Syngman Rhee Global Mission Center for Christian Education

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1 Syngman Rhee Global Mission Center for Christian Education A Funding Proposal Submitted by: Union Presbyterian Seminary Dr. Brian Blount, President 3401 Brook Road Richmond, VA (804) Contact: Richard Wong (804) ; Respectfully submitted by Union Presbyterian Seminary/January 2015 Page 1

2 Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth We will not hide them from their children; we will tell to the next generation the glorious deeds of the Lord and his might, and the wonders that he has done. Psalm 78, v. 1 & 4 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The focus of theological education at Union Presbyterian Seminary is the same as the focus of the church: Jesus Christ and his mission in the world. After more than two centuries of service, Union Presbyterian Seminary seeks even stronger partnerships to further advance our shared commitment to global missions. Based on priorities outlined in Union s strategic plan that focuses on multicultural initiatives, the seminary is raising funds for a Syngman Rhee Global Mission Center for Christian Education that will be located on the seminary s Richmond campus. The new Global Mission Center will be a generative resource for educators from other countries who seek support for their Christian education work. The Center will prepare an international group of students, along with students from the United States, for passionate and effective careers in their home nations or for mission work that will spread the Good News of God s Grace throughout the world. We seek your support to bring our vision of a Global Mission Center for Christian Education to reality while honor the man whose life-time dedication to mission and education inspired us all, Dr. Syngman Rhee. To date, we have received commitments of more than $6.3 million for this initiative. EXPANDING ON A LONG-HISTORY OF GLOBAL MISSIONS AND CHRISTIAN EDUCATION The shared history between Union Presbyterian Seminary and the Presbyterian Church in Korea took root more than 100 years ago. In 1891, Union Seminary students William Davis Reynolds (UTS ) and William McCleery Junkin, Jr. (UTS ), inspired by a Presbyterian missionary to Korea, Rev. Horace G. Underwood (1885), applied to the Foreign Mission Board to become missionaries to the Korean people. Since then, hundreds of Korean graduates of Union have become ministers and leaders in churches and seminaries in Korea. Currently, each year the seminary enrolls a number of international students from throughout the world. For example, during the academic year Union served 14 international students from six countries: Hungary, Burma, Switzerland, India, Ghana, and South Korea. Respectfully submitted by Union Presbyterian Seminary/January 2015 Page 2

3 In 1999, Union established the Asian American Ministry Center, which provides continuing education opportunities to support Asian American pastors, educators, and lay leaders. Dr. & Mrs. Syngman Rhee were co-directors. Now Union wants to expand on what has already been accomplished. Union s strategic plan calls for a major multicultural initiative as the great growth and mission faithfulness of the church outside the West invite us into a new posture. The Syngman Rhee Global Mission Center for Christian Education at Union Presbyterian Seminary will help fulfill this need by educating the educators Christian educators who are equipped to educate other educators in their home country. The Rhee Global Mission Center is closely linked with the seminary s world view, its new curriculum that debuted in fall 2013, and its Intercultural Study Opportunities. Union s faculty is committed to prepare graduates to become theologians who equip communities of faith to participate in God s mission in the world. The new curriculum is organized around three distinctive but interrelated ministry roles: Practicing Theologians, Congregational Leaders and Community Witnesses who practice ministry by participating in God s mission in the world. As part of the curriculum, students may elect to take faculty-led intercultural travel seminars to explore Latin America, Asia, Haiti, the Middle East, and Ghana. The seminary s Christian Education faculty members are committed to the realization of the Rhee Global Mission Center as part of their work to provide intellectually focused and intense graduate-level work. As their work supports the Rhee Global Mission Center, the Christian Education team will ensure what was begun by the General Assembly s Training School in 1914 and was continued by the Presbyterian School of Christian Education in 1959 will endure. Union s Christian Education Department will continue to equip students to design innovative church education curricula and programs, to build and sustain energetic and formative youth programming, and to understand and respond to the learning context and needs of diverse students with innovative teaching methods. And as more students from other countries come to equip themselves as educators for the mission of Christian education back home, the impact of Christian education will grow throughout the world. STATEMENT OF NEED The world has changed, and the majority of the world s Christians are now in Latin America, Africa and Asia, according to recent Presbyterian Church (USA) studies. Youth, lay people and church leaders living in other countries are hungry to grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ for both personal enrichment and in the building up of the local church body. Many pastors and church leaders in other countries are in need of Christian education training, and they lack church education curriculum, teaching aids, and educational resources for young people. Respectfully submitted by Union Presbyterian Seminary/January 2015 Page 3

