The Colossian Forum Staff
Michael Gulker is President of The Colossian Forum. A native of West Michigan, he studied philosophy and theology at Calvin College, and received his Master’s of Divinity from Duke in 2005. Michael was then ordained as a Mennonite pastor, serving for five years at Christ Community Church in Des Moines, Iowa. In 2011, he helped found The Colossian Forum to aid churches in creating space for Christians to honestly and directly engage today’s most divisive cultural issues, encountering them not as threats but as Christ-given opportunities to build community, deepen faith and broaden knowledge. This work is built upon the foundational Christian belief that all things hold together in Christ (Col. 1:17).
Michael and his wife Jodie have two young children. He enjoys hiking, fishing, and running, especially if he can convince one of his family members to join him in it!
Director of Forums & Scholarship
Rob Barrett is Director of Forums & Scholarship for The Colossian Forum. He 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 most recently as a postdoctoral researcher of Old Testament in Göttingen, Germany.
Rob 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. His varied background is unified by his longstanding interest in the intersection of faith, Bible, science/technology, and culture. Rob and his wife Crystal have two young children.
Manager of Church Partner Development
Chris Brewer is Manager of Church Partner Developmentand a Visiting Scholar with the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship at Calvin College. After completing an MA in Historical Theology at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary (GRTS), and serving in a church just north of Philadelphia, he completed an MDiv at GRTS while working as a Marketing Manager for Universal Forest Products, Inc. Chris, his wife Rachel and their two boys then moved to Scotland where they lived for three years while he completed a PhD in Divinity at St. Mary’s College, University of St. Andrews.
The editor of Art that Tells the Story (GTSE, 2011), Chris has more recently published on the Irish-Catholic philosopher William Desmond, and is currently editing a critical edition of Howard E. Root’s previously unpublished 1972 Bampton Lectures, writing his first book—Understanding Natural Theology—for Zondervan Academic, and co-editing two volumes of David Brown’s essays for Ashgate. The first of these two volumes from Ashgate, God in a Single Vision: Integrating Philosophy and Theology, will be available June 2016.
Andy Saur serves as the Executive Assistant to the President of The Colossian Forum. With his strong interest in building interpersonal connections and his overarching passion for story, Andy was drawn to The Colossian Forum’s mission of building community in the midst of varying narratives. He is particularly interested in the way in which story encountered through the arts helps grow understanding and compassion.
Andy earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Wheaton College (Wheaton, IL) and recently completed a diploma in Entertainment Business Management from Vancouver Film School (Vancouver, BC). In his spare time, Andy seeks sunshine and an empty city bench where he attempts to create art of his own in the form of poetry.
Director of Operations
Craig Schrotenboer is Director of Operations at The Colossian Forum. His professional background includes 26 years at Herman Miller, followed by a transition to the non-profit sector with Davenport University, Youth For Christ, and most recently KIDS HOPE USA. During his time as Vice President at KIDS HOPE, Craig captured a vision for the influence that a local church can have in the community in which it worships. This passion brings him to TCF, where his work will help the church to engage conflict in a way that witnesses to the transforming love of God.
Craig and his wife Sherry have four adult children (three of whom are triplets), two grandchildren, three dogs and a cat. He enjoys tennis, golf, and spending time with his family at their cottage on Beaver Island in Lake Michigan.
Manager of Communications
She’s quick to expound on the practical and spiritual benefits of knitting, experiment with the newest social media platform, willing to share a cup of loose leaf tea, and swap stories of irrational soft spots (sweeping historical epics in film and literature is her particular one).
Rebecca Kates is a former intern at TCF and recently graduated with a masters degree in Theological Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary. She spent several years in college ministry, and works to build Christian intentional communities with believers from different denominational backgrounds.
Rebecca is drawn to TCF because of the organization’s dedication to creating environments where Christians who have differences in belief can come together in love to learn and help one another grow closer to Christ while working through disagreements and difficult topics.
Rebecca is fond of hiking, cooking, learning guitar, and reading. She hopes to write a blog someday on the adventures of urban foraging!