Meet the Graduates:
Sun-mi Jung and Jong-ryul Ahn
More than 700 students complete their degrees at Fuller this year, with plans that will take them into a range of ministries and vocations. This series highlights just a few of these graduates.
Academically equipped for mission
Sun-mi Jung and Jong-ryul Ahn, who are both completing degrees in the Korean Doctor of Ministry program, call two different places “home”: Korea, their first homeland—and Burundi, Africa.
Sent to Burundi in 1992 by the mission agency of the Presbyterian Church of Korea, Sun-mi and Jong-ryul served the local denomination there for 14 years: training church leaders for what has grown to be 66 congregations, and aiding community development. Sun-mi helped prepare teachers and develop curriculum for Christian education ministry, while Jong-ryul primarily oversaw pastor education as part of the church planting process.
Beginning in 2006, Sun-mi and Jong-ryul decided to take an extended furlough at Fuller in Pasadena, so they could both attend the Korean DMin program. “Instead of only learning through our experience on the mission field, we wished to also learn academically so as to apply this in our future work,” says Sun-mi.
As they return to Burundi this summer, the couple will begin the exciting work of opening a theological school which they have already built there to serve the growing local church. In the process, they are ready to apply all they have gained through their DMin experience. Sun-mi’s Fuller coursework has focused on pastoral counseling and Jong-ryul’s on biblical theology, and “our courses have truly allowed us to look back on ourselves and our ministry in an objective light,” Sun-mi recounts.
For her personally, says Sun-mi, “The more I studied at Fuller, the more I was confirmed in my calling from God as a woman minister, in which I have hesitated for almost 20 years. The biggest change in my mindset while at Fuller was that I decided to respond to the Lord and to carry out the ministry responsibly, and not simply as the helper of my husband. As a result of this decision, I became ordained last year.”
“Not only were we both enriched with a refreshing fellowship with our colleagues at Fuller,” affirms the couple, “but we also gained much confidence in our ability to take care of the local Burundian people through academic and technical knowledge.”
Learn more about Fuller’s DMin and Korean DMin programs.
Read more stories about Fuller’s 2009 graduates.