Meet Chanje (CJ) Woo
Master of Divinity
I was born in Korea and had never lived outside Korea, except for traveling, until I finished my third year of college in my early 20s. Then I lived in Sydney, Australia, for about five years and graduated from college after returning to Korea. I earned a bachelor’s degree in theology. I like both listening to music and playing music, and I also like snowboarding. Since I started my career as an assistant at one of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s (GBHEM) Asian branches, my relationship with The United Methodist Church has formed, which become a secure link for me to start studying at Garrett-Evangelical last September.
Why did you decide to attend seminary and Garrett-Evangelical in particular?
I worked at a conference organized by GBHEM. In the process, I was able to meet the presidents and deans of Methodist-related universities, and I realized my vocation to continue my studies and become a pastor in The United Methodist Church and build a community of love in Christ.
What are you enjoying most about your seminary experience so far?
I love the faculty members who are continually trying to provide new perspectives and hermeneutics, friends who study with me through hard times to find our vocations, and the various dynamics that are taking place in us. In other words, I love the community called Garrett-Evangelical. It sometimes means more than a building or an institution, but rather a co-existence of diversity centered on the love of Christ. It does not try to defend the privilege one has, but it is harmoniously expressed when we share so that every voice can be heard and we do not dismiss the different voices as noise.
How has your faith been strengthened since attending Garrett-Evangelical?
For a long time, I believed the heart of Christianity was in establishing and maintaining an exclusive identity and position from other faith practices and societies. But now, after studying at Garrett-Evangelical, I have come to believe the heart of Christianity is all of the activities in the kin-dom of God, wherever we are, and with whomever, by following the teachings of Jesus, and respecting diversity as it is, and in building loving communities.
Where do you see Christ leading you after seminary?
After seminary, I see myself ministering to a local church as a pastor. Also, I imagine it would be a great pleasure for me to be a member of a UMC-affiliated organization and work for various missions. No matter which direction God leads me, I will be trained at Garrett-Evangelical to accept it as joy, and I will practice it day by day to take it as contentment and to be thankful for wherever and whatever I may be.