Colloquium Information

“The realities facing Korean American youths: Understanding the role of youth leaders in the church”

Speaker: Josephine Kim, Ph.D., LMHC, NCC
Track: College students & pastors/leaders who serve youths

Description: Korean American youth are at great risk for psychological and emotional difficulties more than ever before. Instead of seeking professional help, many youth and their parents first turn to clergy or other leaders in the church as a means of finding support and understanding. Therefore, there is an urgent need for youth leaders in the church to become familiar with the current psychological state of Korean American youth, so they can help stifle the daunting statistics.

During this colloquium, attendees will find answers to the following important questions: 1. What are the societal and familial realities facing Korean American youth? 2. What psychological and emotional difficulties do they face? 3. What cultural factors prevent them from seeking professional help? and 4. What is the role of youth leaders in the church?


“Care of souls in context - An exploration of the pastoral care concerns in the Asian American church”

Speaker: John Huh, Ph.D. candidate
Track: Pastors/leaders who serve youths

Description: In this colloquium, we will explore particular pastoral concerns in the Asian American churches. What are the issues that we face as pastors when we try to care for others? Are there particular issues that challenge us as pastors working in an Asian American church? How do we need to respond to such concerns? In our efforts to answer these challenging questions, we will examine particular facts about Asian American family dynamics, potential links between our ministry and family, statistics regarding the current context of our vocation as caregivers, and our purpose and vision for pastoral counseling.


“Through the Looking Glass: See You See Me”

Speaker: Jae Hong, M.Div., LSW
Track: Pastors/leaders who serve youth

Description: Beyond the differences of age, gender, culture, and experience, there are uniform human needs we all desire satisfied. One of the most common and most intense needs we have is our desire to genuinely be heard and understood; we want affirmation that we are heard and validation that what we say matter. Open, genuine, and honest communication is the cornerstone to a healthy and life giving relationship; conversely, closed, insincere, and dishonest communication contributes to maladaptive silence and isolation.

In this colloquium, we will explore practical steps to create an intentional safe space for open communication for ourselves and our congregation through active listening and the usage of I-statements. We will learn to exercise and model a pragmatic posture of listening and speaking that allows the other to feel genuinely understood and also understand our own intentions in a clear and respectful way.


“1+1+1 = 3^x: Managing group dynamics through facilitation skills”

Speaker: J. Sophia Nam, Ed.M.
Track: Pastors/leaders who serve youth

Description: While youth workers often have no problem in holding meaningful conversations with youth one-on-one, what happens when that group expands to two, three, four or more members? We will together explore how to: 1. create safe space that invites honest dialogue; 2. facilitate healing conversations among members without the leader carrying too much of the burden; and 3. recognize and manage group dynamics.


“Masculinity: Your definition” (Male Only)

Speaker: Paul Kim, Ed. M.
Track: College students

Description: What is your definition of “Masculinity”? Through this colloquium, we will be identifying and evaluating our individual meaning of masculinity through group discussion and a viewing of a video clip from “Tough Guise: Violence, Media & the Crisis in Masculinity”. We will explore some of the societal stereotypes of masculinity and their influence over the various roles that males acquire throughout their life (i.e. student, father, and worker). Through this process, our desire is to work as a group to form a healthy definition of masculinity and to discuss some practical ways of applying this new definition into our daily lives, especially as Christian brothers.


“How to build bridges, not walls: Discovering the path to multicultural awareness”

Speaker: JK Park, M.A.
Track: College students

Description: Many have heard the old adage “know thyself,” but few really have grappled with the meaning behind these words. As you walk the journey of life, acquiring knowledge of oneself is essential to gaining a comprehensive understanding of who you are in relation to others. In this diverse world, filled with people who look, think, feel, and behave differently, discovering one´s self can often feel like traversing down a complicated beaten path. Even more, a society that places high expectations on what it means to be successful often forces an individual to start comparing oneself to another. Unfortunately, this leads many to look for differences in others in order to move ahead on the “ladder of opportunities” instead of lending a helping hand to “climb the ladder” together. We will discuss topics related to racism, discrimination, stereotypes, and prejudices and how these issues significantly influence life experience of all students, regardless of their racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds. We will also participate in group activities that will challenge our preconceived notions and provide us with a broader understanding of multicultural awareness. With the knowledge gained, we hope that your work with students will include breaking down walls of misunderstanding, bias, and fear, to building up bridges of empathy, affirmation, and curiosity. You will be pleasantly surprised to find that the path to understanding the self is significantly enhanced by the help and encouragement of those who may be very different from you.


