Gatepost Interview: David Choi, Pastor and Evangelical Chaplain

Courtesy of David Choi

What is your role at Framingham State and what does your job entail?

Well, I was called to be a minister – the evangelical minister. … There was no specific job description. However, I’ve been pastoring for almost 10 years. I was a software engineer before I was called to be a pastor. I served at the church in Quincy – The First Baptist Church of Wollaston. And then I retired from the church last June and I was searching for a chance – opportunity to serve other congregations or students and it happened to be that I was called, and I sent my resumé to Francesca [Cerutti-Harris] at the [Independent Association of Framingham State Alumni], and I think she referred me to one of your FSU managers, and then they contacted me to come in. So, my role here is providing a mentoring service – whoever needs some spiritual guidance, and especially if anyone, any Christians, needs some guidance while they attend FSU.

What is your professional and educational background?

I have a computer science degree from Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. … I graduated college in 1985. Since then, I worked as a software engineer. Especially, I was in programming – something called object-oriented programming. 

How did you become involved in the religion you currently practice? 

I was a Buddhist until I graduated college in Korea, South Korea. And then after I graduated, I actually had the chance to go visit a church in Korea. And at that time … I listened to the message, and I was curious about knowing more about Christianity, and since then, I attended church, and then I came to [the] states, which was 1980. And then, while I’m here, I continued to attend church and I know the salvation in Christ. … I became a Christian – committed Christian. They call it Born Again Christian. I was working as a software engineer until 2010, and then I believe God called me. … I went to the seminary, and then I became a Pastor of American Baptist Church, USA.

What would you say your goals are as one of the campus ministers? 

I like to help and serve the students at FSU. And if anyone needs any kind of mentoring, or guidance or some brotherhood, I’d be more than happy to support them. … I’m going to present a seminar called technology and religion, and we haven’t got the room yet, but it is going to be April 21st, and I’m going to talk about technology and religion. The reason is that, in these days, technology has been way advanced, compared to when I studied computer science. … As a Christian, I realized that human beings have two main basic parts. One is the physical body, and another part is the spiritual body, which is the soul and spirit. … And people just follow and live with the technology and this convenience and then pleasure. But those things cannot make a wholesome life, which needs some spiritual care, too. … My children already graduated college, but when they went to college, they just disregarded their spiritual life. … So, I like to help them [students] out and remind them that while they are working hard on their job or studying things … they need to take care of the spiritual part of their life, which will fulfill their future life and happiness, too. So, that’s what my goal is. I like to help them out. But I cannot go and tell them … “You need to take care of your spiritual life.” I can’t do that. But I like to provide some kind of opportunity for them to think and to check in. So that’s what I’ve been thinking and praying about . … I’ve been coming to the University almost more than two months or so – three months – and I [haven’t] seen many students yet. I’m kind of frustrated. One day, I was praying in the Ecumenical Center that – “Oh God, I don’t want to waste my life here for nothing. I really want to support students,” and somehow, I came up with this thought that, well, God sent me to pray for the safety and success and health of the students at FSU and FSU community. So since then, I’m happy, as you can see. That’s my immediate goal and immediate mission – that I have to pray even though no one looks for me, but I will come in and then pray for the FSU community.

 Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy? 

I like hiking. I live in Framingham near Nobscot. So, I do hike there at least two or three times a week. I also like having fellowship with people – [other] Christians. And I also am planning to do some YouTube meditation. I should say – Christian meditations. I’m working on it. And I’m close to releasing the broadcast soon. 

Do you have any advice for campus students? 

Well again, if you are looking for the wholesome life, then please don’t ignore your spiritual life, too. You need to take care of the spiritual part of your life [while] you continue to work on your success. … That’s my simple advice – that you have to have a balance for your career goals and your spiritual life.