Portrait of Bishop Young Jin Cho

Bishop Young Jin Cho

Co-Mentor: Bishop Cho Scholars: Cross-Cultural Ministry & Spiritual Leadership

Bishop Cho Scholars: Cross-Cultural Ministry & Spiritual Leadership

Bishop Cho’s focus group aims to provide students with theological understanding and spiritual leaders’ critical reflections on cross-cultural ministry. Students will learn the benefits and challenges of cross-cultural ministry as they share their struggles to resist racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, ageism, xenophobia, religious prejudice, and other forms of oppression.

Intercultural competence is crucial to being an effective leader in the post-pandemic world as the global exchange of ideas, products, and faith increases due to information communication technology. Students will develop a plan based on the design thinking process for understanding, appreciating, and interacting with people without biases. In addition, they will be invited to go deeper in their spiritual lives by reflecting on the history of servant Christian leadership as a form of spiritual practice. Coaching questions and case studies will be used to enhance the practical application of theoretical clarity. The participants in this program will be equipped with an in-depth theological understanding of cross-cultural ministry undergirded by cultural intelligence, humility, and spiritual maturity.

The focus group mainly targets Korean and Korean American ministers who speak both languages. Students will have a transformative encounter with Bishop Young Jin Cho, who has been leading national and international spiritual leadership formation programs across different races and cultures throughout the program. In particular, Bishop Cho has been a spiritual leader by leading spiritual leadership programs for Korean-American ministers and churches. Bishop Cho is the first Korean-American elected to the episcopacy in the Southeastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church. The focus group will use a hybrid teaching method, including small in-person group meetings and online learning.

Learn more about United’s Doctor of Ministry program


  • D. Min., Wesley Theological Seminary (1985)
  • M. Div., Wesley Theological Seminary (1982)
  • Th. M., Methodist Theological University, Seoul, Korea (1977)
  • Th. B., Methodist Theological University, Seoul, Korea (1974)


Bishop Young Jin Cho is a retired Bishop of The United Methodist Church in which he served from 2012-2016. He was senior pastor of Korean United Methodist Church of Greater Washington (KUMCGW) in McLean, for 22 years before being appointed superintendent of the Arlington District in 2005. Cho has served the church and the community in various capacities, including president of the Korean Wesley Foundation, president of Partner’s Church Association for the renewal of the Korean United Methodist Church, Board of Ordained Ministry, Board of Discipleship and Commission on Ethnic Minority Local Church Concerns.


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