In 1995, when Brent Fulton began working at the Institute of Chinese Studies at Wheaton College, he realized the importance of having a publication about China for those serving there and for those interested in and praying for the church and the advance of the gospel throughout that country.
He began a four-page, quarterly bulletin that remained a print publication for four years. However, Brent had a vision for something more substantial with a theme for each issue and writers with current knowledge of selected topics. When the Institute of Chinese Studies became ChinaSource, that vision became a sixteen-page publication and the ChinaSource journal was born.
The theme of the inaugural issue in the spring of 1999 looked at formative issues for China as it entered the new millennium. The lead article, “Thinking about China,”dealt with ways people thought about China as it explored three myths, often held by many, about the country.
From the beginning, in striving to provide timely information, teamwork was essential. Topics were suggested and individuals well-versed in those specific fields were approached. More often than not, those who were asked to contribute graciously agreed to write for the ChinaSource journal.
As China has changed, so the journal has also changed. Over the past twenty years the front cover of the print version had several “facelifts.” Other changes followed, including the move from print to online as the journal was incorporated into the ChinaSource website and then was renamed ChinaSource Quarterly (CSQ). What has not changed is the commitment to accurate, timely, and strategic analysis of the issues affecting the church and ministry in China.
Over the years, CSQ has delved into a wide range of topics with thoughtful, insightful articles. A look at the topics listing for CSQ indicates that breadth.
Certain themes have reoccurred, among them:
- urbanization and the effects of migration to the cities on both rural and urban communities and on the church;
- education in its various formats;
- technology with its impact on society and Christianity;
- indigenous missions from China;
- family relationships in a rapidly changing environment;
- ministry among Chinese studying and working abroad as well as caring for those who return to China as new believers;
- the changing roles of foreign workers; and
- leader development.
Brent Fulton has been the editor-in-chief of the ChinaSource Quarterly since it began. In recent years, in an effort to explore a wide variety of topics pertinent to ChinaSource readers, guest editors have taken the lead on many issues of CSQ. These individuals are well-versed in their assigned topics and have access to knowledgeable contributors with background and expertise to address those topics. Contributors to CSQ have come from many countries, and from the beginning, Chinese voices were heard as they contributed articles, often originally written in Chinese. We are indebted to the many translators and reviewers who have worked with us over the years to bring those voices to our readers.
In 2017 ChinaSource celebrated twenty years of ministry. At that time the vision and mission of ChinaSource were reviewed and refreshed as we looked forward to the coming years of service. We are moving from being a trusted source of information and analysis, written or put together primarily by ChinaSource staff, to being a trusted platform facilitating the flow of critical knowledge and leading-edge research among Christian communities inside China and around the world, and engaging them in collaboration to serve the Chinese church and society.
The ChinaSource Quarterly is one space where we are already bringing together thoughtful researchers and practitioners to share their knowledge and perspective.
Kerry Schottelkorb joins ChinaSource this month as the new president. Kerry brings over thirty years of experience in ministry in Asia and a deep passion for the church in China. He hopes to further expand and deepen our relationships across Asia and North America and increase our capacity to be a bridge between the church in China and the global church. You will see this reflected in the ChinaSource Quarterly in the coming months and years.
After twenty years, as it has from its beginning, the ChinaSource Quarterly continues to strive to be on the cutting edge of what is taking place inside China in order to keep its readers current, stimulate their thinking on China events and trends, and so contribute to their involvement in China.