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PHD Theology, War, Conflict, Korea

Sometimes the journey is what counts. For the past sixteen years, I have maintained a consistent and certain course in my academic, volunteer and professional careers. At times, even without realizing it, I have been spreading the Word of God, and I have seen laid out before me many opportunities, which I have willingly taken, to bring God's message to those that are in need.

My path is leading me to work as a XXX. Given my twenty-nine months of shadowing a military chaplain, numerous experiences in differing cultures, exposure to differing creeds and belief systems in South Korea, Japan, South Korea and the United States, I feel that I will be a spiritual advisor and counselor who understands the multiracial and pluralistic realities facing the men and women serving. In truth, coming from South Korea, a country where there is mandatory conscription, I am sympathetic to the soldier's experience within a military's mission. Assisting an army chaplain as I have, I was able to counsel troubled soldiers, and was instrumental in increasing the morale in camp. I was impressed, enjoyed and was even challenged in my counseling soldiers from differing backgrounds.

As a XXX, I will have the opportunity to travel to many locales, preaching and counseling. I see this as one more avenue of mission work, as soldiers and their needs are just as relevant and real as anyone else's. There is the reality for myself, as well, and working in areas of conflict, or disaster. Therefore, there will be a need to reach out to the people of the country's America's military is involved with. Again, the people affected by war or disaster will be in need of comfort, consolation, and it is to these people that I will be able to bring Jesus word and message. God will be my guide, my feet placed on a path which Jesus has laid before me, bringing his message to all of liberation and salvation.

In addition to my chaplain work, I intend to train native students in the Philippines through the missionary training program. By using the military as a vehicle for my mission work, I will be ensuring the future of mission work on a larger scale. My home seminary in South Korea established a Christian University to train native students. I have a connection with the president of the school and could teach my Missiology to them during future summer sessions.

Over and above my military chaplain assistantship, whenever I have traveled to places in the past, I have been moved to introduce people to the love of Christ. While I was only in Japan for two weeks, I was struck by the Japanese people's polytheism and worship of idols. The Spirit moved me to share my experiences with God to the people I met. In Thailand, a country rooted in Buddhism, I found the people largely took their poverty for granted. Again I was moved to share the teachings of Christ with the people I encountered. And in America, my home for the past six years, there are many opportunities for mission work, and I have met many people who are not as intimate with Christ as they could be. While they are aware of Jesus, there is a need for many Americans to open their hearts to Christ, embracing his teachings and living by them. And in America, while I have been teaching English to children from broken families and how many there are, in a nation in which most marriages end in divorce I have shared the Gospel of Jesus with them. Volunteering with a local pastor in Pittsburg, Kansas, I have utilized my Korean heritage and bilingual abilities to aid Korean exchange students as well as acting as a court translator for three years in a neighboring Korean community. All of these experiences have convinced me of my love of and true calling for the study of Missiology, and the need to reach out to people of all walks of life. In my homeland of South Korea, I volunteered nineteen months of my time with a collaborative missionary to a socio-economically depressed community. Simultaneously, I taught three semesters of Theology at my home university. I was left feeling an urge to increase my practical and academic experiences within the context of Missiology.

These experiences made me want for more practical and academic expertise of Missiology. It is apparent that my Theology Doctorate course of study needs to include a strong emphasis in Missiology. To lay the necessary groundwork for this aim, I will need to work under the heading of Spirituality in Practical Theology, while concentrating on the fundamentals and advanced issues of Missiology. There are certain facets of Missiology I need to explore as I have had little or no exposure to the concepts, particularly international politics, and economic development and how these can have dual effects positive or negative on the mission's strategy. However, I feel that I have a great deal to offer in terms of interdenominational relations. Given my experiences, I feel that I can effectively distinguish between Christian practices that are trans-cultural and those that are unique expressions conducted by a culture, but still express the Christian faith.

There is a distinct and causal relationship between Spirituality and Missiology. Firstly, though, Missiology is truly multidisciplinary and I feel I can contribute effectively to the educational environment as my own academic background is well-rounded, diverse, and multicultural. Missiology is the most practical form of Theology anyone could study, as it seeks to explore the quintessential elements of the Christian missionary's work. Spirituality is an interlacing of creed, and faith. Missiology then complements Spirituality in that Missiology is the method by which the missionary brings people to their ultimate purpose, beyond the physical, to their connection with God. Missiology is an examination of and literally a maintenance of the bond, the tying of a person's soul by a spiritual umbilical cord by which we are fed and maintained by the Holy XXX has an incredible heritage over 150 years of conceptual continuity and educational excellence. I would be proud to count myself among its distinguished alumni, and to immerse myself in an academic environment that is truly exceptional. No other school in the United States can match the coupling of quality faculty, heritage and spirit that XXX embodies. I look forward to the opportunity to develop myself as a creative leader for effective Christian missionary work. Your time and consideration is greatly appreciated and I eagerly await a personal interview.

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