Alumni News and Life Events | Marriages, births, and deaths information
She was never a pastor, but she’s delivered a sermon and officiated at a funeral. Her degree is not in theology or religion, but at 90 she’s now traveling around the world to participate in international meetings and religious discussions.
Those who know Elenita Bales (G43) aren’t surprised. The contributions of Bales, who graduated from George Fox (then called Pacific College) 70 years ago this spring, are indelible.
Many know her as an English teacher and high school counselor from her 25-year tenure at Kelso (Wash.) High School. Others know her as a pastor’s wife, assisting her late husband, George (G43, G44) as he pastored the Rose Valley Friends Church in Washington for 20 years. Still others know her in her current role representing the Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends.
But some of her first followers are those who know her as a coach’s wife as she served along with George when he was George Fox’s football coach, basketball coach, PE and health professor and athletic director (1948-54) – a career that earned him a place in the university’s Sports Hall of Fame.
In his first year on campus, George guided the football team to a 4-2-1 record, its best finish in years. Elenita was called upon to prepare a steak dinner for the team to celebrate the season. Now, already a regular attendee of George Fox basketball games, Elenita is planning to attend George Fox football games when play resumes in 2014. She’s eager for the comforts of the new stadium, saying it will be a welcome change from her earlier experiences when, though there was some bleacher seating for fans, she mostly walked up and down the sidelines to follow the action.
In 2002, the Bales moved into Friendsview Retirement Community. After 60 years of marriage, George passed away in 2004 at the age of 83. “We were always a team,” she says. After that, she began her continuing travels; so far she has been to 20 countries. The Bales had four children, all of whom attended George Fox: Dorlan (G69), Andrea (G71), Thea (Bales) Cowley (G77) and Marla (Bales) Godfrey (G79).
Identifying herself as a night owl, Bales often is awake at 2 or 3 a.m. at her computer or reading. She was only slightly interrupted by April shoulder replacement surgery – her first time in a hospital other than giving birth or visiting. That kept her down for a couple of weeks, but she’s planning on a full recovery and being able to walk across the street to attend basketball and football games.
Marian Derlet (G73) is a developmental English instructor at Clatsop Community College in Astoria, Ore. She has been a college preparation instructor at CCC since 1998 after she earned an MA from Portland State in teaching English to speakers of other languages. In January, she was featured in a campus public program titled “Brain Rewiring for Dummies: How to Improve Your Cognitive Competence,” after last year completing a graduate certificate in mind, brain and teaching from Johns Hopkins University.
Ron Hays (n74, MBA07), after more than seven years as president of the Marion-Polk (Oregon) Food Share program, resigned in January to become president of the newly formed Department of Mission Advancement, a subsidiary of Mountain West Investments, a real estate development firm in Salem, Ore. He provides consultation and support to leaders of nonprofit groups, helping them pursue their missions and assisting in management improvements. Previously, for four years, he was with Medical Teams International as emergency medical services coordinator following a 23-year career as a paramedic in Tillamook, Ore.
DLurae (Hanson) Stuart (G80) has been named a senior principal technical specialist in the Portland office of Parson Brinckerhoff, an international engineering, design, planning and construction management firm. She provides client services relating to aspects of transit/rail operations, safety and security. She moves from Good Harbor Consulting in Abu Dhabi, UAE, where she provided safety and security technical consulting, project coordination and logistics control on several transportation projects, including master plan development for the Abu Dhabi Department of Transportation. Previously, for seven years, she coordinated and managed the American Public Transportation Association industry standards development program in Washington, D. C.
Phil Aronson (G81), CEO of Aronson Security Group in Seattle, and his firm have been named Security Integrator of the Year by Commercial Integrator magazine in its December issue. In June, his company was named one of Washington’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” by Seattle Business magazine. He started with the company, founded by his father 50 years ago, in 1983 and has been president since 1989. Now with 48 employees and six offices nationwide, it provides security solutions integration, including IP video, access control, doors and more for multiple markets.
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Tom Van Winkle (G82) is a senior business analyst with Liberty Northwest Insurance in Portland. He is in his 27th year with the company and has served in the actuarial, audit and statistical departments, spending the majority of his time in the actuarial field performing reserve studies, data analysis, data reporting and financial projections in the worker’s compensation market.
