Growing up in South Korea, Dr. Jong Gil Lee was surrounded by the cultural of influences of Buddhism and Confucianism. In fact, he never heard the name of Jesus until he was eight or nine years old. But a simple invitation changed everything.
There were no Christian churches in the area. But, one day, a woman in our village invited me to her church far away from the town. There was a kind of revival meeting, and it was the first time I heard the biblical stories. I didn’t understand most of the teaching and preaching, but I still remember the feeling that church was the place that I needed to be. After that, I tried to attend church whenever possible.
As he grew older, Dr. Lee experienced what he calls a “time of angst.” He knew he was looking for something to provide purpose in life, but his studies in literature and philosophy only offered temporary relief. During college, though, he began to understand what he had been hearing in church for years. And when those pieces came together, he found the answers he was seeking.
During my college years, I experienced regeneration. I came to understand the truth of Christian faith. I read the whole Bible repeatedly. I practiced prayer regularly. I participated in the Bible classes and discipleship programs. Going through all these steps, I became convinced that I was called to full-time Christian ministry.
So, in 1993, Dr. Lee entered the Korean Baptist Theological Seminary. A few years later, he and his wife, Aerhan (Erin) moved their family to the United States to further his education. And, in 1997, he arrived as a student at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College.
Under the influence of mentors like Drs. Jim Shaddix and Jerry Barlow, Dr. Lee immersed himself in the discipline of pastoral ministry and the art of expository preaching. And, after earning his Ph.D. in 2003, he became a senior pastor in Arkansas. In time, he began teaching Korean students at NOBTS and Leavell College; and, at the suggestion of former Provost Steve Lemke, Dr. Lee helped launch a doctor of ministry program for the Korean Theological Institute (KTI).
With only a few months of preparation and advertisement, the first KDMin seminar and workshop began in the winter of 2011 with a cohort of seven students. Since then, KDMin has grown to more than 70 students in its peak.
Today, this program is literally making an impression for the Kingdom around the world. In addition to in-person and online studies in the United States, the KDMin has attracted students from South Korea, China, the Middle East, and Africa. Through an synchronous program approved by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), location no longer poses an obstacle for students seeking the exceptional theological training for which NOBTS and Leavell College is known.
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College exists to prepare servants who will walk with Christ, proclaim His truth, and fulfill His mission. Dr. Jong Lee and so many of his colleagues passionately support this commitment to students every single day. They understand the responsibility of training leaders who will faithfully share God’s Word—and the obligation of those with pastoral experience to become mentors for younger leaders.
They pour themselves into their calling. But the simple truth is, they can’t do it alone. NOBTS and Leavell College depends on faithful partners like you to invest in our mission of preparing students from every context to fulfill the Great Commission at every opportunity. As Dr. Lee has said,
Financial support for NOBTS and Leavell College is a major way for donors to invest for the Kingdom of God. When I was a student at NOBTS, many classmates and friends were financially challenged, but they finished their studies with the help of generous donors. After graduation, some became pastors and ministers. Some began working for various agencies. And some became missionaries. Today, they all play a leading role in their ministry field for the Kingdom. So, those donations made in the past were not wasted.
Along with Dr. Lee, I urgently encourage you to consider how you can financially support the work of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College. Whether you give a little or a lot, your investment will make a tremendous difference in the lives of students today and in the lives of people they will reach in years to come. You also will be encouraging faithful professors like Dr. Jong Lee as they train new generations of leaders for God’s glory.
Thank you in advance for supporting New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College. We appreciate it more than we could ever say.
God bless you and keep you,
P.S.— How will you support the ongoing mission and ministry of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College? Please consider making a gift to Providence Fund today.