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Student of the Month: Eunjin Jeon

Eunjin Jeon, 전은진(全恩眞), uses she/her pronouns and is currently a second-year doctoral student focusing on practical theology and religious education in the Joint Doctoral Program at the Iliff School of Theology/University of Denver. She holds a Th.M. degree from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, as well as M.A. and M.Div. degrees from the Presbyterian University and Theology Seminary in South Korea. She has served as a pastor for K-12 students in South Korea, New Zealand, and the United States since 2010. Currently, she is pursuing ordination in the Presbyterian Church USA.

What are you studying and why? How do you imagine yourself using that in your call?

I am currently studying practical theology, with a specific focus on religious education, media, and popular culture. Drawing from over a decade of ministerial experience and my studies in religion, I am deeply interested in the identity formation of Korean/Korean American girls and women within the context of K-pop culture. For this research interest, scholars such as Dr. Kwok Pui Lan and Dr. Boyung Lee have been influential in my understanding of Asian feminist theology and transnational feminist practical theology.

Furthermore, during my visit to several Asian countries this summer, I had the opportunity to explore how K-pop culture influences the identity formation of Asian girls and women through social media platforms. Building upon the idea of Asian girls' and women's bodies as sacred spaces, I aim to delve deeper into the praxis that enables them to cultivate their spirituality and discover their vocation.

My calling is to teach practical theology and religious education within the context of theological education and ministry. I am also dedicated to serving as an ordained minister of the word and sacrament. Ultimately, my vocation is to use my knowledge and experience to empower the marginalized, helping them find their own voices and reclaim their dignity in everyday life.

I am committed to developing innovative and imaginative approaches to learning and teaching within theological education and religious communities. These creative methods will enable me to better fulfill my purpose of uplifting and supporting those who need it most.

What has your experience been with PANAAWTM?

I experienced many different things in PANAAWTM. I had the privilege of serving as a tech supporter for the PANAAWTM conference in 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

I also actively participated in the Doctoral Mentoring program and had the opportunity to attend the conference this year at San Diego. These diverse experiences within PANAAWTM have been incredibly rewarding for me. They allowed me to be a part of a vibrant and life-affirming community, enabling me not only to thrive but also to discover a profound sense of belonging.

Through these experiences, I've gained a deep understanding of my identity as an Asian woman and our collective identity as a sisterhood. In particular, the San Diego conference was a joyous and moving moment for me. Asian sisterhood and rich scholarship within PANAAWTM have played a pivotal role in nurturing my academic pursuits and strengthening my relationships with my fellow Asian sisters.

What brings you hope and joy?

My aspiration is to embrace gratitude, peace, justice, and love in my daily life and within my communities. I obtain immense joy from activities such as morning runs, traveling, cooking, and sharing fellowship meals. However, the most cherished moments of joy stem from the reunion and togetherness with my spouse once a month, who is currently a doctoral candidate at Princeton Theological Seminary. This profound sense of joy is what motivates me, inspiring me to continue learning, loving, and serving within my academic journey and ministry.

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