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Migration, Transnationalism, and Faith in Missiological Perspective: Los Angeles as a Global Crossroads

October 26 – 30, 2020


General Registration – $50
Alumni and Non-Fuller Students – $25
Fuller Students, Staff, and Faculty – $0

Para registrarse al evento en español, visite: Información de Registro

등록을 위해 한국어 이벤트 정보와 등록안내를 방문하세요: 등록 정보


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Missiology Lectures 2020

Los Angeles has long been a global crossroad of communities migrating in and out, especially from Latin America. The Missiology Lectures 2020 will explore this case study of migration, transnationalism, and interfaith engagement through keynote presentations, breakout conversations, and panel discussions over five days.

Event registrants will have access to curated content that will be released each morning, as well as the opportunity to participate in live sessions throughout the day.

Conference Organizers:

Dr. Kirsteen Kim, Paul E. Pierson Chair in World Christianity and Associate Dean for the Center for Missiological Research

Rev. Dr. Alexia Salvatierra, assistant professor of integral mission and global transformation, School of Intercultural Studies

Dr. Amos Yong, Chief Academic Officer, Dean of the School of Theology and the School of Intercultural Studies, and Professor of Theology and Mission

FULLER studio is pleased to offer a selection of the recordings to be released in the months following the event. To stay updated on this content, sign up for the FULLER studio semimonthly email.


Please note, all times are listed in Pacific Standard Time. All plenary and panel sessions will be translated into Spanish and Korean.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Sessions will only be viewable through the conference app, Whova. For access, register and download the web and mobile app.

Chair: Dr. Kirsteen Kim, Paul E. Pierson Chair in World Christianity and Associate Dean for the Center for Missiological Research

8:30 am Worship with Rosa Ramirez

9:30 am Plenary 1: “City of Dreams: Los Angeles as a Cradle for Religious Activism, Innovation, and Diversity”

Lecturer: Dr. Richard Flory, USC
Respondent: Rev. Dr. Alexia Salvatierra

11:00 am Plenary 2: “Missiological Reflections on the “In-Betweenness” of Latino Protestantism”

Lecturer: Dr. Juan Francisco Martínez, Centro Hispano de Estudios Teológicos (CHET)
Respondent: Dr. Lisseth Rojas-Flores

12:30 pm Breakouts: Conversations with Practitioners

Vanessa Martinez Soltero, Kristi Van Nostran, Marcos Canales, Marianna Occhiuto

1:30 pm Coffee Hour: Meet the Exhibitors


Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Sessions will only be viewable through the conference app, Whova. For access, register and download the web and mobile app.

Chair: Rev. Dr. Alexia Salvatierra, Assistant Professor of Integral Mission and Transformational Development, School of Intercultural Studies and Centro Latino

8:30 am Coffee Hour: Meet the Exhibitors

9:30 am Plenary 3: “Catholicity: Migration, Religion, and World Christianity”

Lecturer: Dr. Gioacchino Campese, Pontifical Urbaniana University, Rome
Respondent: Dr. Cecil M. Robeck Jr.

11:00 am Plenary 4: “Faith Resources: Muslim Migration to Los Angeles”

Lecturer: Dr. Zayn Kassam, Pomona College
Respondent: Dr. Matthew Kaemingk

12:30 pm Breakouts: Conversations with Practitioners

Jerome Hannaman, Juan Martinez Benavides, Tina Mata

1:30 pm Panel Discussion 1: Faith-Based Responses to the Immigration Crisis

Panelists: Isaac Cuevas, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles
Rabbi Aryeh Cohen, PhD, Sanctuary and Sacred Resistance
Salam Al-Marayati, Muslim Public Affairs Council
Nancy Yuen, PhD, Biola University/M25/Sanctuary Study


Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Sessions will only be viewable through the conference app, Whova. For access, register and download the web and mobile app.

