By Soojin Chung – Director, Overseas Ministries Study Center at Princeton Theological Seminary & Editor, International Bulletin of Mission Research
Dear Friends of the Overseas Ministries Study Center,
Greetings! My name is Dr. Soojin Chung and I am delighted to serve as the newly appointed Director of the Overseas Ministries Study Center (OMSC).
When I visited OMSC during my doctoral studies, I was taken back to the same feelings I felt while serving as a missions coworker in Bangalore, India, nearly twenty years ago. At that time a typical day might go like this: after having individual devotional time in the morning, I joined colleagues from five different continents for breakfast together, giving grace in the Hindi language.
We engaged in orphanage ministry during the day; we had a spirit-filled worship and shared communion in the evening. We were ministering to one another and learning from different cultures. What I lacked as a Korean Christian was complemented by the gifts of my fellow Indian siblings in Christ and vice versa.
I was surrounded by an authentic ecumenical community where diversity and unity were celebrated at once. At OMSC, I was immersed in this same spirit.
When I visited OMSC all those years ago, I never imagined that I would one day become the director of such a cherished community. One of my favorite books is Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community. In this short book, Bonhoeffer expounds on what it means to cultivate an authentic Christian community. He rightly contends that Jesus Christ lived amid his enemies and brought peace to all, even those who rejected God. Christians are likewise called to live in the thick of foes, living together and giving witness as a diverse community of believers. My vocational goal can be summarized in this very phrase: life together! I am called to theological education not merely for the sake of education but also to live my life in a community of theological reflection and growth. OMSC is this type of community.
As we continue this new journey in Princeton, embracing the future and continuing the legacy, I pray and hope that the Overseas Ministries Study Center will be marked by its commitment to deep communion, excellent scholarship, and Christian unity. The importance placed on theological praxis— where scholarship and practice are necessarily entwined—makes OMSC a unique host for a community that lives and learns together. Thank you for your support for and partnership with this vital ministry.
Soojin Chung, Ph.D.