We raise up the next generation of spiritual leaders by providing intersectional learning space that bridges the academy, church, and community.
ISAAC provides a third space of ministry where scholars of the academy, leaders of the church, and activists in the community can interact and engage with each other in articulating and advancing the development of Asian American Christianity. We believe a segregated knowledge results in a segregated life. An intersectional learning involves crossing the boundaries of EGG (Ethnicity, Generation, Gender) to overcome homogeneous traps.
ISAAC’s mission is to provide intersectional opportunities that enhance the capacity of leaders of the academy, church, and community to understand Asian American issues and contexts. The learning style involves raising critical questions that Asian Americans face and equipping them experientially with advanced knowledge about Asian American Christianity.
In our work with the Church, we offer three levels of our RETOOL Program (Intro, Intermediate, Advanced), other courses, monthly mentorship, and workshops in partnership with seminaries and universities, local churches, and other faith communities.
The current programs include:
- RISE Together: A National Network of Mentoring Women Of Color In Ministry, Southern California Cohort from 2018-2020, funded by Union Theological Seminary.
- “Imagining A More Equal Pulpit,” researches the best practices of gender inclusive Asian American and Latinx congregations, funded by Louisville Institute. Annual Gender Summit is part of the project.
- PastoralForum creates a 3rd space for pastors to share their crucial issues for mutual learning and mutual empowerment
ChristianityNext is an interdisciplinary journal creating new pathways for Asian North American Christianity. It affirms its evangelical and ecumenical roots in order to ask new questions and practice new ways of being. Young Lee Hertig, Editor-in-Chief. | Advisory board: Amos Yong, Kay Higuera Smith, Robert Romero | Editorial board members: Edward Yang, Jessica ChenFeng, Mark Hearn, Milton Eng (book review editor)
People whose intellectual and historical knowledge are unrecorded remain marginalized, and therefore, each generation perpetually pioneers without any bridge to connect generational wisdom and legacies. ISAAC commits to transcribing Asian American Christian issues and histories through journal, resource books, both in paperback and online.
In transcribing the generational wisdom and legacies, it is imperative to translate across Ethnicity, Generation, and Gender (EGG). The previous generation’s wisdom does not translate to the next generation in its entirety. It is up to each ethnic group, generation, and gender to translate them to their own unique contexts.
In transmitting the knowledge and practices across EGG, creating an intersectional learning space is crucial. The inclusive and diverse knowledge and representations enrich learning in contrast to homogeneous knowledge and practices. Daring to see realities and Christianity from multiple lenses provide learning at its best.
Rev. Dr. Young Lee Hertig
Co-Founder & Executive Director
She has taught courses on Spirituality, Sustainability, and Diversity at Azusa Pacific University, United Theological Seminary, and Fuller Theological Seminary since 1992 to present. She holds three MA’s in Counseling Psychology, Theology, Anthropology, and PhD in Intercultural Studies.
Rev. Dr. Milton (伍敬華 牧師) Eng
East Coast Project Director
Born and raised in New York City and living in northern NJ for over twenty years now, Rev. Dr. Eng graduated felt called to full-time Christian service after graduating from Columbia University with an engineering degree. He graduated from Evangelical Seminary in Pennsylvania, studied for a year at Westminster, and earned his Ph.D. in Old Testament from Drew University.
Chief Financial Officer
James Suh is an experienced executive in the investment and financial planning industry for the past 25 years. Mr. Suh is currently a managing director at Mirae Asset Wealth Management where he provides global corporations and clients with a comprehensive business and financial plan. Most recently in 2016, he was invited to the White House for the annual AAPA leadership forum to share his outlook with 125 Asian leaders.
Jane Hong-Guzman de Leon
Director of Communication
Jane Hong-Guzman de Leon joined ISAAC as the Social Media Coordinator expanding ISAAC’s digital presence. Jane is a licensed pastor from Acts Ministries International. She served on staff at the Church of Southland for 7 years and at Tapestry LA Church for 3 years. She is passionate about seeing justice, healing, and transformation inside and outside of the church. Jane has a Master of Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary.
Joy Lentz Wong
AAWOL Blog Administrator
Joy serves with Asian American Women on Leadership (AAWOL) as the Blog Administrator. She is a contributor to AAWOL’S book, Mirrored Reflections. Joy has served in various leadership capacities in Asian American ministries and Asian immigrant churches.
Miriam Cho is the producer of the “When Women Preach…” Podcast. Miriam has her undergraduate degree in Religion from Yale University and is enrolled in the MDiv program at Duke Divinity School.
Edward is our Web Coordinator who has previously participated in the ISAAC’s Summer Internship in 2015. He currently pursues a MDiv in Claremont School of Theology and has graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a B.A. in Theology. He also serves as an English Ministry Pastor at a Korean-Immigrant church named Church on the Rock LA in Fullerton, CA and feels convicted to be ordained for full-time ministry. He also works part-time as a Program Assistant in the Office of Student Life and Community at CST.
