Asian Theological Institute

Asian Theological  Institute

JANUARY 4, 2024

Lilly Endowment, Inc. has awarded a renewal grant of $1.8 million to broaden the program with new initiatives. As a result, the program is now renamed the Asian Theological Institute (ATI). The annual summer institute will remain a central focus of ATI’s programs.  Thanks to the Lilly grant, ATI will now offer workshops on teaching and learning, provide research and professional development grants to younger scholars, build a comprehensive database, and sponsor webinars and online courses in Asian Christianity, theology, history, and postcolonial studies. ATI will also explore networking among theological schools in Asia and North America and promote faculty exchange, networking, and new publications. ATI was founded and directed by Dr. J. Paul Rajashekar and Luther D. Reed, Professor of Systematic Theology Emeritus at ULS. ATI is planning to appoint an ATI Program Administrator in the coming months

Thanks to a grant from the Lilly Endowment, the Summer Institute will now offer participants travel and a small stipend. Applicants who have completed their doctoral coursework or comprehensive exams and are ready to present their dissertation proposals are eligible to apply. Acceptance is limited to 20 candidates.

May 27—June 1, 2024 on the Philadelphia campus of ULS
Feb. 15, 2024 - Application deadline
March 15, 2024 - successful applicants will be notified


Rev. Dr. Paul Rajashekar, Director/Founder (since 2007)

2024 ATSI Faculty (Click to read bio)

Rev. Dr. Boyung Lee

Dr. Nami Kim

Dr. Kwok Pui Lan

Dr. Tat-siong Benny Liew

Dr. Peter C. Phan

Rev. Dr. Paul Rajashekar

Rev. Dr. J. Jayakiran Sebastian

About the Institute

The Asian Theological Summer Institute is a project of United Lutheran Seminary. Held on the the Seminary’s Philadelphia campus, it seeks to identify and encourage Asians/Asian Americans who are focused on theological education at the PhD and ThD level. The Institute functions as a doctoral seminar to test doctoral proposals/projects in the company of guest professors and scholars serving as mentors. This is unique in that it offers an Asian thematic focus for students who otherwise may not have the help and support of an Asian professor/faculty in their place of study. This project promotes enhanced cultural awareness.


The Asian Theological Summer Institute, entering its 18th year in 2024,  seeks to provide a forum for the frank exchange of ideas, networking, and collaborative scholarship among peers and faculty, where as a team we seek to:

Introduce and Interrogate issues and themes that are of concern to Asians/Asian Americans in graduate theological studies

Revisit and Revitalize Asian heritage within an academic setting

Deepen and Diversify the many perspectives that can be brought to bear on the areas of research

Form an interlinked network with fellow students and scholars

Share and sharpen perspectives through bibliographical and webliographical resources

Offer and open avenues for further cooperation and mentoring.

ATSI photo gallery

ATSI Summer Institute participants 2023

Feedback from ATSI participants
"Wonderful opportunity. Incredibly generous program. Supportive and nurturing faculty.”
— Student, ATSI

"Thank you for your wisdom and willingness to share your experience and advice to an emerging scholar! The formal and informal consultations and conversations added much depth and breadth to my perspective on how to proceed with my proposal.”
— Student, ATSI

“The profound company of Asian scholars enlivened my work and spirit. I am grateful for the informal mentoring offered by faculty and participants.”
— Student, ATSI

“Sometimes it’s easy to feel almost as though you have to suppress your identity, but in an informal and open setting like ATSI you find out not only what others have to offer through their experiences, but what you have to offer to others.”
— Student, ATSI

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