Ken Wytsma is a first generation American. During World War II, Ken’s Dutch grandfather had to disguise himself as a woman and ride a bike more than twenty miles to find food for his family and his pregnant wife. After the war his grandfather immigrated to the United States with his wife and three children, including Ken’s dad.
Motivated by this background, Ken’s parents sponsored a family of five Cambodian refugees who were fleeing the Khmer Rouge genocide. Ken was eight when the Cambodian family lived with them for a year, an experience that shaped both Ken and his sister, Laura. Laura is an award-winning lawyer recognized for her pro bono work with refugees seeking asylum in the United States.
Ken, who would describe himself as a latecomer to understanding Biblical justice, became a Christian at age twenty-two while attending Clemson University. He is a leader, innovator, and entrepreneur. An unlikely scholar, he moves with ease through philosophy, theology, history, and current events, giving him a unique ability to speak to nearly any audience about issues that are at the heart of God’s character.
Ken is the President of Kilns College where he teaches courses in Philosophy, History of Atheism, and Human Rights. He is the church planter and lead pastor of Antioch in Bend, Oregon—a church community widely known for creativity, innovation, and its nationwide intern program that attracts dozens of future leaders each year. Ken received a B.S. in Engineering from Clemson University and holds a Master’s Degree in Philosophy and a Master’s Degree in Biblical Studies.He also is the founder of The Justice Conference, a national gathering of authors, artists, pastors, and advocates based in Chicago, Illinois and has worked alongside World Relief as creative advisor and member of the World Relief Teaching Team.
A published author, Ken has written four books, Pursuing Justice: The Call to Live and Die for Bigger Things (Thomas Nelson, 2013) written with D.R. Jacobsen, The Grand Paradox: The Messiness of Life, the Mystery of God and the Necessity of Faith (Nelson, 2015), Create vs. Copy (Moody Publishers, March 2016), and his latest, The Myth of Equality: Uncovering the Roots of Injustice and Privilege (IVP Books, June 2017). In this timely, insightful book, Wytsma unpacks what we need to know to be grounded in conversations about today's race-related issues. And he helps us come to a deeper understanding of both the origins of these issues and the reconciling role we are called to play as ministers of the gospel.
Ken loves living at the foot of the Cascade Mountains with his wife Tamara and their four daughters.