Associate Professor of Biblical Studies/Honors Faculty Fellow
Before coming to George Fox University, Roger worked as both a youth pastor and as a corporate financial analyst. He teaches primarily in the field of biblical studies and Hebrew. Roger is the author of Portrayals of Economic Exchange in the Book of Kings (Brill, 2012), and he is presently completing his second book, The Theology of the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah (Cambridge University Press, 2017). In addition to his academic publications, Roger writes broadly for venues such as The Huffington Post, Working Preacher, and Odyssey Networks.
Assistant Professor of Theology/Honors Faculty Fellow
A former postdoctoral fellow at the Louisville Institute, Leah seeks to serve the church and the academy. She is a member of the Foursquare Church’s Education Commission and the director of The Center for Pentecostal-Charismatic Theology and Practice at George Fox University. Leah is committed to providing innovative theological education to those in the Pentecostal-Charismatic tradition, as well as to the students of diverse theological backgrounds. She also mentors women who are called into church leadership. Her first book, Gender and Pentecostal Revivalism: Making a Female Ministry in the Early Twentieth Century (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), winner of the 2016 Pneuma book of the year award, examines how women overcame barriers of gender, race, and class to establish authoritative ministries, as well as how their legacies influence women in ministry today.
Assistant Professor of Youth Ministries
Steve came to George Fox University in partnership with Young Life in 2004, before joining the faculty full-time in 2012. He served on the Young Life staff for 25 years in the Northeast and Midwest. Steve’s teaching responsibilities include all youth ministry courses, Intro to the Bible, and Fundamentals of Preaching for the seminary. His life work has been understanding, relating to, and communicating with adolescents, doing the important work of making complex theological concepts understandable to them. He has published two books in this vein, Embraced: Prodigals at the Cross (Wipf and Stock, 2010) and The Bible: Ancient Context and Ongoing Community (co-authored with Brian Doak; Kendall Hunt, 2014).
Director of The Leadership Center
Interim Assistant University Pastor for Pastoral Care at George Fox University
An ordained minister in the Free Methodist Church, Trisha began The Leadership Center in partnership with George Fox and Oregon-based Wesleyan theological ministries in 2012 with a primary emphasis on connecting potential leaders through vocational discernment internship opportunities with established Christ-centered leaders in the region. Trisha is an adjunct faculty for George Fox University, teaching the Wesleyan internship course and Freshman seminar, a member and chair of the Oregon Free Methodist Ministerial Education and Guidance credentialing board, and the regional coordinator for the Wesleyan Holiness Consortium. Trisha has served as a pastor, church planter, and youth pastor over the past 16 years and knows her calling is to be focused on developing young leaders for ministry in secular culture.
We are delighted to have Hannah Souter as Theologia’s first director. In her undergraduate career at George Fox, Hannah studied History and Christian Ministries and was heavily involved in Residence Life. She deeply values learning, teaching, and the gift of getting to discover God together. Hannah graduated from Portland Seminary with her MA in Ministry Leadership and has particular interest in community care and spiritual formation. She lives in SE Portland and loves to experiment in the kitchen, play outside, and share life with friends and family.
Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
Associate Director, William Penn Honors Program
As a professor of religious studies at George Fox University, Javier Garcia is committed to serving the church by engaging in scholarship and ministry. Javier is particularly interested in the doctrine of the church, the topic of his doctoral dissertation (Cambridge, 2016) and his published work to date. Over the years, Javier has been actively engaged in his local church by leading Bible studies, youth groups, children's ministries, and nursing home visits. On a more popular level, he has written for The Gospel Coalition and Mockingbird Ministries, and he has presented at the Christ and Cascadia Conference.
Theologia Campus Pastor
Shawna graduated from George Fox University in 2015, where she studied Christian Ministries with a concentration in youth. She is currently working at North Valley Friends church as the Pastor for Youth and Families, as well as serving as the team chaplain for the women’s basketball team at GFU for her fourth season. Shawna enjoys hiking, backpacking, and going to the coast as much as possible, and she thinks breakfast can and should be eaten for any and every meal of the day.
