Gospel in Chinese Culture

Informing spiritual passions by…
Forming mentored learning communities, thereby…
Transforming ministers and ministries for a lifetime.

First Residency Dates: TBA
Campus: South Hamilton & Off-Site in East Asia
Primary Faculty Mentors: Dr. Stephen Um, Dr. Xiyi Yao
Guest: David Ro

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While many in China are excitedly taking up the torch to become the next largest mission-sending country, in mainland China Christianity finds itself at a post-Confucian and post-Communist crossroad. This provides both great challenge and opportunity to churches and leaders as they live out the confrontation between Gospel and culture.

With growing congregations, leaders are increasingly finding themselves under-equipped. Will the Church be absorbed into the metanarrative of modernity? Or, will she grow into a strong Gospel faith built upon the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ?

The foremost challenge and opportunity to Chinese churches and leaders is developing a Gospel-centered, Gospel-driven, and Gospel-shaped life and ministry. This Gospel then transforms churches to prevail while constantly surrounded with modern secularism and tradition.

This track aims to re-equip seasoned church pastors with a sharpened understanding of the Gospel and a penetrating grasp of modern Chinese and world culture, that they may be enabled to minister and be driven by a biblical Gospel theology.

The learning and experience of Chinese pastors, led by the Spirit within this track, will indeed enrich the great heritage of Gordon-Conwell.


As a Doctor of Ministry student, you attend three two-week intensive residencies (seminars), one each year for three years. The residencies consist of lectures, case studies, participant reports and individual consultations. The classroom sessions are collegial in style and stress learning within a community context. In preparation for each residency, you read between 2,000 and 3,000 pages of assigned and collateral reading.

Sample reading from the program includes:

  • Horton, Michael S., People and Place: A Covenant Ecclesiology (W/JK, 2008)
  • Keller, Timothy J., Generous Justice (Dutton, 2010).
  • (Lu, Kun, “The biblical gospel and its pastoral implication”).
  • Parrett, Gary and J.I. Packer, Grounded in the Gospel (Baker, 2010)
  • Newbigin, Lesslie, Truth to Tell: The Gospel as Public Truth (Eerdmans, 1991).

To order these books through Christian Book Distributors, go to our online bookstore:

GCTS Bookstore


Here is how your studies will transform you and your ministry by seeking to fulfill our general Doctor of Ministry goals in some track-specific ways:

  • To resource students through a biblically-grounded educational program taught by faculty who are committed to God’s Word and the application of principles of Scripture to the issues of contemporary culture.

Students will be able to be equipped with a sharp gospel lens and a good comprehension of culture dynamics, metaphors, metanarratives in general and the social-cultural transformation process in contemporary and modern Chinese history. This will enable them to see and analyze modern Chinese culture in order to preach the gospel to the heart that is always and only accessible to God’s Word.

  • To form in students a sound foundation of theological and biblical inquiry in their professional doctoral program’s specialized track that they are able to integrate into the life of Christian ministry.

Students will be able to reflect and re-form their theological foundation through interaction with the their ministry experience and thorough study of the evangelical faith.

  • To provide students with the skill set and understandings in a specialized area of ministry to such an extent that they can impact their congregation or community more powerfully for God.

Students will be able to learn and master Christ-centered preaching, to evaluate and reorganize their ministry areas/functions in their context, to disciple believers and raise leaders in total reliance of the accomplished work of Christ and the Spirit, and to direct their ministry staff accomplish short-term and long-term ministry goals.

Students will be able to recognize that church planting is a key area of mission work, get acquainted with urban church planting processes, and commit themselves and their churches to gospel-centered church planting.

  • To create through the cohort model of the program a dimension of Christian community and spiritual nurturing so that students form strong friendships with one another and enter long-term relationships with the scholars who guide the learning experience.

Students will be able to develop deep fellowship and trust among themselves, perhaps even expanding to their families; they will stimulate each other spiritually and mentally; they will grow out a commonly shared vision and sense of ministry direction in China’s rapidly changing culture.

  • To develop in students a deeper understanding of Christ’s lordship in all areas of life for the common good of the contemporary world.

Students will be able to analyze the sociological and religious factors involved in the various revivals studied.

Students will be able to perceive historical events from a gospel advancement angle and recognize the work of the Holy Spirit in China and the world.

Students will be sensitive to the lordship battle operating at the human heart level as well as the culture narrative level.

  • To cultivate within students through critical reflection and careful research through the residencies and projects an enriched Christian witness in the places of society they are called to serve.

Students will be able to research their specific cultural context, articulate their own theological vision to their context, and develop their own philosophy of ministry for their context.

Students will be able to develop corresponding short-term and long-term ministry action plans to implement and advance their philosophy of ministry.

  • To instill in students a refreshed view of their ministry as it relates to the proclamation of the Gospel among all people.

Students will be able to embrace their neighborhood community, their cities, and the workplace as their ministry fields to share and advance the gospel.

Students will be able to perceive their ministry as a visible Kingdom manifestation through Christ-centered gospel proclamation and church planting ministries.