Alumni Update: Pauline Kang

31854_396791283617_3228410_nHyekyung Pauline Kang (T ’88), who joins Drew Theological School as Director of Theological School Advancement and Assistant Dean for Church and External Relations, came to the US in 1985 to enter Drew’s MDiv program that year. The year 1985 was an incredibly significant year for Pauline since it was the year when the Korean Protestant Church celebrated its 100th anniversary and her father had begun serving as the General Secretary for the Council of the 100th Anniversary of the Korean Church. In fact, Drew graduate Henry Appenzeller had graduated from Theo School exactly 100 years prior, in 1885, and came to Korea to plant Methodism in Korean soil. Through this connection, Drew has a special place in the hearts of Korean Methodists and Pauline is no exception. Growing up in a Methodist pastor’s  family, she had always heard stories about John Wesley and also of Henry Appenzeller’s devotion to sharing the Gospel with Koreans. So 1985 was undoubtedly an exciting time for her.

Pauline’s original intentions of coming to Drew were quite simple: to acquire her Ph.D. after completing the M.Div. program, go back to her home country, South Korea, and teach in seminary.  Yet God had a different plan for her life. Her experiences throughout the years in Drew laid a solid foundation for her to become an ordained minister later in her life. This calling was not immediate; however, she says that those three years at Drew in the M.Div. program were certainly a meaningful beginning of her journey into ordained ministry. Pauline is now an ordained United Methodist Clergy in the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference, where she is a full member.  She came to Drew with over 20 years of experiences in local church ministry. She also has served many leadership positions in the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference, including Board of Ordained Ministry and President of the Korean clergy association of the GNJAC.

pauline kang at worshipPauline’s academic training covers a wide array of interests.  She received her B.A. in English Literature and M. A. in Christian Education from Ewha Women’s University in Korea.  She received her M.Div. from Drew in 1988 and Th.M. in Pastoral Counseling from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1998. She continued her training in Pastoral Care and Counseling at the Blanton-Peale Graduate Institute in New York for three additional years. With such training, she offered her service in Pastoral Counseling in the Korean community for many years including facilitating parenting classes in collaboration with American Red Cross Bergen-Hudson chapter.  Her most recent interest and the subject of her Ph.D. dissertation at Fordham University is church leadership.  Pauline believes that her various experiences in the academic institutes under different denominational affiliations have thoroughly prepared her to contribute to Drew’s diverse and ecumenical community.