A graduate of Biola University, Sam went on to receive his M.Div. at Talbot Seminary and his Th.M at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is also the founder of NexGen Pastor’s, which is a network and fellowship of pastors in SoCal and he sits on the board of ISAAC, Innovative Space for Asian American Christianity.
Rev. Kevin Pranoto
Kevin is a licensed social worker and ordained minister through a Baptist General Convention of Texas church. He helps churches provide social service support for those experiencing poverty in Atlanta, GA at Buckhead Christian Ministry. Kevin specialized his studies in Women and the Church, through his Master of Divinity and Master of Social Work degrees from Baylor University.
Rev. Florence Li
Reverend Florence Li, National Coordinator of Asian Ministries, joins ISAAC as a Board of Director. Born in Hong Kong, relocated to the U.S in 1976 and ordained in 1987. Li, works to strengthen Asian church ministries by providing resources to pastors of Asian churches and gathering them together through local, regional and denominational events and conferences. She graduated from Hunter College with an MSW in Administration, an M. Div., from American Baptist Seminary of the West, and a BA degree in Social Work from Ottawa University.
Rev. Breana Van Velzen
Breana is the Community Minister at Duke University Chapel where she engages with matters of justice, equity, and mercy with the Duke University community. Breana is a graduate of Duke University where she earned her Master of Divinity. Additionally, she has a Master of Social Work from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Breana is an ordained Baptist minister.
Wing Ng Pang
Wing is the co-founder & Executive Director of Christian Leadership Exchange as well as a consultant in urban design and planning. In the past, he has served at numerous institutions including the Chinese Studies Program at Alliance Theological Seminary in Nyack, New York. Wing completed a BA at UC Berkeley, a Masters in Urban Design City Planning from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in Urban Planning at UCLA.
Rev. Joanne Rodríguez
Rev. Joanne Rodríguez, is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, and the Executive Director of the Hispanic Theological Initiative and the Hispanic Theological Initiative Consortium at Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS) since 2002. During her tenure, HTI established the consortium in 2008, fundraised over $8.3 million, and helped graduate over 120 PhD students in an average time to degree of 5.5 years, holding a graduation rate over 97%. She holds an MDiv. 1999, and a ThM. 2002, in homiletics from Princeton Theological Seminary. She writes, and speaks throughout the nation regarding the educational development of Hispanic students in PhD studies.
Maggie Harmon is the Ministry Relations Officer for the Southwest Region in the Presbyterian Foundation, where she works with congregations and individuals to sustain the culture of generosity. She is also a ruling elder at Montclair Presbyterian Church in Oakland, California. Her experience includes 20 years of legal practice, management consulting, and leadership coaching. She is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt and has extensive training in social science-based organizational development. She holds a B.A. from the University of California, Davis and a J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law. She has certification in leadership, organizational growth, and social science from Stanford University Graduate School of Business and is an interfaith chaplain.
Andrew is a founding member of the firm, Lee, Hong, Degerman, Kang & Waimey, and he advises international business enterprises in corporate and financial transactions, mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, international and cross-border transactions, products liability, real estate, tax and other general business matters. He has extensive experience representing corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships and joint ventures of major Korean multinational companies in various commercial transactions.
Bill is a former executive director of the Little Tokyo Service Center. From one staff person, LTSC now employs over 100 paid staff, most being full-time and many being multi-lingual and multi-cultural. Born in an American concentration camp called Manzanar, he is the son of first generation Japanese immigrants who came from Japan and during the 1930’s settled in the San Fernando Valley to grow and sell flowers in the then-booming wholesale flower market. All whom have been mentored by Bill call him a thinker, planner, and implementer.
Shana is active with many community and professional organizations including the International Association of Financial Planners, Women’s Leadership Council, and is a member of the Million Dollar Roundtable. She is the Investment Committee Chair for the International Institute of Los Angeles and also served on the board of Los Angeles City College District Bond Oversight Committee which is responsible for over $1 Billion in projects.
Joseph D. Small
Joseph served as director of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Theology and Worship from 1989-2011. He is now adjunct faculty at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, and church relations consultant to the Presbyterian Foundation. He serves on the board of the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology, and is co-chair of the international Reformed-Pentecostal Dialogue.
Rebecca Y. Kim
Rebecca is the Frank R. Seaver Chair of Social Science. She is Professor of Sociology and the Director of the Ethnic Studies program at Pepperdine University. She specializes in immigration, race, and religion and has published widely on such topics, particularly related to Asian Americans and Korean Christianity. She is the author of God’s New Whiz Kids? Korean American Evangelicals on Campus (New York Press 2006) and The Spirit Moves West: Korean Missionaries in America (Oxford University Press 2015).