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. Ignorance is not healthy for children and other living things

    The security of our nation depends on electing as few repuglicans as possible......

    April 2, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • skog

      You are living proof of that.

      April 2, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • Apatheist

      Don't hate on all republicans. I'm a republican that is pro-choice, pro-universal healthcare, pro-gay marriage, etc. The problem is that the republican and democratic parties have entangled themselves into the moral debate so thoroughly that their core beliefs have become moot. Morally obvious decisions, such as those I referenced above, should be inherent and automatic to all and, therefore, not an issue for debate. Unfortunately, they are not. And I am relegated to voting (almost) exclusively democratic because at least they are on the right side of the obvious battle. Rick Santorum, I mean.... seriously? So sad.

      April 2, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • derp

      " I'm a republican that is pro-choice, pro-universal healthcare, pro-gay marriage, etc"

      Uh, I think you are actually a Democrat. You might want to visit your "Republican" party homepage and look at "your" issues and platforms tabs. because the Republican party officially opposes, universal healthcare, gay marriage and women's choice.

      April 3, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • Apatheist


      I fully understand the republican party's stance on my moral values... My point was that moral values should be inherent in all individuals and, therefore, not a subject of debate. The fact that I have I have to pick sides based on morals rather than legitimate politics is the point I was trying to make.

      April 3, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
  2. skog

    Atheists are sure a bunch of angry unhappy people. Also, why is CNN focusing on what the school teaches as opposed to the nut who was killing people.

    April 2, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Perhaps they don't know? By the way, why would you bring up atheism anyway? Blanket statements are not only untrue, but shows how little you regard the opinions of others.

      April 2, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • skog

      well if they dont know then what is the point of focusing on the school and what it teaches. Also you are probably correct all Atheists are not probably angry and unhappy, but if you read this forum or any other forum with comments from them they tend to be very acidic and condesending to those who have chosen to believe.

      April 2, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest


      This is the internet. If you're expecting less than 95% of all user posts on any type of forum to not be hateful (no matter the religious or political affiliation) then you are in the wrong place. People tend to be a bit more idiotic online, since they are able to hide behind a guise of anonymity. Not to mention that entire demographics are not online, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of the same people on this site are on other sites that you've seen.

      April 2, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Go to the science blog and see the stupidity spewed there, where it doesn't belong. Then wonder why your children aren't learning "anything" in school.

      April 3, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • just sayin


      Atheists are sure a bunch of angry unhappy people. Also, why is CNN focusing on what the school teaches as opposed to the nut who was killing people.

      It is important to mention. Considering they believe in a magic man in the sky and the magic man failed to protect them and it was part of his plan. They should interview the alive ones and ask them their thoughts on their magic man. I think we know what the answer would be from the dead ones if they could talk. Maybe there are some of the students that experienced Jesus next to them as they could hear the shots and screams from the ones being killed?

      April 4, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  3. Apatheist

    I have come to the realization that a majority of christians are brainwashed beyond the point of no return. I have "faith" that their children will grow up smarter. We need to let them know that they are not alone.

    April 2, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Canadain

      we shall over come the veil of religious ignorance some day!

      April 2, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • DCBuck

      Are you really that bitter and pathetic that you must attack the faith of the people who were shot? If you hate religion that much, why don't you stick to an atheism forum?

      April 2, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • Apatheist


      Are you really that stupid that you think I am attacking the faith of those that were shot? I'll stick to this forum where I can battle ignorance head on.

      April 2, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
  4. Pastor Gene

    Would you guys just "chill"?
    This will all be settled when Jesus Christ retuns, as the Bible says, "with power, and GREAT Glory."
    So just chill out.

    April 2, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • Erravan

      Maybe people would chill out if there weren't periodic lethal outbursts from people who want to speed up Jesus Christ's return instead of maybe, I don't know, having actual faith in their doctrine and waiting patiently, maybe occupying themselves with productive work in the meantime. I go to work 9-5, do good works (because I feel like it, not to score points with The Man), invest in the future, and frankly, I don't like the risk of delusional religious cases devaluing all my hard work and love for life and happiness.

      April 2, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      Wow, anyone who believes that jesus died and then rose from the dead has failed to understand the basics-not one person in recorded history has ever returned from the dead. The only way this great planet will cease to exist is when the sun burns out in about 8 billion years, not before that....no jesus needed.

      April 3, 2012 at 10:49 am |
  5. xab

    So a bunch of religious fundies are dead? I guess I'm not that sad.

