The nucleating activity of the Arp2/3 complex promotes the assembly of branched actin filaments that drive plasma membrane protrusion in migrating cells. Arp2/3 complex binding to nucleation-promoting factors of the WASP and WAVE families was previously thought to be sufficient to increase nucleating activity. However, phosphorylation of the Arp2 subunit was recently shown to be necessary for Arp2/3 complex activity. We show in mammary carcinoma cells that mutant Arp2 lacking phosphorylation assembled with endogenous subunits and dominantly suppressed actin filament assembly and membrane protrusion. We also report that Nck-interacting kinase (NIK), a MAP4K4, binds and directly phosphorylates the Arp2 subunit, which increases the nucleating activity of the Arp2/3 complex. In cells, NIK kinase activity was necessary for increased Arp2 phosphorylation and plasma membrane protrusion in response to epidermal growth factor. NIK is the first kinase shown to phosphorylate and increase the activity of the Arp2/3 complex, and our findings suggest that it integrates growth factor regulation of actin filament dynamics.