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Collection 617 Oral History Interview with Soong-Chan Rah

Identifier: CN 617

Scope and Contents

One oral history interview with Soong-Chan Rah in which he describes his family background, experiences as an immigrant to the United States in the early 1970s from South Korea, his spiritual development, experiences as a church-planter, and ministry with IVCF. Topics discussed include: parents’ influence; spiritual development; immigration to the United States at the age of six; conversion experience and church background; education at Columbia University; involvement in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship; church planting and the challenges of ministry in multi-lingual and multicultural settings. Figures described in the interview include Penny Nixon; Bob Hunter; Howard Chan; Neil Rendall; Steve Hayner; Tom Dunkerton; Peter Cha; Doug Whallon; John Ratichek, among others. The time frame covered by the interview is approximately 1967-1995.

Soong-Chan Rah was interviewed by Christian Sawyer on February 9, 2005 at the Billy Graham Center Archives offices at Wheaton College.


  • 2005


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright to the sound recordings in this collection is held by the Billy Graham Center Archives at Wheaton College.

Biographical Information

Full name: Rev. Soong-Chan Rah

Birth: November 20, 1967 in Seoul, South Korea


Parents: Father, Sang Yong Rah; Mother, Im Hee Rah

Siblings: Three older sisters, Young Shin Rah, Young Jean Rah (Lee), Young Chan Rah (Han)

Marital Status: Sue Rah

Children: Annah and Elijah

Conversion: In early adolescence


1985-1989 - Columbia University, BA Political Science & History/Sociology

1991-1993? - Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, MDiv

1993-? - Harvard University, ThM

Unknown dates - Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, DMin


1989-1991 - Following graduation from Columbia, Rah worked at the Department of Energy in Maryland for two-year term. Also began served in campus ministry with the University of Maryland with former church Korean Baptist Church of Washington.

1990-1991 - A year after graduating from Columbia, Rah helped plant New Covenant Fellowship Church (NCFC) with Pastor Jamie Kim, a bi-lingual Korean Church in the Baltimore area.

1992-1996 - Served as staff worker with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship for the Boston area while studying at Gordon-Conwell, specifically serving at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Rah also commuted to Maryland during seminary to continue pastoring at NCFC for the first semester of graduate school.

1996-? - Founded Cambridge Community Fellowship Church in the Central Square neighborhood of Cambridge, MA, a multi-ethnic congregation dedicated to exploring racial reconciliation in urban contexts. The church held its first service on September 1, 1996.

2006 - North Park Theological Seminary, Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism

Other significant information: Soong-Chan Rah is the author is multiple books, including The Next Evangelicalism: Freeing the Church from Western Cultural Captivity (2009); Many Colors: Cultural Intelligence for a Changing Church (2010); and Prophetic Lament: A Call for Justice in Troubled Times (2015).


1 Sound Recording

95 Minutes

Language of Materials