20th Anniversary Video

<About Woori Theology Institute>

  • What is the governance structure of your organisation?


  • Can you describe the management structure of your organisation?

Woori Theology Institute, WTI, was established in 1994 by young theologians an activists who had been participated in Catholic social movements. WTI was inspired by the Mondragon Cooperative movement, introduced at that time to South Korea as an alternative social movement, and established by setting up the basic funds from shareholders, aiming to become a knowledge producing corporation.

As shown on the organization chart, important things of the institute are decided by the annual general meeting and the board of directors’ meeting held quarterly basis. Other things are discussed at the weekly staff meeting. To realize the goals of the institute of planting Christianity in the society and Church reformation, the institute has been operated independently without any financial support from church. The financial requirements are primarily prepared by shareholders’ investments, individual financial supports from more than 500 supporters, project support funds and other fund raising activities like providing consulting services, etc. and spent for operating expenses, including office rental fee.

  • Do you have an organisational structure with distinctive functions for each staff?

– Ms. Balbina Lee Mi-Young (Theology Research Office) : She is in charge of seeking ‘WOORI (our) theology’, essentially needed now and here for us. Also she supports the activities of the Research Committee, an experts group, as well as examining and proceeding the basic work for ‘WOORI theology’ by 1) researching Korean-style pastoring model, 2) studying the future-oriented Catholic society, and 3) pursuing WOORI theology methodology, etc. Besides, she is involved in publishing ‘WOORU Theology Series’ and single books, containing study results of the institute, and other publications like ‘Dialogues between Religions Series’ for an open theology in the multi-religion society.

– Mr. Paul Hwang Kyung-Hoon (Center for Asia Peace Solidarity) : He is in charge of exchanging and connecting God experiences by all people in Asia. In other words, he is pursuing a practical theology solidarity activities, focusing on the dialogues between religions, essentially needed to make peace in various religions tradition in Asia. Thanks to the financial support by CCFD, he is able to hold various workshops and talks by inviting Asian theologians a couple of times a year, and publish the fruits in English language to share the publications with others.

2005Forty Years of Gaudium et Spes (GS) and the Challenges to the ChurchOctober 27

Working together in pastoral care in the 3rd millennium

Chritine Mayr-Lemetzberger

May 26

2006the Church of all peoples –  Lecture on a real participative church

Year Subject Invited Lecturers Date
2005 GAUDIUM ET SPES and CHURCH RENEWAL Fr  Desmond de Sousa CSsR October 27
Fr Diyalanthonige Reid Shelton Fernando
Deacon Mario van Loon, act October 24
2007 LAITY OF THE CHURCH  OR  CHURCH OF THE LAITY Fr Emmanuel Asi / Mr Hamid Henry November 6
2008 How redemption takes place now and here? Inter-Religious Conference Fr Peter C. Phan October 15

Symposiums & Forums

Year Subject Date
1995 Symposium: The priority and prospect of Church for reunification Noverber
1998 International Forum: Role of Church in Asian Economic Crisis Agust
1999 Symposium: Christology and Authoritarianism of Korean Catholic Church April
2003 Symposium: The Power of Religion and Korean Catholic Church- 1st Church Renewal Symposium May
2004 International Forum: preparation for FABC 8th general assembly June
2005 International symposium: “Gaudium et Spes” and Church Renewal January
2006 International Forum : Economic Growth and Human Development– the Role of the Church in North East Asia November
2008 International Interfaith Forum:How can salvation be possible here and now? October
2009 International Forum: preparation for FABC 9th general assembly May
2010  International Forum on G20 Seoul Summit October
2011 International Workshop on  Gender and Migrantion April
2012 Asian Youth Academy & Asian Theology Forum April

Symposium: About the active faith for youth

International symposium: “Gaudium et Spes” and Church RenewalJanuary


October2006International Forum : Economic Growth and Human Development
– the Role of the Church in North East AsiaNovember2008International Interfaith Forum:How can salvation be possible here and now?October2009International Forum: preparation for FABC 9th general assemblyMay2010International Forum on G20 Seoul SummitOctober2011International Workshop on  Gender and MigrantionApril2012Asian Youth Academy & Asian Theology ForumApril

Workshops with Theologians and Church workers and activists

Year workers and activists nationality
1996 Fr. Tissa Balasuriya Sri Lanka
1997 Song Cheon sung Taiwn
1998 – Song Jung Mo Brasill
2002 Sr. Kathleen Coyle Philippine EAPI
2003 Dr. Leonard Swidler the ARCC, the U.S.A.
2004 Chung Yon-bok Minjung theologian
2005 Ms. Lidia Miani from CCFD

Fr. Diyalanthonige

Msgr. J.B. Huynch-Cong Minh

CCFD, France

Sri Lanka

vicar general of Hochimin

2006 Christine Myre-Lumetzberger

Sr. Filo Hirota



2007 Deacon Mario Van Loon

Fr. Emmanuel Asi & Hamid Henri

Fr. Son Kyung-soo, M.M




Secretary of CELAM Committee

2008 Fr. Peter C. Phan U.S.A.
2009/10/12 Dr. Anselm Min Kyoung-seok Canada
2011/12 Fr. Michael Amaldoss India
2012 Fr. James Kroeger Philippines



Workshops for other issues

Year Subject Date
2004 the role of church to defend food sovereignty

Inculturation Through Religious AttireⅠ

Search for new direction of fSunday School or Youth

Preparation for World Forum on Theology and Liberation





2005 the Change of Korean Women Faithfuls

Inculturation Through Religious Attire Ⅱ



2006 The Status of Women Faithfuls in Religion May
2007 Basic Ecclesial Community in Latin America November
2009 Building  Bible Community on Parish Level November


– Ms. Balbina Lee Mi-Young (Publication Center) : She is in charge of publishing a bimonthly ‘Catholic Review’, a pastoral material. And also she makes other pastoral materials, such as ‘Water Jar’ which is a penance Q & A, published at the time of Advent and Lent, and a Catholic guidebook ‘I Invite You’, etc. to help the faithful. From two yars ago, she has been publishing ‘Our Handbook Series’ to create a communication and debating culture in church.

