Dr. Alexander Jun has been elected moderator of the 45th General Assembly. Jun is a founding member and a ruling elder of New Life Mission Church in Fullerton, California, and the first ethnic minority elected as moderator of the Assembly.
Dr. Lloyd Kim, coordinator for Mission to the World, nominated Jun. The two have been friends since they met at New Life Mission Church in 1994. Kim said that Jun is marked by a love for his Savior and is a “gifted leader and administrator.”
At age 48, Jun is a young moderator, but his election is a departure from previous moderators in other ways, too. As a West Coast Presbyterian, a member of a Korean Presbyterian Church, and a Korean-American, Jun represents the changing face of the denomination.
“We are in a time of transition as a denomination, certainly not in our core theology and beliefs, but in terms of changing generations,” Kim said. “[Jun] represents relatively younger leadership who is able to articulate well the heart and spirit of our denomination to an emerging generation.”
Jun has served the denomination locally and at the national level. Most recently Jun served on the Racial and Ethnic Reconciliation Study Committee approved by the 44th General Assembly. As a ruling elder, Jun is active in Korean Southwest Orange County Presbytery, one of the nine Korean-speaking presbyteries. While most Korean pastors speak English, the presbyteries conduct business in Korean.
Kim believes Jun’s election demonstrates that the denomination is truly willing to give everyone a seat at the table. “It will also inspire our younger members, regardless of their ethnicity, to see that our leadership really is committed to racial reconciliation and reflecting the diversity that is so much a part of our country’s current demographics,” Kim said.
“It gives hope for other minorities who have always seen just one dominant group represented consistently,” Jun said. “It could represent change in the way we recognize different leadership styles.”
Jun was born in Alexandria, Virginia. His father was a South Korean journalist for the Chosun Daily News who originally came to the U.S. in the 1960’s as part of the White House Foreign Press Corps covering the Johnson administration. The Juns later moved to the San Francisco Bay area.
Jun became a Christian during college at the University of Southern California. He grew in his faith through a campus para-church ministry called Korean Campus Mission. After college Jun joined with some of the Korean Campus Mission leaders who graduated from Westminster Seminary California, and together they started New Life Mission Church.
Jun earned his Ph.D. degree in Education Administration and Policy from the University of Southern California, his Master of Science degree in Higher Education Counseling from California State University, Los Angeles, and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Psychology from University of Southern California.
Currently Jun serves as a professor at Azusa Pacific University, one of the largest Christian universities in the U.S. He teaches courses on diversity and social justice in higher education as well as courses on qualitative research methods. In his teaching he helps students think about how issues of diversity and justice in the realm of higher education reflect larger trends in the culture and how the Christian faith impacts these ideas.
“Higher ed is a microcosm for what is going on in the world,” Jun said. “I infuse a Christian perspective into matters of social justice.”
Jun and his wife Jeany Kim Jun recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary. Jeany is a professor of pharmacy at Keck Graduate Institute, part of The Claremont Colleges.
They have three children – Natalia, Isaiah, and Jeremiah. A family of music lovers, the Juns enjoy performing together. Jun plays the saxophone and guitar, and he also sings.