In a letter to the University, Biola’s Chief of Staff Brian J. Shook announced that the Rev. Dr. Kenneth C. Ulmer will serve as senior advisor to the president, Dr. Barry H. Corey, on community reconciliation.
The appointment was made in consultation with the Board of Trustees leadership, the President’s Cabinet and the University’s Chief Diversity Officer, Tamra Malone. In his new role, Ulmer will help the University expand its imagination on ways they will walk and live into their biblical calling for being a reconciling community, working with other leaders on campus toward a grace-filled culture of Christian unity amidst their diversity.
The term “community reconciliation” comes out of the vision for a unified body of Christ that the Apostle Paul describes in Ephesians 2:14-16. The body of Christ remains as one despite racial and cultural distinctions. The term is also based upon the doctrine of God’s mercy of reconciling staff and leaders of Biola to Himself through the blood of the cross of Christ.
In addition, it stems from their history of longing to be a welcoming community for all, accepting the prophetic words of its founder, Lyman Stewart, who said of Biola over 100 years ago that “all people regardless of race, color, class, creed, or previous condition, will ever be welcome to its privileges.”
A respected national and global Christian leader, Ulmer has served Faithful Central Bible Church in Los Angeles as its senior pastor for nearly 40 years. He is the past president and founding board member of The King’s University, and serves as dean of The King’s annual summer session at Oxford University.
“As a former Biola trustee and adjunct professor, Dr. Ulmer knows and loves the Biola community, and he will be able to come alongside our efforts to approach diversity from a biblical perspective. I am honored we will have his help,” shared Shook.
Ulmer’s focus will be consulting with Talbot School of Theology to consider how to assist their faculty and students prepare future congregational leaders for the increasing diversity of the church — including those from different backgrounds, family systems, denominations, ethnicities and cultures.
Additionally, he will work with Talbot leadership on recruiting and retaining African American students and building collaborative partnerships with Black churches throughout the greater Los Angeles area and beyond.