Practices of Ministerial Leadership of Korean-American United Methodist Clergywomen; Toward a Wesleyan Ecclesiology in a Global Context
park_hirho_phd_2011.pdf (1.109Mb) PhD dissertation
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This study documents, analyzes, and interprets Korean American United Methodist (KAUM) clergywomen‘s experiences in and understandings of the church. It examines contributions these (and potentially, other) clergywomen might make to Wesleyan ecclesiology generally, and particular ways United Methodists live out their faith in transitional, diverse, and global contexts. The project attempts to re-vision existing Wesleyan ecclesial discourse in the United Methodist Church (UMC) by recognizing and incorporating the contributions of racial-ethnic clergy as expressed through their leadership and practices of faith. A "practice-theory-practice" model of practical theology was used to pay systematic attention to the practical locus of the inquiries. Twenty Korean American United Methodist clergywomen were interviewed by telephone, using a voluntary sampling technique to ascertain how they both experienced the church and understood and lived out various practices of faith, including preaching, participation in and administration of the sacraments, preparation for ordained ministry, and other spiritual practices such as prayer, worship, retreats, and journaling. The dissertation summarizes those findings, provides contextual and historical interpretation, and then analyzes their responses in relation to Wesleyan theology, MinJung (mass of people) theology, and the theology of YeoSung (women who display dignity and honor as human beings). This study identifies the extraordinary call of the KAUM clergywomen interviewees to be bridge builders, strong nurturers, wounded healers, committed educators, breakers of old stereotypes, persistent seekers to fulfill God‘s call, and ecclesial leaders with ―tragic consciousness‖ who can disrupt marginality and facilitate the creative transformation of Han (a deep experience of suffering and oppression) into a constructive energy capable of shaping a new reality. According to this study, KAUM clergywomen‘s experiences and practices of faith as ecclesial leaders strengthen Wesleyan ecclesiology in terms of the UMC‘s efforts to be an inclusive church through connectionalism, and its commitment to social justice. MinJung theology and the theology of YeoSung, in their respective understandings of the church, broaden Wesleyan ecclesiology and enable the Church to be more relevant in a global context by embracing those who have not been normative theological subjects.