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Korean Book Collection Donation Enhances School of Theology Holdings

by University Relations

The donation of 2,000 Korean books belonging to the late Paul Jin Kyung Chung ’58, D.D., Litt.D., significantly enhances the School of Theology’s unique blend of cultural, spiritual, and literary resources. Korean students comprise 30 percent of the school’s total enrollment, primarily in the Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry programs offered bilingually at the Los Angeles Regional Center. These volumes not only give students the advantage of studying theology in their native language, but they also allow emerging scholars to experience a connection to Chung, a beloved spiritual leader.

Often called the “Billy Graham of Korea,” Chung began his longtime relationship with APU when he came to the U.S. in 1956 to earn his bachelor’s degree. Cornelius P. Haggard, Th.D., then president of Azusa Pacific College, not only granted Chung an essential scholarship, but also mentored and befriended him. That dynamic partnership sparked the thriving relationship between Azusa Pacific and the Korean community that continues today. Haggard and his successors traveled regularly to Korea to encourage the thousands of Christians shepherded by Chung and his fellow pastors. In 2007, President Jon R. Wallace, DBA, addressed more than 100,000 at the Olympic Stadium in Seoul for the Holiness Church centennial year event, and Chung, who became senior pastor of the Shin Chon Evangelical Holiness Church, Korea’s largest church serving more than 10,000 members, returned often to APU as a visiting professor well into his mid-80s.

“Considering the high cost of books and the fact that APU has two theology programs taught in Korean, we are immensely blessed to receive Dr. Paul Chung’s collection, which also includes his writings and sermons,” said Paul Gray, Ed.D., Th.M., dean of university libraries. “It is an honor to preserve this rich treasure and make it accessible for faculty, students, and preachers around the world.”

“Dr. Chung represented Christianity to many Koreans,” said John S. Park, Ph.D., special advisor to the president and professor of graduate theology and ethics, who enjoyed a father-son-like relationship with Chung. “His books, along with his handwritten notes and other personal items, bring greater insight into the heart and mind of this godly man, cultivate a deeper understanding of the Korean Christian culture and its value in the Kingdom, and inspire future generations to lead with the passion and compassion that he so humbly modeled.”

Originally published in the Fall '12 issue of APU Life.