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 | January 20, 2022

China’s Foreign Firms Are Running Out of a Key Resource: Foreigners (January 19, 2022, Sixth Tone) The strict policies have left large numbers of expats effectively stranded outside China. As many as 100,000 foreigners may be waiting for permission to return to Shanghai alone, local media outlet SmartShanghai estimates. It’s unclear exactly how many foreigners remain in China.

Blog Entries

Raising the Walls of the Sandbox

As churches in China experience continued tightening, it’s worth considering the wider context of the measures and what their broader purpose is.


ZGBriefs | January 13, 2022

Video: Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Christian Faith (January 6, 2022, CantoSense)

As Christians, should we be wary of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)? This episode, we are joined by Dr. Lai Pak Wah to discuss TCM and whether the principles and religious elements should be cause for concern.

Blog Entries

Top Ten ZGBriefs Links for 2021

Look back at readers’ favorite stories from ZGBriefs.


ZGBriefs | January 6, 2022

China’s Reform Generation Adapts to Life in the Middle Class (January 3, 2022, The New Yorker) My students from the nineteen-nineties grew up in rural poverty. Now they’re in their forties, and their country is unrecognizable.


ZGBriefs | December 30, 2021

Overseas organizations, individuals not allowed to operate online religious info services within the Chinese territory: regulations (December 21, 2021, The Global Times) The measures stipulated that online preaching should be organized and carried out by religious groups, temples and churches and religious colleges that have obtained the Internet Religious Information Service Permit.

Blog Entries

CMC Global 2021

Register for CMC Global 2021 and be encouraged by what God is doing around the world.

Blog Entries

Chifa Workers of Peru

The Chinese diaspora in Peru has been there since the 1880s and have given their new country a national dish. However, there are few Christians in the community.


ZGBriefs | December 16, 2021

The building blocks of Chinese, part 5: Making sense of Chinese words (December 15, 2021, Hacking Chinese) You do need to know characters, but you also need to know how they fit together into words.

Blog Entries

Christmas Music in Chinese

Christmas music is popular in China. Get into the holiday spirit with a playlist of Chinese Christmas songs.