Welcome Leroy Barber to Kilns College

By Ken Wytsma

Leroy is a good friend and has been a part of what we’ve been doing at Kilns College for a long time. He is a recognized thought leader in the areas of justice, race, church and Christian missions. There are few people whose voices I respect more than his.

We’re excited that Leroy is joining Kilns College as a College Pastor to deepen our focus on spiritual formation and how students at Kilns are interacting with the subjects of theology and justice at a heart level, in addition to the academic level.

I recently sat down with Leroy to talk about the new position and ask him a few questions.

KW: What is it that you like about Kilns College?

LB: Kilns has a concentration on justice that focuses on hearing from leaders of color as part of the core of its teachings. This creates a view of justice from those most often affected that balances theological study that usually come mostly from European thought.

KW: What is your hope for your role and joining the staff?

LB: I think as people study justice and theology their heart should also be challenged. As a pastor, my gift is to help connect head and heart. Deep theological study and deep spiritual growth need to be intentionally done together giving both an equal place.

KW: You’re raising support for this role, why? 

LB: I think this is an important part of what students should get as they study. I went to a small school and I have a heart for places that do great work but can’t afford to have certain positions. While this is a part time role it can be meaningful for our students.

KW: Why does it matter that we keep love of God and love of neighbor in the conversation with academics?

LB: Our spiritual journeys and knowledge of God don’t mean much if it doesn’t connect with people. It’s like faith without action: dead.

KW: Education can become an easily overlooked issue–from your perspective, why does it deserve more attention and effort than we give it credit for?

LB: I think education is a key, especially for people of color, to transcend some of the challenges they face around the world. The scriptures are full of leaders that come from challenging backgrounds. Education can be a tool to transcend our circumstances and I think that once you know who you are and what God has called you to do in the world education is a joyful experience at this level.

I’m excited about Leroy’s ongoing interaction with Kilns students. If you’d like to learn more about the projects he’s been working on, check out his latest book, Red, Brown, Yellow, Black, White Who’s More Precious In God’s Sight?: A call for diversity in Christian Missions and Ministry.

If you want to learn more about programs at Kilns College, you can learn about our graduate degrees here.

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Categories: Innovation & Leadership,Justice & Culture

Ken Wytsma is a teacher, entrepreneur and author. He is the founder of The Justice Conference and president of Kilns College, as well as the author of Pursuing Justice: The Call to Live and Die for Bigger Things, The Grand Paradox: The Messiness of Life, the Mystery of God and the Necessity of Faith, and Create vs. Copy:Embrace Change. Ignite Creativity. Break Through with Imagination.

Theology and Culture