Reimagining the Office of the Korean Methodist Church: Insights from the Reformation
This thesis endeavors to understand and analyze the issue of hierarchy in the leadership structure of the Korean Methodist Church by using the lens of the Reformed Tradition. There are both pros and cons to its structure, for these not only helped the Korean Methodist Church to grow rapidly in a short period of time, but also brought about problems such as secularization or classism. Interestingly, in examining church history, the same issue of hierarchy emerges at the center of its leadership structure. Several factors have affected the development of a hierarchical structure within the church. Although these factors have varied depending on the cultural, periodical, and situational circumstances, the common thread is how the churches have utilized them to their benefit. This thesis first explores the original grounds and meanings of church offices by visiting their biblical and historical grounds. Second, it offers a broad survey of church history, especially in the early and medieval church. By examining church offices in history, one can see how these have developed and functioned to strengthen churches' power and authority, eventually bringing the 16th-century reformation of the church. The Korean Methodist Church, which emerged from this Reformed tradition, faces the same dynamic of church leadership structure. By exploring this dynamic, one may better understand how to structure church leadership more fruitfully.
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