The Trinity Union Scholars program annually brings six international students from China and India to New York City for a year of academic training, leadership development, and faith formation. The students engage in advanced theological study that prepares them for teaching, ministerial practice, specialized ministry functions, and doctoral-level study.
Funded by a grant from Trinity Church Wall Street, Trinity Union Scholars are accepted as students in the Master of Sacred Theology (S.T.M) degree program at Union Theological Seminary. As part of the program, students participate in worship at Trinity and learn about the governance of the church. They also discover how Trinity’s core values of faith, integrity, inclusiveness, compassion, social justice and stewardship guide the church in fulfilling its mission to build neighborhoods that live Gospel truths, generations of faithful leaders, and sustainable communities.
A Year of Adjustment
Read more our 2019-2020 Trinity Union Scholars and their adjustment to the recent global pandemic.
Meet the 2021-2022 Trinity Union Scholars
Home Church: Tancheng Church
Hongyi served as an intern at Tancheng Church during his seminary summer and winter vacations from 2014 to 2017. During that time, he also engaged in preaching as part of his church ministry activities, along with organizing a church summer camp in his community. His thesis, A Comparative Study of the Theology of Paul Tillich and the Thought of Huineng, builds upon his concentration on inter-religious engagement at Union.
Vinoto Hokheto Shohe
Home Church: Lhomithi Ghami Baptist Akukuhou, Dimapur, India
After the completion of his divinity study, Vinoto went to pursue his master’s in social work in Dalit and Tribal studies and action. The concentration of his research during this particular study was on the ‘Eastern Konyak Naga in Indo-Myanmar Border area.’ Prior to his enrollment at Union, he also served as an office assistant at his own local church for two years. Vinoto’s future ministerial goal involves engaging with the Indigenous community in India, primarily those who live in the border areas. It will be a holistic approach where he would not only concentrate on their religious aspects but also their education, health, politics, socio-economic conditions, etc.
Home Church: St. Gregory Orthodox Church
Yingnan served the role of deaconess in her home church, co-leading the newly founded church with a congregation made up of young professionals. She supported the leadership development, adult religious education, and spiritual formation in her faith community, and seeks to further explore those themes in her final thesis at Union.
Irene Preetha Prasannakumar
Home Church: Wesley English Church, Karnataka Central Diocese, Church of South India
Irene is a theologian, who has completed her Bachelor in Divinity and Master of Theology at the United Theological College, Bengaluru. She has also completed her Montessori teacher’s training and worked with children. She has served as a Program Secretary at the Student Christian Movement of India. She was previously a clergy assistant at an Anglican Church for the past five years. She loves pastoral ministry and teaching and is deeply committed to social justice and to the Cross of Christ.
Samuel Ragland Paul Christopher Raja
Home Church: St. Stephen’s Church, Tirunelveli Diocese, Church of South India
Samuel served as a pastor for three years at a rural church in South India, Tirunelveli Diocese. During that time, he was exposed to the social realities of caste discrimination, poverty, and landlessness of Dalits, the community he belongs to, in rural India. Part of his ministry involved addressing caste issues in church and ways in which Dalit empowerment can be imagined and put into action. His future ministerial goal is to discern new ways for Dalit theological imagination and to open spaces for interfaith engagement.