    April 2, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      You should be. They are still human lives that should not have been cut short like this. Whether they were idiotic fundamentalists (which I don't recall reading in the article), whichever belief system you are apart of should be ashamed to have you part of them for your ass comment.

      April 2, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • Marly

      Yes, based on what you write, the world will be a better, safer place without religion and full of people who are as you. You offer the world a wonderful example of what the world without religion would be. Certainly religion has been abused, but unlike your fondness for enjoying devastation of others, religioun is not proud of that abuse as it strives for something better in most cases.

      April 2, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest


      Basing the thoughts and mindest of the nonreligious off of the idiotic comment of xab shows that you really do not want to concieve of non-believers as good people. I am an atheist, and yet I do not think as he does. Do not lump in all non-believers and I will not lump all religious people with your ignorant statement.

      April 2, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • closet atheist

      @ xab ~~ I have to agree with HawaiiGuest here. Your insensitive comment doesn't help to advance our cause. Please keep in mind that many (most?) christians view atheists as immoral... please don't encourage them.

      That said, I'm really curious who the shooter was. I'm betting it wasn't an atheist. In fact, I'm guessing it was one of their own.

      April 2, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • Erravan

      You're an ass. I fall into the category of atheist, and I don't appreciate your violent, hateful, comment. It demonstrates a very deep lack of development on your part. Either you are actually a sociopath who revels in human suffering – because yes, they were human – or you're a juvenile with no investment in your own bankrupt life, otherwise you would respect the lives of others. The latter is most likely considering that you have some kind of nascent moral preference for the world to be a certain way, but your callousness and seeming amusement at death negate any worth that such a morally "right" position holds. Straighten your head out, develop a productive life for yourself, and until then, don't open your mouth to comment on adult matters.

      April 2, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • derp

      "So a bunch of religious fundies are dead?"

      It's a start.

      April 3, 2012 at 11:20 am |
  6. Dr. Rick Stoppe

    As someone who has studied Hebrew, Classical and New Testament Greek, and Arabic–among other languages, and as someone versed in all the religions of the world–and who has taught courses in them–Yahweh, God the Father, and Allah are the same person. Judaism, Islam, and any Christian who knows about the Jesus tomb, cannot believe that Jesus is God. Allah would never include any non-Abrahamic religion.

    April 2, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • Anti-dingbat

      I find it difficult to accept your claims of being a Doctor when your writing is so garbled.

      April 2, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • David R

      I highly believe that you are that fully knowledgeable.. Many theologians and those who try to refute Christ ends up with the same conclusion.. He is God....

      April 2, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • Rick

      Mohammad and Mehmet talk to each other to prove to themselves that Allah is god. Nobody else is buyin that theory.

      April 2, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
  7. More information

    "The founder of Oikos University has said he was a former nursing student."

    It's a religious school, so the shooter was a Christian.

    April 2, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • yep

      Just going to a religious school doesn't make you Christian, nor does going to church make you christian.

      April 2, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
  8. Akbar

    I noticed that CNN headline said "Christian" school at first, until they found out they were Koreans. Then it was changed to "Religious". Their hope was it was a white on white Christian killing. Sorry CNN.

    April 2, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • Anti-dingbat

      What the fuck are you talking about?

      April 2, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • bobcat

      They did not want to indicate the faith due to bozos like you bringing crazy religious arguments into the story.

      April 2, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • derp

      It is a christian Korean school you moron.

      April 3, 2012 at 11:21 am |
  9. mikstov33

    One thing is for sure.....these shootings in crowded public places by whacked out nut jobs seems to be on the rise.
    I don't believe religion had anything to do with it,any more than God did.

    April 2, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
  10. Maybe?

    Just because someone says they are a Christian, doesn't mean they are one. So you can't take the fault of one messed up guy and say all christians are this way or have the same mindset. But there is still forgiveness for this very messed up guy who did a terrible act. Jesus died for all, and for everything. That is the beauty of grace. Sin is sin.

    April 2, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • Anon

      Jesus is another myth, even if politically correct believers, atheists and agnostics say he's not.

      April 2, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore

      The problem isn't that there are one or two atrocities committed by religious people; the problem is that history is FULL of atrocities committed by religious people. Atrocity is inseperable from belief in something that cannot be proven.

      April 2, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • Maybe?

      That's assuming of course that He was religious.

      April 2, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • Maybe?

      As far as Jesus being a myth...you clearly need to do some history checking.

