Joyce Shin


Why did you decide to pursue graduate studies at the University of Chicago Divinity School?

I considered the University of Chicago Divinity School mainly for two reasons.  First, I planned to pursue doctoral studies after completing an MDiv program and knew that I would want to pursue doctoral studies at the U of C.  Second, I wanted to conduct my field education at Fourth Presbyterian Church, which led me to consider highly Chicago.

What were the highlights of your experiences?  

For me, the coursework was the highlight of my experience.  Academic instruction is what I think the Divinity School does best, and it was a privilege to benefit from it.

What is your current profession and how did your degree prepare you for it?

I am an Associate Pastor at Fourth Presbyterian Church.  At the Divinity School I learned what one professor called “hermeneutic good will,” and this hermeneutic good will is what I put to use all the time in ministry.  I apply it to my exegesis of the Bible, to the theological insights that I appropriate from the history of Christian theology, to the history of the church and the particular church I serve, to my interfaith work, and my approach to multiculturalism in churches. 

How did the program and the wider University help you attain your goals?

Graduating with a degree from the Divinity School immediately opens doors to the vocation of ministry.  It has helped me to attain my goals by providing me with a life-long intellectual curiosity about what moves people to live meaningful and moral lives, how people integrate their many commitments, what different disciplines can contribute to each other in understanding reality and experience, and what values and beliefs have endured over the test of time.

What do you do in your non-professional life? 

I raise a daughter with my husband.  I wish that I could say that I have many hobbies in which I engage, but I cannot say this.  Life is full of the responsibilities that come with having a family and serving a church family.