How would you describe the mission of our partner in Korea?
Hanshin University is a liberal arts college that was founded in 1940 by the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea. It began as Chosun Theological Seminary and has since then developed into a general university that is comprised of 8 colleges and 6 graduate schools with a total 5,800 students. Hanshin University is proud of its tradition of remaining committed to the education for peace, justice, equality, and human freedom. Its alumni have devoted their lives for the enhancement of Korean society and for the unification of the two Koreas for many years. Hanshin University is a progressive Christian school with such proud traditions focused on the education of students who will be intellectuals in action for the people over the world. Hanshin University tries to manifests its progressiveness by constructing new alternatives and practicing active social and academic engagement.
How do you fit into their mission?
I do my best performing my job as a missionary by serving our mission partner in Korea. In particular, I am ministering to the students by teaching classes and offering them counseling. I also work with the college, helping the foreign relations committee to expand and strengthen relationship with overseas colleges.
What led you to engage in this calling?
My experience from ministry and theological education both in Korea and the United States led me to engage in this particular calling.
Is there a passage of scripture that carries special meaning in your daily work?
When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”(Luke 4:114-21)
What are some of the challenges facing the people of Korea, our partner, or yourself?
I often face authoritarianism and bureaucratism that still exist widely in many places and people that I have to work with.
What is a lesson you have learned from our partner that you feel should be shared with churches in the U.S.?
Changes have been made so rapidly in every corner of a Korean society. I still attempt to overcome the challenges that are coming from those changes.
Which books have influenced your understanding of your country, work, or theology?
Dorothy Day, The Long Loneliness
Marcus Borg, The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering A Life of Faith
Parker Palmer, Healing the Heart of Democracy
James A. Nash, Loving Nature: Ecological Integrity and Christian Responsibility
Earl Shorris, The Politics of Heaven
Which films that have influenced your understanding of your country, work, or theology?
Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War (2004)