Roger Watson (G82) has joined the Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends Church as director of finance and development. He began in April after 17 years with Touchmark Living Centers, headquartered in Beaverton, Ore., as accounting manager. He also founded and is director and treasurer of a nonprofit organization, Daytime Enrichment, Activities and Recreation, Inc. In addition, he has served as a member of the Friends Church Extension Fund and as a pastor.
Paul Almquist (G84, MA91) in November was named director of George Fox’s Friends Center, a joint venture between the Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends and George Fox Evangelical Seminary. He also serves as adjunct professor and is completing 14 years as senior pastor of West Chehalem Friends Church near Newberg. The Friends Center offers classes with a specific Quaker focus and equips Friends leaders for service.
Darleen (Mock) Ortega (G84) is set to receive yet another award. In October she will be presented the Law, Advocacy and Policy Award by the Oregon Center for Women, Politics and Policy. It notes she is the first woman of Hispanic heritage and the first woman of color to serve on the Oregon Court of Appeals. Ortega joined the court in 2003. In February 2012, she received the Paul J. De Muniz Professionalism Award, the top honor of the Oregon Hispanic Bar Association. In 2011, she was given the Judge Mercedes Deiz Award from the Oregon Women Lawyers Foundation. Prior to joining the court, Ortega practiced law in Portland for 11 years, specializing in complex civil cases and appeals.
Doreen Dodgen-Magee (G87) is a licensed clinical psychologist with a practice in Lake Oswego, Ore. She has maintained both a clinical and consulting practice for 22 years while also speaking nationally. She works with individuals and groups in areas of relational health, emotional wholeness and maturation, and is considered an expert in the area of how technology impacts mental health, her concentration when she spoke on campus in March as Spring Theological Conference speaker.
Julie-Anne (Edmundson) Mueller (G88) is the new principal at Lacamas Heights Elementary School in the Camas (Wash.) School District. She previously taught at the school and most recently was associate principal in the district’s Liberty Middle School.
As a runner at George Fox in the mid-1990s, David Dewar (G97) benefitted from the expertise of athletic trainers and a chiropractor who helped him overcome a stress fracture. Today, he’s returning the favor by helping athletes excel – and this summer he’ll get the chance to do so at the international level.
Dewar, 38, a chiropractor in his hometown of Canby, Ore., will serve as one of 25 chiropractors from 20 countries at the World Games in Cali, Colombia, July 24 to Aug. 5. In all, the competition will draw more than 4,000 athletes from 79 nations. The opportunity is the culmination of Dewar’s occupational dream to apply his training to assist world-class athletes.
“I enjoy working with all populations, but there’s just something about helping someone achieve their best that I like to be involved with – just helping other people reach their dreams,” says Dewar, a Spanish and chemistry major at George Fox.
Inspired by George Fox’s team doctor, Dr. Dean Clark, to pursue a career in chiropractic medicine, Dewar completed a doctorate in the discipline in 2008 and earned a sports diplomate two years later – an additional credential that gave him license to work on Olympic-caliber athletes. He opened his own clinic in 2012 and soon after began inquiring about working at high-profile sporting events.
Dewar is unsure what his role will be in Colombia. “I could end up at the sumo wrestling or rhythmic gymnastics venues … or archery or martial arts … basically any of 45 sports.”
Ultimately, he would love to march with Team USA in the opening ceremonies of a future Olympic Games. He also hopes to participate in a missions-oriented trip like working with Athletes in Action.
In the meantime, Dewar is giving back to his university. For the past two years he has made regular weekly visits to Newberg to work with athletes. “It’s great because I feel like I can teach students some things while also learning from them,” he says. “It works both ways.”
Daniel Brown (G92) has been named George Fox University’s 2013 Outstanding Engineer, an annual alumni award. He received the award at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum May 3 in McMinnville, Ore. Brown, an acoustics engineer with Honeywell Aerospace in Phoenix, joined the firm in 1995 after receiving a master’s degree from Purdue University. He specializes in acoustics (keeping airplanes quiet) and working with auxiliary power units that provide energy to planes primarily when they are on the ground.
