Korean Americans

Cultural Constructs in the Korean Diaspora Church Context and the Leadership Challenges They Present to 1.5 and 2nd Generation Korean Women

Author
Lisa Hanmi Pak D.Min.
Abstract
The purpose of this research study was to determine how the cultural constructs of the Korean diaspora church have presented particular leadership challenges to a group of 1.5 and 2nd generation Korean women and resulted in detrimental experiences. This study is important because it revealed just how limiting and hurtful systems of leadership can be when they are not designed to give opportunities to both women and men. This research study focused on the experiences of Korean Canadian women and created a space for the group to openly talk about their experiences through narrative research, appreciative inquiry, and action research. Findings pointed to cultural factors such as patriarchy, which served to reinforce male-centered spiritual authority, and collectivism, which undercut the women’s self-confidence in speaking up and asking questions and cultivated a dynamic where enough women were more comfortable in upholding the patriarchic status quo. It was clear that the Korean diaspora church must be more intentional in creating leadership opportunities for young Korean women and reconsider the cultural patriarchy that is embedded in the communal dynamic. The research findings were also not limited to the Korean diaspora church context; rather, an examination of how cultural constructs and systems shape perceptions of leadership, understanding of ministry, and of the individual leader is a principle that is transferable to other settings.

An Evaluation of the Major Key Factors Contributing to Marital Satisfaction of Korean American Couples Raising a Special Needs Child

Author
Matthew B. Ahn D.Min.
Abstract
This research was designed to answer the question “What are the major key factors contributing to marital satisfaction of Korean American couples raising a special needs child?” by examining the shared experiences expressed by three couples who enjoy satisfactory marriages. A popular myth holds that the marriages of most couples raising a special needs child end in divorce. However, numerous studies show this is not always the case; in fact, in many instances, raising a special needs child makes a couple’s marriages stronger. This study focused on researching and identifying key factors contributing to marital satisfaction among couples raising a special needs child. Previously, there has been little research done on this topic, a fact which inspired the researcher to look into this phenomenon. The discovery of these major factors will be helpful to couples raising special needs children, pastors, and marriage counselors.

To gather the necessary data for this study, three different methods were used. First, descriptive surveys were administered to discover qualified couples who fulfilled the established criteria. Second, the quantitative research method was employed through surveys that were used to identify key factors contributing to the marital satisfaction of the volunteering couples. Third, the qualitative research method was used through personal interviews with the selected couples to identify the major factors that contributed to their satisfaction in their marriages.

The results of this research support the association between marital satisfaction among Korean American couples raising a special needs child and communication, spirituality, and commitment. This study and its discoveries should provide valuable resources to pastors, leaders, and marriage counselors who are in a position to assist couples who struggle in their marriage while raising a special needs child.

Developing a vocational theology for the second-generation Korean American at Mosaic Christian Fellowship

Author
David Kyung Park
Abstract
The purpose of this project is to examine the effects of contemporary vocational theology on the spiritual lives of second-generation Korean Americans at Mosaic Christian Fellowship. The thesis asks whether the current approach to vocational theology helps this congregation with spirituality in the workplace. The primary research questions areas follows: do the current models of vocational theology help second-generation Korean Americans understand the significance of their vocations? Is it possible that the prevailing approaches contribute to the problems that this group already experiences regarding identity formation? After exploring these questions, the dissertation’s aim is then to investigate the efficacy of a possible alternative approach to understanding vocation for the second-generation Korean American. To support this research, the author conducted a survey of more than fifty second generation Korean Americans at Mosaic Christian Fellowship. Data was also collected from several non-Korean Americans for comparison. Two focus groups, involving fourteen participants from the same church, provided further data. These interactions showed that many of the subjects felt as if they were simply “cogs within the machine” and had a difficult time pinpointing the significance of their work using their current theological framework.

A new model of a sustainable church for the next generation of immigrant Korean Christians

Author
Kang Won Lee
Abstract
"The Korean diaspora church in the United States served as an important cultural base for Korean immigrants over the first part of the twentieth century, but many second and third-generation Koreans left in the "Silent Exodus." Evangelism to this group of young adults is critical for the future of the Korean diaspora church. I examine a new model of planting church through the success of San Francisco Bay Area's "Embrace Church," a church led by and oriented toward second-generation Korean Americans. The success of this church in the deeply "unchurched" area of Oakland suggests a promising model for future mission directions." -- Leaf [2].

