Chapel Speakers

University chapel is open to the public, so anyone is welcome to join us. Chapel services are held Tuesday mornings at 10:50 a.m. and Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. in Bauman Auditorium.

Fall 2015 Speakers

Jamie Noling-Auth

Jamie Noling-Auth - University Pastor and Dean of Spiritual and Intercultural Life

Sept. 2 (7 p.m.), Sept. 30 (7 p.m.), Oct. 21 (7 p.m.), Dec. 2 (7 p.m.)

Jamie Noling-Auth is the university pastor and dean of spiritual life, inclusion, and leadership at George Fox. Before her move to Oregon, Jamie served as one of Azusa Pacific University's associate campus pastors for nine years and as an adjunct professor for APU's School of Theology. She earned her Doctor of Ministry degree at Gordon-Conwell Seminary, her MA in theology at Fuller Seminary, and her BA in communication at Pepperdine. Her areas of academic interest are discipleship, spiritual formation, women's studies, and the gospels. Jamie and her husband, John, are parents to two little boys, 3-year old Andrew and 1-year old Luke. In her free time, Jamie loves to travel, swim, read, and have great conversation over a good cup of coffee.

Jessa Anderson

Jessa Anderson

Oct. 20 (10:50 a.m.)

Jessa Anderson is a singer/songwriter residing in Nashville, Tenn., with her husband (and resident booking agent/manager/musician extraordinaire) Jordan and their two beautiful, crazy kids, Lorelei and Jagger.

There are many things she is passionate about, but she believes there are very few things in life that really, truly matter. First, Jesus Christ. After that, people. From there it all starts to blur into the category of “you can’t take it with you," so she is doing her best to invest the majority of her time and effort toward the first two. As for music, and why it matters, she views it as a thread that runs far and wide, bringing people to God and to one another. She says she has a hard time labeling music in and of itself as “Christian,” but she is proud to be a Christ-follower making music encompassing both the human and the holy.

She was recently asked how things have changed for her with the writing and releasing of Whole, her third full-length project. Jessa’s best answer is this: Whole is the project she has always wanted to make. Through this six-year journey of writing, creating, releasing and touring, she has pushed herself to be real. She describes the songs on her record as feeling so very true to life and herself. Jessa believes that freely giving of our hearts and minds is what draws us near, what allows us to identify with one another.

Jessa stated she could write volumes about this record and each of its individual songs, but in the interest of time, she will just say that life is not easily wrapped up in a beautiful package, or a 3 1/2 minute radio single. Whole encompasses both the shiny, happy moments, and the gory, gut-wrenching ones. Her gladness in the gospel of Jesus is expressed through songs like “Everything," "Never the Same" and "Story of Grace." Issues like divorce, dysfunction and dissatisfaction are woven through “Breakdown," “Stay" and “Idols.. There’s even a love song, “Caught Me By Surprise," thrown into the mix, co-written with her talented husband (a rare feat for the two of them)! Each of her songs means the world to her, and she hopes that you’ll soon say the same.

Ken Wytsma

Ken Wytsma

Oct. 13 (10:50 a.m.)

Ken Wytsma is a leader, innovator and social entrepreneur respected for his insight and collaborative spirit. He is the president of Kilns College, where he teaches courses on philosophy and justice. He is the founder of The Justice Conference, an annual international conference that introduces men and women to a wide range of organizations and conversations relating to biblical justice and God’s call to give our lives away. Ken is a consultant and creative advisor to nonprofits and a sought-after speaker on justice, church and culture. A church planter and lead pastor at Antioch Church, Ken lives in Bend, Ore., with his wife, Tamara, and their four daughters. Ken’s first book, Pursuing Justice: The Call to Live and Die for Bigger Things, was released in 2012 and his second book, The Grand Paradox: The Messiness of Life, the Mystery of God and the Necessity of Faith, was released in January 2015.

Romal Tune

Romal Tune

Sept. 22 (10:50 a.m.)

