Ruth Haley Barton (Doctor of Divinity, Northern Theological Seminary) is founder of the Transforming Center, a ministry dedicated to strengthening the souls of clergy, Christian leaders and the congregations and organizations they serve. A sought-after speaker, retreat leader and trained spiritual director (Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation), she is the author of numerous books and resources on the spiritual life. Dr. Barton has been a student, a practitioner, a teacher and a leader in the area of Christian spirituality and spiritual formation for over twenty years. She has served on the pastoral staff of several churches, has taught at the graduate level and travels widely, teaching and consulting with churches in the areas of spiritual formation, leadership discernment and transforming community.
Dr. Bungishabaku Katho is the founder and director of the Jeremiah Center for Faith and Society (JCFS), an organization started in 2017. The JCFS aims to build a just and peaceful society in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Center seeks to gather leaders to articulate and promote a shared vision for hope which will be spread to the wider community through networking, research, and publications. In addition to his work at JCFS, Katho is a professor of Old Testament at Shalom University located in Bunia, DR Congo. His scholarly work includes a commentary on the book of Jeremiah (published by Excelsis and Hippo). Previously, Katho served as the president of Shalom University from 2003-2017 and also president of his denomination, The Brethren Church in Eastern DR Congo, from 2009-2019.
Dr. Robert Chao Romero has been a professor of Chicano/Latino Studies at UCLA since 2005. Together with his wife Erica, Robert serves as co-chair of the Matthew 25 Movement in Southern California. He earned his Ph.D. in Latin American history from UCLA and J.D. from U.C. Berkeley, and is also a pastor and attorney. Robert’s current book project is entitled, The Brown Church: Towards a Latina/o Christian Social Justice History and Identity (forthcoming Intervarsity Press Academic, 2020). His first book, The Chinese in Mexico, 1882-1940, received the Latina/o Studies Section Book Award from the international Latin American Studies Association.
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.
September 12-14, 2019
Prince Conference Center
Grand Rapids, Michigan
The Colossian Forum