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Site of California shooting is Korean Christian college
The scene at Oikos University on Monday.
April 2nd, 2012
06:39 PM ET

Site of California shooting is Korean Christian college

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - A California college where authorities say that seven people were shot dead on Monday is a religious school that caters to the burgeoning Korean American Christian community.

The number-one objective of Oikos University, in Oakland, California, is "to demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the Bible and an understanding of Christian doctrine," according to the school's website. Its number-two objective: "To develop an appreciation for the Korean and Korean-American church denomination heritage."

The school is accredited to offer just a half-dozen degrees, according to California's bureau for Private Postsecondary Education, including an associate's degree in nursing, a bachelor's in biblical studies, a master's in Asian medicine and a doctorate in ministry.

"Oikos University has a very specific goal and mission to offer education programs in the area of religious studies, music, and vocational nursing," the school's site says.

Andrew Sung Park, a professor of theology and ethics at United Theological Seminary in Ohio, says that Korean-American Christianity probably represents the fastest-growing part of the Asian American religious landscape.

The community is largely a legacy of American evangelizing in South Korea, which is now home to the world's largest Christian church.

Most of 1.3 million Korean Americans are Christian, Park said, and they generally subscribe to an evangelical Protestant version of the faith.

"There is a saying that when Koreans get together in the United States, they establish churches first," says Park, who is Korean-American. "Some other Asians are more concerned with businesses or finances, but Koreans care about religion and about Christianity."

The school's focus on Oriental medicine, including classes on acupuncture and herbal medicine, speaks to the Koreans' holistic outlook on life, blending Eastern approaches to health and medicine with Western religion, even mixing Christianity with Korea's shamanistic traditions, Park says.

"Koreans are very much interested in healing, faith healing, medical healing, spiritual healing... there is a oneness," he says.

Oikos University, which takes its name from the Greek word for "house," espouses a literal view of the Bible, which the school's site describes as "infallibly and uniquely authoritative and free from error of any sort in all matters."

The site promotes "the literal existence of Adam and Eve as the progenitors of all people, the literal fall and resultant divine curse on the creation, the worldwide cataclysmic deluge, and the origin of nations and languages at the tower of Babel."

"We believe the realities of heaven and hell," the site says.

–CNN's Eric Marrapodi contributed to this story.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: California • Christianity • Violence

soundoff (468 Responses)
  1. kevobx

    The spiritually challenged, no man can answer this! *John 8:33 They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? *Exodus 13:14 And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What is this? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand the Lord brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage: *Revelation 16:14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

    December 24, 2012 at 7:00 am |
  2. joshuamu

    So good to see God working miracles and Christianity spreading even to the Koreans. even if all evil comes to you, stand out Koreans and you true living savior God is with you, have faith and hope and do not give up http://www.christiantruthcenter.com

    July 25, 2012 at 6:56 am |
  3. joshuamu

    thank you to God for shinning His light to the Koreans and Asia in whole. It feels nice seen Christianity spreading all over the word. God is working miracles and this is so good. Koreans keep up and do not lose your hope and faith even if every evil thing happens to you, but your true living savior will always be with you. http://www.christiantruthcenter.com

    July 25, 2012 at 6:50 am |
  4. установка межкомнатных дверей

    Just wish to say your article is as astounding. The clarity for your publish is simply nice and that i could think you are a professional on this subject. Fine with your permission let me to grasp your RSS feed to stay up to date with approaching post. Thank you 1,000,000 and please keep up the rewarding work.

    April 26, 2012 at 1:06 am |
  5. YA

    Who shot UN headquarter for the first time? Who shot out American citizens in LA riot? Who were involved in multiple shooting? We really know who they are. They have the same tendancies in them. We hear tons of minor troubles irelated to them in universities, offices, courts, and shopping malls.

    April 19, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.