      April 2, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
  11. Tom

    Do Christians believe that everyone on earth should speak the same language? Isn't "Allah" simply "God" in another language?

    April 2, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Larry C.

      While "Allah" is generic for God, it presumes that is the only god and that all others are non-existant false gods. Therefore, the word "Allah" becomes the same as a specific name for the Islamic god.

      You will never here a Muslim refer to Buddha or the Christian god as "Allah."

      April 2, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • just sayin

      Word – yes, person – no. The god of Islam is an idol.

      April 2, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Bob

      You are correct. Allah is god of the Muslims and is not the God of the Bible.

      April 2, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Anon

      Many bible belt Christians go with this, "If King James English is good enough for me, then it ought to be good enough for everyone."

      April 2, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Hubba Hubba

      Hey just sayin – prove that Allah is a false god. He has the same evidence that your god does – a old book, and earthly person creating the religion, all the same support. How do you know their religion is false and yours is true?

      April 2, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • just sayin

      I know who I have believed and am convinced that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.

      April 2, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • just sayin

      The earnest of the Holy Spirit.

      April 2, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • balanceBee

      Allah is the same God as the Christian God of Abraham. The story of Abraham is almost identical in both the Koran and the Old Testament.

      April 2, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • just sayin

      The fulfillment of the promises.

      April 2, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • just sayin

      The fulfillment of the promises

      April 2, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • just sayin

      Mohammed plagiarized the story of Abraham and skewed it towards the child that was expelled rather than the child of the promise. allah is a false god – an idol
      If you want an eyeopener compare Mohammed and Islam to Joseph Smith and Mormonism.

      April 2, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • just sayin

      just sayin

      Mohammed plagiarized the story of Abraham and skewed it towards the child that was expelled rather than the child of the promise. allah is a false god – an idol>

      Also note the Christians plagiarized the story of a child born of a virgin. Current religions are borrowed stories from dead ones.

      April 4, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  12. Qubee

    To hell with it, I'm going to have some Korean food and Fook Yoou Korean Restourant!

    April 2, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • bulgogi

      fook yun.

      April 2, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
  13. Qubee

    If they actually taught real knowledge, and not some psycho-illusions, this tragedy wouldn't have happened.

    April 2, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • enlighten us

      Like what?

      April 2, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • Qubee

      Like education based on real knowledge and sciences.

      April 2, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • iblase

      nothing like blaming the victim

      April 2, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • Maybe?

      I don't think the teaching had anything to do with, and you can't really blame it on the school for a person that was no longer a student. He is just crazy messed up. It's his fault not the school's.

      April 2, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest


      I am an atheist, so I have no religious agenda to push. That being said, saying that this is the victims fault because of what they taught in the school is just plain reprehensible. I cannot even fathom how you could be so indifferent to this tragedy so as to use it in this way.

      April 2, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • Apatheist

      I have come to the realization that a majority of christians are brainwashed beyond the point of no return. I have "faith" that their children will grow up smarter. We need to let them know that they are not alone.

      April 2, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • Rejecting The Righteously Wrong

      No chance for that, Apatheist. Christians are zealous about hyperindoctrinating their children as soon as they can. Facts and critical thinking will not get through their thick armor of ignorance.

      I watched a cluster of parents freak out at a back-to-school night because evolution was going to be taught that year (mandated by state law), and they wanted the other parents to rise up in defiance. Just amazing.

      April 3, 2012 at 12:50 am |
    • Apatheist

      @Rejecting The Righteously Wrong

      First of all, I don't think "hyperindoctrinating" is a real word.... but I love it and am stealing it with or without your consent, haha. Secondly, thanks for sucking all hope from my 'soul', lol.

      April 3, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
  14. John Stewart

    "I kill and I make alive, I wound and I heal, neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand" (Deuteronomy 32:39).

    April 2, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
  15. Anon

    For an all-powerful being, Yahweh/Jesus/Allah is kinda powerless to stop the killer.

    April 2, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • just sayin

      For the record allah is an idol a false god.

      April 2, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • Anon

      Allah is the Arabic name for the Abrahamic desert god.

      April 2, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • Just don't make sense

      Uh, what record is that?

      Why would your opinion matter to any record?

      Why is Allah false? His credentials are every bit as phony as your god's credentials.

      April 2, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • Bob

      Allah is god of the Muslims. Not the God of the Bible.

      April 2, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • Anon

      The Koran has adapted many myths from the bible.
      Islam is another evolutionary branch of the Abrahamic religions.

