theostudent-298Serendipity, plus a generous scholarship, brought Juyeon Lee to Drew from Korea in 2009. “Without the opportunity I had to study at Drew, I don’t know where I would be,” says Lee, 31. “The experience really opened up my mind. Some day, when I have money, I would like to help a student myself.”

As children, Lee and her siblings were taught to sing and play the piano by her mother, a pastor in Seoul. Her father is a social worker. After graduating from Dankook University she decided to become a missionary. Friends of her sister, then studying to become a conductor at Yale, urged her to apply to Drew. The Theological School is well-known among Korean Christians, for it was a Drew graduate—Henry Gerhard Appenzeller—who introduced Methodism in Korea in 1887.

Today she is pursuing ordination in the United Methodist Church and hoping to become a pastor in the United States, though not just yet—this fall she began working toward a Masters of Arts in Religion, with a concentration in liturgical studies, at Yale Divinity School. Lee hopes to be ordained within seven years, and is eager to serve an American congregation. “As a Korean, the Korean connection is definitely important, but I do not want to limit my ministry to any particular community.”

 

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