Tom Cooper is the President and Founder of City in Focus, not-for-profit organization that exists to serve the spiritual and social needs of Vancouver. He has spear-headed this chaplaincy by caring for the soul of the city though dynamic connections with business, political and faith communities of Vancouver.
Most notably, City in Focus organizes an annual prayer breakfast attended by 1,000 people from across the province.
He holds a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, and is a Minister of Religion ordained in the Presbyterian Church of Canada.
Date: Monday, November 18, 2019
Time: 12:00 noon
Location: Epiphany at UBC, 6030 Chancellor Boulevard
This event is open to students and alumni
The Conversations with Changemakers series brings students together with inspirational leaders who share their experience, passion, and vision. The series build on our mission to educate lifelong learners who are prepared to take on the intellectual, professional, and social challenges of our times.
Tom holds a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, and was ordained in the Presbyterian Church of Canada. He attends St. Mark’s Parish at UBC.
A businessman for over 20 years, Tom was in three partnerships and started two companies before entering the ministry. By the time he graduated college, he had been Vice President of a construction company and Director of a national sales marketing company. After starting a college ministry at Western Washington University grew to over 1000 students, Tom moved to co-found a bookstore within his 20s.
Tom was research assistant for two years to John Stott, one of the Chaplains to the Queen, London, England. He was Assistant, Associate and Senior Pastor for ten years in both California and Washington states. In 1988-89 Tom was honorary Chaplain in residence at Regent College, University of British Columbia campus.
For over thirty years, Tom has served as President of City in Focus, a chaplaincy that cares for the soul of the city though the dynamic business and political community of Vancouver. He also serves on a number of organizational boards in the Vancouver area, and he has been voted on to Vancouver Magazine’s top 50 most powerful people in BC.
Together with Frank Giustra, he co-founded the Streetohome initiative, which has built over 1000 homes for low income and homeless people. Tom has also chaired the More Than Gold Program, which involved over 1100 churches and 100 Christian organizations in hosting the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. He continues to engage philanthropists in donating to local causes, including both Catholic and Protestant faith-based organizations. Through this philanthropic work, Tom has mobilized millions of dollars to the benefit of the poor and marginalized in our community.
Author of several booklets on faith and the marketplace, Tom has written a popular monthly newsletter on the city and faith for over 20 years, that is received by thousands of readers, both locally and internationally.
"There is a spiritual poverty in the city that no amount of wealth or power can camouflage... I am staggered at the number of phone calls we receive monthly and the cross-section of people needing guidance in relationships, careers and in their walk with God. Behind the facade of the gleaming city are people who are lonely and need to know that they are loved."