“Getting to know depression: Not a mystery but a normal reaction to stress”

Speaker: Margaret Park, Ed. M.
Track: College students

Description: Depression is prevalent among Korean American youth, and while it is a normal reaction to stress or trauma, if not properly dealt with, it can have serious consequences. For various reasons, many youth are unable to recognize the first signs of depression, and it develops into a severe condition. However, youth ignore the severity of their condition and are reluctant to seek help. Korean culture has influenced how Korean-Americans conceptualize depression and display help-seeking behavior. Raising awareness on depression and the resources that are available can prevent harmful outcomes for youth.

During this colloquium, attendees will find answers to the following important questions: 1. What is depression and how can it be identified? 2. What are the consequences of not seeking help? 3. What can one do if he or she is depressed themselves or knows of someone who may be depressed?


“The ugly duckling: Unearthing the beauty within” (Females only)

Speaker: Catherine Hwang, Ed. M.
Track: College students

Description: Psalm 139:13-14 states “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful. I know that full well.”

As women, it is difficult to accept who we are and what we look like. So many times, we choose to believe in the definition of beauty that the world chooses to portray instead of the truths that are clearly illustrated in the Bible. Therefore, we seek fads, diets, exercise routines, and unhealthy eating habits that ultimately hurt our bodies and degrade God's handiwork in order to conform to the world's views on beauty. This colloquium focuses on understanding our identity as God's dearly loved daughters. In addition, we will discuss what it means to “know fully well” how wonderfully and intricately God shaped our bodies, despite the way we may think and feel about ourselves. Finally, we will spend time discussing how the way we perceive ourselves affects the way we perceive the world and our purpose in it.


“Why Can't We All Just Get Along?: The Korean-American Parent-Child Relationship”

Speaker: Jennifer Sohn, Ed. M.
Track: College students

Description: Korean American children and parents face the unique challenge of being bi-cultured in American culture; as a result, parenting styles can and will often reflect Korean ideals which can be in direct conflict with American ideals. As children, it can be difficult to realize that there are larger issues that impact the parents and their parenting styles, and it is easy to assume that parents act a certain way because the child is lacking. For parents, because there are other myriad issues that they must deal with, they may not always understand the conflict of growing up one way in the home versus one way outside of the home.

This colloquium will address the following issues: 1) How does Korean culture influence parenting style? 2) What secondary issues may parents be dealing with with their transition to American culture? 3) What are the different types of parenting styles? 4) Where do KA children and parents most often disagree? 5) How does parenting affect who you are and why you react to circumstances the way you do? 6) How can you, as a KA child, understand your parents better? 7) What strategies can you use to strengthen and understand better your relationships with your parents? 8) What would you like to pass on or discontinue passing on to future generations?


“Are we the model minority?: Uncovering the model minority stereotype”

Speaker: Grace Kim, Ed. M.
Track: College students

Description: Among the many stereotypes that are projected on various groups of people in America, Asian Americans are often viewed as the “model minority”. Due to the pervasive “model minority myth”, many see all Asians to be hard-working, good at math, highly educated, economically successful, and free of any emotional or psychological troubles. Korean Americans are frequently bombarded by such images in the media and often internalize the stereotype. Due to this myth, Asian Americans have become the “invisible minority”.

This colloquium will address the following questions: 1) What is the model minority myth? 2) How did the myth come about? 3) Is the model minority stereotype really that bad? 4) What are the effects of such a stereotype? 5) How has the model minority stereotype affected you personally? 6) What can we do about this existing stereotype?


