Portraits of Strength & Hope: Cal Samuelson

Calum “Cal” Samuelson ’13/’15 MA
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LW Warfel

December 14, 2023 Alumni & Friends, Giving

Young Alumni Award Recipients

2023 Young Alumni Award: Rev. Calum Samuelson ’13/’15 M.A.

Since graduating from ONU with a bachelor’s degree in Biblical studies and a second major in intercultural studies, the Rev. Calum Samuelson ’13/’15 M.A. has worked as an adjunct professor, researcher, pastor and chaplain. Those roles continue to shape what he is doing now as a university lecturer, ordained minister in the Free Methodist Church and scholar of Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity. He has lived in seven countries and traveled to more than 65 countries for ministry, business and leisure.

For the past two years, Calum and his wife, Andrea (Richardson) ’14, and their son, Clive, have lived in Kenya.

“Living and working in Africa is one of God’s biggest surprises in my life!” he says. “In Kenya I have taught theology at Africa Nazarene University and worked closely with numerous local churches, pastors and organizations.”

This assignment from God also connected Calum with another ONU alumnus, Dr. Rod Reed ’84/’86 M.A., who is a professor and deputy vice chancellor of academic affairs at Africa Nazarene University.

“ONU helped expose me to thousands of different Christians in America, Africa and throughout history,” Calum says. “I began learning how to cherish the ways that God is at work in diverse Christian traditions — ways beyond my own comprehension. At ONU I was encouraged to develop curiosity, humility and holiness.”

One of his favorite ONU memories is the time he spent traveling and ministering with Before Tomorrow and The Narrow worship teams.

Cal Samuelson headshot

Calum also holds a master’s degree from ONU’s highly specialized Christian thought program and a Master of Philosophy degree from the University of Cambridge, and he is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies in Cambridge, England. An influencer on public policy in several countries, he helped secure rights for gig workers in the U.K. during his time as a researcher for the Jubilee Centre think tank.

He has published and presented his work in more than a dozen countries. His area of expertise is Ethiopian monasticism, which enables him to be involved in several international projects that aim to preserve, catalogue, transcribe and translate medieval Ethiopic manuscripts, including the Ethiopic Manuscript Imaging Project and the Beta Maṣāḥǝft. A leader in the Lausanne-Orthodox Initiative, he will soon continue his work in Ethiopia as a postdoctoral fellow with the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies.

Learn more about how you can become part of Olivet’s mission for many years to come. Contact campaign director Susan Wolff at swolff@olivet.edu or call 815-928-5776 to schedule an appointment with a member of our team.

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LW Warfel

Laura Wasson Warfel is a story gatherer, writer, editor, and follower of Jesus Christ. A good listener, she distills details into meaningful communications. Her greatest joy is to bring others along with her on her faith journey. In 2015, she launched More Than A Widow, a ministry to help widows live beyond the label and find their more.

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