Individuals’ callings often spill over into the callings of their spouses—and that certainly seems to be the case for Carl and Karen Ellis. When they first met, Carl was serving as the Dean of Intercultural Studies at Westminster Theological Seminary, where Karen was perusing her master’s degree. Since then, their mutual love for each other—and for theological anthropology—has led them to a shared life of ministry both in the United States and overseas.

Karen, who is now a PhD candidate at the Oxford Center for Mission Studies in England, specializes in advocating for the global religious freedom, particularly in areas where underground churches are facing persecution. Carl, meanwhile, focuses on issues closer to home related to African American culture and religious practice. Together, they founded the Makazi Institute, which aims to “train emerging leaders to speak into today’s global cultures with a distinctive biblical voice.”

For today’s episode of The Calling, CT managing editor Richard Clark sat down with Karen and Carl to find out more about Makazi, their human rights work, and the lessons they’ve learned working alongside each other in ministry environments that few might dare to enter.

Karen on the perspective history gives us: “Satan only has a certain number of tricks. When you start to look across the patterns of history, you start to see the same stuff happening again and again. You realize that God has mercifully limited him in his creativity. He’s just really good at marketing. He just keeps repackaging the same stuff over and over.”

Carl on learning to be patient with God: “When people came and told me, when I was going through ...

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