Korean Intercultural Congregational Support

TI0A0297The mission of Korean Intercultural Congregational Support is to inspire, equip, and connect Korean congregations in the PC(USA). Today there are 400 Korean congregations with 50,000 active members. Korean congregations are geographically spread over 15 synods and 120 presbyteries. Korean Intercultural Ministries covers three main objectives to fulfill the mission. They are leadership development, congregational support, and English Ministry.

First, the leadership development. Korean Intercultural Congregational Support Office sponsors and supports National Korean Pastors’ Conference. It is a biennial program designed to provide up-to-date ministry tools for Korean pastors. The program creates a professional support network among Korean pastors. Korean Intercultural Ministries organizes Campus Town Ministry Network that provides knowledge and skills to lead congregations located in Campus Town. Polity training courses to acquaint teaching elders and ruling elders with Form of Government and regional continuing education programs for teaching elders are another important leadership development programs initiated and supported by the Korean Intercultural Ministries to enhance grass root network of Korean churches. The overall strategy for leadership development has been focused with equipping church leaders to adapt to rapidly changing social and cultural landscape and to be committed to transformational leadership.

The second focus of Korean Intercultural Congregational ministries is to support congregations for healthy growth and to develop New Worshiping Communities.  The Office supports PMA’s 1001 New Worshiping Communities mission strategy .Over the years, 24 Korean New Worshiping Communities have been developed and 12 Korean NWC coaches have been trained and are in active service.  The overall strategy for congregational support is to stabilize existing churches and encourage churches and presbyteries to start new worshiping communities.

The third focus is English Ministry.  English Ministry (EM) in the context of Korean speaking 1st generation congregations is crucial and challenging task to continue and inherit Korean American identity and faith without losing roots and flying beyond Koreanness. Korean Intercultural congregational support works in collaboration with English Ministry Network led by 2nd generation Korean pastors and seminarians in transformational leadership training and mentoring programs. The office also supports regional youth conferences and college student leadership training and mentoring programs as young adult mission direction. The overall mission strategy for English Ministry in the context of Korean American congregations is to empower the second generation Korean American Presbyterians.

Korean churches face two emerging challenges: First is the congregational aging with some of the 1st generation congregations. And second is the decrease of the immigration directly from Korea, but the increase of the permanent Korean American residents. Our short term solutions are leadership recruitment, congregational renewal, mission coordination and outreach promotion. The long term goals consist of two areas: First, helping Korean churches to be connected with the rich legacy of the Presbyterian Church (USA) mission endeavor in Korea from the previous century. Second is to develop a national strategic plan to ensure the continuation of the vitality of Korean congregations.

Korean Intercultural Congregational Office sponsors annual conference of the National Council of Korean Presbyterian Churches (NCKPC). This gathering functions as the main engine of Korean congregations by addressing the most pressing issues of the Korean congregations and developing a national strategy. Korean Intercultural Congregational Office also coordinates three Non-geographic Korean language presbyteries by the Coordinating Committee for Korean American Presbyteries (CCKAP). By gathering leaders from three Korean presbyteries, it creates a powerful network to align Korean presbyteries with the mission direction of the denomination.

A directory of Korean Presbyterian Churches is available here.

Meet the Associate for Korean Ministries 

Rev. Dr. Sun Bai Kim

Rev. Kim has been serving the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) as an ordained minister for 36 years. He graduated from Yunsei University, which was founded by the first PC(USA) missionary, Horace Underwood. Rev. Kim was ordained in 1969 by the Presbytery of Seoul after he graduated from Presbyterian College and Theological Seminary with MDiv and ThM degrees.

Rev. Kim came to the U.S. for advanced study at Denver Seminary and McCormick Theological Seminary and started his first parish ministry as a New Church Development pastor of the Korean Presbyterian Community Church of Columbia, S.C. in 1977. He moved to Atlanta to be installed as senior pastor of the Korean Community Presbyterian Church of Atlanta in 1981 and served the congregation as it grew to be a vital and dynamic Korean immigrant church. Rev. Kim also served as the Executive Director and Moderator of the National Council of Korean Presbyterian Churches.

As a third generation Presbyterian, Rev. Kim has been serving faithfully and humbly with spirit of deep gratitude toward the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) that sent a missionary who baptized his grandfather and great -grandmother in 1897. Under his leadership and dedicated ministry Korean churches have been growing from under 200 to over 400 in the last two decades.  Korean American Presbyterians and congregations have been deeply engaged in the life of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and Korean Intercultural Congregational Support has been significantly advancing the mission of the Presbyterian Mission Agency. Korean Intercultural Congregational Support will continue to lift up Korean ministry and mission as a vital and essential part of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Contact Rev. Sun Bai Kim at (800) 728-7228 ext. 5683 or sunbai.kim@pcusa.org

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