Biola University Professor of New Testament Dr. Michelle Lee-Barnewall is receiving attention for her new book. Her book, A Longing to Belong: Reflections on Faith, Identity and Race, is a finalist in the Christianity Today 2024 Book Awards, highlighted in the Christian Living/Spiritual Formation category.

“I'm very honored that the book was chosen as a finalist,” said Lee-Barnewall. “My hope is that it can in some way help us in the challenge of relating to one another as both truly diverse individuals and brothers and sisters in the one body of Christ.”

The memoir is a combination of her perspectives as an Asian-American and as a theologian. Lee-Barnewall speaks to her experience of growing up in the only Korean family in her Minnesota town, the pain of racial discrimination and how that shaped her as a person. In addition to sharing her personal story, she also offers a biblical worldview to guide readers on the topic of race and race relations.

A Longing to Belong was reviewed by Christianity Today this past fall by author Ben Chang.

“There are several reasons to commend Lee-Barnewall’s book, including her rich theological insights into the Bible’s themes of community and identity,” wrote Chang. “Her call to radically display the unity and love of Christ in our churches, especially across ethnic boundaries, is a challenge to us all.”

Books that earned places on the award list were nominated by publishers in July 2023 and were evaluated by a diverse panel of scholars, pastors and other informed readers.

Order A Longing to Belong: Reflections on Faith, Identity and Race for purchase on Amazon. Visit the website to learn more about Talbot School of Theology.

Written by Jenna Mindel, strategic communications intern. For more information, reach out to