Jennifer Childress (G92) is the new women’s basketball coach at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash. She leaves her position at Western Washington University, where she has been associate head coach for women’s basketball and recruiting coordinator since 2006. Previously, she coached four seasons at Cal State San Bernardino after beginning her coaching career in 1995 at Meridian High School in Bellingham, Wash.
Matt Milligan (G92) is an account manager with Burkhart Dental in Portland, assisting clients in choosing and purchasing products and technology. He is completing his ninth year with the company after serving 10 years with the Boyd Coffee Company as vice president of new business sales in the Northwest.
Mitzi (Tunison) Hryciw (G93) is an admitting representative with St. Charles Hospital in Madras, Ore., where she began in 2011 in patient access services. Previously she was a control technologist, operating the security and communications systems for Jefferson County, Ore.
Tricia Gates Brown (G96, MACS97) had an essay, “The Eighth Sacrament,” published in the spring 2013 issue of Portland Magazine. She also had the piece “Written Off” published in the spring 2013 issue of Geez magazine. She is the author of Jesus Loves Women: A Memoir of Body and Spirit, published by DreamSeeker Books.
Emily (Bergman) Kibby (G96) has been named Hawaii State Law Enforcement Official Association Officer of the Year for Maui (Hawaii) County. The 2012 honor was presented in Honolulu in September. She has been with the Maui Police Department for five years and in March was promoted to community police officer in Kihei, where she is a liaison between community organizations and the department. Kibby is cited for her work in securing a $21,000 grant to establish a bicycle patrol program in Kihei and for writing a proposal and receiving a $65,000 Project Safe Neighborhoods grant. It has funded a “Choices” mentorship program that partners the police department and other agencies in mentoring troubled teens.
Brian van Kleef (G96) is a deputy sheriff with the Washington County (Oregon) Sheriff’s Office. He transitioned to law enforcement in 2010 after five years with KPTV Fox 12 in Portland, where he was executive producer of the Good Day Oregon program.
Bryan Bredell (MBA98) has been named executive vice president and East Bay market president for Presidio Bank, a San Francisco-area business bank. He moves from a vice president position at Sterling Savings Bank, where he served five years. He also is active with Dogs 4 Diabetics, a nonprofit organization providing medical alert assistance dogs at no cost.
Tarah (Walberg) Reeves (G99) is a public relations consultant in Salt Lake City. She has been an account director for the public relations and communications firm Waggener Edstrom Worldwide for the past 14 years.
Eric Beasley (G00, MEd04), principal of Linus Pauling Middle School in Corvallis, Ore., has been named one of 23 “Up-and-Comers” by the Corvallis Gazette-Times. Beasley, with nine years of teaching experience, was named principal in 2011, leading a school with 75 employees and 700 students in sixth through eighth grades. He moved from an assistant principal position at Laurel Ridge Middle School in Sherwood, Ore.
Michael Horwood (MEd00, EdD10) has just completed his first year as principal at Lathrop (Calif.) High School. Previously, he was at Delhi High School, 35 miles south, where he had been principal since 2006.
Kyle McCain (G00) was named 2012 employee of the year by the Moses Lake, Wash., Police Department. He has been with the department since 2005, serving as a school resource officer and currently as a patrol officer.
Dawn (Sward) Pastores (G00) in February joined Prudential Northwest Properties in Portland as director of career development. She is responsible for expanding and coordinating training and career development resources for real estate professionals. She has been a trainer, coach and mediator with her own firm, DSP Consulting, focusing on organizational and business development leadership.
Brendon Connelly (MBA01) in April became chief operations officer at The Dougy Center in Portland, where he is responsible for day-to-day operations and development, including fundraising, marketing and administration/finance operations. Previously, he was director of finance and development at Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends for four years. The Dougy Center is a nonprofit that provides a place for children, teens and young adults and their families who are grieving a death.
Joseph Gonzales (G03) is a senior field applications scientist with Illumina in San Diego. He serves as the primary technical field contact for customers and is responsible for new installations, training, data analysis and logistical support. Illumina develops and manufactures technology that allows researchers to gather, process and analyze genetic information. He joined the firm in 2008 following post-doctoral research at Notre Dame University, from which he received a PhD in biology the same year.