Chair:  Dr. Amos Yong, Chief Academic Officer, Dean of the School of Theology and the School of Intercultural Studies, and Professor of Theology and Mission

10:00 am Fuller Chapel: Migration and Mission

Preacher: Bishop Dr. Zac Niringiye

11:00 am Plenary 5: “Borders: Citizenship in California”

Lecturer: Dr. Jason Sexton, UCLA
Respondent: Dr. Andrea Smith, UC Riverside

12:30 pm Breakouts: Conversations with Practitioners

Bethany Anderson, Joel Hortiales, Brad Christerson

1:00 pm Fuller Alumni Meet Up with Dr. Amos Yong

1:30 pm Coffee Hour: Meet the Exhibitors


Thursday, October 29, 2020

Sessions will only be viewable through the conference app, Whova. For access, register and download the web and mobile app.

Chair: Dr. Dwight A. Radcliff Jr., Academic Dean for the William E. Pannell Center for African American Church Studies and Assistant Professor of Mission, Theology, and Culture

8:30 am Coffee Hour: Meet the Exhibitors

9:30 am Plenary 6: “Errands in the Wilderness: Protestant Migrations and the (Re-)Evangelization of California in the 20th and 21st Centuries”

Lecturer: Dr. Darren Dochuk, University of Notre Dame
Respondent: Dr. Robert Chao Romero, UCLA

11:00 am Plenary 7: “Making their Mark: Asian Americans and the Californian ‘Christian’ Landscape”

Lecturer: Dr. Rebecca Y. Kim, Pepperdine University
Respondent: Dr. Daniel D. Lee

12:30 pm Breakouts: Conversations with Practitioners

Kevin Doi, Martin Rodriguez, Andrews D. Donkor

1:30 pm Panel Discussion 2: Migrant Ministries in Los Angeles

Panelists: Hyepin Im, Faith and Community Empowerment (formerly Korean Churches for Community Development)
Rev. Lee de León, Executive Pastor, Templo Calvario

Rev. Kelvin Sauls, Co-founder of Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Network Strategist, Community Health Council


Friday, October 30, 2020

Sessions will only be viewable through the conference app, Whova. For access, register and download the web and mobile app.

Chair: Dr. Kirsteen Kim, Paul E. Pierson Chair in World Christianity and Associate Dean for the Center for Missiological Research

8:30 am Worship with Rosa Ramirez

9:30 am Plenary 8: “Migration Impacting the Theology and Practice of Mission”

Lecturer: Dr. Leopoldo A. Sánchez M., Concordia Seminary
Respondent: Dr. Carly L. Crouch

11:00 am Panel Discussion 3: “Migration, Transnationalism, and Faith in Missiological Perspective”

Panelists: Dr. Campese, Dr. Dochuk, Dr. Flory, Dr. Kassam, Dr. Rebecca Y. Kim, Dr. Martínez, Dr. Sánchez, Dr. Sexton

12:30 pm Breakouts: Conversations with Practitioners

Cynthia Eriksson, Ava Steaffens, Annie Aeschbacher

1:30 pm Coffee Hour: Meet the Exhibitors

1:30 pm Prospective Student Event

Speakers and Abstracts

Campese, Gioacchino Gioacchino Campese

Professor of the Theology of Human Mobility at Pontifical Urbaniana University, Italy

“Catholicity: Migration, Religion, and World Christianity”

Abstract: Migrants and refugees have been since the beginning among the main protagonists of the Christian mission and, as such, the subjects of World Christianity who have carried the faith through their cultural traditions to the ends of the earth. At the same time, with their courage, resiliency, and hope they also represent the pioneers and spokespersons of the Christian pilgrimage toward catholicity––the wholeness, fullness, inclusivity that characterizes God’s reign ––in a globalized world in which conflicts and divisions are politically and religiously motivated. It will be argued that two key concepts and practices that advance the eschatological event of catholicity are synodality and the “culture of encounter” (Pope Francis), which, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, must become two distinctive and essential elements of the mission of World Christianity in the “age of migration”.