A study on revival and building healthy spiritual soil of Korean Methodist Church of Queens with traditional soil

Author
Chul Yun Lee
Abstract
"The purpose of this paper was to find the possibility to transform the traditional Korean immigrant church in New York, USA into a church with healthy spiritual soil. As the new pastor of Korean Methodist Church of Queens, which had been on traditional soil for 33 years, the author deeply [was] concerned about what it takes to be a healthy church. So to accomplish this purpose, the author designed two programs : "Banaba training" and "Incarnational leader training." In conclusion, these projects showed positive results that, after implementation, helped transformation and maturity in the spiritual character and attitude of the leaders of Korean Methodist church of Queens." -- Supplied by the author.

A new model of senior adult ministry in an aged society : focused on the Korean-American context

Author
Sunpil Kim
Abstract
"The rapid aging of Korean and American society . . . has presented many significant challenges and opportunities for Korean churches and Korean-American churches alike. Many of existing church programs for older adults are no longer adequate or relevant for our graying congregations; consequently, there has been a growing need for a new model of senior adult ministry that can meet the diverse needs and expectations of older adults in an aged society. Inspired by the Rev. Dr. Gentzler's 'intentional ministry by, with, and for older adults,' and based on A. Maslow's theory of Hierarchy of Needs, the present paper has suggested a model of senior adult ministry shaped with the following three dimensions: ministry that provides a sense of belonging (community-oriented ministry), ministry that promotes a sense of usefulness (mission-and-service-oriented ministry), ministry that guides discovery of meaning and purpose (spirituality-oriented ministry). By applying this model of senior adult ministry, the present study has designed and implemented a project for boosting the integration of senior newcomers to the life of Korean Church of Atlanta UMC. The project consists of three programs: promoting senior newcomers' participation in small groups, 'Bible Stories with Hamuni & Habuji,' and spiritual life review/spiritual autobiography writing group." -- Leaf [2].

Marriage and family therapy for Korean immigrant families in the US

Author
Joon-hyuk Lim
Abstract
All couples have struggles in their marriage, and the difficulties of moving to a foreign country can exacerbate those struggles. Korean immigrants to the United States have specific challenges in their marriages and families. An understanding of the biblical view of marriage and family, combined with skills in marriage and family therapy can help counselors and pastors serve Korean immigrants and their families. This paper includes a case study which incorporates biblical values and marriage and family concepts as the author ministers to a Korean-American woman and her son.

Affirming the suffering identity: re-writing suffering narratives of the Korean-American immigrant through small group Bible study

Author
Kye Moo Ryu
Abstract
The Korean immigrant community has been striving for their new identity in between two cultures: Korean-ness and American-ness. This hyphenated identity, however, often triggers and fosters a sense of identity diffusion, and holds back the assertion of self-agency. Also the community is challenged continously upon their Christian ministry to provide care that can help themselves positively cope with suffering from their marginal contexts. This project is intentionally designed to help them re-construct own authentic theological narratives that are relevant to their suffering experiences through re-reading biblical suffering narratives in a small group setting so that they can attain sensitivity in their faith journey.

A study on the impact of the Korean praise education on American church's increased understanding of the Korean church: the case of Free Will Baptist church and Korean Glory Church in the St Louis area

Author
Tae Y Kim
Abstract
The purposes of this study were to create a successful biblical cooperation between American and Korean church members and to build an increased understanding among American church members toward Korean church members. The results would help to establish better, cooperative relationships between the two peoples and to help them work for the Lord together. Trying to overcome the language barrier through teaching American Christians how to praise in Korean would show the possibility of different ethnic churches working together in harmony. The project found that the praise education in another language would bring increased understanding between two ethnic groups.

Transformational preaching in the Korean immigrant context

Author
David Jong Suk
Abstract
This project was designed to explore the transformational impact of contextual preaching on the Korean immigrant population. The project started with presentations of biblical and theological perspectives on preaching in relation to life situations and historical and sociological perspectives on Korean immigrants in parallel to biblical and other immigrants. The project continued with a survey conducted on a typical Korean immigrant congregation to reveal how sermons influence them and change their perception of what is going on in their lives. The project also included manuscripts of sermons delivered to the congregation during this process. The conclusion of the project was to display the value of sermons that seek to change lives as well as the importance of the faithfulness and humility of the preachers to the Word of God. The project was to establish the case that Korean preachers can deliver sermons that transform their people by connecting the timeless biblical truths with their contextualized, personal, ethnic, and cultural style.
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