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The Los Angeles Fountain Church is a Korean Presbyterian immigrant church located in Gardena, California. Gardena, once the historic berry growing capital of southern California, was a lush oasis of greenery amidst coastal sage scrub. By the 1990s, Gardena was home to a large percentage of Korean immigrants living in Los Angeles. Even though more than 75 percent of Korean immigrants in America are churchgoers, Korean immigrant churches still have difficulty meeting their complex needs.

The greatest challenge for the Los Angeles Fountain Church is membership instability. This issue is a consequence of the immigrant mentality that survival is one’s top priority. Most church attendees are first-generation Korean immigrants who are selfemployed and running small businesses, so their work is very demanding. Their spiritual growth and maturity naturally take a back seat to their work. Thus, they have no comprehensive understanding of ecclesiology and soteriology. Furthermore, the Korean immigrant cultures as well as unique negative traits of the Korean culture in general hamper the development of an authentic relationship with Jesus. As a result, church members sometimes end up leaving for other churches.

The purpose of this project is to create a mentoring handbook for developing lay leaders as spiritual mentors. Spiritual mentoring integrates spiritual formation and leadership development. The handbook will broaden the perspective of potential spiritual mentors regarding the imitation of Jesus and provide useful skills for being a good mentor. After acquiring qualities, skills and tools, mentors will become like travelling companions to members in their journeys of faith. They can lend a listening ear and give continuing support. Most importantly, they will become people of God who can discern the guidance of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Matthews, Kieth

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Los Angeles Fountain Church, Church growth, Spiritual formation


Missions and World Christianity


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