Respondent: Dr. Cecil M. Robeck Jr., Senior Professor of Church History and Ecumenics and Special Assistant to the President for Ecumenical Relations

Dochuk, DarrenDarren Dochuk

Associate Professor of History at University of Notre Dame

“Mission: Protestant Migration and the (Re-)Evangelization of California”

Abstract: “Restless tides of humanity” had long made their way to California, with plans for redemption in tow. So noted a Southern Baptist editor when marveling at his denomination’s move into the Golden State “bringing the glad news of salvation and saying to the thousands of lost people, ‘California, here we come.’” Uttered in 1946, amid the state’s postwar boom, these are sentiments that countless Protestants have exclaimed and embraced when first encountering California and its epicenter of cultural transformation, Los Angeles. This presentation will provide a historical overview of Protestant migration in (and out of) Los Angeles from World War II to the present. While observing general patterns of movement and institutional change within Los Angeles’s sprawling Protestant community, it will pay close attention to the ways that migration has made the city a site of particularly intense and innovative evangelization, a crucible of religious transformation on a national scale, and a gateway for global Christianity.

Respondent: Dr. Robert Chao Romero, Associate Professor, César E. Chávez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, UCLA

Flory, RichardRichard Flory

Senior Director of Research and Evaluation at the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at USC

“Los Angeles: Crossroads for Migrating Faith Communities”

Abstract: Los Angeles has long attracted migrants—both from different parts of the US and from other countries—who are seeking new opportunities in life. As such, the single dominant reality of the region is its diversity; there is no single ethnic group, way of life, or industrial sector that dominates the scene. This applies to the LA religion as well. Los Angeles is the most religiously diverse city in the world, as religion has been transported to the city along with those seeking that new start in life. What is it about Los Angeles that attracts and even encourages such a broad range of people and their many different religious expressions? What happens to these religions as they experience and interact with the culture and diversity of Los Angeles? And, how do they maintain their vitality as they face myriad alternative and competing religious groups and the secular pursuits that the region offers?

Respondent: Rev. Dr. Alexia Salvatierra, Assistant Professor of Integral Mission and Global Transformation, School of Intercultural Studies

Kassam, ZaynZayn Kassam

John Knox MacLean Professor of Religious Studies at Pomona College

“Faith Resources: Muslim Migration to Los Angeles”

Abstract: In the past few decades, Muslim migration to the Greater Los Angeles area has coalesced into building strong civic and religious institutions that have positioned Muslims to strengthen both their own communities and build interfaith connections. The tragic events of 9/11 and the subsequent War on Terror have led to increased surveillance and violence against Muslims/misidentified Muslims both domestically and abroad. In addition to ongoing deportations, since the inception of the Trump administration the acceptance rates for Muslim refugees and migrants has diminished under the guise of national security. The larger culture of Islamophobia and population racism have brought significant challenges to Muslim communities and individuals, while the work of Muslim faith-based and civic organizations and their interfaith connections in resettling refugees shows a remarkable degree of commitment to their values.

Respondent: Dr. Matthew Kaemingk, Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics and Associate Dean for Fuller Texas

Kim, Rebecca Rebecca Y. Kim

Frank R. Seaver Chair of Social Science, Professor of Sociology, and the Director of the Ethnic Studies program at Pepperdine University

“Making their Mark: Asian Americans and the Californian ‘Christian’ Landscape”

Abstract: This paper examines how Asian immigrants and their descendants are making their own mark in and outside of the Californian “Christian” landscape despite their history of exclusion in US society. I first discuss the various cultural and structural barriers that Asian immigrants encountered in their efforts to become part of the United States, particularly in California. I then explore how Asian Americans are reshaping and revitalizing the Californian “Christian” landscape through their churches, campus ministries, and missions organizations, and how they are constructing their distinctive faith, theology, and religious practice. I also explain how Asian American Christians hold the keys to a more united multiracial future in California and beyond. I do this by incorporating past and present social scientific research on Asian American Christians, including my own, and drawing from in-depth interview data from the Religious Leadership and Diversity Project (2014–2016).

