Professor of Systematic Theology
Finding Unity in Our Diversity
“I love Fuller’s diversity in terms of nationalities and denominations. Indeed, Fuller is like the whole world in miniature,” observes Professor of Systematic Theology Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen.
When Kärkkäinen speaks of the “whole world,” he knows what he’s talking about. A native of Finland, Kärkkäinen—who joined Fuller’s faculty in 2000—has taught and lived on three continents, traveled broadly, gained command of several languages, and authored multiple books and articles in both English and Finnish. He is a member of three working groups of the World Council of Churches and has participated in a number of international consultations.
Having been trained as an ecumenist, Kärkkäinen wants to help students to see the importance of the unity of the church of Jesus Christ. Yet “work for unity does not mean downplaying or compromising the diversity,” he clarifies; “on the contrary, true unity reflects in many colors the beauty of diversity.”
“Fuller has a unique calling to help the evangelical movement to redeem itself in the midst of so many controversial and conflicting pressures,” Kärkkäinen believes. “As a professor at Fuller, I hope to help the new generation of evangelicals—who come from all over the world—to discover and develop a theology that is relevant in a complex world and contributes to the life and mission of the Church.”