Tanner Kalina


Yewww! My name's Tanner. I'm a FOCUS missionary, and YOU are loved.

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Where I serve

Where don't I serve? lols jk. I serve at the University of Colorado Boulder. I'm a big bad Buffalo boy now. 

My Story

Whoa. Jesus is wild. No idea how I got here. I graduated college five years ago from the University of Texas at Austin--HOOK EM!--and planned on joining FOCUS immediately following. However, I booked a starring role in a studio comedy film so it was off to Hollywood instead. I became a STAH!...sort of...kinda...to my mom at least. Eh heh. It's because of my time in LA that I know nothing satisfies like Jesus. Nothing. No success, no red carpet, no wild party, no paycheck, no girlfriend, no anything, fills one's cup like Jesus. A lot of us know this, but I'm not sure a lot of us believe this. Our head needs to connect to our heart here.

So you might be asking yourself, "Self, why did Tanner decide to straight send it to FOCUS five years later?" Well. COVID-19. I got infected. With Jesus. With all the time, I poured into Him and His word. He spoke to me in ways He never has. I read and read. I even wrote two books (!) about my faith. Either He was calling on me, or I was losing my mind. I'm open to it being both.

I feel Him calling me to serve and pour into Him. My yes to FOCUS is not a no to acting! Right now, though, I feel He wants me to reach out to artists and equip them in their faith. I'm passionate about helping students know Jesus better, and I'm passionate about helping myself know Jesus better. My vision is to cultivate an army of believer-artists leaving universities and permeating our culture with beauty. Mainly, though, I just want people to make masterpieces out of their lives.

Here's a small but wild example of the Master Creator at work in my own life. I grew up pursuing baseball--even playing college baseball for a few years--before pursuing comedy and acting. I was then cast in a film about a college baseball team. Full circle. THEN. I made a film about a Catholic man in the Colorado mountains, and now I'm becoming a Catholic missionary out in the Colorado mountains. I am the clay. He is the potter. He's making my life into something! I just hope it's somewhat nice to look at.

Your Impact

When I answered the call to join FOCUS, I made the decision to rely on the spiritual and financial support of mission partners to help me through this mission. Not the easiest decision. It definitely worried those closest to me. It made some of them angry, quite frankly. But. Oh well. "...the laborers is worthy of his wages" (Luke 10:7, Matthew 10:10, 1 Timothy 5:18, 1 Cor 9:14). I've been blessed with the most amazing people who have journeyed with me as I serve on campus. If you are interested in partnering with me, please let me know the best way to reach you and I will schedule an appointment. I'd be honored to share this mission with you. Yewww! Stay cool.

Know, Love and Serve God

We encounter God in an intimate relationship through daily prayer, the sacraments and the Scriptures.

Build Virtuous Friendships

By building genuine friendships, we meet students on a deeper level.

Teach Others to Share Christ

We teach students how to share the gospel, who in turn teach other students how to pass it on …