KANSAS CITY, Mo – Members of Midwestern Seminary’s faculty visited ministry partners in Seoul last month for mutual encouragement and to explore how the seminary can expand partnerships to equip the next generation of pastors and ministry leaders.
Dean of Asian Studies Sung Jin Park, Provost Jason Duesing, and Vice President of Enrollment Management Camden Pulliam engaged in a variety of activities during their trip, including several speaking opportunities, a preview day experience, and visits with many current Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College faculty and students.
Reflecting on the week, Duesing said, “The story of God’s kindness to Korean Baptist churches is rooted in the sacrificial service of post-war IMB missionaries as they planted churches and started a seminary.”
“After a couple decades of investment, following the International Mission Board missionary task strategy, they concluded their work and entrusted it to Korean peoples,” he continued. “The story of God’s blessing Korean Baptists from there is well known, and now we come to serve and learn from their churches, as they send many to the ends of the earth.”
During their first day in the country, Park, Duesing, and Pulliam participated in a Graduation Appreciation Ceremony, celebrating the growing number of Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College graduates in Korea.
The recent launch of the Spurgeon College–Korean Studies online program, coupled with the expansion of Midwestern Seminary faculty and students residing in Korea, made this graduation ceremony special.
“One of the most encouraging events during the trip was the Graduation Appreciation Ceremony,” Park said, recognizing that graduates could not attend the ceremony in Kansas City for the past 3 years due to the pandemic. “This event well contributes to and signifies the solid connection between Midwestern Seminary in America and the graduates in Korea.”
The Midwestern Seminary faculty members also met several key ministry partners while in Korea.
Among these visits were meetings with Dr. Daniel Lee, founding pastor and current pastor emeritus of Global Mission Church; Dr. David Choi, current pastor of Global Mission Church; and several Midwestern Seminary faculty members residing in Seoul. Dr. Choi and President Allen plan to visit each other’s respective locations in 2023 to expand their ministry partnership.
During one of these meetings, Duesing and Park were able to convey to Dr. Minsoo Sim on behalf of President Allen, that he has been promoted to Regional Director of Korean Doctoral Studies and Special Associate to the Dean of Asian Studies for Recruitment and Church Partnerships at Midwestern Seminary.
“These new titles reflect the excellent work and skills of Dr. Sim,” Duesing shared. “Dr. Sim is a long-time pastor and educator who plays a vital role in coordinating Midwestern Seminary’s efforts in Korea and connecting the seminary to churches and students.”
Duesing also preached at the Global Mission Church during the trip, which is currently the largest Baptist church in the world.
The Midwestern Seminary faculty members had several opportunities to meet with prospective students through institutional visits and more broadly through an interview with the Christian Broadcasting System.
The faculty members visited Korean Baptist Theological University and Seminary in Daejeon and Vision Classical Christian School, where they engaged high-school students in a mini-preview day event.
Reflecting on the experience, Pulliam said, “It was encouraging to see the rich heritage and missionary zeal of the Korean Baptist churches. They are hungry for God’s Word, ambitious to see the gospel expand to the most difficult places in the world, and they are convicted to train their leaders in sound doctrine from the Bible.”
He went on to say, “In so many ways, the heartbeat of the Korean church aligns seamlessly with the mission of Southern Baptists and Midwestern Seminary, which is why we are eager to deepen and expand our partnerships, as well as continue to learn from them, in the years ahead.”
Park agreed, “The growth of Korean churches provides significant impact on world Christianity. The growing number of Midwestern students in Korea, over 200 students now, is evidence to this as well. We would like to learn from Korean churches and determine how best to support them.”
Midwestern Seminary plans to receive Dr. Choi to the Kansas City campus in early 2023, while President Allen plans to visit Korean partners in 2023 as well.
For more information on the recently launched Spurgeon College–Korean Studies online program, visit here.
To read the full interview Midwestern Seminary faculty had with the Christian Broadcasting Service in Korea, visit here.