Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Program Name/Specialization

Spiritual Care and Counselling


Martin Luther University College

First Advisor

Dr. Brice Balmer

Advisor Role


Second Advisor

Dr. Kate Harper

Advisor Role



This qualitative research explored the lived experience of respect for second-generation Korean Canadian pastors within the Korean Church context. In order to gain a deep understanding of the lived experience of respect, the hermeneutic phenomenological approach was used to collect the data and document the findings. All the twelve participants participated in an in-depth semi-structured interview which lasted 50-75 minutes. The transcribed participant interviews were analyzed for themes and sub-themes.

The following three themes emerged: why is respect expected within the Korean Church, when is respect expressed within the Korean Church, and how is respect experienced within the Korean Church. From these three themes, sixteen sub-themes emerged. Every theme and sub-theme that is illustrated with direct quotes from the interviews in which the participants describe their experiences of respect reflect an essential part of the lived experience of respect for second-generation Korean Canadian pastors within the Korean Church context.

The results of this research illustrate the complexities of both the collectivistic and individualistic cultural values embedded in the perceptions and experiences of respect in the participants. The results also showed that there are similarities and differences in how the first-generation Korean Canadians experience respect and how the second-generation Korean Canadians experience respect. The strength of the Confucian Korean cultural values found in the Korean Church is that it promotes a sense of togetherness and order, but if it is pushed to the extreme it also has the potential to become abusive in the practice of its social hierarchy and gender relations. Further, for the twelve participants, respect is sometimes seen as a behaviour that one shows to others based on their internalized values, cultural expectations and social context. But respect is also more than behaviour for the participants. Respect is an attitude toward others that stands for justice and equality.

The findings from this research will help further the understanding of pastor Church relations within the Canadian Korean culture and bring awareness to the growing second-generation Korean Canadian population in Canada. Moreover, the research findings should help spiritual care providers and therapists working with the second-generation Korean Canadian population to be more culturally sensitive when providing assessment and intervention.

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