Alumni Spotlight: Lauren Cawein ’05
Lauren Cawein’s passion for studying the Bible and theology led her to Seoul, South Korea in 2010 where she teaches Bible and English speaking and writing to middle school students at Saemmul Christian Academy.
Westminster began a partnership with Saemmul in 2009 to better enable both schools to honor Jesus Christ in and through the education they provide their young people.
Since the partnership began, Westminster and Saemmul faculty members have traveled overseas to visit their partner school, and for the past two summers, Westminster students have traveled to South Korea to help lead English camps for Saemmul students.
Lauren received her bachelor’s degree in religious studies with an emphasis in biblical studies from Southwest Baptist University. She then enrolled at Covenant Theological Seminary and began working toward a master’s degree in religion, cultures, and theology. During her first semester at Covenant, Lauren learned of a job opening at Saemmul Christian Academy, applied, and was chosen for a teaching position. She decided to put her master’s degree on hold to pursue a teaching career in South Korea.
Armed with what she had learned from her undergraduate degree, one cultural class at Covenant, and a year of experience as an assistant teacher at Hope Montessori Academy, Lauren prepared to move to South Korea to teach the Bible to Korean students. When she got the job, she was attending South City Church where she connected with former Westminster teacher Tim Baldwin, who talked with her about teaching the Bible.
Beginning her second year of teaching at Saemmul Christian Academy, Lauren remarked, “I feel so blessed to be doing what I do. When I felt like the Lord was calling me to study theology and the Bible, I had no idea where that would lead me in my career. In fact, many people were concerned about how effective I would be in the corporate world with such a degree. But I knew it was the only thing I wanted to study, the only thing that captivated my heart, so I stuck with it. I remember graduating from college and jokingly saying to my friends, ‘Maybe one day I’ll go overseas and teach theology.’ It was a dream in my head, but two years later it’s a reality, and the Lord is providing me with what I need to teach these students His heart and His words.”
As Lauren develops her own teaching style, she has drawn inspiration from some of her Westminster teachers. She hopes to demonstrate passion and charisma like Bible teacher Larry Hughes, who taught ethics during her time at Westminster. She has even played a few of the movies she watched in his class for her students at Saemmul! Lauren often thinks of her French teacher, Jill Darrah, and hopes to emulate her by showing her students unconditional love and patience.
Lauren admits that teaching has been challenging at times. Many of her students do not know much English, so she must be creative in the ways she teaches them. “Sometimes I feel like it went well, and sometimes I feel like a failure. In all things I’m truly learning what Jesus meant when he told Paul, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’ (2 Cor. 12:9). It truly has nothing to do with my abilities. It has everything to do with who God has called me to be as His image bearer and covenant child. And I will fail and I will succeed, but in all things, it is He who receives the glory.”