Mike with his wife, Dambi “I’ve learned that experience and knowledge are more valuable than degrees.”
by Kevin Wahl
“While studying to become a Seventh-day Adventist, I met a handful of Hartland graduates,” shares 2010 graduate Mike Kwon. “They knew the Bible a lot better and seemed to be a lot more dedicated to the Lord’s work than other young Adventists. So when the Lord called me for training, I knew which school I wanted to attend.”
Mike majored in Christian Media Management. “I’d been studying computer science in a university setting before the Lord called me to Hartland. The usage of modern technology was up my alley and a gift God had given me. Today technology advances so quickly that even in the business world, it’s difficult to find qualified help. So it’s a great blessing to possess a coveted set of skills and use it to advance the Lord’s work.”
During one of Mike’s spring breaks, he served as a canvassing leader. “A local church planned to hold an evangelistic series and we laid some groundwork by conducting a canvassing program supported by the church. I had no leadership experience and most of my friends were better at distributing books than I’d ever been. It was a challenge to be their peer one week and then be their leader the next week.
“But during that short trip, the Lord taught me that to be a leader is to be a servant of all. If I could do anything to make the canvassers more efficient, whether by distributing water when they were thirsty or books when they were low, I quickly learned that my role was to serve.”
After graduating, Mike worked two years for Light for Life Ministry, doing computer work plus online sermons and talk shows for English-speaking Korean youth. Then he spent two years as youth pastor for the Atlanta Korean Seventh-day Adventist Church in Duluth, Georgia. Mike currently works a “tent-making” job, developing mobile apps for Verizon, while passing out free literature and leading out in group Bible studies.
Mike concludes, “Hartland taught me that my education was independent of my degree—or even my major. I learned to think and find answers for myself, and that there is no limit to how much I will supplement a formal education. I’ve been ‘thrown into the deep end’—put in environments that value actual experience and knowledge more than degrees—and I’ve worn many hats that did not pertain to the field in which I was formally trained. Hartland didn’t give me the proverbial fish, but taught me how to fish.”