Diaspora Missions Among Asian Americans in Rural Counties in Tennessee
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The field of diaspora missiology has erupted over the past fifteen years as a legitimate subfield of missiology. Diaspora missiology studies occur at the intersection of missiology and migration theory with an emphasis on strategies to minister to and through the diaspora populations of the world. While much continues to be written about diaspora peoples in urban centers of the United States, little has been written about the diaspora population in non-urban areas of the United States. Specifically, Asian American populations in small, southern towns, though a small demographic, are neglected in the literature of diaspora missiology and in the literature outside of missiology. In order to make a small contribution to this literature gap, this dissertation explores the experience of Asian American populations in rural counties in Tennessee. Five primary chapters explore this topic. Chapter 2 provides a full literature review in the field of diaspora missiology. Using qualitative interviews as the primary data collection method, twenty-three Asian Americans who have lived in rural counties in Tennessee were interviewed. Chapters 3 and 4 explore and analyze the information discovered in the interviews. Chapter 3 takes a more narrative approach, describing the interviewees and their stories. Chapter 4 chronicles the discoveries made through the coding process. Chapter 5 reports the theories that were produced through the coding process. Chapter 6 combines these theories with the best practices of diaspora missiology to form missiological implications and offers suggestions for diaspora ministry for evangelical churches in rural counties based on the findings of the interviews.