About the Center: Meet the Staff
Director of the Perkins Center
As a Seattle native, Tali's multicultural upbringing in Seattle’s Rainier Valley and at-risk youth ministry experience, prepared him for leading SPU in a unique partnership in 2003 as the Special Assistant to the President and founding director of The John M. Perkins Center for Reconciliation, Community Development, and Leadership Training.
Hairston presents an impressive awareness and reflection for the contributing experiences he has had. The gift of his family history and story - a large slave-holding family told in The Hairstons: An American Family in Black and White by Henry Wiencek - has been transformative for the way he embraces the world. His scholarly training earned him tools for critical analysis and theological prowess, with an interest in history at the University of Washington to a graduate focus on global leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary.
As a speaker, lecturer, preacher, and trainer, both domestically and internationally, Hairston brings his local hands on organizational and leadership knowledge together with his theological training in reconciliation and community development.
Read Tali’s full biography.
Coordinator for Global Engagement and Small Groups
Paul is a native of Seattle but educational and vocational pursuits have taken him all over the United States and the world. These pursuits combined with experiences of growing up in an immigrant family, worshipping in immigrant church communities, and leading in diverse settings have been formative leading him to explore liminality in faith and life as an Asian-American.
Prior to his work at SPU, Paul was Special Assistant to the President at Union University of California, a school providing access to theologicial education to under-resourced global communities. He is an ordained clergy person and has pastored congregations in New Jersey, Michigan, and Seattle. Leadership in local and larger church bodies include chairing the Southeast Asia Ministry Team of the Seattle Presbytery, commissions to churches, and leading international trips focused on community development. Brief stints as a hospital chaplain and a seaport chaplain, ministering to seafarers from all over the world, have also added unique vocational experiences.
Coordinator for Events and Student Ministries
Native to Seattle, Caenisha has a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Washington. Having served in leadership at Interbay Covenant Church (now merged with Quest Church), she allowed a youth ministry background and a passion for mentoring people, to lead her away from the world of banking and onto the campus ministry staff at SPU in 2005.
After a transformative experience on the Sankofa Journey with the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC), she dove deep into her personal story and identity in search of understanding and reconciliation; discovering that the discomfort of race is saturated into the infrastructure of our institutions, including education and the church, as much as it is a part of every day social and personal interactions.
Caenisha joined the Perkins Center staff in 2007 not realizing how much it would steward her vocational call toward reconciliation. Motivated by the life-work of Dr. John Perkins and community development, and with a heart for relationship building and a growing thirst for Biblical reconciliation, she completed her Masters in Christian Ministry from North Park Theological Seminary in 2011.
She has enjoyed work on a number of different justice and compassion projects, centered around the church, education, and reconciliation- including a local youth and justice conference called Feet 2 Faith with the ECC, as well as serving in leadership at Quest Church in Glocal Ministries. While at SPU, she is excited to encourage further training and awareness on community development and reconciliation work with campus and community - including support to the creation of student programs such as In Context and Multicultural Night of Worship (MNOW).
She has an enthusiasm for people, enjoys learning their stories and walking through life with them. Other interests vary from art, dance, music, and even watching the occasional professional bull riding event.
Interim University Chaplin; Associate Professor of Old Testament
Bo Lim comes to SPU with teaching experience in both the church and university. Prior to joining SPU’s School of Theology faculty in 2006, he taught at North Park University and pastored Korean-American congregations for several years.
Dr. Lim’s research interests include the formation of the book of Isaiah, exile and forced migration, the theological interpretation of Scripture, missional hermeneutics, and Asian American biblical interpretation. He views his scholarship and teaching as a means to enable to the church to live out its missional calling, particularly how it reads Scripture responsibly and relevantly in and for our culture. Dr. Lim serves as a elder at Quest Church, and ministers to the Asian American community regionally and nationally. He is currently writing a commentary on the book of Hosea.