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Supporting Columbia Students

Columbia Friendship Circle

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Supporting Columbia for 75 Years

Since 1948, The Columbia Friendship Circle (CFC) has provided friendship and support to Columbia Theological Seminary students. Come See Columbia Day is April 18.

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Providing Scholarships for Columbia Students and Their Families

Every year, CFC Scholarships are awarded to PCUSA students who have attend the seminary with their families and who demonstrate academic ability, financial need, and a commitment to serve the church upon graduation. The 2024 scholarship recipient is Laura Jeon.

The intersection of religion and theology has led Laura Jeon to Columbia Theological Seminary.

A classically trained pianist, Jeon is a dual degree student in Columbia’s Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Practical Theology programs.  Her hard work has also made her this year’s Columbia Friendship Circle scholarship winner.

“Believing in a divine calling through my musical and theological background, I am enthusiastic about combining the knowledge gained from studying the Bible and my musical expertise,” she said.

A native of South Korea, her family moved to Hawaii when she was 16 after her father received a call from a Korean immigrant church there. Piano was a love of hers and she went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in piano performance at the Eastman School of Music in New York, a master’s degree at the New England Conservatory of Music, and a doctorate at the University of Washington.

“As a professionally trained musician, I worked as a music educator in Seattle, holding a music professor position at North Seattle College and participating in the artist community of the Seattle International Music Festival,” Jeon said.  “My deep involvement in the classical music field in Seattle has helped shaped my artistic perspective.”

Theology plays an equally significant part of her life as well, just as it does for her husband, Samuel Byun, who is currently in the pastoral education process with PC (USA). 

Along with her studies, she is the Director of Worship Arts and Choral Music at North Avenue Presbyterian Church in Atlanta

“I aspire to bring hope and expectation to God’s people, guiding them in communion with God through worship and teaching,” she said. “The prospect of fulfilling the mission fills me with hope and excitement.”

Jeon started at Columbia in January 2023 and is appreciative for the Columbia Friendship Circle scholarship that will assist in her continuing her theological studies.

“Receiving the CFC scholarship was a profound blessing, affirming that God provides assistance for my education journey,” she said. “I extend heartfelt gratitude to Columbia Friendship Circle for their support, acknowledging their vital role in enabling me to pursue God’s calling through education.” 

Donate to the Columbia Friendship Circle Today

It is only through generous donations from friends like you that these scholarships are available to help our students with families pursue their call to God. Please support them with a gift today.