Rev. Wendell Karsen was born (1936) and raised in Chicago. He holds degrees from Wheaton College (BS in 1958), Fuller Theological Seminary (BD in 1962) and Western Theological Seminary (ThM in 1967). He was ordained as a minister of word and sacrament in the Reformed Church in America in 1963 He served two parishes in Michigan for seven years and then as an RCA missionary in Taiwan (1969-1973), Hong Kong (1974-84, 1990-98) and Indonesia (1998-2000). He also served as a visiting professor at the RCA's Western Theological Seminary (1984 -85) and as the denomination‘s Coordinator for Mission Communication and Secretary for Appalachia (1985-90). After retirement (2000), he served as the Director ofthe Master of Theology program at Western Seminary (2001-2006).
Rev. Karsen is the author of seven books and numerous articles, including many articles on China. He first visited China in 1977, has made 18 trips there since that time and has led six travel seminars there . In 2003, he was invited back to Taiwan where he met with President Chen Shui-bian and was presented with an award for assisting in the development of democracy and human rights during the ‘white terror" period by the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy.
Rev. Karsen married Joyce Hughes in 1960. They had four children together - Stephen (1 962), Philip (1 965), Rachel (1 968) and Andrew (1 977). After a long battle with cancer, Joyce died in 1989.
In 1991， Rev. Karsen married Renske Greve. Renske was born in the Netherlands in 1950 and imigrated to the USA with her family in 1957. She holds degrees from Wheaton College (BS in 1972) and College of Dupage (RN in 1978). She had careers in teaching, nursing and business, serving as a Management Consultant for the ServiceMaster Corporation for ten years. She also served with Rev. Karsen as an RCA missionary to Hong Kong and Indonesia (1991-2000) .