Current Students

Students from around the world are attracted to Boston University and the Center for Global Christianity & Mission. Students’ interests are extremely diverse, but are unified by a fascination with global Christianity and mission.

Laura Chevalier

L ChevalierLaura Chevalier is a PhD student at Boston University School of Theology studying mission history and world Christianity under the direction of Dr. Dana Robert. She is focused on the relationship between Christian mission and spirituality, with particular research and teaching interests in spirituality for mission, missionary autobiography, African Christianity, Christian formation/education, and Holiness/Pentecostal movements. Laura recently presented a paper entitled Mission Spirituality: Trends and Developments since 1980 at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Missiology. Prior to coming to BU, Laura worked for the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) as a specialist in international student programs and global outreach where she developed and taught dozens of seminars and webinars related to mission and intercultural engagement. Previously, she worked with refugees and immigrants in Illinois and served for three years in Kenya with a holistic child development program. Laura holds degrees in mission and intercultural studies from Wheaton College, IL (MA) and Houghton College, NY (BA). Email:

Soojin Chung

Soojin Chung is in the PhD program studying mission history and world Christianity under the mentorship of Dr. Dana Robert and Dr. Xiyi Yao. Her current research interests include Korean-American religious identity, Asian mission history, comparative study of East Asian countries, and religious pluralism in an Asian context. She holds a BA in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia and a MDiv from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where she met her husband Daniel Lee. Previous to her theological training she worked for Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in India, Thailand, and Fiji. Email:

Nelson Cowan

Nelson Cowan is a PhD student in Liturgical Studies at Boston University School of Theology under the direction of Dr. Karen Westerfield Tucker. He holds a BA in International Relations from the University of North Florida and a Master of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary. Nelson is interested in twentieth and twenty-first century American Evangelicalism, Wesleyan liturgical theology, and the intersection of worship and mission. In addition to his studies, Nelson is pursuing ordination as an elder in The United Methodist Church. Email:

Jean Luc Enyegue

Jean-LucJean Luc Enyegue, an ordained Catholic priest (2012), is a PhD student in Church History, with a Minor in Sociology. He has a BA in history from Yaounde I University (Cameroon), a BA in Philosophy from Saint Peter Canisius Faculty in Kimwenza (DRC), a MDiv in Theology from Comillas University (Madrid), and a STL in Systematic Theology from Boston College School of Theology and Ministry (2013). His interest is the evangelization of Southern Cameroon and Fernando Po in the Nineteenth Century, and issues related to women’s leadership in mission. He is also collaborating in many projects related to the Historical Institute of the Jesuits in Africa. Email:

Anicka Fast

Anicka_Fast_profile 2 thmAnicka Fast is in the first year of a PhD in Mission Studies under the supervision of Dr. Dana Robert. She holds degrees in Linguistics from McGill University and the School of Oriental and African Studies. Before coming to BU from Québec, Canada, she and her husband worked with Mennonite Central Committee in DR Congo for three years. Anicka’s research interests include intercultural reconciliation and power balancing in the global church, Anabaptist missiology and ecclesiology, the history of the missionary encounter in DR Congo, and African political theology. In her dissertation, she hopes to focus on the following two questions: First, in the context of concrete attempts at cross-cultural relationships between Mennonite Christians living in North America, Europe and DR Congo today, how do the parties theologically articulate their adherence to a worldwide ecclesial body in both discourse and practice? Second, what underlying narratives and theologies do these affirmations and practices reflect? While focuses on the experience of Mennonites, she hopes her research will yield more general insight into cross-cultural relationships within a variety of Christian denominations. Email:

Jeremy Hegi

65855_10100471280212554_6816099_nJeremy Hegi is a PhD student in the School of Theology, studying Church History and Missions under Christopher Evans and Dana Robert. He has a BS in biology from Texas A&M University. He did his MDiv at Abilene Christian University as well as an MA in missions. His current research interests include American religious history, the Stone-Campbell Movement, and the history of missions. Email:


