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Meet Ji Eun (Mori) O

Ji Eun O, MDiv Student
Before coming to Garrett- Evangelical, I was just interested in studying theology. However, since I started to study the role of the United Methodist pastor in the United States, I have realized that I am not just a master’s degree student; I am a seminarian. I have learned a lot about how to love people and to serve God. My belief and calling have become clearer from attending classes and talking with my fellow classmates.

Degree program: Master of divinity

Hometown: Seoul, Korea

Personal information: I am one hundred percent Korean; however, I also lived in Japan. I have been strongly affected by Japanese culture, and I like to tell people I have a Japanese soul too. Though I am Korean, I feel like I am from both Korea and Japan. As an undergraduate, I majored in educational psychology. I also completed a master’s degree in clinical counseling psychology. Both degrees were completed at Seoul Women’s University.

Why did you choose Garrett-Evangelical: I chose Garrett-Evangelical because I heard the red shoes story. When I first visited, I attended community worship. There, I heard that wearing red shoes is one of Garrett- Evangelical’s graduation traditions. Students wear red shoes to remember and honor women theologians, like Georgia Harkness and Rosemary Radford Ruether. I heard that most of Garrett-Evangelical’s female graduate students and staff wear red shoes. As an Asian woman,

I wanted to participate in the tradition. To me, wearing red shoes means becoming a brave and open-hearted female theologian.

How has your faith been strengthened since attending Garrett-Evangelical: Before coming to Garrett- Evangelical, I was just interested in studying theology. However, since I started to study the role of the United Methodist pastor in the United States, I have realized that I am not just a master’s degree student; I am a seminarian. I have learned a lot about how to love people and to serve God. My belief and calling have become clearer from attending classes and talking with my fellow classmates.

Why would you recommend Garrett-Evangelical: First, it has the most beautiful campus. How many schools have a walking path along Lake Michigan for prayer and meditation? Garrett-Evangelical also has beautiful sheltered coves. Second, Garrett-Evangelical has expert professors. As an international student, I have found that the faculty is always willing to generously help students. Third, Garrett-Evangelical has a welcoming staff and passionate students. Because the staff has warmly welcomed me, I have had no difficulty settling in on campus. Also, I have met many students who are full of passion for mission. I’ve learned from them how to love God and people.

Future plans: During my studies, I want to learn how to be a bridge in the church. For example, I want to serve as a bridge between a senior pastor and his or her congregation or between Asian culture and Western culture. After I graduate, I want to be an ordained pastor in the United States. I want to make
a healthy and happy church for people. With my psychology background, I want to do pastoral care, and I also want to encourage marginal churches and help them fulfill their mission.