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. HellBent

    I'm quite curious to know what faith-based healing for nursing looks like. I imagine it goes something like this:

    Student: What do I do now.

    Instructor: Just stand there

    S: Then what?

    I: Wait.

    S: For what?

    I: Divine Intervention

    S: Sooooo, in the mean time can I ...

    I: No. If you can't just sit there and wait and watch that person suffer waiting for our all-loving God to magically heal them, you must not be very strong in your faith.

    April 3, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • mandarax

      It looks like people with poorly developed critical thinking skills trying to invoke magic and convincing each other through insti.tutionalized gullibility that it works.

      April 3, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The placebo effect can be powerful!

      April 3, 2012 at 10:03 am |
  2. William Demuth

    Another Jeebus freak has a meltdown.

    Why are we surprised by this?

    A University to study a book of Mythology!

    A perpetual cycle of stupidity, and a never ending body count.

    April 3, 2012 at 9:47 am |
  3. JesusFreaks

    It is terribly sad that Christians have spread their hatred and bigotry far and wide. Why do they feel it is necessary to go over to these other countries to try and convert people to Christianity? Theology is not fact!! It has NOT been proven that prayer actually works. What an ignorant statement to make! Christianity is no more "right" than Taoism, Hinduism or Islam. Just let these people be and quit trying to change everyone, because obviously it IS making the world a better place!

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

      Amen brother!

      April 3, 2012 at 9:43 am |
  4. arpad golgoth

    The cafeteria serves many dishes made of dog meat. Lox and beagles is a favorite.

    April 3, 2012 at 9:18 am |
  5. mandarax

    Prayer didn't save the victims, nor did it give the shooter an ability to cope with his disappointments in life that would have prevented the massacre in the first place. Nor did it help any of the parents of those students who were doubtlessly praying, "please don't let it be mine."

    Prayer failed universally...again.

    April 3, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • cirilo esparza

      @Mandarax. Jesus saves , faith in him will give you eternal life. No matter what you do to live long Mandarax, you will die just like all of us
      Will you live in eternity with Jesus or die eternally in the Lake of fire? That's your choice.

      April 3, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • lesmoore

      "Prayer didn't save the victims . . ." Is it supposed to? God isn't a cosmic vending machine.

      April 3, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • mandarax

      @lesmore: Except that most Christians claim that it is. "Prayer changes things." "Ask and you shall receive" "God answers prayer." "whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours"

      You guys only backpedal and equivocate when it is made obvious that these claims aren't true. Then it becomes "Well, it may not be the answer you want." "Sometimes no answer is an answer." And the big get-out-of-jail-free card, "It's all part of God's plan." There's always these bold assertions, followed by weak excuses for why they aren't actually true.

      April 3, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • sam stone

      cirilo: judgement and the lake of fire are a bad joke. without these empty proxy threats, christianity is dead in the water. if you want to believe, fine, but using the old fear card makes you look like a chump

      April 3, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • derp

      "Will you live in eternity with Jesus or die eternally in the Lake of fire? That's your choice"

      I am always amazed at the shear stupidity of belief in a reward that cannot be delivered and a punishment that doesn't exist.

      April 3, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  6. Jay

    A nursing school that teaches "faith healing"? I hope I NEVER encounter one of those nurses.......

    April 3, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • mandarax

      I know – theology and quackery. What a combination.

      April 3, 2012 at 9:15 am |
  7. AncientAliens

    obviously prayer didn't help these people... because your so-called "god" are a bunch of aliens that are coming back in December to tell us all how stupid we have been to actually believe that we can pray for something to happen and it does.

    April 3, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • cirilo esparza

      @ AncientAliens We are all destined to die, sin is here But Jesus redeems our sinful state. we are not living forever on this earth we're to be judged each one and then either go to the Lake of Fire or the New Jerusalem.

      April 3, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • sam stone

      cirilo: "sin" is here? based on what?

      April 3, 2012 at 10:27 am |
  8. Mr. Moderate

    Interesting. I know a number of Korean-Americans and I would not consider any of them particularly religious.

    April 3, 2012 at 8:24 am |
    • cirilo esparza

      @Mr. Moderate a Few does'n mean all Just like a few whites are not all whites. use your brain before you type

      April 3, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • William Demuth

      Koreans are notoriously crazy Christians.

      Some of the worst cults on the planet.

      I have always suspect the Jeebus freaks are afraid the North will invade and put them all in gulags.

      April 3, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • sam stone

      cirilio: you have some gall telling someone to use their brain, while yours is consumed with iron age mythology

      April 3, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • derp

      Koreans are notoriously crazy Christians.

      Yup, I know a girl whose father was a Korean Christian Minister. He beat her and her mother regularly. The high school ultimately called the police.