Elizabeth (Richter) Khuri (G03) has been hired as an associate attorney with the law office of Eden Rose Brown in Salem, Ore., with a focus on estate and legal planning. She received a law degree from Regent University School of Law in 2007 and previously was an estate planning and probate attorney in Eugene, Ore.
Nate Bodenstab (G04) last year received a PhD in computer science and artificial intelligence from Oregon Health & Science University and now is manager of research at Nuance Communications in Burlington, Mass. The multinational computer software technology corporation provides speech and imaging applications. His research is focused on automatic speech recognition, the artificial intelligence behind voice interaction with computers.
Nathanael Iwata (G04), a video game designer and illustrator in Vancouver, Wash., had a new book published in June: Steampunk Alphabet. Intended for children, it blends Victorian aesthetics and sci-fi wizardry as each letter is presented, each with a four-line children’s rhyme, plus footnotes for adults. The father of three says he was inspired by “pretty lame” picture books he was sharing with his own children, and he blended futuristic themes with the old fashioned. He occasionally teaches animation at George Fox.
David Panther (G04) graduated last June from Loma Linda Medical University in California and now is in residency in dermatology and practicing at Loma Linda University Medical Center. He finished first in his class through his second year and as a senior was selected by the dean’s office to serve as a voting member of the Academic Review Committee.
Elizabeth (Carlson) Comfort (G01, MBA04) in February accepted a position as the first chief financial officer of Frontier Management in Tualatin, Ore., a nationwide management company of retirement communities. She brings her experience in healthcare and expertise in financial management to the company.
Jonathan Fost (MEd05) was one of eight Oregon residents named this spring as a Ford Community Fellow by the Roseburg-based Ford Family Foundation. A graduate of the Ford Institute Leadership Program, he received a $12,000 unrestricted monetary award and is eligible for two renewal awards. Fellows are expected to develop their own plans to explore, learn and practice community. Fost is in his sixth year with the Newberg School District, where he is English language learners coordinator and migrant school director for the district.
Joe DiCarlo (MBA06) has been named director of emergency relief and security for Medical Teams International in Portland, responsible for overseeing all necessary systems and security measures to manage high-impact disaster response and ensure medical services are available to disaster survivors worldwide. He has been with the organization for 14 years as director of international programs.
Sarah Hoggatt (MA06) is author of In the Wild Places, a book of poetry released by her own publishing firm, Spirit Water Publications, in Salem, Ore., where she resides. She drew inspiration for her spiritually based poems during weekly mountain hikes. It is her fifth book and the third installment of a poetry trilogy.
Perla Rodriguez (EdD06) has been named Oregon’s 2013 Distinguished Latino Educator for her work in the Forest Grove (Ore.) School District. She was chosen by the Oregon Association of Latino Administrators in early February, for which she is treasurer. This year she became principal of Echo Shaw Elementary, returning to the school where she began teaching in 1998. She had served as principal at Cornelius Elementary from 2003 until last fall.
Zoriana Camp (ADP07) is living in Salem, Ore., where she is a receptionist at Leslie Middle School and an independent consultant for PartyLite, which markets personal and decorative products, especially candles. Her personal ministry includes working with abused women and volunteering at church.
Andrew Riese (G07) is a reading specialist/Title I assistant in the classroom at Colonel Wright Elementary School in The Dalles, Ore. Previously, for four years, he taught English in Shanghai, China, with the Christian organization TeachOverseas.
McCoy Doerrie (G08) is an associate broker in the Portland office of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, a national commercial real estate firm. He lives in West Linn, Ore., where he is an active volunteer with Young Life.
Julie (Wigdzinski) Melton (MBA08) has been promoted to director of marketing for Columbia Ultimate in Vancouver, Wash., a privately held corporation servicing healthcare, collections agencies, debt buyers, and banking and finance organizations. She joined the company in 2007 as a marketing programs specialist and a year later was named marketing manager.
Maureen O’Toole (MA08) has become the chief executive officer for the Girl Scouts of Silver Sage Council, which includes 5,000 girls and 2,000 adult leaders. She is headquartered in Boise, Idaho, and is responsible for community outreach and collaboration, increased visibility and financial sustainability, membership recruitment and retention, and constituent engagement. O’Toole is a retired military intelligence officer, serving 25 years with the U.S. Army and Army Reserves, and for 17 years was a teacher working in private tutoring, private music instruction, K-8 curriculum and Spanish instruction.
