Sharon TanMeet Sharon Tan

Sharon Tan, Ph.D., begins every day praying over the same question: How can I serve today?

That question acts as the starting point for her role as vice president and dean of Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary. She is taking things from there, learning the culture and how to best join the work God is doing at the seminary.

Born and raised in Malaysia, Tan came to the U.S. to study business and religion at Oral Roberts University. Law school followed, and she worked in litigation with a goal of becoming a judge, but realized the legal field wasn’t as glamorous as it appeared on TV. Feeling led to explore teaching using her background in religion, she went back to school for a Ph.D. in religion.

For a long time, Tan wrestled with returning to Malaysia. “I felt Asian in America instead of Asian- American,” she says. It wasn’t until she became a mother to two daughters that she decided to stay in the U.S. and focus her scholarship on Asian- American theology.

Luke 10:27 encouraged Tan’s religious studies. “I’ve always thought of the verse that says to love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and strength and mind, and I wondered how I could love God with my mind,” she says.

Tan looks forward to discovering and helping develop FPU’s gifts. “God above all is creator,” she says. “How can we join God in creating the new future of Christianity in a way that remains faithful to the Anabaptist tradition? I’m honored to be invited here to join what God’s doing and to serve with what I have.”


About the new seminary VP and dean at