4 In other countries, church leaders, pastors, and potential mission workers in both rural and urban areas need education, resources, mentoring and discipleship. Although local churches in other countries recognize the need and have the desire for theologically educated leaders of youth and children, few have the infrastructure and resources to provide this and to prepare education leaders. Through a collaborative donor partnership, we can work together to strengthen global missions by bolstering Christian education in churches in other countries and in the United States. This effort will impact countless children and youth throughout the world the youngest members of our faith communities and our next generation of congregational leaders. PROJECT DESCRIPTION Facility to House the Rhee Global Mission for Christian Education The partnership will help create a Global Mission Center for Christian Education on the Union Presbyterian Seminary campus in Richmond, Virginia. Plans are underway to renovate Richmond Hall, one of Union Seminary s historic buildings, to house the Global Mission Center. The renovations are estimated at a cost of $8.4 million. The Center will offer a generous space dedicated to advancing global ministry and mission work by providing: Staffing Residential housing with 25 suites for international students. Food service and dining facilities for the Richmond campus. Community spaces that will attract many Union students to global missions. Dedicated offices for programs with an international focus, including Asian Studies and new programming for African Women s Studies. A history exhibit gallery to honor Union s tradition and commitment to global ministry. Guest housing and office space for visiting scholars and Christian educators from overseas. A fully fitted recording studio for global communication exchange. A Mission Director will be hired to handle managerial and operational responsibilities. In addition, a Christian Education professor, with international experience, will be hired to lead the effort as a member of Union s Christian Education Department. Because these two positions are critical to the long-term sustainability of the Rhee Global Mission Center and its programming, Union is seeking $4.75 million to endow these two positions. Respectfully submitted by Union Presbyterian Seminary/January 2015 Page 4

5 Educating the Educators Building Local/Regional Capacity To create a sustainable impact in the education of children and youth in other countries, the focus will be on educating the educators, Christian leaders who are equipped to teach other educators in their home country. Educating the local educators will build program capacity within the home country to overcome any language barriers. The ultimate goal for the program is for teaching and learning to occur locally or regionally with minimal support from Union Presbyterian Seminary. The cost of curricula design and development is estimated at $200,000. Candidates to participate in the Global Mission Center will be drawn from: Missionary educators who have completed their master s level work; Retired Union faculty and alumni/ae who have close ties with the former Presbyterian School of Christian Education (PSCE) and who have a call to missional education; Local church leaders from other countries with an accredited Master of Divinity degree or equivalent. During curricula design and development for training the trainers, the seminary will consider program delivery at two levels: 1. Offering a Master of Arts in Christian Education (MACE) hybrid to missionary educators. This allows students to continue to live and work in their own community while completing online coursework. They must also commit to intense on-campus classes that overlap two consecutive terms to include four weeks each year on campus. 2. Mission orientation study for retired faculty and alums on the Richmond campus in preparation for field work with partner mission organizations. Long-term Sustainability To provide a long-term impact for other countries, the program must build capacities and partnerships with local or regional seminaries. A distance education partnership with seminaries in key hubs could help in establishing a master and Doctoral level Christian Education program. Program sustainability also will come in a form of curriculum designed specifically for each community served, whether in the United States or another country. Curricula need to be socially, racially, and culturally sensitive to each local church. Part of the educational process will be to educate students to design and develop curriculum. Respectfully submitted by Union Presbyterian Seminary/January 2015 Page 5

6 PROPOSED BUDGET 1. Program staff a. Asian American / Global Mission Director $2.0 million endowment b. Christian Education Professor with international experience $2.75 million endowment 2. Facility renovation $8.4 million a. 25 housing suites b. Food service and dining space c. Community space d. Offices e. History Exhibit Gallery f. Recording Studio 3. Curricula design and development $200,000 Total proposed budget $13.35 million CONCLUSION Working together, we can build Christ s global community. Union Presbyterian Seminary is committed to the Syngman Rhee Global Mission Center for Christian Education. We invite you to join us in making this a reality and ask you to consider a financial gift. We urge you to support us in creating a center where international and U.S. Christian Education students will live in community and where their education will be enriched by a wholly international learning environment. The center will provide training from international scholars on all aspects of global Christian education work. We ask you to be a partner in the Syngman Rhee Global Mission Center for Christian Education. Respectfully submitted by Union Presbyterian Seminary/January 2015 Page 6

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