Respondent: Dr. Daniel D. Lee, Academic Dean of the Center for Asian American Theology and Ministry and Assistant Professor of Theology and Asian American Ministry

Juan MartinezJuan Martínez

President, Centro Hispano de Estudios Teológicos (CHET)

“Missiological Reflections on the “In-Betweenness” of Latino Protestantism”

Abstract: Because of the way that Latino Protestants formed their identity they are in a space “in-between.” Their identity is between US and Latin America; their identity in the US is between Hispanic culture and American culture; their racial identity is a mestizaje between European, Native American, African, and Asian; their religious identity is between Catholicism, Protestantism and native Latin American religions. And, they find themselves within Protestantism between Evangelicals and Pentecostals.

Respondent: Dr. Lisseth Rojas-Flores, Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology

Sanchez, LeopoldoLeopoldo A. Sánchez M.

Werner R. H. and Elizabeth R. Krause Professor of Hispanic Ministries at Concordia Seminary

“Theological Approaches to Migration: Their Impact on Missional Thinking and Action”

Abstract: Theological approaches to migration can take as their starting point hospitality to migrants, law and reform considerations, models on the role of the church in society, and the notion of special relations. What are the potential strengths of each of these approaches to migration for dealing with a complex issue? We argue that a multidimensional theology of migration, which accounts for a diversity of perspectives and concerns, has the potential to promote fruitful missional thinking and action.

Respondent: Dr. Carly L. Crouch, David Allan Hubbard Professor of Old Testament

Sexton, Jason_Jason Sexton

Visiting Research Scholar at the California Center for Sustainable Communities in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA

“Borders: Citizenship in California”

Abstract: As California’s cultural epicenter, LA stands at a crossroads: 100+ languages spoken in public schools; the world’s second largest Mexican city; enormous populations of citizens of countries around the world. Like California, LA has projected its image to the world as a place belonging. Yet amid a growing presence of global citizens, this has not always translated to full citizenship. With perpetual amnesia amid the cultural production, especially forgetting injustices done to minorities and Native Californians, California’s residents face difficult positions. Throughout a history of inclusion and exclusion, new ways of coexisting have marked California’s approaches. This was often fueled by California churches’ inchoate understandings of kingdom or heavenly citizenship, which rather than enabling faithful discipleship often disabled more responsible approaches that could have better sought the good of California and its many residents who seek to experience the better lives of the California dream.

Respondent: Dr. Andrea Smith, Professor of Ethnic Studies, UC Riverside

Breakouts: Conversations with Practitioners


Vanessa Martinez Soltero
Organizer, Matthew 25/Mateo 25

Matthew 25/Mateo 25 is a network of immigrant and non-immigrant churches and “puentes”––bilingual, bicultural millennials––formed to stand with and defend vulnerable immigrants and their families in the name and Spirit of Jesus.

Kristi Van Nostran
Presbyterian Immigrant Accompaniment, Southern California Region, PCUSA

Kristi is in her final year at Fuller Theological Seminary where she is pursuing a Master of Divinity in preparation for ordination in the Presbyterian Church (USA). In her role as organizer with the SoCal Presbyterian Immigrant Accompaniment Ministry, Kristi encourages, equips, and supports congregations and individuals to joyfully and faithfully engage in accompaniment and advocacy with some of our most vulnerable neighbors.

Marcos Canales
Pastor, La Fuente Ministries

La Fuente Ministries, amongst many other things, operates a day care for unaccompanied migrant children.

Marianna Occhiuto
Head of Fundraising ASCS – Scalabrinian Agency for Cooperation and Development

Casa Scalabrini 634 is a program of ASCS in Rome, Italy, founded and run by the Missionaries of Saint Charles – Scalabrinians, a Roman Catholic Religious Order. Casa Scalabrini 634 promotes the culture of encounter among refugees, migrants, and local communities by working on the four verbs indicated by Pope Francis as the fundamental actions toward migrants and refugees: welcoming, protecting, promoting, and integrating.



