The Colossian Forum Staff
Michael Gulker is President of The Colossian Forum. Michael has a longstanding interest in the intersection of faith and culture and how both thrive best when rooted in worship. A native of West Michigan, he studied philosophy and theology at Calvin College, has a divinity degree from Duke and is an ordained Mennonite pastor.
Before coming to the Forum, Michael served as pastor of Christ Community Church in Des Moines, Iowa. In an earlier life, he also designed and implemented automation systems. He and his wife Jodie have two young children.
Director of Fellows & Forums
Rob Barrett is Director of Fellows & Forums 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.
Rebecca Cobern is an intern at TCF and is currently pursuing a masters degree in Theological Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary. She has 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!
Director of Operations
Brian Cole is Director of Operations for The Colossian Forum. Brian joined the Forum after a decade of administration and teaching in Christian higher education. He has a Ph.D. from Western Michigan University in Higher Education Leadership, with a particular research interest in college student activism at faith-based institutions.
Brian studied English at Anderson University and earned his master’s degree in Executive Development for Public Service at Ball State University. He and his wife Jen have a young child.
Farron Kilburn serves as the Communications Manager for The Colossian Forum. Joining TCF from New York, she has worked in advertising and communications for New York University, Conde Nast Media Group, and Ann Taylor. She holds an MA in Humanities and Social Thought from NYU and is interested in the intersection of faith, social justice, and health. She’s drawn to TCF’s mission of building better faith communities by finding opportunities for grace and growth in the midst of differing perspectives.
She is settling into life in Grand Rapids and is trying her hand at gardening now that she has a yard.
Jeanna Morrison is Administrative Assistant at The Colossian Forum and attends Grand Rapids Theological Seminary for her MA in Counseling with a focus in Student and Family Ministries. With her experience coaching high school cheerleading and leading youth group, she is deeply interested in providing healing for the multitude of issues that teens face in their faith journey.
One of the reasons she is drawn to TCF is for the shared value of character formation for reconciliation to Christ and in our relationships with each other. She is intrigued by the notion that the reality of Christ’s love and unity is rooted in our willingness to embrace vulnerability as we humbly lean into the difficult conversations with a heart tuned to the other.
Jeanna enjoys being a part of a team while serving others with administrative support and believes that being a participant in the practices of virtue has broadened her capacity to love more fully. Contributing to TCF has been a great blessing in her life and provides a daily reminder of God’s transforming grace.
Lori Wilson serves as Director of Community Programs for The Colossian Forum. As the daughter of Baptist missionaries, she spent much of her childhood in Argentina, returning to the US to study Spanish literature at the Colorado College. Lori recently completed studies for an MA in systematic theology at King’s College London. Her work with the Forum reflects her interest in the Christian practice of hospitality–particularly, what it means to genuinely welcome those with whom we deeply disagree.
Lori and her husband (also an MK) have two teenagers. As a family, they especially enjoy cooking, good movies, and travel.