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A Brief History of the Seminary

 

In 1974, the Young Nak Presbyterian Church began the Theological Seminary in Southern California. Because of the growing demand for ministerial leadership to serve the gradually expanding Korean communities throughout the United States, the General Assembly asked that this school broaden its vision as the official school of the Western Presbytery. This broader vision was for a three-year seminary to prepare Koreans and Korean-Americans for pioneering their own churches in the States and throughout the world. Among the concerned scholars and ministers who helped develop this vision were Dr. Sung Rak Kim and Rev. Keyong Kim, who both later served as presidents of the institution. Thus, this broader school opened as the Presbyterian School of Theology in Southern California. The first class, with six students, opened on the evening of September 19, 1977. The school has since changed its name four times. In 1987, the name became Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Southern California. It became KPCA Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 1989. In 2003, the school was named KPCA College and Theological Seminary. Lastly, in 2009 the changed its name to Presbyterian Theological Seminary in America.

 

Upon this humble beginning, God blessed the school with further organizational and financial support from the General Assembly of the Korean Presbyterian Church Abroad.  To facilitate better management, a Board of Directors was formed. Some twenty plus Korean churches have regularly donated management funds to the school. We are proud of how PTSA graduates have been serving to fulfill the Great Commission as pastors, missionaries, evangelists, and teachers in the continents of Asia and the Americas.

 

The Presbyterian Theological Seminary in America was incorporated in 1981 as a for-profit institution. The school was re-incorporated as a non-profit institution and granted non-profit status from the IRS in 1984. The school was again re-incorporated in 1989 as a for-profit corporation. In 1997, the Bureau for Private Post-secondary and Vocational Education (BPPVE) granted the school authorization to grant degrees in California. Presbyterian Theological Seminary in America was licensed from the BPPVE) of the State of California under the California Education Code(s) 94900 and 94915. (School No. 1919861). The degrees authorized included Bachelor of Theology and Master of Divinity. In 2000, we were re-incorporated as a non-profit institution. The BPPVE was renamed as the (BPPE) and reauthorized all degrees, plus the ELSP on January 21, 2011.

 

Presbyterian Theological Seminary in America was approved to issue I-20 Forms in 1999 and re-approved to issue SEVIS I-20 Forms in 2003 and 2013.Our school achieved “applicant status” with the ABHE in 2002. In 2006, Presbyterian Theological Seminary in America was granted “candidate status” with the Commission on Accreditation of the ABHE, and on February 24, 2011 PTSA achieved full accreditation from the ABHE.

 

Under the leadership of Dr. Hee Min Park, the retired pastor of Young Nak Presbyterian Church, there were 350 graduates. Dr. Hee Min Park was the president of Presbyterian Theological Seminary in America from 1990 to 2001.

 

Dr. Jung Woon Suh, who was the president of the Presbyterian College and Theological Seminary, became Presbyterian Theological Seminary in America’s full time president in 2002, leading Presbyterian Theological Seminary in America through a challenging transition time to a new Santa Fe Springs facility and under his leadership increasing the number of our graduates to be over 440 graduates. Dr. Jung Woon Suh continued Presbyterian Theological Seminary in America’s scholarly pursuit to be fully accredited by the ABHE.

 

In January of 2008, we welcomed the new president, Dr. In Soo Kim. Dr. In Soo Kim came with an extensive knowledge and research on the subject of Korean Church/Church History. Under his leadership, KPCA College & Theological Seminary changed its name to Presbyterian Theological Seminary in America (PTSA), and moved into its new Santa Fe Springs facility in April, 2009.

 

In January, 2012, Dr. Sang Meyng Lee was inaugurated as the current president of PTSA.