About Me

Yung Suk Kim, PhD
Associate Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity
Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology
Virginia Union University
Richmond, Virginia

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Yung Suk Kim is Associate Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology, Virginia Union University. He has a passion for human transformation, rooted in self-knowledge and self-criticism. Traveling many Latin American countries during his business career, he learned a great deal about cultural diversity and the need for human solidarity.


Kim received a PhD in New Testament study from Vanderbilt University and an M.Div from McCormick Theological Seminary. Dr. Kim was a recipient of Lilly Theological Scholars Grant for a research on John's Gospel in pluralism context (2011). He also received a presidential citation for outstanding service and unselfish commitment from Virginia Union University (2013). He participated in 2007-08 Workshop on Teaching and Learning for Pre-Tenure Theological School Faculty (sponsored by Wabash Center) and earned a research fellowship for Bible and Transformation.

He is the author of numerous books, including Jesus’s Truth: Life in Parables (Resource, 2018), Messiah in Weakness: A Portrait of Jesus from the Perspective of the Dispossessed (Cascade, 2016), Resurrecting Jesus: The Renewal of New Testament Theology (Cascade, 2015), Biblical Interpretation: Theory, Process, and Criteria (2013), and Christ’s Body in Corinth: The Politics of a Metaphor (Fortress, 2008). He also edited two important volumes in biblical studies: 1 and 2 Corinthians (Texts & Contexts) (Fortress, 2013) and Reading Minjung Theology in the Twenty-first Century: Selected Writings by Ahn Byong-Mu and Modern Critical Responses (Pickwick, 2013).

New book Toward Decentering the New Testament will be published in 2018. This is the first introductory text to the New Testament written by an African American woman biblical scholar (Mitzi J. Smith) and an Asian-American male biblical scholar. This text privileges the voices, scholarship, and concerns of minoritized nonwhite peoples and communities. Another new book Preaching the New Testament Again: Faith, Freedom, and Transformation will be also published in 2018. He combines critical New Testament scholarship with homiletic concerns. Dr. Kim is currently working on his first theological commentary on Romans.


Alternative version
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Dr. Kim was born and grew up in Korea. He graduated from Kyungpook National University with a BS degree in Economics. In his former career, he worked as a manager at a Korean company of home electronics in Seoul, Korea, was relocated to the Republic of Panama, and later to Miami, Florida. Traveling many Latin American countries during his business career, he learned a great deal about cultural diversity and the need for human solidarity. Then, later, he graduated from McCormick Theological Seminary, in Chicago, IL, with an M.Div degree, and also graduated from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, with a Ph.D. in the New Testament study.

Now, with a new vocation of theological education, he asks: What does it mean to live in this world in relation to each other (i.e., the meaning of the Other --which resonates Emmanuel Levinas' "the face of the other," Paul Ricoeur's "inter-subjective narrative identity," or Jacques Derrida's "relationless relation")? How can we do theology in our thoughts and deeds, while moving pointedly away from individualism? and How can we read biblical stories with each other when we differ?

Dr. Kim has published numerous books on biblical interpretation, historical Jesus study, gospel study, and Paul's letters. He also edited two volumes on 1-2 Corinthians and minjung theology.

Dr. Kim was a recipient of Lilly Theological Scholars Grant for a research on John's Gospel in pluralism context (2011). He also received a presidential citation for outstanding service and unselfish commitment from Virginia Union University (2014).

Dr. Kim also actively engages in the world through his blog--Shub and Metanoia-- in which he writes short pieces on biblical studies and theological education. He has a passion for human transformation through critical theological study.


Teaching Philosophy
I foster and teach to engage in the knowledge of who we are in this world in which we see each other as diverse and different. Diversity is not a given but a source of critical engagement with one another. I value both a critical and self-critical stance toward any claim of the knowledge, the truth, and the reality. I emphasize the following as pedagogical goals: learning from others, challenging one another, affirming who we are, and working for common humanity through differences. In my teaching, all in all, I aim to communicate critical diversity and transformative identity in a variety of life contexts.





Learning from golf putting practice: "Focus on yourself"
I used to play golf long ago when I lived and worked in Panama, Rep. of Panama, and later in Miami, Florida. At that time, I was a businessman and was expected to play because of that. I was sent to the foreign business office by a famous Korean company. I don't play golf anymore, but I still keep my golf club. In my living room, sometimes I play with these balls and practice putting. I do this rather from a perspective of mental gymnastics. I learn life lessons from this.

Here is one. I must keep a focus on myself when I putt a ball toward the target area. I must keep a hold on to my posture after putt. The habitual mistakes are made when I lift up my head to see where the ball is going. Life lesson one: When you have a goal, you must keep a focus on yourself.

Here is another one. I have to believe myself. I don't worry where the ball is going. At this very moment of putting, I am the only one whom I can and must trust. All other things are external. The result is all good. The ball went to the place I wanted to reach. Even if it does not go in the intended direction, I still have to believe myself because trusting is nothing wrong with itself. [From my blog post]






From the Dao De Jing 40
"To return is the movement of the Way." 

"To be weak is the function of the Way." 
For more about my calligraphy:



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