Covenant Seminary is pleased to announce that Dr. Robert Kim, the Philip and Rebecca Douglass Chair of Church Planting and Christian Formation for the Seminary, was recently appointed to the board of Serge, the independent mission organization formerly known as World Harvest Mission. The Serge board voted unanimously to add Dr. Kim as a member at their April 2021 meeting.
Dr. Kim brings to this additional role a wealth of experience as a church planter and pastor as well as a mentor and trainer of pastors, church planters, and other mission-minded church leaders. As an Asian American whose grandmother came to know Christ through the work of Presbyterian missionaries in South Korea, Kim felt the missionary impulse while in high school in the States. In seminary he “came to see that missions was everywhere, not just overseas,” and he began to focus on church planting as a form of missions. This led to the planting of Gracepoint Church in Philadelphia, which he pastored for 12 years while also overseeing the planting of a daughter church. He later served as Coordinator of the Metro Philadelphia Church Planting Partnership, where he provided guidance, training, and resources for church planters in five presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church in America. In 2019 he stepped into his present role at Covenant, in which he oversees training, mentoring, and internship programs for the church planting track.
Kim sees his roles at Covenant and Serge as being closely related, both in vision and approach. Serge was founded more than thirty years ago by a PCA pastor and church planter Dr. Jack Miller. The organization was an outgrowth of Dr. Miller’s church planting efforts and the Sonship evangelism and discipleship training program he and his team developed. Serge’s vision for the centrality of the gospel, Kingdom-centered prayer, and a wholistic approach to reaching people in the name of Christ has helped it grow into a worldwide missions training and resourcing network with more than 300 missionaries serving in more than 26 countries. The relationship is demonstrated in the book by Covenant alumnus Michael Graham, Cheer Up!: The Life and Ministry of Jack Miller, published by P&R Publishing in 2020.
That same missionary and church planting impulse has been part of Covenant Seminary’s DNA from its founding 65 years ago. Covenant sends graduates into the field with Serge every year, as well as with other missionary and church planting agencies such as the PCA’s Mission to the World (MTW), Mission to North America (MNA), Reformed University Fellowship (RUF), and Presbyterian Mission International (PMI). Covenant graduates currently serve as pastors, church planters, missionaries, counselors, campus ministers, and other gospel-centered leaders in all 50 states and more than 40 countries globally.
Kim sees the Serge connection as a wonderful opportunity for the Seminary to continue forging strategic partnerships with like-minded organizations that build on each other’s strengths and bring greater benefits to the broader church: “We are in ongoing dialogue and planning with all our denominational agencies about how we can better serve the church together. We also work with the Missional Training Center—Phoenix, which functions as an extension site of Covenant, as well as with a variety of regional church planting networks and other similar agencies. Serge is one more link in that chain of Kingdom partnerships. All have different emphases but similar underlying principles. Ultimately we’re all working for the same thing—the spread of the gospel and the glory of God.”