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Timeline of Chinese Studies and China Initiatives at Fuller

1980s to early 1990s: there is a Chinese Studies concentration in the School of World Mission, with Dr. Che-bin Tan as the first director, who is later joined by Dr. Hoover Wong.

1984: Fuller President David Allan Hubbard leads the Fuller trustees on a visit to China to meet with key Christian leaders, including Bishop K. H. Ting.

1990: Kathy Call, spouse of Fuller trustee Merlin Call, establishes the China Connection, disseminating news of the China Christian Council and Amity Foundation through the newsletter, China Chronicles.

1993: Bishop K. H. Ting attends the inauguration of Fuller President Richard J. Mouw.

1994 and subsequent years: Dr. and Mrs. Mouw, Fuller Foundation representatives, senior administrators, and faculty members visit China dozens of times, initiating and developing relationships with:

  • China Christian Council (CCC) in Shanghai, as well as provincial Christian Councils
  • Nanjing Union Theological Seminary (NUTS), and other seminaries and Bible schools in China
  • State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) in Beijing
  • Local churches and pastors

2002: Fuller delegation led by President Richard Mouw attends the 50th anniversary of the founding of Nanjing Union Theological Seminary (NJUTS).

2004–2020: Fuller’s School of Psychology (SOP) Professor Al Dueck initiates, organizes, and participates in over 50 educational events in mainland China, on the topics of pastoral counseling teaching/training and the academic study of the psychology of religion. The China Initiative sponsors 13 annual Sino-American Psychology of Religion Conferences in China between 2002–2019.

2006 and 2007 summer: President Richard Mouw travels to Hong Kong for several strategic meetings, including a meeting with Ping-Cheung Lo, Professor of Christian Ethics at Hong Kong Baptist University, who went on to become the first Academic Dean of Fuller’s Chinese Studies Center in 2022.

August 2007: President Richard Mouw sends a grant proposal to Stephan Charitable Fund with a Ten-Fold China Studies Program.

January 2008: A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is signed by the trustees of Stephan Charitable Fund and Fuller Theological Seminary for funding a Chinese Studies Center and educational programs in China.

2007–2008: Multiple lectures and workshops take place at Nanjing Union Theological Seminary for faculty and students on family counseling, premarital counseling, and pastoral counseling.

March 2010: The Robert and Dorothy King Scholarship Endowment Fund is established.

June 2011: Robert and Dorothy King Chinese Studies Endowment Fund is established.

2014: Fuller establishes the “China Initiative”; Diane B. Obenchain is appointed first director of the China Initiative and professor of religion in the School of Intercultural Studies. Dr. Obenchain taught religious studies at Peking University, Fudan University, and Zhejiang University from 1988–2005 and was professor of religious studies at Calvin College from 2005–2014.

2014: Kenneth T. Wang joins Fuller’s School of Psychology. Through China Initiative, Al Dueck and Kenneth Wang annually lead groups of Fuller students and faculty to provide training and presentations to seminaries, universities, and counseling centers in China.

February 2015: China Initiative Director Diane Obenchain offers a ten-page vision document, entitled Fuller Theological Seminary’s Partnership with Chinese Christians: A Four-Platform, Multi-tasked Plan for Action, to Fuller President Mark Labberton, former Fuller President Richard Mouw, and members of Fuller’s China Working Group.

March 2015: Ezra Jin, Fuller alum (DMin) and pastor of Zion Church, Beijing, and president of China Christian Seminary, along with members of his delegation, visit Fuller for a meeting with President Labberton and Provost Doug McConnell.

2015–2017: The China Initiative receives generous donations for mainland Chinese student scholarships from Grace Griffin.

Fall 2015: A delegation led by President Mark Labberton, trustees, senior administrators, and Diane Obenchain makes a two-week official visit to mainland China.

February 2017: Elder Fu Xianwei, chairperson of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement of Protestant Churches in China, leads a delegation to visit Fuller, where they meet with President Mark Labberton, former President Richard Mouw and Fuller faculty members engaged in educational partnership with organizations in China.

February–March 2017: China Initiative annual forum on “Spirituality in Contemporary Chinese Film”.

Spring 2017: For three spring terms in a row, Diane Obenchain teaches in Nanjing Union Theological Seminary.

Summer 2017: President Labberton and Trustee David Fung visit several seminaries in China. President Labberton offers a word of congratulation in the graduation ceremony of Nanjing Union Theological Seminary.

Fall 2017: Fuller School of Theology Professor Hak Joon Lee teaches two Christian ethics courses at Nanjing Union Theological Seminary.

2018–2020: The China Initiative receives generous donations for mainland Chinese student scholarships from an anonymous donor.

February 2018: China Initiative Annual forum on “The Confucian-influenced Church”.

April 2019: China Initiative Annual forum on “Chinese Christian Art.”

April 2019: President Mark Labberton hosts an afternoon tea with LOGOS Seminary President Kuo-Liang Lin, CESNA President Katheryn Leung, and GETS President Isaac Chen, at which time the four seminary presidents agree to form a network for mutual collaboration in Chinese seminarian education in the greater Los Angeles area.

Fall 2020: China Initiative Director Diane Obenchain proposes the establishment of a Chinese Studies Center (CSC) to succeed the China Initiative.

May 2021: Donors of the Stephan Charitable Fund (Martha Jean [Stephan] Howell, Dean Stephan Jr., and William Stephan), together with members of the Fuller Foundation, establish a named endowment fund for the Dean and Rebecca Stephan Chair in Chinese Studies.

June 2021: Fuller’s Chinese Studies Center (CSC) is “softly” launched within the Fuller community. As with the former China Initiative, the Robert and Dorothy King Endowment Fund provides critical financial support for the Chinese Studies Center’s missions.

July 2021: The Franklin Wong and Lynda Chang Endowed Scholarship Fund is established.

June 2022: With additional donated funds from Franklin Wong and Lynda Chang, FULLER Equip launches an 18-month project to translate their “Ministry Essentials” certificate into Chinese; the project is led by Diane Obenchain, former director of the China Initiative.

July 2022: Renowned scholar of Christian ethics and Chinese philosophy, Professor Ping-Cheung (PC) Lo is the first person appointed to the Dean and Rebecca Stephan Chair in Chinese Studies and the first academic dean of the Chinese Studies Center, the newest of Fuller’s five ethnic centers.

Chinese Studies Center logo


Professor Ping-cheung Lo 羅秉祥教授
Academic Dean 主任

Dr. Chloe Sun 謝挺博士
Program Director 副主任

Mrs. Millie Yeung 楊梁玉萍女士
Administrative Assistant 行政助理


110 North Oakland Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91182

email: [email protected]
phone: 626-584-5286