Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman is Vice President of Partnership and China Engagement and editor of ZGBriefs.

Prior to joining ChinaSource, Joann spent 28 years working in China, as an English teacher, language student, program director, and cross-cultural trainer for organizations and businesses engaged in China. She has also taught Chinese at the University of Northwestern-St. Paul (MN), and Chinese Culture and Communication at Wheaton College (IL) and Taylor University (IN).

Joann has a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Northwestern-St. Paul (MN), and an MA in teaching from the University of St. Thomas (MN).

She is the author of Survival Chinese Lessons and The Bells Are Not Silent: Stories of Church Bells in China.

Her personal blog, Outside-In can be found at, where she writes on China, Minnesota, traveling, and issues related to "living well where you don't belong."

You can find her on Twitter and on Facebook at @authorjoannpittman.

She makes her home in New Brighton, Minnesota.


ZGBriefs | November 30, 2023

5 visa-free ways to travel to China by land, sea and air for 72 hours and up to 30 days (November 21, 2023, South China Morning Post) In October and November, the Ministry of Public Security, the National Immigration Administration and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that travellers from dozens of countries can again enter China through several visa-free schemes.

Blog Entries

A Prayer Calendar for Advent

Join us in praying for Chinese believers this Advent season.


ZGBriefs | November 16, 2023

The Fishing Village That Wasn’t and Other Myths About China’s Largest City (November 14, 2023, Sixth Tone) Shanghai’s opening as a treaty port has become shrouded in myth. What actually happened? And how did it shape the city?


ZGBriefs | November 9, 2023

A Chinese Jew’s Journey to Israel (November 2, 2023, The World of Chinese) From Kaifeng to Jerusalem—a Chinese Jew tells her story of leaving for the Middle East and reflecting on her dual identity.


ZGBriefs | November 2, 2023

Podcast: Rethinking Chinese food with Fuchsia Dunlop (October 30, 2023, Chinese Whispers) China has so much more to offer than what has made across into the West’s Chinese restaurants. Thankfully, that’s changing and quite fast. […] I’m delighted to be joined by her on the podcast today, to mark the publication of her new book, Invitation to a Banquet, which is all about the history, meaning and diversity of Chinese cuisine.


ZGBriefs | October 26, 2023

Are foreign students who study in China still able to form meaningful relationships with their Chinese counterparts, despite a tightening on educational channels? Are these students able to freely pursue their chosen areas of research? Are they experiencing a version of the country that best represents it? And how can China shape a more stable environment for international students and encourage greater student exchange, beyond that of senior scholars?

Blog Entries

Public Lecture: Honor and Shame

Salvation in a Chinese Context

Brad Vaughn will give a lecture called, “Salvation in a Chinese Context” on November 11 in Berkeley, CA. Register to attend in person or to receive a link to the recording!


ZGBriefs | October 19, 2023

Confessions from a Chinese censorship worker (October 16, 2023, Global Voices) A censorship worker dubbed Blowfish Princess (河豚公主) from a major Chinese social media platform has recently revealed details of her everyday work in an interview with prominent Twitter whistle-blower Teacher Li on YouTube. Below is an English excerpt of the interview published on Global Voices with Teacher Li’s permission.


ZGBriefs | October 12, 2023

Creating a Digital Atlas of Buddhism in Hangzhou China. Using the Regional Religious Framework, by Philip Stoker. Mapping Temple Amalgamation with Historical GIS: A Spatial Interpretation of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang’s Institutional Reform, by Jeffery Wei Liu. Measuring the Prestige Index in a Regional Religious System, by Jiang Wu.

ChinaSource Perspective

Learning about Global Digital Culture

Despite all the regulations and restrictions that the Chinese government puts in place to limit religious content on the internet, digital evangelism is alive and well and bearing fruit. The articles in this issue focus on what God is doing through digital engagement, not on what the Chinese government tries to prevent.