Guest / Limited Access /

Tonight, three of the largest Christian fellowships at the University of California, Berkeley, have arrived at First Presbyterian for a joint meeting. Hundreds of students, dressed in running shoes, jeans, and sweatshirts, spill into the sanctuary. A band warms up while students slap hands and hug. InterVarsity Christian Fellowship has invited Campus Crusade for Christ and Asian American Christian Fellowship to hear a special speaker.

Excitement like this would characterize a large Christian gathering at Berkeley during any era. One fact, however, would certainly startle earlier generations. About 98 percent of this gathering is Asian American.

At Berkeley, California's premier public university, "evangelical Christian" and "Asian American" are almost interchangeable descriptions. Three trends come together. One is California's demographics: It is 11 percent Asian compared to 4 percent for the nation as a whole. Two is academic prestige: As the oldest and most selective campus of the University of California, Berkeley has an undergraduate population that is 42 percent Asian. (As a general rule, the more selective the school, the higher the percentage of Asian students.) Three is a national fact: Asian students are more likely to show Christian commitment than other ethnic groups, including whites.

Harvard is 17 percent Asian American; mit, 28 percent; Stanford, 24 percent; Princeton and Yale, 13 percent. At each of these schools, Asian students account for an even larger share of the Christian community. Often they meet in ethnically based fellowships, and these may be the schools' largest Christian ministries.

As a group they are hard-working—driven, some say—and morally conservative. Many come from ethnic churches—Chinese, ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedMorning Roundup 4/16/14
Morning Roundup 4/16/14
Faces of 2050 America; Love Your City; Church and the Gospel
TrendingBill Gothard Breaks Silence on Harassment Claims by 30 Women
Bill Gothard Breaks Silence on Harassment Claims by 30 Women
(UPDATED) Popular seminar speaker: 'I have failed to live out some of the very things that I have taught.'
Editor's PickYou Probably Love (or Hate) 'Heaven Is For Real' for All the Wrong Reasons
You Probably Love (or Hate) 'Heaven Is For Real' for All the Wrong Reasons
It's not a travel guide. And Colton Burpo isn't the first Christian to have an ecstatic experience.
Leave a Comment

Use your Christianity Today login to leave a comment on this article. Not part of the community? Subscribe now, or register for a free account.

hide thisApril April

In the Magazine

April 2006

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.