Theologia Guest Instructor
Joel Mayward is a pastor, writer, youth worker, and film critic. The author of three books, including Jesus Goes to the Movies: The Youth Ministry Film Guide, he has written about film for the Journal of Religion & Film, Christianity Today, Bright Wall/Dark Room, Christ and Pop Culture, Reel Spirituality, Youth Worker Journal, and Immerse Journal. Joel has been serving in pastoral ministry since 2006 and lives with his wife and three children in the beautiful green-and- grey of the Pacific Northwest. For his film reviews and essays, check out www.cinemayward.com. Follow Joel on Twitter: @joelmayward.
Theologia Guest Instructor
Ben Sand grew up in Spokane, Washington, the son of a single mother and one of six siblings. Ben is the founder of Portland Leadership Foundation (PLF), a faith-based community organization, which incubates new initiatives in the city, such as Act Six. In the years since its inception, PLF has grown dramatically and now facilitates 13 initiatives. In 2013, PLF established Embrace Oregon – an initiative connecting caring community members with vulnerable children and families in partnership with the Department of Human Services (DHS). Embrace Oregon works directly with 137 faith communities in Portland. Over 200 foster families have come forward through Embrace Oregon in the last 30 months. PLF has mobilized 3,500 volunteers to directly partner with DHS through multiple new volunteer initiatives, and faith communities have mobilized hundreds of thousands of dollars to renovate each DHS office in the region, provide tangible needs for over 1,000 children in foster care, and give ongoing monthly hospitality to DHS employees. In addition to sending diverse students to college and working with children and families involved with DHS, PLF also runs the inner city youth football program (Portland Youth Football and Cheer), an initiative working with student athletes called the Champions Academy, a non-profit leadership development gap year program called the Young Fellowship, and a capacity building service for non-profit organizations called the Center for Communities. Ben completed his Master of Divinity at George Fox Seminary and is an elder at Imago Dei Community. He and his wife, Maile, have two biological children, Adah (5) and Zoe (3), and a foster son, Julin (2). Ben loves fly- fishing, running, writing, and Gonzaga Bulldogs Basketball.
Theologia, Guest Instructor
Wilson W. Smith III is a Senior Designer and Nike DNA Design Specialist. During his 33-year tenure at Nike, Smith has worked on projects that run the gamut of the design profession—retail, graphics, architecture, footwear, experience, and apparel—and has designed and developed products for some of the greatest athletes in Nike’s history, including Serena Williams, Andre Agassi, Roger Federer, and Michael Jordan. Among his many product, Wilson designed Air Jordan XVI & XVII. What truly defines Wilson is his incredible passion around coaching, teaching, and giving back. Wilson’s commitment to the next generation of designers and the power of design to positively impact the world has created a presence and legacy that expands beyond his designs at Nike. Wilson is also an Adjunct Professor in Product Design at the University of Oregon, where his studio focus is Adaptive Design Enabling Ability Athletes. In addition, for 20 years, he ministered at Portland Foursquare Church (with Dr. Alan Hamilton and Pastor Tom Baker), first in the College Ministry, then leading the full congregation from 1985 - 2000. Through relationship with NW & international Foursquare leaders, Wilson has led worship at national events, various conferences, and gatherings. Presently, he is a worship leader at SouthLake Church in Lake Oswego, Oregon.
Theologia Guest Instructor
Gabriela Viesca was born and raised in Mexico and has recently moved to Portland as the Women’s Pastor at Cedar Mill Bible Church. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Business and a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies. Gabriela's passion for culture and diversity began as a teenager while living among the Maori people in New Zealand. Today, her research interests address the intersections between history, theology, and culture in Latin America. As a young biblical scholar, Gabriela has had the opportunity to speak at national academic conferences, including the American Academy of Religion and RIFREM (Mexico). She has taught Leadership Seminars in Israel, Canada, and Mexico, and holds the 2014 Regent University Outstanding Graduate Award, the J. Rodman Williams Award (for Renewal Theology), and Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.