Mari Kim graduated from Brandeis University cum laude with a thesis exploring Kierkegaard's critique of the institutional church in Denmark, writing under William A. Johnson. She received her Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and graduated with her Master of Theology summa cum laude from Emory University. Kim is a James Waite Fellow and two-time recipient of the Fund for Theological Education North American Doctoral Award. A variety of doctoral research grants allowed her to do enthographic work in Hawai'i while completing her Ph.D. with the Graduate Division of Religion at Emory University. Kim studied with constructive theologians Wendy Farley, Don E. Saliers, and Dianne M. Diakite focusing on experiences of desire in contexts of cultural hybridity.
Kim's cross-disciplinary dissertation, Eros in Eden: A Praxis of Beauty in Genesis 3, is a theological construction of the Edenic narrative. Her work offers a theological read of humanity's relationship to the benevolent divine underscoring humanity's identity as God-bearers called to be co-creators with a loving divine.
In addition to teaching at Pacific Lutheran University, Seattle Pacific University, Seattle University, and University of Washington's Jackson School of International Studies, Kim is currently serving her third term as chair of the Theology and Philosophy Section of the Pacific Northwest Regional American Academy of Religion. She serves on the Advisory Board for the Faith Action Network, and is the Director of Research for the Bellevue-based Leadership Eastside. On-going research and teaching interests include current issues in human rights and immigration justice, environmental sustainability, ecumenical collaboration and interreligious engagement.