Su Yon Pak, EdD
Dr. Su Yon Pak is the Dean and Associate Professor of Integrative and Field-Based Education at Union Theological Seminary. In this hybrid faculty-administrator position, she envisions, creates, and oversees the curricular and co-curricular work field education, chaplaincy concentration, clinical pastoral education, life-long learning, ministerial formation, and combined courses inside Bedford Hills Correctional Facility. Prior to her current position, she was the Vice President for Institutional Advancement; and the Associate Dean for Student Life/ Director of Recruitment at Union. She is also a spiritual director grounded in contemplative traditions.
Native of South Korea, Dr. Pak immigrated to NYC at the age of 10. She has since lived in Scotland where she worked at Shakti Women’s Aid in Edinburgh, a women’s shelter and center for women of color. In 1993, Dr. Pak made her home in NYC and received her doctorate from the joint Teachers College – Union Theological Seminary program in Religion and Education.
Her life and research passion include: contemplative practices, chaplaincy education, the elderly and spirituality, women’s leadership, and integrative, embodied, and critical pedagogies. Dr. Pak’s publications include: Sisters in Mourning: Daughters Reflecting on Care, Loss, and Meaning with Rabbi Mychal Springer, (Cascade Press, 2021); “Queer Intimacies and Poetry of Friendship” with Alicia R. Forde in Inheritance Magazine, June, 2021; “Is Any-Body There?” in Religious Education, 2021; “Cultivating Moral Imagination in Theological Field Education” in Asian and Asian American Women in Theology and Religion: Embodying Knowledge (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020); edited Leading Wisdom: Asian, North American Asian Women Leaders, (Westminster John Knox Press, 2017); “Coming Home/Coming Out: Reflections of a Queer Family and the Challenge of Eldercare in The Diaspora” in The Journal of Theology and Sexuality, 2011; and Singing the Lord’s Song in a New Land: Korean American Practices of Faith, (Westminster John Knox, 2005).
Dr. Pak is the recipient of numerous fellowships, grants and awards including the Pastoral Care Leadership Award from the Jewish Theological Seminary, Louisville Institute Project Grant for Researchers, Cross Currents’ Coolidge Fellowship, Lilly Theological Research Grant, Valparaiso Project Grant on Faith Practices and Robert Wood Lynn Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Dr. Pak is on the board of Pacific Asian North American Asian Women in Theology and Ministry (PANAAWTM) and on the board of United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia. She is a Steering Committee member of AANATE (Association for Asian North American Theological Educators). She is an advisory board member of the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab and serves on the board of the Brooklyn Zen Center. Dr. Pak served as the chair of Professional Conduct Task Force and the chair the Status of Women in the Profession Committee of the American Academy of Religion (AAR). She has served as the co-chair of the Asian North American Religion, Culture and Society program unit and as a steering committee member of the Women and Religion Section of the AAR. She is a Ruling Elder of the First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York and in that role, was on the Pastor Nominating Committee (2019-2020), and chaired the 300th Anniversary Committee (2013-2016).