      April 2, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • John N. Seattle, WA

      Bob, Allah=Yahweh...they are the same dude, different names. Look it up in the Bible if you don't believe me.

      April 2, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • ?

      Islam was invented 650 years after the Bible was written, so the name of their not-yet-invented god is not there.

      Feel free to quote the biblical passage that says "allah" if you disagree.

      April 2, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • just sayin

      Islam is an idolatrous fraud. allah is an idol

      April 2, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      I wonder just sayin. Are you ever going to produce one ounce of information to back up any of your posts? Or will you merely rely on the constant repeti.tion to reinforce your own beliefs?

      April 2, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • just sayin

      Don't study the false, study the Truth and the false becomes transparent.

      April 2, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      I guess the answer is clear. REPITI.TION IT IS!

      April 2, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • just sayin

      Provided answers to Toms post above to the same questions you are asking. God bless

      April 2, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • jdubz

      Allah calls himself the deceiver of all deceivers. That's not the God of the bible. Sounds more like Satan to me.

      April 3, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • HellBent

      The god of the bible murdered infants as a persuasion tactic. It would seem that god and satan are on in the same.

      April 3, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • just sayin

      All I need is my bible. You want to verify what I say, read the Truth (bible). Anything else is of the Devil.
      God Bless

      April 4, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • Yeahright

      "All I need is my bible. You want to verify what I say, read the Truth (bible). "

      It's not the truth, it's been proven NOT to be an historical book but a religious one. It's about myths based on other pagan religion, there is no god.

      April 4, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  16. Bill

    Atheist trolls really screw up any article in here. I get the feeling that most of them were little boys whose mommies made them go to sunday school and they somehow still haven't gotten over that.

    April 2, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • Wallabee Bob, Christian

      I agree. Those atheists sure screw up this nice piece about a guy who shot up a Christian school that teaches faith healing to nursing students.

      April 2, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Bill..just trying to free your mind from the shackles of religion before you guys start any worse trouble....religions do not play nice with each other and some one has to remind you that you are human beings like every one else.

      April 2, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • Joe

      There's no troll like a religious troll who thinks he's not a troll.

      April 2, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • jdubz

      All atheists are trolls because they fill this belief blog (thats meant for believers) with their "non-belief" or whatever they call it. They say its not a belief but who are they kidding.

      April 3, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • derp

      "All atheists are trolls because they fill this belief blog (thats meant for believers) with their "non-belief" or whatever they call it. They say its not a belief but who are they kidding"

      Actually, we come here because making fun of christards is easy and fun.

      April 3, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Oh, it's the least we can do with the nonsense being ram-rodded through several state legislatures, forcing science teachers to instruct their students in religion rather than science. This is our nation's (and our children's) future that is in jeopardy!

      April 3, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
  17. daiwa

    Very sad ! It is definitely more hell than heaven !

    April 2, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
  18. zeus_z

    modern ay killing of Christians because they love Christ. Jesus always said anyone who followed him would be persecuted.

    April 2, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • Skippy Jumprope

      When the facts come out, you can be sure that the reason they were killed was because the shooter lost his mind, and that he knew a couple of them and felt he had been wronged by them.

      Or God told him to do it.

      The one scenario that is incredibly unlikely is that they were killed because of their religion.

      April 2, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
  19. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    April 2, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • Prayer Sure Changed Things Here

      Prayer changed the guy responsible into a murderer. The victims prayed too, and ended up corpses.

      April 2, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • 4...3...2...1

      ...cue @just sprayin:

      "Ah, but they are in the arms of the Lord, now."

      April 2, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  20. God

    I told him to do it.

    April 2, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Ron Tyacke

      God told me to tell you that God is Holy and Just and therefore will not let sin go unpunished – consequence for your sin is eternal hell when you die. You are in need of a Savior and your only hope if the Grace of God revealed in Jesus Christ 2000 years ago when God crushed His son for you, now He demands that you repent and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ. John 3:16

      April 2, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Really now?

      God told you that? You need to be put in a psych ward immediately if you think you hear God talking to you. You are a danger to society.

      April 2, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • Anon

      Jesus is the chicken in the nonsensical global version of Kaparot.

      April 2, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • Larry C.

      Why would God demand anything? If he is all-powerful, he would just make it that way to start with.

      April 2, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • derp

      "God crushed His son for you"

      Crushed him?

      I though he nailed him to a cross?

      April 3, 2012 at 10:38 am |
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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.