James Wolfer (G08) in 2012 received an MS in criminal justice and criminology from the University of Cincinnati and now is a fraud analyst with First Tech Federal Credit Union in Beaverton, Ore. As the only Spanish speaker for the fraud team, he often is called on to converse with members or their families who speak only Spanish. Previously, he worked for a year and a half as a patrol officer in Central Oregon. He also is a reservist with the U.S. Coast Guard as a boatswain’s mate out of the Seattle station. Once a month and two weeks a year he is a search and rescue crew member and maritime law enforcement boarding team member.
Bradley Buchanan (G09) is a software engineer with PopCap Games in San Francisco. In May he received a master of entertainment technology degree from Carnegie Mellon University, completing two semesters in Pittsburgh before moving to San Francisco in 2012 for his current position. He continued studies at a satellite campus at Electronic Arts, of which PopCap is a subsidiary, which awarded him one of four Tim Mott Scholarships to help him with his studies and featured him in a magazine interview.
Konnie Clary (G09) is a pastoral intern of mission and outreach at Cornerstone Presbyterian Church in Jackson, N.J., and also a second-year student at Princeton Seminary working toward a Master of Divinity degree. In New York City in March, she was part of the Young Women’s Leadership Development Program, recommending global policy on women’s issues under the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
Mary VanSteenberghe (G09) is a registered nurse in the emergency department at LewisGale Montgomery Regional Hospital in Blacksburg, Va. She was awarded the Spirit of Nursing and Service Award as she received a BSN from Creighton University in ceremonies last August. Previously, she was a research assistant at Dow AgroSciences in Woodburn, Ore., and a volunteer cross country/track coach at George Fox.
Jerilyn Felton’s (DMin12) degree from George Fox Evangelical Seminary has opened doors to a new – but late – career. Her partner in her venture has no such degree, but she does have a license of a different sort, and always follows Felton’s lead.
After earning a doctor of ministry degree last June, Felton has paired in ministry with her nearly 12-year-old white lab, Alya, who is registered with Pet Partners. Alya and Felton visit residents of care and nursing homes each week to offer a time of spiritual contemplation. After 30 years in the working world, it’s an outreach Felton became so enamored with that she began taking classes to gain credibility to sell it to others.
In fact, her doctoral thesis developed in detail her ministry plan for what is now called Four-Footed Ministers. Felton conducted a nine-month research study in which she brought Alya to a prayer group with elders in the Maryville Nursing Home in Beaverton, Ore. She found the dog served as a grounding and healing presence.
“Dogs are social lubricators,” Felton says.
“They facilitate connections.” That process, she explains, fosters human companionship as well, and opens up further sharing. “The physical connections that residents make by interacting with the animal can lead to spiritual comfort and care,” she says.
With her idea now a reality, Felton is being shadowed by others wanting to learn the concept. Felton says she uses her DMin credentials to open doors to those who might be skeptical of her ministry.
Felton makes weekly visits to Maryville and has added St. Anthony’s Village Assisted Living in Portland to her ministry. A typical visit includes an hour visiting residents in their rooms or common areas, then another hour with those who want to attend a time of theological reflection, with call to prayer, Scripture, then queries and discussion.
To balance her new ministerial career, Felton continues an old hobby. She’s an ice skater who met her late husband as an ice skating partner, and they competed as amateurs. Now she frequents area rinks to relax and still serves as a judge for proficiency exams. It’s one area where Alya doesn’t participate.
Caitlin Bletscher (G10) completed an MA in communication and leadership at Gonzaga University and has moved to Seattle where she is a development and events associate with the Refugee Women’s Alliance, a Puget Sound-area refugee resettlement agency.
Melissa Marley Bonnichsen (MDiv10) is assistant director of service and community partnership with the Moreau Center for Service and Leadership at the University of Portland.
Megan (Borjesson) Eddy (G10) is activities director for Regency Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation in Gresham, Ore.
Natalie Gould (G10) is Web editor for GRIT, a national rural lifestyle magazine, based in Topeka, Kan. She received a master’s degree from Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in June. She is responsible for the social media presence of the magazine, updating the website daily, and editing Good Things to Eat, a weekly foodie newsletter.
