|Chung and Kang, the 2012 Distinguished Alumni, will speak at graduation May 19|
Rev. Dr. ChangBok Chung and Rev. Dr. Joseph Kang, who have been named the 2012 Distinguished Alumni, will address graduates at the San Francisco Theological Seminary commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 19. Chung and Kang earned Doctor of the Science of Theology degrees from SFTS in 1978 and 1981, respectively. Their addresses will mark their returns to San Anslemo since both have had ministries outside the United States.
The commencement ceremony for all new SFTS graduates will take place at 9:30 a.m. at Bouick Field in San Anselmo. Rev. Dr. James L. McDonald, SFTS president, will deliver the charge to students.
On Saturday, May 12, there will be a graduation ceremony in Pasadena, celebrating the accomplishments of SFTS Southern California students. The ceremony will be especially poignant because this will be the last class to graduate since the closure of the SFTS Southern California campus in 2011. The Northern California campus continues to thrive and enroll new students from throughout the nation and the world.
Chung has served as president of Hanil University and Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Jeonju, Korea for the past eight years. He will retire later this year after more than 30 years in theological education.
During his time at Hanil Seminary, Chung helped the institution become debt-free and established it as an outstanding theological institution respected throughout the world. He has worked tirelessly to see Hanil Seminary become a vital center for global mission work, a champion for the role of women in the church and theological education, and a leader in welcoming disabled students to seminary.
Chung’s doctoral thesis was entitled A Study of Preaching with Particular Reference to the Korean Cultural Context. After graduating from SFTS, Chung remained in California until 1980, serving as organizing pastor for Daesung Presbyterian Church in Mountain View, Calif. He returned to Korea to teach theology at Presbyterian College and Theological Seminary for 24 years until he was named president at Hanil in 2004. In addition to his numerous academic and church responsibilities, he also served as adjunct faculty at SFTS in 1985.
After earning a doctorate from SFTS, Kang was invited by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Board of World Missions to serve as a missionary professor at Zomba Theological College in Zomba, Malawi in 1990. He taught Old and New Testament at the Presbyterian seminary for 10 years.
Kang spent the next 11 years teaching biblical studies in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia. He was at Moscow Presbyterian Theological Academy for two years, until the PC(USA) Mission Board offered Kang the opportunity to teach Old and New Testament in St. Petersburg at the ELCROS (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russia and Other States) Theological Seminary. He retired from the ecumenical Lutheran seminary in 2011.