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 | June 1, 2023

Connecting a City: A Journey in Pictures (May 31, 2023, Sixth Tone) Archival photographs offer a vivid glimpse into the Shanghai Metro’s past, showcasing the stories and scenes that helped shape a city.


ZGBriefs | May 25, 2023

They Sang ‘a Heavenly Song’ in a Dark Chinese Jail (May 24, 2023, Christianity Today) As Xiaohui moved from cell to cell, she told her new roommates about Jesus and his sacrificial love. She told so many prisoners about Jesus that a police officer reprimanded her. After he interrogated her about gathering to worship with her house church, he said, “You can’t gather here in the detention center either.”


ZGBriefs | May 18, 2023

The Transformative Power of Deep Listening (May 2023, Lausanne Global Analysis) Only then can we listen and respond collectively to who God is and what God is doing in the world, and ultimately participate in the global mission of God (missio Dei) in a broken and divided world.

Blog Entries

WeChatting to the Glory of God, a Free Webinar

Serving China Through Digital Engagement

Despite restrictions and an increasingly tight environment, there are still creative ways that Christians are using the internet for evangelism, discipleship, fellowship, and encouragement. In this webinar, we will present a picture of what God is doing through four different ministries involved in digital engagement.


ZGBriefs | May 11, 2023

Podcast: Should foreign businesses have contingency plans? (May 5, 2023, The China Project) In this week's episode of The Signal, Lizzi Lee speaks with Anne Stevenson-Yang, the co-founder of J Capital Research, about the broadening of the anti-espionage laws in China and how it will affect foreign businesses in the country.

Blog Entries

Recording: Chinese Christian Posters in Early 20th Century China

I want to thank Daryl Ireland for delivering such an interesting and enlightening lecture. We were deeply blessed, and we hope that those who view this recording will be as well.


ZGBriefs | May 4, 2023

Should you be frightened by China’s revision to the anti-espionage law? (May 2, 2023, The China Project) Last week, Beijing broadened the scope of its anti-espionage law. Some fear that it will create a more hostile environment for foreign individuals and organizations operating in China.


ZGBriefs | April 27, 2023

Video: Enjoying Jet Lag: Resuming In-Person Travel and U.S.-China Relations (April 17, 2023, Center for Strategic and International Studies, via YouTube) A discussion on the role of in-person travel and direct communication in increasing mutual understanding and stabilizing U.S.-China relations.

Blog Entries


Xiamen (厦门), meaning “door to the house,” is on the western side of the Taiwan Strait and was a treaty port ceded to the British. Today it’s the eighth largest port city in China with a thriving economy.


ZGBriefs | April 20, 2023

Young people in China struggle to find jobs as the country's youth unemployment rate rises (April 19, 2023, ABC News (Australia)) The national unemployment rate for 16-to-24-year-olds is now 19.5 per cent, nearly 3 per cent higher than in December.