase I.
Phase II will document their present situation and the latest trends, challenges and opportunities, as well as emerging congregations that may have started since Phase I. For instance, the first study found that in 1950 to mid-1996, Chinese congregations grew from 15 to 158.
The goal of the project is to produce a current study that would be useful for pastors and Bay Area church leaders in continuing their ministry, but to also initiate other studies that would "encourage greater research of Asian American congregations," AAC said.
The development of the project will be based on the interests and the needs of all the churches included in the study.
At the end of the project, a conference will be held in fall 2007 for pastors and lay leaders to share the results of the study and to discuss the issues raised, giving them an opportunity to worship and fellowship together.
The project's planning team include Dr. James Chuck as the director, Dr. Russell Jeung, a professor at San Francisco State University who leads the Asian American Witness and Works Anthology project that explores Asian American Christians who work in evangelism and social justice, Dr. Russell Moy from the AAC at ABSW and Dr. Timothy Tseng, associate professor of American Religious History at ABSW who is also the director of AAC.
On the advisory committee, a team that is still forming, are Dr. Chung-Yan Joyce Chan from Carey Theological College in Vancouver, Christopher Chua and Dr. Fumitaka Matsuoka from PANA Institute in California, Rev. Louis Lee, founder of MESA in California, Dr. Wing Ning Pang from the Christian Leadership Exchange in LA, Rev. Dr. Anthony So from Logos Seminary in LA, Dr. Enoch Wan from the Western Seminary in Oregon, and Dr. Fenggang Yang from Purdue University in Indiana.
"Please prayerfully consider making a gift toward this fund in celebration of [Dr. Chuck's] enduring service for the sake of God's kingdom," AAC said who is trying to raise $27,000 dollars.
Recipients of the Luther Wesley Smith Award are individuals who are nationally-recognized for their distinguished services in strengthening educational programs at an American-Baptist college or seminary.
Rev. Dr. James Chuck said according to AAC, "I feel grateful after a long ministry in one place that by the grace of God, we have been of some use, and that even our weakness can be used by the Spirit to bring God's purpose to fruition."
If you want to donate to this fund or want more information please contact
Dr. Timothy Tseng at www.asianamericancenter.org