Francisca F. Ireland-Verwoerd

Francisca “Cisca” Ireland-Verwoerd, a native of the Netherlands and an ordained minister, is a public speaker on missions, an author, artist and teacher. Her interest lies in the interface of faith and creativity/theology and art, convinced that the doing and viewing of creative acts can contribute to a deeper knowledge of God. After 17 years of serving as a missionary with the Church of the Nazarene – in the Fiji Islands, the US and Taiwan – she is currently working on her PhD in Practical Theology from Boston University, with emphasis on theological aesthetics. Cisca’s passion is to encourage people in their spiritual life, especially through the arts and embodied pedagogy. Cisca is married to Daryl Ireland, the Associate Director of the Center for Global Christianity & Mission at BU, and they have one son, Alexander. Email:

Gun Cheol Kim

Gun Cheol Kim is a PhD candidate who is currently working on his dissertation, “Mission-Oriented Church” under the tutelage of Dr. Dana Robert. Concentrated on history and mission, his research interests lie in the field of history of Christian mission and world Christianity. He is especially collecting the stories of missionaries who worked for Asia in the 19th and 20th century and analyzing sources to look forward to key elements that transformed the Asian countries and societies with Christian influence for his dissertation. As an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church, he worked for the Korean immigrant community and adopted people in Stockholm, Sweden, as a missionary, and worked for a full-time pastor in Seoul, South Korea. For further research, he wants to pursue the implication of globalization in relation between church and society, and to re-conceptualize the meaning of Christian mission in the twenty-first century from the historical perspective. Gun Cheol is also a Research Fellow contributing to the Boston Korean Diaspora Project. Email:


Hye Jin Lee

photo copyHye Jin Lee is a PhD student in the Graduate Division of Religious Studies with Dr. Dana Robert as an advisor. He is interested in indigenous Korean Christianity, with keen interest in the complex interplay between the early Western missionaries and the Korean indigenous Christians who have developed proto-Pentecostal ways of practicing Christianity independently. He currently serves as an instructor at Georgia Christian University in Atlanta, GA, teaching Church History and World Christianity. He is also an ordained pastor in the Korea Evangelical Holiness Church. Email:

Tyler Lenocker

Tyler Profile 2Tyler Lenocker is pursuing his doctoral degree in History and Hermeneutics with a concentration in Mission Studies, under the direction of Dr. Dana Robert. His current research focuses on Christianity in 20th century urban America, centered upon how both rapid social change and the growth of diaspora churches from the Global South reshapes Western Christian identity and praxis. He holds a BLS in history from the University of California-Berkeley, and an MDiv and MA in church history from Gordon-Cornwell Theological Seminary in Hamilton, MA. Prior to graduate studies, he worked in university ministry both in Northern California and Madrid, Spain. He lives with his wife Julie and their two daughters–Ellia and Samantha–in Hamilton, MA. Email:

Stephen Lloyd

IMG_1360Steve Lloyd is a PhD student in the Graduate Division of Religious Studies. Before arriving at BU, Steve earned a BA at Loyola University Maryland, where he double majored in history and theology. He then earned a MAR at Yale Divinity School, where he studied the history of Christian Missions. Steve’s main area of focus is the history of Christianity in Africa. His dissertation research is on the changing relationship between Afrikaans Dutch Reformed missionaries and the South African apartheid state. He is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and is committed to ecumenical dialog and missions. His wife Emily is an Episcopal priest, and they live in New York. Email:

Daewon Moon

Daewon Moon is a PhD candidate in the School of Theology, studying Mission History and African Christianity under the direction of Dr. Dana Robert. He received his MDiv from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, MA. Daewon is currently working on his dissertation: “African Initiative and Inspiration in the East African Revival, 1930-1950.” The dissertation examines the indispensable role of African revivalists in expanding the Revival and applying the European evangelical tradition in the colonial African context. He and his wife, Jeonghwa, now serve as educational missionaries at International Leadership University – Burundi, in which Daewon supervises the bachelor’s and master’s program in theology. Email:

Derrick Muwina

Derrick MuwinaDerrick Muwina is a student in the PhD program in Theological Ethics under the direction of Dr. John Hart and Dr. Walter Earl Fluker. His research interests include ecological ethics, political philosophy, and the ethical leadership of African and African American leaders such as Howard Thurman and Martin Luther King, Jr. He received his STM from Boston University, an MTS from Episcopal Divinity School and a BTh from the University of the Western Cape. Derrick is an Anglican priest and serves a parish in West Newbury, Massachusetts. Email:

