Talbot School of Theology is sponsoring the first annual Asian American Ministry Conference (AAMC) this fall, focusing on the theme, “Mentoring for a Lifetime.”
The conference will allow attendees to learn how to be mentors in their respective areas of interest, and where to seek after mentors.
“Mentorship is highly sought after in Asian American churches,” said John Shin, adjunct professor in Biblical Studies for Biola University. “I think it’s partly because of the familial aspect of Asian culture. We want connections. We want people we can lean upon, to guide us and shepherd us.”
Daniel Eng, who is also an adjunct professor in Biblical Studies, agreed, saying, “People are hungering for relationships where mentors can speak into their lives.”
Shin and Eng are part of a committee that has been organizing and planning the conference, along with Benjamin Shin, the director of Asian American Doctor of Ministry cohort at Talbot; Woogie Kim, the Money Gift Officer (MGO) for Korea Relations for Biola; and DJ Chuang, a strategy consultant. Their hope for the conference is that people will come and not only learn where to seek mentors, but also be trained and equipped to be mentors themselves, and that in the future of the Asian American church, mentorship would become a much more widespread phenomenon.
Talbot, the school of theology in Biola University, also has had a longstanding desire to serve the Asian American community. When the idea for the conference was brought to the staff, Benjamin Shin said that everyone was fully supportive.
“We are movers and shakers – we want to create movements. And we think it’s a good time for Talbot to be a part of this,” Benjamin Shin said. “The faculty, deans, and everyone involved have been very supportive. We just want Asian American pastors to flourish and to persevere, and we want to equip them. If we could do that, we’d be thankful.”
Benjamin Shin and Cory Ishida, the senior pastor of Evergreen Baptist Church of San Gabriel Valley, will be leading the two main plenary sessions. Breakout sessions will focus on specific areas of mentorship, such as mentoring for children, youth, collegians on campus, missionaries, women, and pastoral staff, among many others. There will also be an ‘interview’ time allotted in the afternoon, in which attendees can connect and talk with the speakers for more personal advice.
The conference will take place on Saturday, November 8, from 9 AM to 5 PM at Biola University. For more information, visit aace.link/conference.