A historic agreement between the Korean-Australian Presbyterian Church and
Wesley Institute, Sydney, will result in the training of Korean ministers
for full-time ministry.
In a service of dedication in Wesley Mission's Sunday Night Live worship
service on March 21, representatives of Wesley Institute and the
Korean-Australian Presbyterian Church signed a concordant which ratified
Wesley Institute's Korean Theological Program as the official provider of
theological education and training to the Church.
Rev Kee Wan Kim, the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Korea, the
Principal of Wesley Institute Dr David Johnston and the Rev Dr Kye Won Lee,
head of the Korean Theology Department at Wesley Institute signed the
agreement in front of almost 800 people.
The Rev Dr Kye Won Lee, head of the Korean Theology Department at Wesley
Institute began teaching the KTP curriculum to 20 students in 2002. Today
more than 80 students are studying at the Drummoyne campus.
The recent dedication service was also a celebration of the partnership
between the Korean-Australian Presbyterian Church and Wesley Institute.
Principal of Wesley Institute Dr David Johnston said the Korean program had
its beginnings in 2001 when the Rev Dr Kye Won Lee was appointed to teach
"We were teaching other subjects to Korean students long before then but we
believed that we needed courses taught in Korean," he said.
"We identified early that Rev Dr Kye Won Lee was very capable and that he
had a vision to start a theological course in the Korean language."
The Korean Theological Program teaches subjects such as Systematic Theology,
Old Testament and New Testament methodologies, Hermeneutics, Greek, Hebrew,
Urban Mission and Migration Theology.
"We kept knocking down doors and finally got the course accredited through
the Sydney College of Divinity," Dr Johnston said.
"Through Dr Lee's network and through the Korean Church in Sydney he made
the proposal to the Presbyterian Church of Korea. The plan was passed by the
Presbyterian Church of Korea, then Wesley Institute Council and then Wesley
"This is a wonderful partnership: students will be recognised for their
training not only in Australia but throughout the world.
"Theology is and must be church-oriented. This means that theology without
church is meaningless, church without theology is empty; as theory and
experience go together, so do theology and church. I always say that we do
not produce Humpty Dumpty's at Wesley Institute - those who have big heads
full of knowledge with small limbs unable to do anything for the church and
"I was glad to see the great fruit of Rev Dr Lee's endeavour to pursue this
kind of organic relationships between theological college and church.
"I have heard that there are more than 200 Korean immigrant churches in
Sydney. This fact clearly shows not only the spiritual zeal of Korean
brothers and sisters, but also the maturity of Korean Christians in Sydney.
"Out of this spiritual maturity, I believe that the Korean-Australian
Presbyterian Church came into being three years ago in order to realise the
Kingdom of God in this multi-cultural land."
Dr Moyes said the scholarship in Korean seminaries was impacting on the
Western world with a new Christian congregation beginning within Korea every
"Church bells call believers to prayer in Korea's 18,000 Protestant and
Evangelical churches every morning at 5am. Over 2,000 churches are in Seoul
alone," he said.
"Years ago, I raised money to support poor Korean students in the Seoul
Theological Seminary. Now it is a University with thousands of students. I
used to be on the International Board of the Korean Institute for Mission
and Church Renewal International of the Choog Hyun Presbyterian Church.
"I know the ministries of Young Nak Presbyterian Church and Yoido Full
Gospel Church with more than half a million members. The world largest
Methodist Church is the Kwang Lim Methodist Church - in fact five of the
largest churches in the world are in Seoul."
In 1980 approximately 200 Korean missionaries worked in 29 countries. By the
beginning of 1990 the number had grown to over 1,600 missionaries working
for 54 Korean mission agencies in 87 countries.
"By 2000, the Church in Asia has sent approximately 80,000 missionaries
through 650 mission agencies to other countries," he said. "The spread of
Korean ministers influences the world."