Rob Leslie (G10) in April became the Web usability and search engine optimization administrator in George Fox’s marketing communications department. For the last three years he was online marketing manager and quality assurance analyst for OAC LLC, a software company in Gresham, Ore.
Whitney (Signalness) Motley (G10) is a digital advertising analyst with ADP Cobalt in Seattle, advising clients on marketing program strategy and performance. Previously she worked for a year as a digital marketing specialist with Quality Smith in Portland.
David Rickey (G10) lives in Phoenix, where he is senior admissions assistant and assistant men’s soccer coach at Arizona Christian University.
Spencer Alexander (G11) is a senior customer service representative with Capital One in Portland. He lives in Sherwood, Ore., where he is also technical director at Freelance Creative and Technical Direction, with specialties in screenwriting, technical direction, and pre- and post-production film work.
Mark Kelley (G11) is in auto claims at State Farm Insurance in Newberg. He also is a board member and volunteer mediator with Your Community Mediators of Yamhill County.
Jared Whitney (G11) is in his second year as junior high youth director at Calvary Chapel Worship Center in Hillsboro, Ore. He interacts with about 50 students each week through worship, fellowship and outreach efforts.
Jocelyn Zichterman (G11) has authored I Fired God, in which she tells of being born, raised, married into and then leaving the Independent Fundamental Baptist Church. The book is published by St. Martin’s Press. She also has shared her experience in interviews on ABC News’ 20/20 and on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360.
Kaleb Olsen (G12) is in China, teaching oral English as well as public speaking at Hubei Polytechnic Institute.
Elliott Parisi (G12) is an intern at the Pacific Research Institute in San Francisco, researching the effectiveness of online education in the classroom and how charter schools have been utilizing online technology. He has coauthored a policy paper, “One World School House vs. Old World Statehouse: The Khan Academy and California Red Tape.” This fall he plans to enroll in Pepperdine University’s graduate program for a master’s degree in public policy.
Trevor Woods (G12) in January joined George Fox University’s plant services department as a groundskeeper, following three and a half years as a work-study student in the department and full-time work during the summer months.
Amanda Kate Winkelman (G12) is a customer service associate at Paper Source in Portland, and a media specialist with Portland Fashionxt, an annual fashion week hosted by Intel. She writes and edits for its blog, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr accounts.
In a span of 34 days, three George Fox University graduates have been named presidents of U.S. colleges. They join three others already in college and seminary presidencies: Jason Koppen (G95) at Indian Bible College, Anthony Blair (DMin05) at Evangelical Seminary, and Gayle Beebe (G81) at Westmont College.
David Wright, who received a master’s degree in biblical studies from George Fox in 1980 and in 2011 was named its seminary alumnus of the year, on July 1 will become president of Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Ind. Alex Bryan, who earned a doctor of ministry degree from George Fox in 2009, on June 1 became the sixth president of Kettering College in Dayton, Ohio. Finally, Robin Dummer, who received a doctor of education degree from the university in 2012, already has stepped in as interim president of Simpson University in Redding, Calif.
Wright will head Indiana’s largest private college with 15,000 students, 3,000 of whom are on its main campus in Marion and the majority of the rest enrolled at regional sites and online. He will become the ninth president of the university, his undergraduate alma mater. Wright received a PhD from the University of Kentucky in 1990 and has been at Indiana Wesleyan since 2008 as provost and chief academic officer.
Bryan will guide a college with more than 980 students in healthcare programs. The institution is owned by the Kettering Medical Center. He has been senior pastor of Walla Walla University Church in Washington for the last four years. In addition to guiding the 2,400-member church, he was a member of the president’s cabinet and an advisor to the president of Walla Walla University. Bryan also received an MDiv from Andrews University in Michigan.
Dummer moved up to the presidency of the 1,300-student Simpson University from his position as interim provost and chief academic officer. He also has been dean of the School of Traditional Undergraduate Studies since 2005. He joined the faculty originally in 1994 following 10 years as a pastor in the Evangelical Covenant Church near San Francisco. The Simpson University grad has both an MDiv from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary and a master’s degree in history from California State at Chico.