Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer believes in moving with the seasons.
During his 36 years of ministry, he enjoyed a season affiliated with Baptists, then transitioned his congregation to independent, boldly entered the entertainment industry by purchasing and worshipping at the Forum for 12 years and now, the Faithful Central Bible Church campus is home to The King’s University.
“The history-making event is that as of last week, we launched our first class in Inglewood. The King’s University is a fully accredited national university and we offer from associate’s degree to the doctorate of ministry level,” said Bishop Ulmer.
“Our school is designed to accommodate the adult learner. Some of our students work full-time, some in full-time ministry, and others in part-time ministry. Basically, the curriculum is for men and women who want to grow in their walk with the Lord.
“But, you don’t have to be a preacher, don’t have to be a teacher, a prophet, an evangelist or a pastor. Although we offer professional degrees in theology and ministry, many classes will enhance your walk with the Lord whether you make your living in the church community or not,” he explained.
Bishop Ulmer’s association with The King’s University spans several years. He was a founding board member and served as president. Also, he has been on the faculty for more than 15 years. Today, he is the dean of the University’s summer session at Oxford University in the United Kingdom.
Involvement with The King’s University complements his love of teaching, said Bishop Ulmer, who recalled, “My biggest challenge was for me to accept and acknowledge that my main gift is that of teacher.
“When I first started preaching, others would laugh at me, make fun of me because they said I couldn’t preach. It was very hard, the first two or three years, to accept that God’s call on my life, my gifting, was more in teaching than what we call traditional preaching.”
Accepting and recognizing your gift leads to effectiveness in ministering to the body of Christ, according to the Bishop.
“I think there’s a principle in I Corinthian 9:7-11. The body functions though gifts. The idea is that the gifts in the body complement one another for the betterment of the body as a whole.
“Just as an individual has gifts, I think that different churches are called to do certain things for different anointings. I don’t think a certain church has to do everything, but I think the more effective ministry is one that says, ‘God has called me to do this.’
“I’d like to find out what has God called and anointed me to do and how can I spend my time, my efforts, my prayers, my resources in developing that area of giftedness,” he declared.
Bishop Ulmer believes this approach will be valuable in the 21st century as ministries strive to reach the next generation.
“Twenty years ago, the trend was to break away from your denomination and become independent. Those of us who are independent are having to ask the same question as denominational churches, which is how effective are we being in addressing the needs, the shifting culture, changing values, and preparing men and women to do ministry in the kingdom of God, as my friend says, ‘for the day after tomorrow’?”
Part of Bishop Ulmer’s action plan incorporates the knowledge he gained from working with the Rev. Dr. Cecil ‘Chip’ Murray, former pastor of First A.M.E. Church in Los Angeles and now a professor at the University of Southern California.
“Dr. Chip Murray was one on my mentors. I learned by witnessing his passion for changing the community, impacting the community, and helping the next generation.
“Our church mission is ‘building champions for divine deployment.’ I want to spend the rest of my life making disciples for the Lord,” he said.
“I want to live holy, I want to be faithful, and I want to help shape the next generation of men and women to live for the Lord, not just in church, but out in the world. I want to finish well.”
For information about Faithful Central Bible Church or The King’s University, call (310) 330-8000.