Comprehensive conservation and use of 9 seowon

Seowon Foundation

Greetings from the chairperson

Welcome to the website of the Seowon Foundation!

“Seowon, Korean Neo-Confucian Academies,” which has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage, is a heritage that Koreans are especially proud of for its embodiment of the spiritual and educational ideals of “harmony between nature and humans,” “communication and harmony,” and “sharing and compassion for one’s community.” Seowon are deeply meaningful cultural assets that we still hold in high regard centuries after their construction because they are both tangible and intangible and emphasized intellectual growth and character development based on a foundation of Confucian ideology.

The Seowon Foundation was established to systematically and comprehensively manage the nine registered seowon and promote their value. We work with Korea’s central government, 14 local governments, experts in academia, and the Council on the Nine Seowon to make relevant decisions, for which we operate a secretariat. We receive funding from the central government as well as local governments and hope to continue using such funds to preserve and raise awareness of the cultural excellence of the nine seowon.

Thank you.

Lee Bae-yong
Chairperson, Seowon Foundation


The Seowon Foundation was launched in August 2015 to systematically manage the nine registered seowon. Efforts to register these seowon as a UNESCO World Heritage go back several more years to April 2011.

History of activities for the registration of “Seowon, Korean Neo-Confucian Academies” as a UNESCO World Heritage


    Preparations for amendment of Seowon Foundation’s regulations (to be approved by CHA)


  • Jul.
    “Seowon, Korean Neo-Confucian Academies” registered as a UNESCO World Heritage
    ※ Creation of a comprehensive management plan and guided tour (descriptions) recommended for nine registered seowon
  • Dec.
    Preparations made for reorganization of supervisory body for the management of “Seowon, Korean Neo-Confucian Academies”

    ※ Items approved by board of directors:
    Amendment of ordinances on support for Seowon Foundation begun (body responsible for management of UNESCO World Heritage Sites)
    Revision of Seowon Foundation’s regulations (organization’s name, nature/scope of projects, etc.)


  • Aug.
    Seowon Foundation launched
    ※ Transfer of tasks (Korea Seowon Association→ Seowon Foundation)


  • Dec.
    “Working-level MOU on the Establishment of a Comprehensive Management System for the Registration of Korea’s Seowon as a UNESCO World Heritage” signed (CHA and 14 local governments)


  • Apr.
    Transfer of tasks (PCNB→ Korean Seowon Association)


  • Mar.
    “MOU on UNESCO World Heritage Registration” signed (PCNB, CHA, and 14 local/provincial governments)
  • Apr.
    Seowon of Korea UNESCO World Heritage Registration Steering Committee launched


  • Apr.
    Presidential Council on Nation Branding (PCNB) (Seowon UNESCO World Heritage Registration Preparatory Committee launched)
  • Dec.
    Registered as potential UNESCO World Heritage Site (Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) → World Heritage Center)

Seowon Foundation: Structure

The Seowon Foundation is an implementary body whose purpose is to manage the nine registered seowon. It is operated flexibly based on cooperation with the Cultural Heritage Administration, local governments, Council on the Nine Seowon (operator), and experts. The Seowon Foundation has a board of directors and administrative body (secretariat). For the efficient conducting of seowon-related tasks, the Seowon Foundation also has three subcommittees (administrative committee, Council on the Nine Seowon, and expert committee).

Seowon Foundation: Roles and responsibilities

Type No. of members Roles and responsibilities
Board of directors 23 Decision-making on behalf of the Seowon Foundation and screening/voting
Auditor 1 Auditing of the Seowon Foundation’s operation and tasks performed
Subcommittees Administrative committee 15 Seowon Foundation’s project plan, budget execution, etc.
Council on the Nine Seowon 9 Advisory role in the operation of seowon and any relevant matters
Expert committee 9 Advisory role in the implementation of the UNESCO recommendations, comprehensive management of seowon, etc.
Secretariat 8 Management/utilization of seowon and administrative tasks

Secretariat: Distribution of Tasks

부서 성명 전화번호 담당업무
사무국 총괄 박성진 사무국장
총무관리 신시섭 팀장 02-3673-5441
  • 행정지원(예산·회계) 총괄
  • 이사회, 분과위원회 관리
  • 사무국 문서 및 비품 관리
  • 사무국(직원) 복리후생 관리 등
기획조정 박진재 실장 02-3673-5442
  • 사무국 기획조정 업무 총괄
  • 문화재청, 지자체, 9개 서원 업무지원
  • 재단 정관 및 규정・규칙 정비
  • 부서(팀)업무 진행 관리 등
교육홍보팀 신종일 팀장 02-929-5440
김종석 대리 02-929-5441
  • 세계유산 교육 및 알리미 활동
  • 교육 교재 제작 및 교육 시행
  • 영상(AR, VR, 방송 등) 기획
  • 학술회의(국내, 국제) 준비
  • 서원 자료정리(학술 및 발간자료)
  • 등재기념 2주년 행사 등
손민혁 주임 02-929-5442
  • 홈페이지 유지관리
  • 소식지(서원산책) 발간(연 2회)
  • 사계절 영상촬영 용역관리
  • 서원 유튜브 계정 관리·운영
  • 통합리플렛 및 기념품 제작
교육홍보팀 박미경 주임
  • 이사장 수행 및 업무보조
  • 서원 관련 기사 스크랩
유산관리팀 신종일 팀장 02-929-5440
박새은 대리 02-3673-5442
  • 통합모니터링 시스템 관리운영
  • 모니터링 요원관리(서원관리자)
  • 무인계수, 통합관제 시스템 관리운영
  • 건물관리(보수) 이력 DB 구축
  • 서원 종합(통합)관리계획 수립 연구
  • 기타 연구관리 업무 등
오혜인 주임 02-3673-5443
  • 세계유산 정기보고 데이터 구축
  • 세계유산 관련 소식 업로드
  • 유산관리 업무보조

Roles of Seowon Foundation

The Seowon Foundation will be conducting the following projects for the comprehensive management and utilization of, PR for, and education/research on “Seowon, Korean Neo-Confucian Academies,” which is made up of nine seowon, as well as for the perpetual protection of their value as a world heritage site.

Items related to the implementation of UNESCO recommendations

Recommendation 1: Creation of a comprehensive management plan for the nine seowon

Must be a systematic, comprehensive plan for the management of the buildings/facilities of the nine registered seowon

  • Creation of a database for reports submitted to UNESCO
  • Conducting of comprehensive monitoring (offline and online)
  • Operation of council of seowon operators, joint endeavors with local residents, etc.

Recommendation 2: Creation of a comprehensive PR strategy for the nine seowon

Comprehensive PR for the nine seowon must be conducted consistently with the aim of promoting the universal value of the seowon as a UNESCO World Heritage as widely as possible

  • Creation of explanatory materials on the nine seowon (publication of PR resources, etc.)
  • Conducting of in-depth research on Korean seowon and related training (seowon managers, cultural guides, etc.)
  • Operation of council of seowon operators, joint endeavors with local residents, etc.