– Ms. Teresa Koo Eun-Hyang (Administration & Account) : She provides other staff with administrative, accounting supports and involved also in managing supporters.



  • Describe the methodology/techniques used by your organisation in the identification and planning of projects?

Studies by the institute are implemented commonly by the clients and researchers. When it comes to the methodology of projects, it follows mainly the business consulting methodology and proceeded like (1)establishing and sharing the vision, (2) analyzing the outer environment and inner condition, (3)SWOT analysis and introducing a strategic task, (4) preparing a implementing scheme, (5) improving organization, rules and computer system stage.

For example, the institute’s “A Study on the Pastoral Vision Establishment for Andong Diocese” was implemented as a first stage to prepare the diocese’s pastoral vision and mission declaration by priests, nuns and lay believers altogether. It was a process to encourage the member’s participation before a change of pastoral direction of the diocese. Because the project could not be successful without the members’ agreement and a bond of sympathy on the change. Thereafter each analysis process was commonly proceeded through various types like meetings and workshops. These methods are applied also to all other projects

  • What internal evaluation mechanisms exist in the organisation? When was the last external independent evaluation conducted?

Though the institute’s project methodology is partly following the business consulting methodology, it’s generally same with the 3-stage methodology suggested by Cardinal Joseph Cardin of Belgium as a method to organize and educate the JOC movement. The institute also uses the method ‘see, judge and do’ as a basic evaluation method. It applies to the inner evaluation system as well.

Since the individual project is proceeded as a common study type by the beneficiary and the client, it’s followed by a correction process to get the better result through the following evaluations, though the first scheme has already been confirmed.

All of the institute’s general businesses are subject to the financial evaluation through annual general meeting and audit. Two auditors are also institutes’ supporters and they examines if the fund is being spent as originally purposed from the eye of supporters. Additionally, the inner evaluation system works through the weekly staff meeting and bi-annual researchers’ workshops.


  • Does your organisation have other sources of funding?

One of the distinguished characteristics of the institute’s financial operation is that there is no support from the church system. Because any support from church can become an obstacle to do its projects, though the support can be a help for the stabilization of the institute Therefore the institute entirely relied on the fund from shareholders from the beginning. The institute’s finance relies mostly on the sponsoring from individual supporters. The sponsorship can be divided by the monthly support and the assigned support like ‘Theologian Training Fund’ and ‘Publication Fund’, etc. Other than the sponsorship, there are earning businesses in the institute, such as publishing pastoral materials like ‘Water Jar’ which is a penance Q & A, published at the time of Advent and Lent, and a Catholic guidebook ‘I Invite You’, etc. to help the faithful. The expenses for education businesses like hosting lectures and seminars are implemented by getting participation fees. Also the institute is involved in various earning businesses like providing consultation services.

Other than the operation of the institutes, we support education expenses for theology students. As of 2009, the institute supports 4 theology students. The institute is fund-raising for more stable office space, too.

  • Are you in contact with others organisations concerning the implementation of your programmes? Please mention them What is the nature of your relations/cooperation? Are they Church-related organisations?

The institute is also involved in common programs implemented with other organizations like church renovation, etc which are directly related with the purpose of the institute. For example, we implemented a study on the parish activities in the poor neighborhood, together with the Pastoral Committee for the Poor of Seoul Diocese, a study on the environmentally-friendly parish pastorship and operation. social ethic lecture and Catholic society forum etc with other groups,. Those groups are mostly organizations participating in the Catholic social movements or progressive research, activity groups of neighboring religions, such as Buddhism, Protestant or Won-Buddhism.

Since the middle of 80’s, as democracy has taken its root, Catholic church in South Korea has been inclined to conservatism and the role of church has been declined as well. As the civil socio-movement is rapidly growing after the year 1987, the environment for Catholic social movement has been changed for the worse, too Practically, however, Catholic social movement in South Korea failed to establish its identity, vision and to alternatives, according to the social change across the nation. It causes difficulties in training and recruiting activists. Therefore more and more church groups, sharing similar visions, are working together to implement their programs, due to the weak financial status.

  • Does your organisation belong to any network?

We are participating in various social agenda, as well as promoting church reformation, with other groups through the Korean Catholic National Union for Justice, KCNUJ.

The institute played a key role in organizing ‘Religious People Network for Renovation’ in 2004, and is exchanging information for self-cleaning and reformation of each religious organization, including Catholic, Protestant and Buddhism by hosting seminars regarding the financial transparency of the organizations. Also, the institute is participating in ‘Christian Solidarity for the world without Discrimination’ since opening a conference for the Anti-discrimination Act in the end of 2007.

As a member organization of the International Catholic Movement for Intellectual and Cultural Affairs, ICMICA, WTI has been participating international exchanges and solidarity activities from the early stage of its establishment.