Presbyterian Church in Korea (HapDong)

The Presbyterian Church in Korea (HapDong) is an Evangelical Presbyterian denomination, which is the biggest Christian church in South Korea. The headquarters of the church is in Seoul, South Korea.[2]

Presbyterian Church in Korea (HapDong)
TheologyReformed Evangelical
RegionSouth Korea
South Korea
Separated fromPresbyterian Church in Korea (TongHap)
Branched fromPresbyterian Church of Korea
SeparationsPresbyterian Church in Korea (Koshin)
Presbyterian Church in Korea
Revised RomanizationDaehan yesugyo jangnohoe Hapdong
McCune–ReischauerTaehan yesugyo changnohoe Haptong


In 1959 at the 44th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Korea the denomination divided for the third time (1951, 1953, and 1959) into two equal parts due to the church's view of the issue of ecumenism and the World Council of Churches. The church was divided for and against Park Hyun-nyon, president of the Presbyterian Seminary Society of the General Assembly. The anti-Park party is called 'Tonghap' (the united body) and the pro-Park party is called 'Hapdong' (the union body).[3]

The divisions from all three splits during the 50s still exist. The divisions from the third split between Tonghap and Hapdong respectively are still the largest Presbyterian dominations in South Korea.[3]

The HapDong section represented more theologically conservative wing than the TongHap. The Tonghap group maintained its affiliation to the World Council of Churches and the National Council of Churches and allowed relatively wide range of theological positions.[4][5]

The Presbyterian Church in Korea (HapDong) was the more conservative group in the schism. Its conservative doctrinal basis made it possible to unite later with the Presbyterian Church in Korea (Koshin) in 1960. But this union did not last and a group of Koshin churches separated a few years later, although about 150 Koshin congregations stayed with HapDong. In 1961, another group separated to form the Bible Presbyterian Church, later to be called the Presbyterian Church in Korea (Daeshin).[2]

At the 64th General assembly in 1979 the church suffered another division. Kim Hee Bo the President of the ChongShin Seminary advocated for the historical-critical approach to the Pentateuch. The church divided into a mainline and non-mainline groups. The debate centered about two issues: the authorship of the Pentateuch and the relationship with the ChongShin Seminary. The non-mainline section fragmented in the following years.

In the 1990s the current HapDong experienced phenomenal growth. By the early 2000s, HapDong developed into the largest denomination in South Korea with more than 2.2 million communicant members, 5,123 congregations, and 6,300 ordained pastors.[2][6] These figures differ from the statistics offered by Chongshin Seminary, which claims the church has 11,000 congregations and about 3 million members.[7]

In South Korea there are about 15 million Protestants, about 9 million are Presbyterians in more than 100 denominations.[8]


The Presbyterian Church in Korea (HapDong) is a theologically conservative denomination. The Hapdong group subscribe the historic Presbyterian Confessions like:



According to the Apostle Paul's instructions, there are no women ordinations.

Theological EducationEdit

The Chongshin University and Chongshin Seminary are the only official educational institutions of the HapDong Church to train pastors.[7][9]


The Presbyterian Church in Korea HapDong created the Global Missions Society (GMS) in South Korea for supporting evangelism and missions. The Global Mission Society, the missionary body of the Hapdong General Assembly of Presbyterian Churches of Korea, is the single largest Presbyterian missionary organization in South Korea and the world with over 2,500 missionaries working in Europe, Asia, Russia, Latin America, Africa.[10][11][12]


  1. ^ "대한예수교장로회총회".
  2. ^ a b c Melton, J.G.; Baumann, M. (2010). Religions of the World: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices. ABC-CLIO. p. 2297. ISBN 9781598842043. Retrieved 2015-06-25.
  3. ^ a b Kim, In Soo (2008). "Towards Peace and Reconciliation between South and North Korean Churches: Contextual Analysis of the Two Churches (Ch9)". Peace and Reconciliation : In Search of Shared Identity. Farnham: Ashgate Pub. p. 137. ISBN 9780754664611.
  4. ^ "The Presbyterian Church of Korea". Retrieved 2015-06-25.
  5. ^ Jeong, P. Y. (2007). Mission from a Position of Weakness. New York: Peter Lang. p. 125. ISBN 978-1433100963.
  6. ^ a b "Presbyterian Church of Korea (HapDong)". Reformed Online. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  7. ^ a b "History". Chongshin University. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  8. ^ Meehan, Chris (4 October 2010). "Touched by Devotion in South Korea". Christian Reformed Church. Archived from the original on 9 July 2017. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  9. ^ Chung, Ilung (3 May 2013). "Chongshin University: What We Believe". The Reformed News. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  10. ^ "History". Global Mission Society. Archived from the original on 2012-03-27. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  11. ^ "Global Mission Society". Korea Computer Mission.
  12. ^ {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)

External linksEdit