Volume 5 Number 3
Th.M. students stay for nine months, M.A. students for a year, M.Div. students for three years, and Ph.D. students for at least four. When they leave Princeton, relationships have been formed both with individuals and with the institution. Now alums, these graduates often encourage up-and-coming leaders in their churches or institutions to come to Princeton to study. The Seminary's relationships with other countries are built one student at a time. The close tie between Princeton and Korea is an excellent example of this-with sixty-six alumni/ae currently living in Korea, the third highest international total after Canada and the United Kingdom.
Toward the end of an international student's degree program, the allure of staying is often great. Some stay-because they find good and needed ministries here to immigrant populations. "But as part of one, worldwide body of Christ," says O'Brien-Prager, "Princeton does not want to be a theological drain on other countries. We want to be part of a true exchange program." Most students do return to their native lands, many to become pastors and leaders of national churches.
Both the Seminary as an institution and individual staff and students are privileged to play a significant role in the theological education of the world church. "The international students help to put my life in perspective," says Watson. "I'm very fortunate. They help me realize that what I have is not most important. Some of the richest people I've met arrive in Princeton with only their clothes and shoes."
"The benefits to you at the outset are hidden," says Brad Gustafson, an M.Div. senior who helped with the international orientation program. "You seem like the one who gives; they seem like the recipients. But the reciprocity of the giving becomes almost intoxicating. You come thinking you're the giver, but then, 'Wow, how could I have gone on without what I've received?' The fruit of the encounter comes as a surprise. Now I can't imagine my PTS education without my conversations with internationals. It would have been much the poorer."
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