BA, University of California, Santa Barbara
MMus, University of Oregon
MA, PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary
Superior Certificate in the French Language and Civilization, Sorbonne University, France
◎ Biographical Information
Roberta King is associate professor of communication and ethnomusicology in the School of Intercultural Studies. Since coming to Fuller in 2000, she has served as All-Seminary Chapel director and developed a new curriculum for “Ethnomusicology in Mission”—renamed Global Christian Worship (ethnomusicology)—at the MA level, and has recently launched a new Doctor of Missiology in Ethnomusicology.
After studying music at the undergraduate and graduate levels, King began her missionary career in Kenya at Daystar Communications, now Daystar University in Nairobi, Kenya. While there, she recognized the power of music to communicate the gospel profoundly within varying cultural contexts. She directed and led worship at Nairobi Baptist Church and established the Department of Christian Music Communication at Daystar University. King also served for 20 years with WorldVenture, a U.S.-based mission society, working with church leaders in 11 African nations, from Senegal to Madagascar, to develop appropriate songs for communicating the gospel in over 80 different languages.
In addition to her academic responsibilities at Fuller, King continues to reach out to the global Church, teaching and holding recent workshops in Chennai, India; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; and Nairobi, Kenya; and serving as the Hearn Innovator in Christian Music speaker at Baylor University’s School of Music. Though she teaches such subjects as qualitative research and intercultural communication, her passion is to communicate Christ through song and the arts of a culture in ways that lead to her ultimate missional goal: to release God’s people, from all nations, to worship Jesus Christ.
King has published Pathways in Christian Music Communication (2009), Music in the Life of the African Church (2008), A Time to Sing: A Manual for the African Church (1999), and articles in journals such as Missiology and the Evangelical Missions Quarterly. She is also a regular contributor to Worship Leader magazine and EthnoDoxology, the journal of the International Council of EthnoDoxologists, an organization which she helped to found and now serves on both its Founders and Academic Programs committees. She is currently the recipient of a Luce Research Grant focused on “Songs of Peace and Reconciliation: A Comparative Study of Music, Worship and the Arts Among Muslims and Christians” as part of a Brehm Center for Worship, Theology, and the Arts initiative. The first colloquium of scholars met in Beirut, Lebanon in April 2009, with the second colloquium planned for April 2010 in Bandung, Indonesia.
◎ Courses Taught
ME506- Communicating the Gospel Cross-Culturally
ME510- Christian Communication through Music
ME513- Global Christian Worship
ME515- Communicating Christ through Narrative and Song
ME518- Exegeting Musical Culture
MD519- Ethnomusicology: Theory and Analysis
◎ Areas of Expertise, Research, Writing, and Teaching
Christian ethnomusicology in mission, worship, church music, intercultural communication, qualitative research, spirituality and mission, African music, music and peace-building studies, orality
◎ Research Works
Dr. King "(un)Common Sounds"