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

Twitter @yungsuk_kim

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. Dr. Kim started teaching at the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology in 2005.

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. He also has published various articles on a diversity of biblical studies. The forthcoming book, co-authored with Mitzi J. Smith, is Toward Decentering the New Testament: A Reintroduction (2018 estimated). Currently, he is working on a major commentary on Romans.

Dr. Kim was a recipient of Lilly Theological Scholars Grant for a research on John's Gospel in pluralism context (2011). From this grant, book Truth, Testimony, and Transformation came out in 2013. He also received a presidential citation for outstanding service and unselfish commitment from Virginia Union University (2014).

Dr. Kim is the editor of two journals: Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Religion and Journal of Bible and Human Transformation.

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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