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The Colossian Forum offers free resources to help you transform polarizing cultural conflicts into opportunities for spiritual growth and witness.

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Featured Speakers

Featured Speakers

 
Richard Mouw, PhD

President Emeritus and Professor of Faith and Public Life, Fuller Seminary

Richard J. Mouw taught in the Calvin College Philosophy Department for 17 years after earning his PhD in Philosophy at the University of Chicago. In 1985 he moved to Fuller Theological Seminary, and beginning in 1993 he served as Fuller’s president for two decades. He has now returned to full-time teaching at Fuller as Professor of Faith and Public Life. The author of 20 books, in 2007 Princeton Theological Seminary awarded him the Abraham Kuyper Prize for Excellence in Reformed Theology and Public Life. Twenty-five years ago, Rich wrote a book called Uncommon Decency: Christian Civility in an Uncivil World. Since that time, he has pursued relationships with people who differ from him. He believes that  Christian fidelity is measured as much about how one treats others as about the positions one takes. He offers historical as well as spiritual perspective on navigating fear, and the temptation it brings to distort the truth about those perceived as enemies.

 


Jenell Paris, PhD

Professor of Anthropology, Messiah College

Jenell Paris received her PhD in anthropology from American University, Washington, DC and is Professor of Anthropology at Messiah College, Mechanicsburg, PA. Her recent books include The End of Sexual Identity: Why Sex is Too Important to Define Who We Are(IVP, 2011); The Good News About Conflict: Transforming Religious Struggle Over Homosexuality (Cascade, 2016); Teach From the Heart: Pedagogy as Spiritual Practice (Cascade, 2016). She serves as a senior fellow with The Colossian Forum. Jenell views The Colossian Way as “not a quick fix or a technique. It is a new expression of the old, old story—the gospel contextualized in our society. Our society needs a renewal of modes of conflict, cultivation of patience and kindness, and a capacity for long-suffering and commitment. This is the way of Jesus.” Jenell lives outside Harrisburg, PA with her husband James, an electrician, and their three boys, twin seventh graders and a sixth grader.

 


Mwenda Ntarangwi, PhD

CEO for the Commission of University Education, Kenya, Africa

Mwenda Ntarangwi currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Commission for University Education in Kenya, overseeing and regulating university education in the country. He received his MA and PhD in Anthropology from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, after earning an MA in Swahili Studies at Kenyatta University, Kenya. Joining the Calvin College faculty in January 2008, he taught courses in anthropology, sociology, international development, and the African diaspora. His scholarship has primarily centered around issues of social justice and he has published numerous books and articles on music, gender, identity, performance, post-colonial education, and pedagogy. Mwenda calls Christians to be salt and light, moving out from under a cloud of confusion and fear to clarity in their shared faith in Christ. “As we resist fear and encourage others, we unmask principalities and powers by the love of Christ made manifest in his body.” 

 


Michael Gulker, MDiv

President, The Colossian Forum

Michael Gulker is President of The Colossian Forum. He has a long-standing interest in the oft-times contentious intersection of faith and culture and how both thrive best when rooted in worship.  Michael has, during his six years leading The Colossian Forum, become a leader turning conflict into opportunity for both deeper discipleship and more beautiful witness. A native of West Michigan, he studied philosophy and theology at Calvin College, has a divinity degree from Duke Divinity School, and is an ordained Mennonite pastor. Before coming to The Colossian Forum, Michael served as pastor of Christ Community Church in Des Moines, Iowa. He and his wife Jodie have two young children.

 

Rob Barrett, PhD

Director of Forums and Scholarship, The Colossian Forum

Rob Barrett is Director of Forums and Scholarship at The Colossian Forum. Rob has PhDs both in Applied Physics from Stanford University and Theology from Durham University in England. He worked as a research scientist at IBM for over ten years, as a professor of Old Testament and Hebrew in England, and as a postdoctoral researcher of Old Testament in Göttingen, Germany. He has numerous publications in fields ranging from biblical studies to physics, data storage technology, and human-computer interaction, and holds many patents. He has also earned degrees from Washington University in St. Louis and Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. Rob has worked for over five years at The Colossian Forum to develop, practice, and teach Christian ways of building up the church by engaging the conflicts that divide us. This work has focused on issues of human origins, adopting new technologies, sexuality, and politics. Rob and his wife have two children and an excitable dog at home.