“Tackling taboos: Demystifying learning disorders in Korean American youth”

Speaker: Elizabeth B. Kim, Ed. M.
Track: College students

Description: Korea´s obsession with perfection can be most evident in academic and social settings where the pressure to be perfect is richly embedded in the historical context of the culture. In the U.S., Korean-Americans face both media attention on disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and dyslexia, as well as cultural taboos that restrict acceptance or discussion of such disorders. Due to cross-cultural conflicts as well as general misunderstanding of developmental disorders, many youths have been overlooked as “lazy” or “rebellious” as opposed to receiving the attention and care that they need to address their psychological challenges.

This colloquium will address the following questions: Why are we obsessed with making children the best? What defines “best” in Korean culture? What is the cultural roots of this problem? Why do we continue to stigmatize disorders instead of proactively try to do something about it? What can we do as people who work with youths to destigmatize these taboos?


“What prevents us from seeking professional help? Korean American's help-seeking patterns”

Speaker: Shinye Kim, Ed. M.
Track: College students

Description: Asian Americans have been known to be less willing to seek counseling service when it's needed because of a lack of information on resources and some cultural prejudice about counseling (stigma), etc. In the presentation, I would like to introduce some counseling-related information/resources for Korean Americans and also want to mention how counseling helps/works. I would like to introduce some cultural differences between Korean parents and Korean American children with some examples from my own experience (and some other Korean yoo hak saeng's experiences) so that we can understand each other better by understanding each other´s culture better.

This colloquium will address the following questions: 1) what are the reasons for not seeking services - in fact, has anyone ever felt they needed some help but kept themselves from seeking help? If so, what kept them from finding the help they needed? Has this happened to you? 2) What contributes to the stigma, and where does it come from? For example, how do parents or family members view seeking help? Do they know people who could benefit from seeking help?


“What motivates your life? Motivation and identity development”

Speaker: Soohyun Baek, Ed. M.
Track: College students

Description: According to research on achievement motivation, most Asians are motivated to succeed in order to meet others´ expectations, whereas their Western peers achieve to demonstrate their own ability. For Asian Americans, the external pressure to meet others´ expectations is particularly strong since they are expected to show excellence in certain academic fields according to the “model minority myth.” To be externally motivated is important and sometimes necessary to accomplish academic goals. However, it can also hinder the development of our authentic identity because it could prevent us from focusing on what we really want to pursue. Thus, in order to develop our authentic identity, it is important to carefully listen to and follow our inner voice.

During this colloquium, attendees will find answers to the following important questions: 1) how differently are motivational orientations associated with Asian Americans identity development? 2) how can we find our authentic identity? 3) how do we go beyond from here to live a life that God has planned for us?


“Colors of my soul: Cultural identity development in Korea, America, and beyond”

Speaker: Yuen Mi Amy Cheon, Ed. M.
Track: College students

Description: The moment we are born, we are continuously exposed to many kinds of cultures whether we choose it or not. We are different combinations of different set of cultures. During this colloquium, we will explore what it means to be Korean, American, both, or neither. We will also explore what Third Culture Kids are. The goal of this colloquium is to provide an opportunity to stop and look into ourselves and realize where we are and what we have become through understanding the cultures that color our souls. This colloquium attempts to find what is at the core of our identity when all the cultures of the world have been washed away. Finally, we seek to find our identity not only in culture, but ultimately in God.


“Happily ever NOW: A story about living a journey of faith”

Speaker: Sky Kim, B. Arch.
Track: College students

Description: Many of us have a hardship in our lives that feels like it will never end. Whether the struggle is physical, emotional, or spiritual, God tells us to persevere and live by faith for He has promised us something great in the end. Now, what does it really mean to live by faith? What happens when it´s just too hard, and your faith is shaken, broken, and lost?

This colloquium will be a personal testimony of God´s faithfulness shown in the life of a young girl as she determined to live by faith while being raised in a broken family.

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