In a previous post, What does graduating from Fuller…, I shared about closing a chapter—learning how to say goodbye with some finality. In this post, I will share some exciting—and nerve-wrecking(!)—news!
I’m going to be abroad for a year!
About 5 months ago, during one sleepless night, I was going through the usual anxiety of graduating—What am I going to do? Where am I going to live? What kind of job should I apply?—I then remembered the Parish Pulpit Fellowship, an incredible partnership between The Pioneer Foundation and Fuller Theological Seminary. And so in about a month I take my leave!
The Parish Pulpit Fellowship awards an applicant funds to study abroad for up to a year, if budgeted responsibly. It aims that the recent MDiv holder will experience and learn about church life and preaching outside of the U.S. The awardee can study formally in a university or informally by self-formulated curriculum. I will be doing the latter.
As of right now, I will be in three locations with varying duration: South Korea, Cambodia, and Europe.
My research and study focus is threefold:
- How do preachers and congregations of international communities understand the role of preaching?
- How do the dynamics of globalization affect the content and form of preaching?
- How does Christology, or the study of Christ, and preaching fit together?
I target international communities for three reasons: First, they are most likely English-speaking, so I can communicate with them; second, they are a community within a community, much like but also unlike minority communities in America; and third, they are formed because of globalization—how else would they be an international community?
Globalization is a fascinating and overwhelming topic. One can approach it through technology, economics, cultural exports/imports, migration, and ecology. The dynamics of globalization are real and already in our churches, whether visible or invisible. So how is preaching responding to it? How are churches interacting with it?
Lastly, Christology is my favorite theological topic. I just can’t get enough of Christology—theological delectables, 냠냠냠! (“yum, yum yum!”)
While all these and more are exciting, there’s also the great fear of being alone. I’ve never traveled this long and to so many different places by myself. But I’ve recently been encouraged by a dear friend: Do not be afraid of the terrifying but remarkable gift of yourself! Face yourself with courage and grace—much like how God braces us. This is so much more than “finding yourself” in Eat, Pray, Love fashion. This is facing yourself with all the demons, angels, and forgottens—buried over the many years. Perhaps, this will be another anfechtung (the struggle and wrestle with God that Martin Luther claims as a stable for all Christians)—how terrifying yet remarkable.
Nearly all my updates for the year abroad—musings and photos—will be on this website. (Also, if interested, there are book reviews and possibly something new, say, devotionals.) Feel free to join the email list, connect with me, or leave comments or questions on any post…!