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Rev. Sangyil Sam Park, PhD

Contact

spark@bst.edu
510-841-1905 (x242)

Biography

Having born in a non-Christian family in Korea, I had never been part of any faith tradition until I was a youth. One summer in high school, I felt my heart warmed when I attended a weekday service at a small Methodist church and that changed the course of my life. After working for a few years after college, I went to the Methodist Theological Seminary in Seoul and came to the United States as a student in 1991. As an ordained servant of the Lord, I always identify myself as a preacher/pastor; I love preaching and enjoy being part of a church community. It has been blessed 30 plus years for me to have been working with people of God in ethnically and culturally diverse congregations throughout the United States.

PHILOSOPHY OF SEMINARY EDUCATION & TEACHING

I believe that seminary class is a lab in which our faith and scholarly work come together on equal levels; any lecture or debate not emerging from one’s faith makes it hollow, and any endeavor to keep one’s doctrinal or dogmatic stance not allowing a critical evaluation makes it irrelevant to today’s multifaceted world. Today’s world asks us more desperately than any time before to have open minds, love, and tolerance toward those who are different from our own in culture and faith tradition. Seminary education is an opportunity in which we learn together to grow both in faith and academic discipline to meet the needs of such a desperate world. A United Methodist preacher for 20 years, I enjoy the privilege of being in a pulpit; I cannot imagine myself not in the pulpit each Sunday. But this holy office of preaching always comes to me as something new and challenging.

As pastor of a local church, I consider my class teaching as a part of my ministry with an understanding that this is a highly academic training. I would like my students to broaden their understanding of preaching and improve their practical skills of exegesis and sermon development in a variety of contexts.

HOBBIES AND INTERESTS

  • Walking in nature