Working As A Religious Worker In Korea
The other day on my way to work, while waiting at a red light, I noticed two Mormon missionaries walking on the sidewalk. Looking at them I wondered what it must be like for religious workers to live and work in Korea? What kind of job opportunities are available to them?
Surprisingly there isn’t a lot of information available on the net. I did some research, talk to a few people I know who are working as missionaries or pastors in Korea. I thought it will be interesting to make a post about it for individuals out there who want to come and work with a Church or religious organization in Korea.
Kind Of Work Available
Usually people who work as religious worker in Korea are either missionaries or Pastors. The pastors generally work for International Churches or English Churches in Korea. The missionaries are often affiliated with an international religious organization.
The Pastors and missionaries usually oversee the English Ministry of the Korean Church or religious organization. They also work with Korean religious leaders and Church elders within the community and Korean Ministry to develop and lead a thriving English church.
The primary role of the Foreign religious worker in Korea is to preach to the members of the English-speaking congregation. In addition, they are required to work closely with the worship pastor and the church leaders to coordinate, support, execute and oversee various ministries such as: campus outreach, small group, and overall church operations
Individuals who wish to engage in religious activities or social services in Korea, must apply for a D-6 visa. You are eligible to apply for a D-6 Religious Worker visa if you are dispatched by a foreign religious body or social welfare organization to the related Korean religious organization or branch. However, you are not eligible to apply for the D-6 Religion Worker visa if you receive salary or income from your religious organization. Most Korean Churches and International religious organizations provide visa sponsorship and paperwork assistance.
To work as a missionary in Korea you don’t require any high level degree except for the requirements of the affiliated organization. However, to work as a Pastor most Churches require the pastor to have a Master of Divinity (or higher) from an accredited institution. Being an ordained Minister is a must. Some places prefer candidates with experience. Also, since most International/English ministries have a mixed congregation from various backgrounds and cultures, individuals with experience in cross-cultural ministry and English ministry experience are preferred. In addition, since you will be working with Korean church leaders you need some proficiency in Korean.
Salary And Benefits
Since you cannot obtain a D-6 visa if you receive salary or income from your religious organization, legally you can’t receive s salary. However, most places provide housing and living stipend. The stipend can be 800,000 KRW or higher depending on the Church/organization.
If you’re a dedicated religious worker trying to find a meaningful way to serve your faith and experience living in another country, consider the opportunities Korea has to offer.