behalf of Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry, Dean Mark S.
Markuly, PhD is proud to announce that Dr. Mark Chung Hearn has accepted the
position of Director of Contextual Education in the upcoming 2013-2014 academic
year. Dr. Mark Hearn, is a second-generation Korean American and the youngest
child of immigrant parents. He grew up in southern California as a “pastor’s
kid” in an immigrant, Nazarene church and learned early from his parents to see
and serve people and their needs. Dr. Hearn completed undergraduate degree and
Master of Divinity Degree from two strong Evangelical institutions in the
United States – Point Loma Nazarene University and Asbury Theological Seminary,
as well as acquiring a Ph.D. in Practical Theology with an emphasis in
Religious Education and Spiritual Formation from Claremont School of Theology. Dr.
Hearn wrote his dissertation on the social construction of men and their
spirituality, and has ministered to all ages in ethnic-specific, multicultural,
and multiracial contexts throughout the United States as a pastor, educator,
director, consultant, contemporary worship leader, speaker, and volleyball
coach. He is an active leader and member of a Korean American United Methodist
church in Pasadena, CA.Dr. Hearn has taught courses in practical theology, religious education,
and ethnic studies. He has published and presented on issues of colorblind
racism and theology, multicultural education, men and spirituality, and sports.
His current interests include issues of diversity, women and men’s studies,
contemporary Evangelicalism, and spiritual formation through embodied
practices. He received the Presidential Award from Claremont School of Theology
which is given to the top PhD graduate for academic excellence. He was also
awarded the John Dempster Graduate Fellowship from the United Methodist Church,
the highest academic award given for intellectual excellence, personal
qualities, clarity of spiritual purpose, and commitment to ministry and the
preparation of pastoral leadership. In his spare time, Dr. Hearn enjoys spending time with his wife and
daughter, listening to music, reading fiction, and playing board games, the
guitar, and most sports. Dr.
Hearn will have responsibility for one of the most unique aspects of the
graduate student experience at Seattle University's School of Theology and
Ministry – its approach to experiential and "Contextual Education." The school
believes that students bring their past, present and future to the table in the
learning experience and that it is critical that they examine and critique the
contexts in which they have been formed and are learning. This foundational
perspective in the curriculum takes required internships and practicums to
another level of depth and integration, requiring students to holistically
engage all they are learning, all they know, and all they hope to become. This
preparation results in a profound process of both personal and professional
development that enriches students in unexpected ways.
month, we asked Dr. Hearn some questions about this transition and the new role
that he will assume.
drew you to Seattle University and the School of Theology and Ministry?A: There are
two answers to this question. First, the Jesuit emphasis on educating and
forming the whole person is particularly appealing. I was first introduced to
the Jesuit university experience when I was an assistant coach at another
sister institution. It became quickly clear that the ethos of the coaching
staff and program valued certain ideals more than winning at all costs. The way
the head coach interacted with her staff and players spoke volumes to me. I
have observed the same with my exposure to Seattle University and the School of
Theology and Ministry. From the students to the Dean, all have been generous,
smart, engaged, and collegial; I truly sense that the people here are concerned
about a person’s whole being. Second, Seattle University and the School of Theology and Ministry are
committed to this way of education for the purposes of making a more just and
humane world. I believe the conversations that integrate theological and
spiritual learning with real life issues are vital to this overarching
vocation. The School of Theology and Ministry addresses people and their needs
right where they are and as a practical theologian and church leader, I can’t
think of anything more exciting than to be with others in community who are
committed to fulfilling this call.
are you looking forward to in this role? A: As the
Director of Contextual Education, I look forward to learning stories of the persons with whom I will be working. I
think stories have the power to heal, change, and transform not only
individuals, but also the relations between individual people and whole
societies. Furthermore, I look forward to learning the stories of the partnerships with whom I will be
working. Churches, non-profits, hospitals and other institutions also have a
story behind them. There’s purpose as to why they exist and so I want to hear
what they do, who they are, and how we can help one another flourish in mutual
giving and learning. Finally, I look forward to working with Seattle University’s School of
Theology and Ministry and its partners in forming deep and authentic leaders. A
fast-changing world needs leaders who can reflect well, discern wisely, and
give people a reason to trust. My hope, therefore, is to administrate and teach
well, and to be an approachable person whom people can trust during these
formative years at Seattle U.
there anything else you would like to share as a quote or reflection moving
into this learning community?A: One of my
favorite authors, Parker Palmer, sums up best in one of his books that we teach who we are. As I think more on
this simple reflection, I am excited about the possibilities that lay ahead in
engaging my whole self with other people’s whole selves in a collaborative
learning community. I am really looking forward to meeting everyone there!
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