Psychology and Ministry

How can an understanding of psychological processes better inform ministry decisions? In this line of research, we explore ministry stress among Chinese American church leaders in the U.S. We also investigate what it means to provide culturally-sensitive assessment and intervention for formerly trafficked women in India, and identify alternatives to state orphanages for social orphans in Kyrgyzstan. 

1. The Chinese-American Pastor Study (CAPS)
2. Business as Mission (BAM): Freedom Business among Trafficked Women
3. The Kyrgyzstan Social Orphans Project

The Chinese-American Pastor Study (CAPS)

What are some unique challenges that Chinese American church leaders face in their ministry, and what is the extent to which ministry stress affects psychological wellbeing and family relations? What are some protective factors that promote wellbeing, positive family processes, and marital relationships?

Research team: Mercy Huang, Maria Wong, Ph.D. (Stevenson University)


Business as Mission (BAM): Freedom Business among Trafficked Women

What is the effect of freedom businesses on human development and mental health outcomes of women employed? This is a case study of Freeset, a free trade business located in Kolkata that offers alternative employment to women who were forced into prostitution by trafficking or poverty. What are the significant themes in the women’s lives, including their decision-making processes with regard to the economic choice of work? How do you run a business that is fully business and fully mission while taking care of the person’s psychological needs?

Research team: Winnie Fung, Ph.D. (Wheaton College), Paul Lee, Ph.D. (Wheaton College)

The Kyrgyzstan Social Orphans Project

Approximately 11,000 children currently live in state institutions in Kyrgyzstan. Most of them are “social orphans,” where one or both parents are still living but unable to care for them. As youths are being required to graduate from state orphanages at 9th grade, what are some common challenges and stressors they face as they transition into independent living? What are alternative intervention models (e.g., prevention care, foster families, transitional homes, reunification programs)? What is the role of churches in taking care of orphans?

Research team: Jennifer Tsui, Ph.D. (University of La Verne)