      Korean Christians are almost as whacked as Born Agains.

      April 3, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
  9. Doc Vestibule

    Q: What do Pol Pot, Stalin and Hitler have in common with the gunman from this story?
    A: Formal Christian educations.

    April 3, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • popsedal

      More accurately...those criminals rejected their educations. No known Christian based study course recommends criminal behavior of any kind.

      April 3, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • Roger Naylor

      Anyone can "say" they are a Christian. The Bible is clear what a Christian looks like, and none of those men fits the description.

      April 3, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • Christians are cancerous insects

      You walk a fine line by using the word "christian" to describe education. Thankfully, I understand the context in which you are using it. I hope that others don't think that there is really any education in religion. Someone find me a shovel.

      April 3, 2012 at 8:33 am |
    • T. Lee

      That is soooo lame.

      How about accounting for the religion of Mao, Stalin, the Pol Pot, Muhammad, Kim Il-sung, Saddam Hussein, and dozens of psychopatic leaders that killed, made war, abused their own countrymen/women/children ?

      Really stupid comment "Doc".

      April 3, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • Quid Malmborg

      Hilter was also a vegetarian, and at all the trouble he caused. Never trusted the fruits-n-roots crowd.

      April 3, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • paul nesselroade

      A few other things as well – they are all male, all drank lots of water growing up, and all believed the moon was not made out of iodine. So what's the point? Don't you need to know how many folks without a formal Christian education treat others' lives callously and also how likely folks who have not had a Christian education treat other people's lives callously (versus respectfully). Critical thinking, my friend, critical thinking...

      April 3, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • cirilo esparza

      none of them practiced it. If they would have , history would be different.

      April 3, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Perhaps we should look instead at a good Christian.
      Roman Emperor Theodosius I, was a key figure in the early Christian church.
      Today, he is known as Saint Theodosius.
      In 392AD, he wrote that "We command that those persons who follow this rule shall embrace the name of Catholic Christians. The rest, however, whom We adjudge demented and insane, shall sustain the infamy of heretical dogmas, their meeting places shall not receive the name of churches, and they shall be smitten first by divine vengeance and secondly by the retributions of Our own initiative, which We shall assume in accordance with the divine judgment."
      Between 429 and 439 about 150 different laws were passed defining and defending the "Catholic faith." Church lands became exempt from taxation and bishops became immune to any sort of secular oversight or punishment.
      Non-christians were summarily executed and their edifices destroyed.

      Saint Augustine is another revered Christian figure. Thanks to him, the Church officially adopted teh doctrine of "cognite intrare" – which he described as "The wounds of a friend are better than the kisses of an enemy. To love with sternness is better than to deceive with gentleness... In Luke 14:23 it is written: 'Compel people to come in!' By threats of the wrath of God, the Father draws souls to the Son."

      The modern despots I mentioned learned the effectiveness of ruling through fear from Christianity.
      Historians have noted their speaking and writing styles ape those of the Church in being 'declamatory and repet.itive, with liturgical overtones'.
      Whether you consider them Christian or not, they learned the tools of statecraft from their religious educations.

      April 3, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Matthew 7:

      19Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

      20Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

      21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

      April 3, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @T Lee
      "How about accounting for the religion of Mao, Stalin, the Pol Pot, Muhammad, Kim Il-sung, Saddam Hussein, and dozens of psychopatic leaders that killed, made war, abused their own countrymen/women/children?"
      Mao was raised Buddhist. Mao Zedong's own thoughts, while rooted in dialectical materialism, also contain elements of Confucianism and Taoism.
      Stalin spent 5 years at a Russian orthodox seminary.
      Pol Pot spent 8 years at a Catholic school in Phnom Penh .
      Not sure why one would have to mention Muhammad's religion...
      Sadaam was, of course, Muslim.

      Each of these leaders wielded their people’s predilection for faith like a weapon, directing religious fervor to their own cults of personality. Like formal religions, they demanded blind obedience and obsequious submission from their followers. They tolerated no free-thinkers and enforced dogmatism

      April 3, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • just sayin

      Reality check , although the tyrants mentioned were exposed to various religions at an earlier age they all committed their atrocities as atheists, all.

      April 3, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Cap'n Sayin Atheism Isn't an Angry Pervert
      Sadaam stayed muslim until his dying day.
      While Mao, Stalin and Pol Pot put themselves into the Godhead position, Hitler publically professed his Christianity until his dying day and used Christian arguments to whip his people into a frenzy. This is why Nazi uniform belt buckles were emblazoned with the slogan “Gott mit uns” (God is with us).
      Each of these leaders wielded their people’s predilection for faith like a weapon. Atheism is not the prime cause for these tragic regimes – the misdirection of faith is.

