Charles Young-Chul Ryu



Mailing Address
58 W Main St
Middletown, NY 10940

(845) 343-6911

Reverend Charles Young-Chul Ryu is a fourth generation Methodist. Born in Seoul, Korea, his family immigrated to the United States when he was a senior in high school. He turned 18 years old and began a life as an immigrant in Los Angeles, California. There, he re-entered high school to learn English and prepare for college.
Rev. Ryu discerned the call to ordained ministry and responded to it affirmatively in his new home, although the change of context from Korea to the United States caused him to take a long time to figure out what it was God was trying to do through his ministry. In retrospect, he sees that all of his education (even from high school in Korea and definitely his choice of college and undergraduate major) was pre-theological preparation. He was guided naturally to seminary, appointment to the ministry sites and ordination.
God has given Rev. Ryu gifts in three nearly equal areas: pastoral/spiritual, artistic (music and acting), and academia, where he has published in notable journals. This has created tension and harmony among the demands from these diverse, yet relatable fields in ministry. Reflecting on the 35 years of his professional ministries, Rev. Ryu notes that his three-pronged gifts and graces have led him to traverse a ministerial path that is quite atypical of most ordained pastors. Rev. Ryu was, for instance, the youngest person (14 years-old) prepared and trained by local organizers as a counselor for the Billy Graham Crusade in Seoul.  
This serious and disciplined walk with God in Jesus Christ has over time guided him toward a more ecumenical, inter-faith, progressive, activist, scientific, and contemplative/mystical form of Christian walk.
Rev. Ryu is a magna cum laude graduate of Boston University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. His choice of major allowed him to reason his Christian faith without compromising intellectual, logical and scientific integrity. This walk continues, as he admits there is still a long way to go in his sanctification process. Rev. Ryu began preaching regularly in his sophomore year of college for second generation Korean-Americans, due to the need for a bilingual pastor.
A passionate learner, Rev Ryu continued his formal education and acquired additional credentials at the:
  • State University of New York at New Paltz, School of Fine and Performing Arts, Music (summa cum laude, Music Theory and Composition);
  • University of Chicago Divinity School (Master of Arts in Phenomenology of Religion)
  • Yale University Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut (Master of Divinity, Foundational Ministerial Study with emphasis on Theology and Philosophy of Religion, Master of Sacred Theology in Philosophical Theology);
  • Pontificio Istituto di Musica Sacra (Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music) in Rome, Italy.
During the 1980s and early 1990s, Rev. Ryu traveled like a circuit rider throughout the U.S. and Canada challenging the Korean North American Christian communities for the cause of English language ministry for second generation Korean Americans, long before the term EM became known. Rev. Ryu notes, however, that the four years (1986-1990) of foundational work for the congregation that eventually became Morningside United Methodist Church were, without any doubt, his most important ministry in that period.
During his career, Rev. Ryu has served at:
  • St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Middletown, New York (July 2011– July 2020)
  • Bethel Korean Presbyterian Church. White Plains, New York (October 2003 – April 2005)
  • Han-Mi Presbyterian Church, New City, NY, (March 1999 – Sep 2002) 
  • UMC Minister of Education-(June 1998 – Feb. 1999)
  • Hanmaum Korean United Methodist Church, New Windsor, NY (June 1998 – February 1999) Minister of Children’s Ministry
  • Mid-Hudson Korean United Methodist Church, Poughkeepsie, NY (November 1996 – May 1998) 
  • Pine Plains United Methodist Church, Pine Plains, NY (July 1992 – June 1996)
  • Campus Minister Korean American Campus Ministry at Yale, New Haven, CT (September 1990 – June 1992 and September 1987-June 1988)
  • Korean Presbyterian Church of Westchester, Pelham, NY, (May 1991 – August 1991)
  • Associate Pastor and the Pastor of English Language Ministry, Korean Methodist Church and Institute, New York, NY, (September 1986 – June 1990)
  • St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Northport, Long Island, NY (September 1985 –June 1986) Assistant Minister
Rev. Ryu speaks multiple languages (listed in order of fluency) including: English, Korean, German, Italian, Spanish and French.


Middletown, NY: St. Paul's
58 W Main St
Middletown, NY 10940
(845) 343-6911