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Graduate Students

Derek Wu


Religion, Race, Urban Development

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Derek Wu is a PhD student in the Department of Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley (Designated Emphasis in Global Metropolitan Studies). He is using historical, ethnographic, and action research methods to research how racial minorities use religion to support low-income urban neighborhoods in Oakland, CA, paying special attention to how these behaviors are shaped by secularization and decolonization narratives in the U.S. His research has been supported by the Asian American Research Center and the Asian Pacific Americans Religious Research Initiative and he has published writing on intergenerational relations and youth innovation in ethnic churches, the history of Asian American youth ministries in the U.S., and his experiences as an Asian American seminarian

Derek received his B.A. in Bible and Theology from Biola University and M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, earning a certificate in Black Church Studies and winning the Asian American Ministry Award and Friar Club Award for exceptional contributions to student life. At PTS, he helped establish the Center for Asian American Christianity and was a Lead Researcher on the Imagining Church Project. Currently, he organizes the inter-institutional Religion and Race Working Group for the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion, which brings together graduate students from UC Berkeley, Stanford University, and the Graduate Theological Union researching racialized religious communities.