The Rev. Dr. Charlene Han Powell is a proud second-generation Korean American; honored daughter of immigrants, Wha Lim Han and Dr. Hye Kyung Kim; beloved wife of her high school sweetheart, Jordan Powell; and adoring mother of her two daughters, Amelie Han and Noa Han. A native of the East Bay, Charlene is a life-long fan of the Oakland A’s.
After graduating from the University of California San Diego with a degree in Religious Studies and a minor in dance, Charlene headed east to attend Princeton Theological Seminary. During her time there, she not only felt called to serve as a pastor in the Presbyterian church, she also discovered that her great-grandfather was one of the first ordained Presbyterian ministers in Korea.
For the past decade, Charlene has served as a pastor at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in midtown Manhattan. During her time there, she has served as the Associate Pastor for Education and Engagement overseeing the Young Adult Ministry, Family Ministries, Community Groups, and Adult Education; and most recently as the Executive Pastor, overseeing the programmatic and administrative areas of the church.
Building on her passion to help people understand and articulate their faith in a diverse, multicultural, multifaith world, Charlene received a Doctor of Ministry from New York Theological Seminary. Her dissertation focused on the intersection of faith and culture for Millennials and offered a pedagogical process by which members of this generation could explore their own beliefs and questions with the goal of writing their own confessions of faith.
Charlene has guest preached and lectured at churches, seminaries, and conferences across the country including Princeton Theological Seminary, Montreat Conference Center, the Institute for Youth Ministry, and Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church. She has served on the strategy team of Next Church, the national movement centered around envisioning a more diverse, collaborative, and relational future for the Presbyterian Church (USA).
Here are a few of her favorite things:
- Bible Verse: 2 Corinthians 12:9
- Book: The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
- Book of the Bible: Ecclesiastes
- Hobbies: Dance, Barre
- Movie: The Lord of the Rings trilogy
- Television Show: The Office, The Americans
- Weekend Activity: A picnic in the park with the girls