      April 3, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • just sayin

      Rather than overwhelm you with massive conspiracy theory we will continue to think of you simply as ass hole

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

      How well did you know Saddam, ass hole?

      April 3, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • just sayin

      MOM!! MEATLOAF!!

      April 3, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • just sayin

      The faith was misdirected to atheism

      April 3, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Cap'n Sayin Atheism Isn't An Angry Pervert
      Here's an excerpt from Sadaam's last communication before being executed.
      "Dear faithful people, I say goodbye to you, but I will be with the merciful God who helps those who take refuge in him and who will never disappoint any faithful, honest believer ... God is Great ... God is great ... "

      Misdirected to Atheism?
      "We were convinced that the people need and require this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out".
      The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1 of 2, Oxford University Press, 1942

      "The fact that the Catholic Church has come to an agreement with Fascist Italy ...proves beyond doubt that the Fascist world of ideas is closer to Christianity than those of Jewish liberalism or even atheistic Marxism..."
      – Adolf Hitler in an article in the Völkischer Beobachter, February 29, 1929, on the new Lateran Treaty between Mussolini's fascist government and the Vatican

      None of those leaders waved a flag of Atheism for the populace to rally around.
      Nothing was done in the name of atheism.

      April 3, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • derp

      "The Bible is clear what a Christian looks like, and none of those men fits the description"

      That is why there are several different versions of the bible, and about 100 different "christian" sects.

      April 3, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • derp

      "The faith was misdirected to atheism"

      Hitler gassed Atheists right along with the Jews gays and immigrants.

      Now, lets see. Hitler hated Jews, gays immigrants,people of color, gays and atheists.

      The only people Hitler DID NOT KILL, was white Christians.

      Yeah, a guy who mass murders millions of people but only spares pure white christians is surely an atheist.

      Do you people even hear yourselves.

      April 3, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  10. just sayin

    I know you all know and care so much right now that I love me and Adolf makes me want to get on my knees and just PRAY and I think just you know god bless us, everyone for this proven prayer opportunity oh yes.

    April 3, 2012 at 7:19 am |
  11. just sayin

    Prayer hates peace and I love prayer and prayer works. It's proven. I'm super serious. Atheists are all trolls and don't know how good the power of prayer is.

    April 3, 2012 at 7:14 am |
    • Noitdoesnt

      So prayer protected the 7 dead Christians? Did prayer stop the other crazy Christian from killing people?

      April 3, 2012 at 7:37 am |
    • just sayin

      You are replying to a phony.

      April 3, 2012 at 7:41 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @just sayin
      He’s point still stands.

      April 3, 2012 at 8:18 am |
  12. just sayin

    Still don't care about your opinion Adolf

    April 3, 2012 at 7:13 am |
  13. just sayin

    Prayer kept me on my knees and prepared me for secret meetings in bath houses with John Travolta. I never needed knee pads because I've taken it from men the size of Andre the Giant.

    Prayer. Proven and effective for callousing the knees real nice.

    April 3, 2012 at 7:10 am |
    • just sayin

      You are not humorous just sick and in need of adult supervision.

      April 3, 2012 at 7:12 am |
    • just sayin

      Troll, please stop trying to be me. I know everyone wants to be me. Knock it off, Adolf.

      April 3, 2012 at 7:20 am |
    • derp

      "You are not humorous"

      I don't know, the Andre The Giant reference was pretty funny.

      April 3, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  14. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    April 3, 2012 at 6:21 am |




      April 3, 2012 at 6:47 am |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things

      April 3, 2012 at 6:56 am |
    • just sayin

      Do not care what you 'notice' or what you think. God bless

      April 3, 2012 at 6:58 am |


      April 3, 2012 at 7:02 am |
    • just sayin

      Nope, don't care about your opinion, useless though it might be. God bless

      April 3, 2012 at 7:05 am |
    • just sayin

      That wasn't me. It was my secret admirer who just wants to be me.

      April 3, 2012 at 7:21 am |
    • just sayin

      Still don't care. God bless

      April 3, 2012 at 7:42 am |
    • Ykcyc

      You think you are special and unique – just like everybody else. Unfortunate are those seven killed. Maybe they were not as "special", as you are. I don't think it worked for them. Oh well...

      April 3, 2012 at 9:36 am |
  15. peapody

    Asia, it's a large continent.. with many many different beliefs. IMO we're all doomed.

    April 3, 2012 at 4:01 am |
    • peapody

      they are attacking us at alarming rates.

      April 3, 2012 at 4:07 am |
    • I pity the small continents

      "Asia, it's a large continent" – no need to read any further after i brainstorm like that one.

