Dr. Sang Chang, a Princeton Seminary trustee and 1977 Ph.D. graduate of the Seminary, has been elected as one of eight presidents of the World Council of Churches. She is an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea and will serve as the council’s president for Asia.
Dr. Chang has been a strong advocate and promoter of women’s rights, having been president and professor of Ewha Womans University in Seoul, and a founding member of the Korean Association of Women Theologians. She is a respected New Testament scholar, and has been deeply involved in women’s education and empowerment, and in the movement to promote women’s right to work. She was the first woman appointed acting prime minister of the Republic of Korea, in 2002, paving the way for women’s leadership in Korean politics and society. She was named a Distinguished Alumna of Princeton Theological Seminary in 2003. PTS students in the early 1970s may remember her as their teacher, as she was a teaching assistant for Professor J. Christiaan Beker.
Deeply committed to ecumenism, Dr. Chang served on the executive committee of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (now the World Communion of Reformed Churches).
The World Council of Churches (WCC) is a worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness, and Christian service. It brings together churches in more than 110 countries and territories representing more than 500 million Christians. Princeton Seminary has long ties to the WCC. Former president James I. McCord represented the United Presbyterian Church in the USA in Amsterdam in 1948 when the WCC was organized. Eugene Carson Blake, a Princeton Seminary graduate, was the WCC’s general secretary from 1966 to 1972 and helped to launch the council’s Programme to Combat Racism.
Dr. Chang will serve on the WCC Presidium until the 11th Assembly in 2020.