Meet Yichen Liang
Why did you choose Garrett-Evangelical?
I chose Garrett-Evangelical because the faculty here are brilliant and have multicultural backgrounds. As an international student, I feel that faculty with diverse cultural backgrounds can provide me with many different perspectives and resources on theology and religion.
What particular research areas are you interested in and why?
I am interested in the study of New Testament theology and its cross-cultural reading. I am from China, so I am curious about how to interpret the Bible in my cultural context. I plan to write my thesis on New Testament theology and some cross-cultural comparison.
How do you hope to use your degree?
As I said, I plan to pursue PhD study in the future, so MTS program serves as a preparation and a transition to PhD study. In the future, I plan to teach in Chinese seminaries or universities on religion and theology.
What authors or scholars have influenced you most (can be from any field of study, including outside of theology/biblical studies)? Why?
My advisor, Dr. K.K. Yeo’s works inspired me to study the New Testament and interpret the Scriptures in different cultural contexts. It is a beginning for contextual theology, and I wish to do more contextualization work in Chinese contexts. The works from Volker Küster also taught me a lot about doing contextual theology.
What has surprised you the most about theological education?
I think theological education helped me to reflect on my Christian faith intellectually and spiritually. Going to seminary does challenge my faith in some ways, but not necessarily giving up my faith. It helped me to challenge many assumptions that I have and reconstruct it in a different way. I enjoyed this process, although it has been a struggle, it still benefited me in many ways.
How do you stay spiritually fulfilled/encouraged during your academic studies?
It is always important to leave time for self care in one’s life. Daily connecting with God through prayers and Scripture reading is important for me. Other than that, spending time with family, friends, and communities always refills my energy and makes me feel encouraged and loved. Food, exercise, and movies can help to release stress as well!
Which professors/classes have impacted you the most in your time at Garrett-Evangelical thus far? Why?
Dr. Julie Duncan! She is the director of the MTS program, and since I am currently in my first year, I am taking MTS Colloquium with her. She is very concerned with every MTS student and always a great help. She is also very kind and supportive to MTS students.
Why should potential students choose the MTS program at Garrett-Evangelical?
MTS program at Garrett-Evangelical is great for starting your theological education if you are interested in doing further research or teaching in the future. The faculty here are awesome and they do care about each student. The MTS peers are encouraging and always help each other. I highly recommend you consider Garrett-Evangelical!