Meet Thomas Yang
Hometown: Glenview, IL
Home Church & Denomination: Trinity United Methodist Church (Wilmette, IL)
Degrees: Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Religion, Illinois Wesleyan University (2010)
Garrett-Evangelical Degree Program/Year: Candidate for Master of Divinity with a concentration in Theology(2014)
I am a second-generation Korean-American and proud of both my ethnic and nationalistic identities. Aside from the rigors of academia and congregational needs from my field education site, I prefer spending my free time outdoors and being active. I enjoy running and playing volleyball. In fact, I ran my first marathon this summer. I also helped organize a free open gym, which provides access for people in the community to socialize, gather, and play volleyball and basketball.
I heard the beginnings of my calling to seminary, and ministry, in college. My background in the humanities primed me to critically think about God, the Church, and Christian living. Life took a series of twists and turns, and I found myself working in children’s and youth ministries. The genuine questions proposed by curious students resonated with me and fueled my enthusiasm for nurturing a healthy and formative spiritual environment. As I reflected upon these life experiences, my calling into ministry clarified.
Attraction to Garrett-Evangelical:
I was attracted to Garrett-Evangelical’s emphasis on preparing individuals for ministry without neglecting the value of a solid theological education. Upon arriving to Garrett-Evangelical, I was impressed with the community’s efforts in valuing and fostering hospitality to its students and faculty; the sense of community and hospitality truly is palpable. Each semester, I come to appreciate more and more the meticulous thought and care that professors give to the classroom experience. I am encouraged by their dedication and desire for their students to integrate their education to their life and ministry settings.
I am currently in the ordination process in the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church and look forward to serving the parishes in my conference.