The president of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), the Rev. Walter Kim, was selected as Taylor University’s 2021 commencement speaker.
Commencement is expected to take place on May 15, at 10 a.m. in the Kesler Student Activities Center.
Kim’s current role as the pastor for leadership at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, Virginia, follows 15 years of ministering at Boston’s historic Park Street Church. In addition, Kim serves on the Board of Christianity Today and the advisory council of Gordon College.
“We are honored that Dr. Walter Kim, the president of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) will be our commencement speaker this year,” Interim President Paige Comstock Cunningham said.
Cunningham said Kim’s background as a scholar and chaplain in the Ivy Leagues has given him experience working with a variety of issues including ethics and church life, racial reconciliation and the politics of sexuality.
As a son of immigrants, Kim is also the first person of color to lead the NAE. Cunningham said he brings a global perspective to understanding evangelical identity in this role. She said that bridging cultural divides is not a luxury but a necessity for him.
“During our conversation, Dr. Kim was pleased to hear about the work of Taylor’s task force on evangelical identity, which positions us within the historical and global understanding of what it means to be evangelical,” Cunningham said. “We ended the conversation with a desire to continue the conversation more actively across Taylor’s campus. We have much in common, and I hope that his visit to our campus in May will not be the last one.”
Kim’s Center for Christian Study biography said he received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in near Eastern languages and civilizations, his masters of divinity from Regent College in Vancouver and his B.A. from Northwestern University. He has taught at Boston College and Harvard University, and contributed to the “Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics,” “Archaeological Study Bible'' and “The Soul of Medicine.”
He is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America and a licensed minister in the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference.