I had been wrestling with the idea of attending seminary for six years. Growing up in the Korean American church, seminary seemed to be a male-oriented endeavor. I made excuses, telling myself that education would be a better career path because that’s what my female peers studied. In retrospect, I believe my reluctance, in part, was due to a lack of female leaders in the church who I had witnessed on a similar path to seminary.
Consumed with Longing
No matter how many times I ran from the desire, it wouldn’t let up. The conviction to study His Word kept nagging at me constantly. In July of 2016, God shook me awake. I was on the train to the city, dreading the work day ahead. I could feel scales growing over my spiritual eyes; I didn’t like where I was headed. I began to read the Word for some guidance and focused in on Psalm 119. As the psalmist writes in Psalm 119:20, I wanted my “soul [to be] consumed with longing for [His] rules at all times.”
I began to weep. Where was my desire for Him? Where was my love for His commandments? Where was my love for His sheep? I asked Him, “Put me in a place where I will be consuming your Word at all times, Lord.” In just a few moments, the Spirit strengthened me to turn away from my complacent and temporal lifestyle and start taking real steps towards Him. My dead heart was revived to beat and burn with passion for His Word again. I quit my job that week, and He provided me with a new job in a Christian ministry. And finally, with encouragement and whole-hearted support from my husband, I took the leap.
I applied for the MA in Theological Studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and by God’s grace, I got in! I know it’ll be a financial burden on my family, and the intellectual muscles that had atrophied since 2012 will suddenly need to be stretched and challenged. I’m already feeling the weight of the upcoming late nights of essays and readings while working a full-time teaching job. My need for the Lord is never-ceasing and ever-growing, and I imagine as God continues to reveal Himself to me, I’ll become smaller and smaller in the light of His greatness, strength, and glory. And what a blessed place to be!
The application to Trinity was a mixture of faith and hope as I looked across the landscape of church leadership and rarely saw someone like me. My hope is that my contribution to the church community will be through the eyes of a girl who mustered up enough faith to obey the Lord. Despite my insecurity and lack of mentors in this area, I hope to learn through my studies as well as disciple and lead the next generation of female worshipers.