Meet Kina Youn
Master of Theological Studies
Rev. Kina Youn is a second year Master of Theological Studies student, with a specialization in Religion, Personality, and Culture, at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Kina now likes to call Evanston his home. Kina had lived in Evanston for a time when he was a child and now, he has returned to Evanston with his wife and son. Just as he used to ride his bicycle with his father in front of the Maple apartment building, he is now able to ride with his son, too. As a result, Evanston feels just like home to Kina.
Prior to his time at Garrett, Kina earned his Master of Divinity from Seoul Theological Seminary. Following his graduation from seminary, Kina was ordained as a pastor in South Korea. Following his ordination, Kina enrolled in the Master of Arts in Pastoral Care and Counseling program at Garrett. After graduating, Kina decided to continue his studies with a research emphasis, thus enrolling in the Master of Theological Studies program at Garrett with a specialization in Religion, Personality, and Culture.
Kina first experienced a call into ministry when he was eighteen years old. God had given Kina a vulnerable heart for minority communities who suffer within this world. This vulnerable heart for people is what led Kina toward becoming a pastor. He wanted to spread the great news of Jesus Christ to everyone, equally. He knew allowing prejudice to prevent people from sharing the gospel message of Jesus Christ is wrong. As a result of this conviction, Kina felt called to learn how to rethink and reorganize his theological thoughts and perspectives toward a more loving ministry.
While studying at Garrett, Kina learned how to describe that we are all one body in Christ. Kina’s time at Garrett enabled him to practice being one body in Christ with everyone. Garrett clarified that being different does not equate to being wrong, but that diversity and difference is a beautiful gift from God. We are one body in Christ made complete through many different parts. Kina came to this transformative conclusion in part through the diverse richness of cultures represented in the student, staff, and faculty body at Garrett. Every interaction Kina had with his colleagues was fruitful because he learned how to see the world, and God, from different perspectives. Kina attributed his growth as a person of faith to these diverse experiences of what it means to be Christian; to be the people of God.
One particularly powerful experience was studying with Dr. Rolf Nolasco, professor of pastoral theology at Garrett. Dr. Nolasco’s classes always challenged Kina to be more thoughtful. Kina recalled one particular class when Dr. Nolasco said, “If you cannot understand yourself, you cannot understand others.” This moment touched Kina’s heart because he saw the vital importance of taking time to understand ourselves. By taking time to better understand himself, Kina was able to develop a more vulnerable heart when interacting with others.
Kina plans to bring all his learnings from Garrett into his future ministry. He has learned how to be more vulnerable and hospitable with people through the model of Jesus Christ. In any ministry or pastoring setting that Kina finds himself, he knows that he will pastor with the heart of Jesus. Garrett has helped Kina ground himself as a pastor who cares for, and loves, all people.