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Student of the Month: Minjin Kim

Minjin Kim (She/her) is finishing up an M.Div. at Princeton Theological Seminary. Born and raised in South Korea, she sought to broaden her theological horizons by pursuing further education in the United States after earning her undergraduate degree in theology from Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea. Currently, she serves as a co-moderator at the Korean Student Association at PTS and a youth pastor at Princeton Korean Presbyterian Church.


What's the next step for you after graduation?

I am starting my doctoral program in Pastoral Theology at PTS this coming fall. My research seeks to retrieve the self-subjectivity of misunderstood and repressed young individuals by engaging in two discourses – counter-hegemonic critique in light of postcolonialism and intersubjectivity with mutual recognition. Building upon these interdisciplinary studies, I will explore a practice of empathy to empower Gen Zers to live out their own values and enhance positive selfhood. Using narrative theories in conversation with feminist pastoral theology, I seek to examine how they use their generational abilities and resources, with a special interest in how their desire for openness can contribute to the externalization of their inner problems.


What has been your biggest learning experience?

One of my biggest learning experiences was a clinical pastoral education program at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick last summer. Through this experience, I was able to improve my clinical skills and understand both internal pain and hope in patients in a theologically informed and spiritually sensitive way. Also, I had an opportunity to enhance my multicultural awareness. I worked with colleagues from various backgrounds, and our discussions often centered around implicit and systemic bias, addressing these issues in both ourselves and patients, within the context of providing spiritual care. Furthermore, in conversations with patients whose orienting systems differed from mine, I exhibited respect for their values and beliefs. Instead of passing judgment, I tried to attentively listen to their own narratives to understand how these values held meaning and relevance for them. Such an open-minded attitude enabled me to engage in profound conversations with patients from different religious, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds, ultimately allowing me to provide appropriate spiritual care for them.


What has your experience been with PANAAWTM?

I attended the 2023 PANAAWTM conference in person in San Diego, marking my first participation in PANAAWTM. I had the opportunity to meet many like-minded and warm-hearted mentors and friends, fostering a strong sense of belonging and connection. The communal support and care have been invaluable to me, and I have found a healing relationship that I deeply appreciate. Also, this experience has acted as a catalyst to pursue more leadership opportunities and to serve the Korean community at PTS.


What brings you hope and joy?

I find hope and joy in interpersonal relationships grounded in mutual and genuine care. Meeting good friends throughout my life is the most grateful thing for me, and I always try to be a friend who listens to them with empathy and active attention. When they share their innermost thoughts and feelings with me, and such genuine conversations in our relationship encourage or help them in some way, I feel hopeful and joyful.





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