Shepherd University was established in the heart of Los Angeles in August 1999 by Dr. Richard Cornel S. Rhee, with the initial purpose of educating Korean immigrants and serving the community of Southern California. Since that time, Shepherd University has expanded to include an international student body and five schools- Theology, Nursing, Music, Information Technology and Language.

With the reorganization of the University into a cluster of professional Schools, Shepherd University School of Theology (hereafter, Shepherd) focused on strengthening its Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry programs.  In January 2003, Yohan Pyeon (PhD, Claremont Graduate University) was recruited as Shepherd’s Academic Dean to facilitate the effort.  He was successful in hiring such prominent biblical scholars as Ralph P. Martin (Azusa Pacific University and Fuller Seminary), James A. Sanders (Claremont School of Theology), and Frederic W. Bush (Fuller Seminary).

When Dean Pyeon became the University’s Academic Dean in 2007, Shalom Kim (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) was appointed as Shepherd’s Vice-President to oversee academic and administrative matters.  Another significant change was the appointment of the Argentinian evangelist Juan Carlos Ortiz as Shepherd’s President. Abraham Oh (Doctor of Missiology, Grace Theological Seminary) joined in 2015 as the Academic Dean of School of Theology.  Shepherd now defines its primary purpose as making disciples of Christ ministering to the world.