Romal is the embodiment of living beyond the label. After overcoming the setbacks of his upbringing and the destructive choices of his youth, he is now a sought-out communicator, community strategist and inclusion consultant. His platform, one of the most potent and rich stories of hope you’ll ever hear, is REDEMPTION. If it is true that a story must be lived before it is told, Romal’s story of redemption is as genuine as it is moving. With every opportunity he has to impact decision makers or crowds of people around the world, Romal is a cultivator of hope and dignity, moving individuals from setbacks to success as leaders, something he knows full well. Since growing up in the trauma of poverty, violence and the inner-city landscapes void of opportunity, he has triumphed to the heights of a magna cum laude graduate of Howard University and Duke University School of Divinity, and the author of an award-winning book entitled God’s Graffiti: Inspiring Stories for Teens.

Robin Baker

Robin Baker

Sept. 8 (10:50 a.m.), Nov. 4 (7 p.m.), Dec. 8 (10:50 a.m.)

Robin Baker has dedicated his career to the education of the whole person. As a professor, academic administrator and now as president of George Fox University, he has strived to make education not just the transfer of information, but also the transformation of the individual. Baker believes this is best accomplished within the context of Christian higher education, where students are encouraged to connect their faith to their studies and the rest of their lives.

Before coming to George Fox in 1999 as chief academic officer, Baker worked at three Christian universities. Since he became president in 2007, George Fox University has grown to become the second-largest private university in Oregon, but it still promises each student they will be known personally, academically and spiritually. A native of Phoenix, Ariz., Baker completed a doctorate in history with honors at Texas A&M University. He has a special interest in the works of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien and has collected several first editions of their works. An all-state high school athlete and college basketball player, Baker continues to be an avid runner. Each fall he competes with the university’s national powerhouse women’s basketball team in their preseason mile-and-a-half run. Each year he finishes at or near the front of the pack. Baker and his wife, Ruth, have three children: Jacob, Rebekah and Tara. All have attended George Fox.

Sarita Gallagher

Sarita Gallagher

Sept. 15 (10:50 a.m.)

Sarita D. Gallagher joined the College of Christian Studies in 2010. Before coming to George Fox University, Sarita taught courses in missiology, biblical studies, intercultural communication and anthropology at Azusa Pacific University (Azusa, California, 2006–2010), the World Missions Faith Training School (Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, 2004–2005) and Tabor College (Adelaide, Australia, 2003). Sarita also taught courses in English as a Second Language at Flinders University (Adelaide, Australia, 2003, 2005) and World Relief International (Wheaton, Ill., 2002). Sarita has traveled extensively throughout Europe, Oceania and Asia, and served on the mission field with CRC Churches International in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, and Adelaide, Australia. Sarita is a member of the International Association for Mission Studies, the American Society of Missiology, the Evangelical Missiological Society, the Society for Pentecostal Studies, and the Association of Professors of Missions.

Jamie Johnson

Jamie Johnson - Associate Pastor of Chapel Programs

Sept. 16 (7 p.m.), Oct. 7 (7 p.m.), Oct. 28 (7 p.m.)

Jamie Johnson is the associate pastor of chapel programs, director of the Friends Leadership Program and an adjunct professor in the College of Christian Studies. A George Fox graduate, he has studied church history (MA) and Christian education (PhD) and hungers to learn more about what it means for individuals and communities to follow Jesus in every aspect of life. He is married to Erin, a professor in the social work program, and together they spend much of their energy chasing around their three children - and loving it! In his spare time, Jamie enjoys leading worship, running, reading, and watching, coaching and playing sports. He is a huge fan of the Portland Timbers, the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots.

Rusty St. Cyr

Rusty St. Cyr - Associate Pastor of Ministry and Service

Sept. 23 (7 p.m.), Oct. 14 (7 p.m.). Nov. 18 (7 p.m.)

