About Me

Ken CarlsonHere’s a little bit about me. . .

My elementary school years were spent in a small town in Nebraska where I was known as the class science wiz.  I spent hours in our basement workshop experimenting with my chemistry set and tinkering with whatever I could get my hand on.  I only filled the basement with smoke a few times. I also enjoyed the outdoors, including camping trips with the Boy Scouts.  Looking back on it I had a great childhood, for which I am truly thankful.

At the time I finished junior high my family moved to beautiful Northwest Montana.  I continued my pursuit of science and started putting together electronic circuits.  In school I took every science course that I could.

While I was growing up I attended the Roman Catholic Church with my family, but when I was in high school I began to ask a lot of questions about the meaning of life and whether there was really a God. Through some Christian friends I came to understand the significance of Christ’s death for my sins on the cross and God’s desire to have a personal relationship with us.  I trusted Christ for salvation during my junior year.

When I moved to California to attend college at Stanford I was entering uncharted territory.  I didn’t know anyone in the entire state.  I quickly found a Christian fellowship group and got involved.  My plan had been to major in computer science, but I ended up in philosophy.  The reason for that is that God was changing my life plans.

Ken and Joni at waterfallWhile in college I was involved in several different campus ministries and sensed God’s call to full-time vocational ministry. Upon graduation from college I jumped immediately into ministry and began study at Talbot Seminary.  The other thing I did right after I finished college was to get married to my wife Joni, whom I had gotten to know through the Christian fellowship groups on campus.  We moved down to Southern California where I earned my M.Div. and Th.M. degrees at Talbot.  During that time my two sons, Paul and Daniel were born.

While at Talbot my wife and I had a growing burden to serve God as cross-cultural missionaries.  After my graduation, we moved to Taiwan with our two young boys to serve as missionaries with OMF.  My ministry focus was teaching and leadership training, and in our fourth year I had the opportunity to teach a course at China Evangelical Seminary.  After our return from Taiwan I served from 1994 until 2011 as the English congregation pastor at Chinese For Christ Church in Berkeley, CA. During that time I completed my D.Min. at Western Seminary with a dissertation on reaching the next generations in North American Chinese churches.  In the fall of 2011 we moved to Oregon where I served as the part-time interim English Pastor at a Chinese church and worked on a book based on my dissertation research.  Currently I am serving in the English Ministry of the Portland Chinese Alliance Church.

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"True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less." -- C. S. Lewis