Roberta R. King, Ph.D.

Lead Investigator

Roberta R. King, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Communication and Ethnomusicology
School of Intercultural Studies
Fuller Theological Seminary

Contact Information:

“Music and the arts provide spaces to engage in perceiving imagined worlds of spirituality where people have opportunity to approach one another, to be more friendly and more brotherly.”

Chapter Titles:

  • Introduction: Pursuing Songs of Peace and Reconciliation
  • Musical Gateways to Peace and Reconciliation: The Dynamics of Imagined Worlds of Spirituality at the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music
  • Chapter 13: Musical Pathways of Peace and Reconciliation
  • Chapter 14: Employing Musical Pathways of Peace and Reconciliation

Biographical Information:
Roberta King is associate professor of communication and ethnomusicology in the School of Intercultural Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary. Since coming to Fuller in 2000, she has served as All-Seminary Chapel director and developed a new curriculum in Global Christian Worship (ethnomusicology) at the MA level, and recently launched a new Doctorate in Intercultural Studies in Ethnomusicology.

After studying music at the undergraduate level (BA in piano performance, and French horn performance, 1972, University of California at Santa Barbara) and graduate level (MMus in Music Education, University of Oregon), King began her professional career in Kenya at Daystar Communications, now Daystar University in Nairobi, Kenya in 1978. While there, she recognized the power of music to communicate profoundly within varying cultural contexts which led to her PhD in Intercultural Studies that focused on Music as Communication among the Senufo of Côte d’Ivoire in 1989, Fuller Theological Seminary. While in Nairobi, she also directed and led worship at Nairobi Baptist Church and established the Department of Christian Music Communication at Daystar University. King also served for 22 years with WorldVenture working with church leaders and musicians in more than 11 African nations, from Senegal to Madagascar, to develop appropriate songs for communicating the gospel in over 80 different languages.

At Fuller Seminary, King teaches MA courses such as 1) Global Christian Worship, 2) Christian Communication through Music, 3) Exegeting Musical Cultures, 4) Storytelling and Song, 5) Ethnomusicology: Theory and Analysis, 6) Intercultural Communication, and 7) Qualitative Research. She is an active lifetime member in the International Society for Ethnomusicology and also participates in the International Council for Traditional Music. Since coming full-time to Fuller in 2000, Dr. King has taught and held workshops in Chennai, India; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Novosibirsk, Siberia, Nairobi, Kenya; Ferkessedougou, Côte d’Ivoire, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Within the United States she has spoken at Calvin College’s annual Worship Conference and was honored as the Hearn Innovator in Christian Music speaker at Baylor University’s School of Music in 2008.

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 numerous chapters in edited volumes plus 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 the Academic Programs committee. She is currently the recipient of the Henry Luce Research Grant and lead investigator of “Songs of Peace and Reconciliation: A Comparative Study of Music, Worship and the Arts Among Muslims and Christians,” as part of an initiative within the Brehm Center for Worship, Theology, and the Arts.