Rusty St. Cyr serves as the director for spiritual formation at George Fox University. He is a grateful student of 22 years to Christ, a lucky husband of 12 years to Stephanie, a stoked dad to 2 year-old Ella Sophia and newly born Matea Frances, and owner of a Jack Russell Terrorist named "Woody" (a.k.a. "El Capitan"). Rusty came to the spiritual life team at Fox in 2009 after 10 years of student ministry in Springfield, Mo., Inverness, Scotland, Santa Cruz, Calif., as well as serving as director for spiritual formation at Bethany University near Santa Cruz, Calif. Along with all of this, Rusty is also thankful to experience playing all kinds of drums to music, for stand-up paddling and surfing waves, for opportunities to love and learn from people of other cultures, for reconciliation, for the Shalom-growing principle that we are blessed in order TO BE a blessing, and, of course, for spinach smoothies.

Elizabeth Sherwood

Elizabeth Sherwood

Nov. 3 (10:50 a.m.)

Elizabeth and her family have enjoyed Oregon as their home since 2004. She and her husband are raising two teenage daughters and as a family they love the chance to go running together. Elizabeth has her bachelor's degree in creative writing from the University of Colorado and her MAT from Fuller. She spent more than 20 years working with Young Life before beginning her current position on the pastoral team of Newberg Friends Church.

David & Debby Thomas

David & Debby Thomas

Nov. 17 (10:50 a.m.)

David and Debby are missionaries with Evangelical Friends Mission to Rwanda, Africa, and have lived and worked in Rwanda since 1997. They are specifically focusing on a ministry called Discipling for Development (D for D) together with the Rwandan Friends Church. As a team, they train communities to analyze their problems; assess their local resources and mobilize their people to work together in achieving their goals. This is a holistic discipleship ministry that addresses all areas of life in Rwandan communities.

Their passion is sustainable rural development that eradicates poverty, fights disease draws people close to Christ and mobilizes community resources with a view to reproduction in neighboring communities. For this term of ministry (2011-2015), their goal is to get D for D strong in a few communities and to train up leaders from the Rwandan Friends Church who are capable of carrying on this ministry and expanding it throughout the Rwandan Friends Church. Life Verse: Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your paths straight.

Eva Cruz Pena - photo courtesy of Imago Dei Community

Eva Cruz Pena

Sept. 29 (10:50 a.m.)

Eva Cruz Peña, BSN, MDiv, MA, is the pastor of Women's Formation at Imago Dei Community in Portland. Eva strives to utilize her gift of shepherding in a holistic manner, integrating her work as a former nurse with her theology and mental health education. She lives life boldly and passionately, seeking to inspire women to live grounded in the truth of God’s love. As a native Puerto Rican, Eva’s life is filled with vibrant colors. In her free time, you can find her at home with her husband and two daughters, hanging out with friends, coaching others to reach their health/fitness goals, reading, dancing, painting, eating good dark chocolate or daydreaming about the beaches in Puerto Rico.

Allie Vesterfelt

Allie Vesterfelt

Oct. 6 (10:50 a.m.)

These days Allie writes books, runs online courses and in-person retreats and coaches writers who need some support completing their latest project. She has a bachelor's degree in English and a master's degree in education. She is from Portland, but has lived in Nashville, Tenn., with her husband Darrell and the cutest baby Goldendoodle named "Cooper." She believes your voice matters. She hopes you’ll let her help you find it.

Derek Minor

Derek Minor

Oct. 27 (10:50 a.m.)

Christian rapper Derek Minor, born Derek Johnson, Jr. in Pontiac, Mich., moved at a young age with his mother to Tennessee. Although he wasn't close to his father, a childhood summertime visit, during which he started rapping, assisted by beats made by his father, fostered his involvement with music. Derek attended Middle Tennessee State University and graduated with a degree in recording industry management. From 2006 through 2008, the budding rapper and producer, known then as PRo, released a handful of mixtapes. He also issued the album Black Out through his Reflection Music Group label, but he considers the early 2010 mixtape PSA his first set of mature Christian rap. The album Redemption, released that July, peaked at No. 8 on Billboard's Gospel chart. In August 2011, he released his second album, a conceptual set titled Dying to Live. It reached No. 2 on the gospel chart but topped the Christian chart.