Back on July 19, 2018, Dr. John Park, along with his Assistant Hyun Lee, visited Westminster Graduate School of Theology in Yong In, South Korea, which is a reformed theological seminary. WGST is a growing institution that is innovative and open to women’s leadership and ministry. At that time Dr. Park met with Dr. In-Chan Chung, President of WGST, and Dr. Sun-Il Kim, Missional Theology Professor and Planning Dean. President Chung, who once served a large church in Houston for many years, expressed eager interest in developing a working relationship with Central, and Dr. Park reciprocated that interest. Since then, Dr. Park has maintained communication with Dr. Kim regarding Central President Molly T. Marshall speaking at their spring convocation service, as well as both Marshall and Park giving two special lectures respectively and signing an MOU between the two institutions. As a result, Dr. Park will give two special lectures at WGST on Feb. 25, and President Marshall will speak at WGST’s Convocation Chapel on March 5 and give one special lecture on March 6.
As a strong advocate for women entering all areas of ministry, President Marshall will offer a lecture entitled “A New Reformation: Challenging Gender Discrimination in the Church.” She will also lecture on “Leadership as Spiritual Practice,” a reflection on lessons learned as President of Central Seminary.
During the trip, President Marshall will sign an MOU with President Chung and enter into an affinity partnership in which both institutional leaders will convey a relationship of cooperation and mutual intent. The significance of this trip is that it will provide Marshall and Park a chance to raise the profile of Central in South Korea and tap into the growing educational niche in Korea, especially in the areas of women’s leadership, missional churches, and creative leadership. In particular, President Marshall’s presence and speeches will also give a boost to the morale of many women leaders and feminist theologians. Korean society in general and the Korean church in particular are in strong need of leadership and voices that can address the growing needs of women in leadership and ministry and the degenerating leadership of spiritual leaders in Korea. This follow-up visit is expected to strengthen the ties between the two institutions.
President Marshall anticipates this connection with an international sister seminary:
“As Central continues to expand its global footprint, we welcome opportunities to learn how the gospel takes root in different cultures. I am eager to engage with those pursuing theological education in Korea.
Central is committed to understanding how the scholarly trade routes run both East and West, South and North, for the flourishing of the reign Jesus preached.”