Theological School Student Earns Fellowship
Ph.D. candidate Dong Hyeon Jeong is the school’s 9th Forum for Theological Exploration scholar since 2007.
September 2015 – Drew Theological School Ph.D. student Dong Hyeon Jeong has been honored with a fellowship from the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE), joining eight other Drew students to receive one in the past eight years, including three-time winner Shanell Smith. (See the full list below.)
The fellowships provide stipends to doctoral students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups who intend to teach religion, biblical studies or theology at theological schools in North America. Jeong’s fellowship, which supports Latino, Asian or First Nations students, was among 20 that the FTE awarded this year. Each student receives a stipend of up to $20,000 to support his or her studies.
At the Theological School, Jeong is studying the New Testament and Early Christianity with a focus on race, ethnicity and animality.
Laurel Kearns, an associate professor of sociology, religion and environmental studies, described him as “encouraging, passionate, thoughtful, engaged and genuinely present,” adding, “Dong sat in on my religion and science course last fall, organized in part around the U.N. climate talks. I soon forgot that he wasn’t taking it for credit because he was so committed to the discussion and activities of the course.”
Jeong, the son of Korean missionaries in the Philippines, attributed his success to his “world-renowned” professors at Drew whose “academic contributions are must-reads.” He also cited the school’s “cutting edge progressive and politico-ethical” Biblical studies program.
During the summer break, Jeong stayed engaged by taking part in archaeological digs sponsored by Drew and teaching language classes to students at a mission school in the Philippines.
As for the FTE, Jeong is grateful for administrators there who “support and encourage minority students to fulfill their passion and vocation.” He’s also proud to be part of a growing group of Drew FTE scholars that “seeks to be servant leaders that bridge academia and the church.”
As an undergraduate, Jeong earned a degree in economics at the University of Santo Tomas, but knew he wanted to help pastors and churches. An ordained pastor in the United Methodist Church, Jeong hopes to become a seminary professor, teaching the New Testament with an ethnical and progressive approach and supporting seminaries in their efforts to go green.
Past FTE Fellowship Winners
Jeong’s fellowship is the 12th awarded to a Drew scholar since 2007.
Lynne S. Darden