      April 3, 2012 at 4:13 am |
    • Quid Malmborg

      Don't forget Canada being so big, cold, and right next door to us. And then Mexico, with all those friggin' Mexicans... Don't get me started...

      April 3, 2012 at 5:18 am |


      April 3, 2012 at 5:53 am |
    • just sayin

      Hitler was an atheist

      April 3, 2012 at 6:20 am |


      April 3, 2012 at 6:45 am |
    • just sayin

      You can be wrong if you want to be. God bless

      April 3, 2012 at 7:06 am |
    • Mirosal

      @ just spewing ... you need to look into some archives for Hitler's speeches. He was raised Catholic, and fell away from that. He NEVER disavowed a belief in "god", and if you listen to his speeches, he says that the Reich was blessed and favored by "god" and that with "god's" blessing, the German people will take their places as leaders of the world, and even several Nazi rituals were centered around "god's will". Time for you to go back and finish that 3rd year of 6th grade.

      April 3, 2012 at 7:29 am |
    • just sayin

      Hitler was the 'god' of national socialism. The ultimate atheist Hitler was his own god. You cannot use his words as evidence of anything as Hitler was a continual liar. History? Remember 'peace in our time', I have no further territorial ambitions in Czechoslovakia? Check some history yourself and try to interpret it correctly. Mensa my ass.

      April 3, 2012 at 7:40 am |
    • Mirosal

      of course he wasa liar, he was a politician. I know all about "peace in our time". Now listen to his speeches. He was not an Atheist.

      April 3, 2012 at 7:42 am |
    • just sayin

      Hitler was an atheist, no sacraments, no personal priest, no sign of any participation and murdered the devout Christian as readily as the Jew. His words cannot be used to put him in the catholic church what he did and how he conducted himself in his inner circle was what Hitler was, an atheist.

      April 3, 2012 at 7:47 am |
    • Mirosal

      He renounced his Catholic upbringing, but he NEVER renounced a belief in "god". You've never read his book, have you?

      April 3, 2012 at 8:00 am |
    • derp

      Hitler murdered Jews, gays, nonwhites, immigrants, and atheists. The only people he spared were pure white christians.

      Yeah ok, he was an Atheist.

      April 3, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  16. mike thaler

    CNN went on live. I am in Oakland w. an office only a few blocks away. CNN never announced where this place was!!! It turns out, of course, it is not a "university" but accredited by the state as a vocational school for half a dozen areas of study. This doesn't count their "Doctorates in Ministry" they offer.

    . This "university" has only a couple hundred students, which is why I never hear of them even though, according to Google Maps, it is only a 7 minute walk from our office. (.4 miles).

    April 3, 2012 at 2:24 am |
    • woo

      That is amazing!!

      April 3, 2012 at 4:59 am |



      April 3, 2012 at 5:46 am |
  17. dilberth

    A degree in Theology is lowering your IQ. Christianity is stupid with a halo.

    April 3, 2012 at 2:23 am |
    • Andrew "Squiggy" Squigman

      A nursing school that teaches faith healing: That pretty much tells you the caliber of the school, and the students who would actually choose to go there.

      April 3, 2012 at 2:30 am |
    • jj

      Lol! Hilarious! And I agree.

      April 3, 2012 at 2:42 am |
    • Clear minded

      Amen, ain't that the truth.

      April 3, 2012 at 2:49 am |


      April 3, 2012 at 5:48 am |
    • Martha

      Agree Dilberth!

      April 3, 2012 at 7:04 am |
    • derp

      "Christianity is stupid with a halo"

      Nice, that is the line of the day.

      April 3, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  18. Rhonda

    Come to Atlanta!

    April 3, 2012 at 2:17 am |


      April 3, 2012 at 5:49 am |
  19. Aluminum Foil Deflectory Beanies


    I hear if you buy from them in fulk, you get a good discount!

    April 3, 2012 at 2:16 am |
    • Peter Langostino

      Okay, I want to make one, maybe a foil fedora or a foil bowler, something tasteful and well crafted, then then next time I am flying somewhere, go through security with it to see what Homeland Insecurity does. I would make sure that I seemed otherwise sane, and really low key with the supporting story, but I bet they would have to let a foil-hat wearing American citizen go through.

      I would have to get a Tea Party shirt for that one. Big picture of Christine O'Donnell with the caption "She actually is a witch, but she's OUR witch!"

      April 3, 2012 at 4:48 am |
    • Aluminum Foil Deflectory Beanies

      I would pay money to see that

      April 3, 2012 at 9:39 am |
  20. B(iraq) Hussein Osama

    Korean Convert to Islam. You heard it here first.

    April 3, 2012 at 2:11 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.