Dr. Kim Returning Home
April 09, 2010
Dr. Koowon Kim, WTS MDiv 2003, just earned his PhD in Hebrew Bible at the Univ. of Chicago. He is returning to Korea to teach at Reformed Theological Seminary in Seoul. Congratulations!
Koowon, Thank you for your encouraging letter (see below). Would you please answer the following questions to help those outside Westminster know more about the Distinctives of a Westminster education?
1. How did God use Westminster to prepare you for becoming a professor yourself?
Westminter provided me with the theological foundation on which my ongoing reflection on the Bible is grounded. Specifically, Westminster hermeneutics has helped me a lot to interact with ancient Near Eastern literatures in a responsible manner as a Reformed christian (SEE "What Is Reformed Theology?").
Also, I should mention the kindness and generosity shown to me by the WTS faculty and friends. This is one of my dearest memories about WTS.
2. Why would you recommend Westminster to other International students?
WTS provides the best theological curriculum, introducing you to the rich tradition of Reformed theology.
It is my personal conviction that the WTS version of Reformed theology will equip both pastors and laymen to serve faithfully and powerfully for His kingdom building worldwide.
3. Tell us one of your favorite Westminster stories – for example, how did the professors encourage your pursuit of your calling from God?
My favorite Westminster story concerns my first impression of the professors: Despite the differences in their areas of study, professors seemed to inculcate the same theology into the class! That theology always honored Jesus Christ as the center of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. While Old Testament (OT) and New Testament (NT) professors showed me how the OT points us to the Christ of the NT, other professors fleshed out implications in their own areas of expertise.
I think this is one of the major Distinctives of a Westminster education that needs to be continued and promoted.
4. If you could take only one book written by a Westminster alumnus back to Korea, which one would you choose and why?
That would be Dr. Meredith Kline's (BDiv, 1947; ThM, 1947) Kingdom Prologue and its sequel God, Heaven, and Har Magedon. These two books, which I consider to be the height of WTS biblical theology, not only abound in exegetical insights but also show the depth and richness of Covenant theology.
I am sure that Kline's books will be welcomed and greatly appreciated by Korean Christians. That is why I gladly took the opportunity to translate Kline's Kingdom Prologue into Korean (2008) and have also been involved, albeit not as a translator, in the translation project of God, Heaven, and Har Magedon (at press).
5. How may the Westminster family pray for you?
My family (Sook Gyung[wife], Samuel, Eljah and Isaiah) is struggling to adjust to so many changes in returning to Seoul, since we left Korea for Philadelphia in 2000.
Pray for Samuel (3rd grade) and Elijah (1st grade) who have already gone through two different schools and now have to deal with their third one.
As for myself, I feel overloaded this semester. Pray for the strength and the wisdom not to lose the focus on the ultimate purpose to which I am called.
Warm regards to the whole Westminster family worldwide - in Christ,
Dear Westminster family,
My name is Koowon Kim. I graduated from Westminster with my Master of Divinity in 2003.
Rev. John Currie, the current director of alumni relations and educational advancement, and Jason Cuzzolina, the current director of communications, may remember me - because we were in the same classes most of the time.
I am writing to share the news that I have successfully defended my doctoral dissertation and will graduate in March from the University of Chicago. My research area is the Hebrew Bible and its ancient Near Eastern background.
I am returning to Korea with my family (my wife and three boys) to teach at Reformed Theological Seminary in Seoul.
I cannot imagine my days in America without Westminster. I started in 2000 at Westminster as an eager student. And my training during those years have been crucial to my theological reflections ever since. I truly appreciated the teachings and kindness of my professors throughout my studies.
I will continue to pray for Westminster and its mission "to form Christian leaders to proclaim the whole counsel of God throughout a changing world" even after I go back to Seoul.
Thank you very much, Westminster!