Chau Thien Phan 
Biographical Sketch

Dr. Chau Thien Phan was Professor of Political Science at Rider University, in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, where he taught from September 1968 to May 2003. He was Chairman of the Rider Political Science Department from 1973 to 1982. He was a lay minister for Rider Catholic Campus Ministry (CCM) until May 2003 and served as its web minister until 2010.

He came to the United States from Vietnam in 1958 as a student, thanks to a scholarship from Marian College (now Marian University), Indianapolis, Indiana, run by the Sisters of St. Francis of Oldenburg, Indiana. He received the B.A. in Economics and Sociology from Marian College in 1961; the Master's degree in International Economics and Politics from the Jesuit-run University of Detroit in 1963.  He did his doctoral studies as a Social Science Foundation fellowship recipient under the direction of Dr. Josef Korbel, father of President Bill Clinton's Secretary of State, Dr. Madeleine Korbel Albright, and mentor of President George W. Bush's National Security Adviser and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. He received the Ph.D. degree in 1965 from the (Korbel) Graduate School of International Studies of the University of Denver

Dr. Phan joined the faculty of the Political Science Department of Rider College (now University) in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, in 1968, and was Department chairman from 1973 to 1982. He was also Director of the very successful Rider National Model United Nations program for thirty years until his retirement in 2003. His areas of specialty included International Relations and World Politics, Nationalism, American Foreign Policy, the United Nations, global issues such as human rights, the global economy, population, the environment, weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, etc. Among other publications, he edited Annual Editions World Politics 80/81, 81/82, 82/83 for the Dushkin Publishing Group, a subsidiary of McGraw-Hill. 

Chau is married to Teresa Phuong-Mai at St. Matthew's Cathedral in Washington, DC, in April 1967. Teresa was an Administrative Analyst (Accounting) for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. They have two grown sons, Francis Ai Phan of San Francisco, and Thomas T. Phan of Boston, Mass. Chau and his wife Teresa live in Grand Haven, City of Palm Coast, Florida, and serve as AARP Tax-Aide volunteers each year from February 1st to April 15. They also delivered Meals on Wheels from 2004 to 2006. Teresa is a volunteer musician for weekly communion service at Grand Oaks Rehabilitation and Nursing Home in Palm Coast.

Chau and his wife Teresa have been members of the Santa Maria del Mar Catholic community in Flagler Beach since 2003, where he was the web minister until 2011.  He is also chairperson of the Christian Unity ministry, and in such capacity has visited many houses of worship in Flagler County.  

A cause for which he is devoting his special efforts to is the pursuit of Christian Unity in obedience to Jesus' prayer after the Last Supper that his followers be one, like He and the Father are One (John:17). Since January 2008, he has been organizing observances of The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity under the umbrella of Flagler Churches Together in Prayer and Song, an avenue for Christian choirs and singers to come together to sing and pray for Christian Unity. To understand the rationale and motivation for working to promote Christian Unity, click here for "What is Ecumenism to me?".

On April 15, 2013, Bishop Felipe Estevez appointed his pastor, Fr. Alberto Esposito and Chau Phan, as Associate Diocesan Ecumenical Officers for the Diocese of St. Augustine, Florida. As such, they organized the first ever Ecumenical Vespers at the bishop-level in northeast Florida on Thursday, January 23, 2014, at 5:30 PM, at the Cathedral Basilica of the Diocese of St. Augustine. 

Chau is also the author of a teaching website on ecumenism

Revised December 16, 2013

To e-mail Chau Phan, click here