Robin has M.A.s in Intercultural Studies and Ethnomusicology and a Ph.D. in Music/Ethnomusicology. She served for decades in cross-cultural contexts, including 10 years in Russia, and now speaks at colleges and conferences about topics such as ethnodoxology and ethnomusicology. Her publications include co-editing Worship and Mission for the Global Church: An Ethnodoxology Handbook (William Carey Library, 2013) and Storytelling in Siberia: The Olonkho Epic in a Changing World (University of Illinois Press, 2017). She currently serves as Director of the Center for Excellence in World Arts at Dallas International University (formerly GIAL) and as an Arts Consultant for SIL Int’l. For more detail, see Robin’s faculty profile.
Chair of the Board
James R. Krabill served from 1978–1996 as a Mennonite mission worker teaching Bible and church history in oral culture settings among African-initiated churches in West Africa. Recently retired from decades as Senior Executive for Global Ministries with the Mennonite Mission Network, Krabill now teaches extensively at seminaries and universities around the world. He has authored or edited many books, including Music in the Life of the African Church (with Roberta King and others, 2008) and Worship and Mission for the Global Church: An Ethnodoxology Handbook (2013).
Melanie is a musician and arts advocate who has served cross-culturally in Southeast Asia and North America. As a multi-instrumentalist and church worship facilitator, she has served with congregations in Malaysia, Cambodia, and the US. While working as a primary school and English as a Second Language teacher at an international school, she also had the joy of creating curriculum and co-facilitating a music program alongside local artists and community activists for students of many nationalities and cultures.
Melanie has a bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Studies, a Master’s in Biblical Studies, and is currently a PhD student in Dallas, TX at DIU’s Center for Excellence in World Arts.
With a longing for shalom, her vision is to see multicultural communities worshiping and growing together in the pursuit of reconciliation, justice, and wholeness.
Elsen Portugal is a pianist, music director, and missionary. He was born in Brazil in 1963, received his B.M. in Piano Pedagogy from East Texas Baptist University and his M.M. in Piano Performance from the University of Central Arkansas. He has a PhD in Worship and Mission majoring on applied Ethnomusicology/Ethnodoxology from B. H. Carroll Theological Seminary. Elsen and his family have served as missionaries in Germany for 11 years and worked on short-term projects in other countries. Since 2014, he and his wife have spent more than 3 years in Brazil establishing partnerships for Ethnoarts projects among indigenous ethnic groups and developing the field of Ethnodoxology in Brazil. His research centered on the authenticity of the present-day fusion music genres used by the Xerente people of central Brazil. He now lives in Hot Springs, AR where he is involved in musical (particularly collaborative piano) activities and academic teaching.
Born and raised in Venezuela, Juan is an arts advocate who serves as a missionary with WEC International in Spain. He lives in the Basque Country with his wife and three children and is currently leading Arts Release Spain, part of a collective of creative arts specialists who love Jesus and people of other cultures and enjoy expressing God’s love through various art forms. A coffee lover, Juan is an Engineer with a Master’s degree in Management of Quality Systems and Statistical Process Control. He is also about to finish an M.A. in World Arts with concentration on Scripture Engagement from Dallas International University. His vision is to make known the field of Ethnodoxology and its benefits in the Spanish-speaking world.
Joy is a musician, an arts advocate, and a teacher at heart. She loves teaching children music, arts, history, and cultures. She studied piano, church music, and music education, and graduated from GIAL (now known as Dallas International University) with a master’s degree in World Arts. Joy is a mom of two children, and resides in Clarkston, Georgia which is known as “the most diverse square mile in America.” Joy, with her husband Jaewoo Kim, is part of Proskuneo Ministries and works as an arts advocate for her community. Her thesis was a case study of creative collaboration of diaspora musicians in this multicultural community. Joy, as a member of the Korean diaspora herself, works with diaspora artists from diverse backgrounds to engage in global mission together through building multicultural worshiping communities around the world.
Héber NegrãoTrustee Héber Negrão is the anthropology and ethnoarts coordinator at the Evangelical Missionary Linguistic Association (Wycliffe in Brazil). He has been involved in ethnoarts ministry in Brazil ever since he joined GEN in 2006. He and his wife worked with Oral Bible Translation for the Tembé people in northern Brazil. Currently he and his…