Jerome Hannaman
Frontier Ventures: Evangelism with Migrant Communities in Southern California

Frontier Ventures focuses on the frontiers of what is being done to bring the gospel in every people of the world.

My focus is on the greater LA area. This is to understand and mobilize believers here to reach the different people groups in the region, particularly the new immigrant.

As my research seems to show, the group that is the least reached here are those coming from the Buddhist areas of the world. Thus, I have been focused on understanding and mobilizing people to minister to these wonderful people that God is bringing here.

Juan Martinez Benavides
Professional Certificate for Hispanic Pastoral Leaders – Centro Latino

Recruitment retention staff for the Diplomado en la Respuesta de la Iglesia a la Crisis Migratoria (Professional Certificate program at Fuller on the Response of the Church to the Immigration Crisis); international student from El Salvador.

Tina Mata
Matthew 25/Mateo 25 Board Member

Hosting and Supporting Asylum-Seekers: A Personal Story



Bethany Anderson
Organizer, Evangelical Immigration Table

20 Years of Evangelical Immigration Accompaniment and Advocacy in Orange County, CA

Joel Hortiales
Director of Hispanic/Latino Ministries and Border Concerns, Cal-Pac Conference, United Methodist Church

Brad Christerson
Professor of Sociology at Biola University and Board Member of Matthew 25/Mateo 25

Research on Faith-Based Protection of and Advocacy for Immigrants

Brad Christerson has written extensively on race, religion, globalization, and inequality, and is currently conducting research on faith-based organizations that are protecting and advocating for immigrants.



Kevin Doi
Personal Immigrant Family Experience (Japanese) and JOYA Scholars –– Scholarships for Immigrant Youth

Third-generation American of Japanese descent, whose parents were both incarcerated under Executive Order 9066 during WWII. He is the first person in his immediate family to graduate from college. He is the cofounder of JOYA Scholars, a college-prep organization (now in their 12th year) serving first-generation immigrant students and their families in the most underserved neighborhoods of Fullerton, CA.

Martin Rodriguez
Joining the Spirit in the Borderlands of My Neighborhood

A Mexican-American missiologist, Martin Rodriguez knows personally the many displacements of migration––what it's like to be ni de aquí, ni de allá (neither from here, nor from there). Since 2010, Martin has pastored an intercultural urban church in Los Angeles and has studied practical theology under transnationalism expert, Juan Martínez. Martin’s research lies at the intersection of postcolonial hybridity theory and late-modern leadership theories. He is interested in missional leadership that honors God’s agency and the agency of cultural others in the midst of diversity and power asymmetries. Martin currently works as Assistant Professor of Practical Theology at Azusa Pacific University.

Andrews D. Donkor
African student at Fuller Theological Seminary. A clergy member of the Church of Pentecost USA since 1999, and a missionary of the church to Norway and Sweden, 2012–2016

Personal Immigrant Experience (African)



Cynthia Eriksson
PsyD Program Chair, Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology, Graduate School of Psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary

Personal Experience: Hosting an Asylum-Seeker and Research on Resilience

Ava Steaffens
Strategic Partnership Director at World Relief –– Ministries with Immigrants and Refugees

Annie Aeschbacher
Coordinator, InnerChange

Ministries with Migrant Neighbors in MacArthur Park

Save the Date

Join us next year for the 2021 Missiology Lectures

October 27-29, 2021

A New Vision of Health and Mission: A Global Invitation to Heal and Thrive in Crisis

The church has been engaged in healing since its inception, although understandings of health have shifted significantly over the centuries. The 21st-century global health crises call the church to once again examine and redefine its role. The 2021 Missiology Lectures will be a global, multidisciplinary exploration of the mission of creating healthy individuals, families, communities, and societies, and the church’s role in this process. Fuller Theological Seminary brings the School of Intercultural Studies’ ongoing commitment to global church dialogue and the holistic research led by the Thrive Center of our School of Psychology & Marriage and Family Therapy to this task. This will be an online conference with regional gatherings/nodes for networking, including an in-person gathering in Pasadena.

Sign up here to stay informed.