Trinity Evangelical Divinity School is blessed with incredible professors who mentor and grow students across all disciplines. Get to know Dr. Jonathan Kim, our Director of the DMin program and Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology who has taught at Trinity since 2021 and served with Wycliffe Bible Translators for 20 years.
Dr. Jonathan Kim, Director of the DMin program and Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology
Q. What makes you passionate about your field?
A. I grew up in South Korea as a Christian, and at one point I thought, “Okay, God. I have one life to live, and I want to do something that will last forever.” Looking back, that’s really weird for a child to think! But by God’s grace, I realized that was the case. I wasn’t going to mess with the one chance I got. To know what the Word of God said and to live it out accordingly flowed very naturally from that desire.
Q. What is a misconception about your field you would like to correct?
A. I believe that the word theology has a connotation of loftiness. It sounds very distant and inaccessible to the layperson. But I think every follower of Jesus Christ should be a theologian in his or her own right. As soon as you read your Bible and interpret it, you are acting as a theologian!
Q. What was your college experience?
A. I went to Prairie College in Canada, in a little town by the Canadian Rockies, where my BA degree was Theology. After that I returned to Toronto, which I consider my hometown, and finished my MDiv there at Tyndale Seminary. Then I went to Langley, near Vancouver, to finish another Masters degree called a Master of Applied Linguistics and Exegesis. After being involved in missions for a period of time, I came to Trinity from 2009-2013 to get my PhD.
“Integrating faith and life begins when people themselves connect to each other, whether that happens in or out of the classroom. Learning should not be equated to solely cognitive development. Our absolute devotion to Christ has to be spread out; it needs to be present in our minds, our hearts, and our hands and feet.”
Q. What drew you to Trinity?
A. Trinity has a lot to offer. There’s no doubt. We have tremendous faculty, tremendous credentials, and tremendous students. My position as Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program has both, a very practical and a very academic aspect to it, which is perfect. I would like to use it to focus on catering our wonderful resources directly to churches. My passion is bringing academics and practitioners together to serve the church more effectively.
Q. What can you be found doing when you’re not on the job?
A. I enjoy family bonding a lot and love hiking with my wife. We have three adult children. I like to sing and play guitar at times. Reading in a coffee shop while listening to soft jazz music is something else I enjoy. Chatting with my friends and colleagues over a cup of tea is also great.
Q. What is something you don’t think your students would guess about you?
A. Well, I happen to speak five languages: Korean, English, Russian, Azerbaijani, and Udi. I also have lived or traveled in the United States, Canada, Russia, Azerbaijan, Dubai . . . somewhere between 20-25 countries in all! I have a very different and varied background.