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Multiethnic ministry in the North American context is often a binary issue between black and white congregations. In the parlance of Asian-American multiethnic ecclesiology, Filipino-American ministry is hardly mentioned. This study is about this lacuna and uses Charisma Life Church, a Filipino-American congregation as a case study of multiethnic ministry. An existential crisis has occurred the last two years as it is losing its members, but also an opportunity has opened, as new attendees are coming from different ethnicities.

The senior pastor, staff and core leaders have all approved that the church needs to transition to become a multiethnic church. The transition is in its earlier phase and responses have been wide-ranging from reluctance, eagerness, and to some sheer unfamiliarity of the direction it is pursuing. Research on Filipino-American churches becoming multi-ethnic churches is nonexistent. In lieu of this, a comparative approach with other races, cultures and ethnicities that went through this transition were used in order to achieve the purpose of establishing a multiethnic congregation. This research hopes to produce a training course for the church leaders teaching them the process of transitioning to a multiethnic church through sociology, theology, ecclesiology and qualitative survey.

The paper will cover three important sections. The first part is assessing the ministry context of the church from its historical, cultural, and social setting and how this is connected to the church’s hesitancy towards transition. The second part of the paper covers theological reflection from scriptures and literary sources that are engaged in transitioning towards multi-ethnic churches. A distinctive literature review is focused on research from other multiethnic churches, leaders, and research engaging in this specific area of ministry. The last part of the paper provides theological, practical steps and principles which are designed to equip leaders towards this ecclesiastical shift.

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Lee, Cindy S.

Document Type





Filipino, Filipino-American, Multiethnic Church, Immigrant Church, Charisma Life Church, Church and minorities, Ethnicity


Asian American Studies | Ethnic Studies | Practical Theology


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