Friday, 27 March 2009

Sungkonghoe Anglican University Seoul

I was able to visit the Anglican Sungkonghoe University in Seoul on this trip to Korea. As ever the hospitality was overwhelming. 

Originally founded in 1914 as St Michael's theological school,  it was closed in 1940 due to students' refusal to accept and follow Japanese religious customs. It reopened in 1982 and developed into a university in 1987. Maybe it was the opposition to the Japanese regime that underlined the University’s commitment to civil rights and world peace:
‘we cultivate Christian Humanity in students that enables them to practice a spirit of openness, sharing and service. We encourage students to be independent and open-minded….to share with others ….to serve others first’

I was impressed with the wide range of courses on offer: 
Langauges - English, Japanese, Chinese;   Social welfare; Theology; media and communication; Glocal (global and local) IT; college of Asian Civil Society; democracy and social movement institute - 

And also the resources centres available online: 

In addition there are a number of related institutes:  
Institute of Church Music, 
Center for Culture and Information Studies 
Institute for Study of theology;    
Management and Distribution Research Institute;    
The university has a library of 150,000 volumes, with 2000 undergraduates and 500 post graduates research students from Asia (including 100 theology students). 

The University has a good reputation for developing indigeous Asia thinking and has pioneered a lot of innovative work in Asia. One such emphasis is on leadership development in Asia-Pacific students from Korea Japan and China.  In addition windows have been 'opened' on India Philippines, China and Russia.

I was attending a presentation on vision of Asia Mission and Theology centre. Particularly impressive has been the new development  Masters in Asian NGO management (MAINS) in 2007 including  theology and sociology a development of their NGO studies course. It was also interesting to hear that a number of staff had stayed at CMS's Crowther Hall and studied at the University of Birmingham.

Sunghkonghoe University is also part of CUAC -  Colleges and Universities of the Anglican Communion.   I was also interested to see they are linked to other CUAC unverities, including 2 other East Asian universities I have visited:   St Johns University in Taiwan  and Poole Gaukin University in Osaka Japan 

Korean Hospitality is out of this world..... 

1 comment:

Mike said...

how do I get to you on easter tuesday. Cant seem to get to you on twitter. I am on it if you wish to follow (cant say its all that riveting haven't got the hang of it yet)