The Syngman Rhee Global Mission Center


The Syngman Rhee Global Mission Center provides educational and research opportunities for international and domestic theological students, faculty, and scholars. Participants in the work of the center will engage new perspectives, relationships, and networks and discover new ways of participating in the Reign of God in diverse global contexts.

  • The center collaborates with UPSem in the Master of Arts in Christian Education (M.A.C.E.) degree in a global format. Students in this format will reside on the Richmond campus for a year and continue the degree program in their home contexts in the second year.
  • The center supports international students in our traditional residential degree programs — M.Div., M.Div./M.A.C.E., M.A.T.S., and Th.M.
  • The center hosts doctoral students from theological schools around the world to pursue independent research in our world-class library.
  • The center assists UPSem faculty in refining international travel seminars and other opportunities for contextual education.
  • The center hosts theological educators on sabbatical leaves from around the world to engage in research at our library and enrich the learning environment at UPSem (up to three months).


Dr. Syngman Rhee

Dr. Syngman Rhee (1931-2015) was Distinguished Visiting Professor of Evangelism and Mission and Director of Asian American Ministries and Mission at Union Presbyterian Seminary. A tireless advocate for theological education, social justice, and global reconciliation, Rhee provided leadership to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the National Council of Churches in the United States of America in various capacities. The center was named after him to celebrate his legacy and vision for the global church.

Dr. James Taneti

Dr. James Taneti serves as the center’s director and as Assistant professor of World Christianity. An ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Taneti has earlier taught in seminaries and liberal arts colleges both in India and the United States. He received his Bachelor of Theology degree at Serampore College in India and Bachelor of Divinity and Master of Theology degrees at the United Theological College, Bangalore, India. He received graduate degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University, Western Theological Seminary, and Princeton Theological Seminary. He received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Church History from Union Presbyterian Seminary in 2012. In addition to two books, he has published journal essays and book chapters on Christianity on South Asia.


“What excites me about UPSem is the fact that it is a small community that gives you the opportunity to truly know one another. The professors truly care for your learning, success, and well being while they also hope you have the best experience while at UPSem.” -Jenny Chun


Alex Lester-Abdalla


“The Central American Travel Seminar was transformational in the full sense of the word.  From this trip I connected to the history and reality of colonization, oppression, as well as liberation that I am intimately a part of as an American and a Christian.  I am eternally grateful for the seminary, CEDEPCA, and everyone who’s efforts allowed this trip to exist.”




Jeeva Kumar Ravela, Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible at Andhra Christian Theological College


“The wider resources at Morton Smith Library enhanced the depth and direction of my dissertation project. Discussions with the faculty in the department of biblical studies led me to have clarity and confidence in my research work. The collegiality and fellowship with UPSem community made my stay comfortable and enjoyable. It has been an enriching research experience that I ever had in my life. Sincere thanks to the staff and community for their support.”





Contact Information

Phone: 804-278-4350
Admissions information