Ruth Padilla DeBorst

Padilla DeBorstRuth’s studies – under the mentorship of Dr. Dana Robert and Dr. John Hart in areas of missiology and social ethics – are focused on the theological praxis of the integral mission movement, particularly within Latin America, and the impact of this majority world mission theology on the world church. She is interested in how theological and missiological paradigms foster or disempower the church and all its members from engagement in the burning issues of its context such as violence, poverty and injustice. Related concerns are the reconciling role of the church in a continent riddled by ideological polarizations, gender oppression and inequality and ecological degradation. Ruth has been involved in leadership development and theological education for integral mission in her native Latin America as a missionary with Christian Reformed World Missions for many years: first in student ministry with the Comunidad Internacional de Estudiantes Evangélicos (IFES) and then with Seeds of New Creation, a ministry that trains for and promotes holistic mission in El Salvador. She currently serves as Director of Christian Formation and Leadership Development with World Vision International and on the board of the Latin American Theological Fellowship. She shares parenting of their blended, multi-cultural family with her husband, James Padilla DeBorst, and community life with the members of Casa Adobe in Costa Rica. Email:

Eva M. Pascal

DSC02380Eva Pascal is a PhD candidate in the Graduate Division of Religious Studies in the History of Christianity and Mission, under the supervision of Dr. Dana Robert. She received her MDiv from Harvard Divinity School and from 2006-2010 taught classes on Christianity and Buddhism, world religions, and theology at the McGilvary School of Divinity at Payap University in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Her research interests include the history of Christianity in Asia and encounters with other religious traditions, especially Buddhism. She is particularly interested in Christian-Buddhist historical interaction and exchange in Southeast Asia. Her dissertation explores  early modern missionaries and their contribution to the construction of Buddhism as a distinct religion. Her second area of research explores the intersection of religion and development in mission through burgeoning faith-based non-governmental organizations. She is the Project Director of the multimedia site Old & New in Shona Religion. Email:

Michele Sigg

Sigg-M-headshotMichèle Sigg is a PhD student in mission and world Christianity, focusing on African Christianity under the direction of Dr. Dana Robert. As project manager for the Dictionary of African Christian Biography–now part of the Center for Global Christianity & Mission–she has traveled in many parts of Africa. She holds degrees from Africa International University (formerly Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology) and the University of Pennsylvania. Having grown up as a missionary kid in France, she is fascinated by French Protestant history and French missions in Africa. Her research interests also include women in world Christianity, renewal movements, and Christian art in the global South. She has published articles on women in African Christianity and has co-authored a forthcoming article on indigenous Christian movements. Email:

Lisa Beth White

LisaBethWhite3x5Rev. Lisa Beth White is a pastor and scholar, whose work in the church is focused on United Methodist Women and adult Christian education. Lisa Beth’s doctoral research is focused on contemporary practices of mission in the United Methodist Church. She is currently working on a study of short term mission, and is also interested in the work of non-governmental organizations and faith-based organizations. Lisa Beth has over 15 years’ experience teaching and leading short term mission projects with people of all ages, from elementary school students to groups of retirees. Email:

Bruce Yoder

Yoder2013Bruce Yoder is a PhD student in the School of Theology focusing on mission history and the history of Christianity with particular interest in West Africa. Bruce has worked in Latin America and most recently in West Africa, participating in programs of theological education among African Initiated Churches as a missionary with the Mennonite Mission Network, the mission agency of the Mennonite Church USA. His research interests include the emergence of African Christianity and the relationships between North American and African Christians. Bruce’s dissertation is a history of Mennonite missionary interaction with African Initiated Churches in southeastern Nigeria from 1958 to 1967. He resides in Burkina Faso with his family and teaches in programs of theological education in Burkina Faso, Nigeria, and the Republic of Benin. Email:


Gina Zurlo

Bellofatto-bio-pic-150x150Gina Zurlo is in the PhD program studying history under Dana Robert and religious demography under Todd Johnson. She is Assistant Director of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (South Hamilton, MA), as well as a Research Associate at Boston University’s Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs. She is the co-editor of the World Christian Database (Brill), the annual Yearbook of International Religious Demography (Brill), and also contributes to the World Religion Database (Brill). Her current research interests include the intersection between mission history and sociology of religion, including the history of applying quantitative methods to religious adherence. Email: