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.
University Pastoral Staff
Jamie Noling-AuthUniversity Pastor and Dean of Spiritual and Intercultural Life
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 a Doctor of Ministry degree at Gordon-Conwell Seminary, an MA in theology at Fuller Seminary, and a 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 – Andrew and Luke. In her free time, Jamie loves to travel, swim, read and have great conversation over a good cup of coffee.
Jamie JohnsonAssociate University Pastor of Chapel Programs
Jamie Johnson is the associate university 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. CyrAssociate University Pastor of Ministry and Service
Rusty St. Cyr serves as the associate pastor of ministry and service at George Fox University. He is a grateful student of 20-plus years to Christ, a lucky husband to Stephanie, a stoked dad to Ella Sophia and Matea Frances, and owner of a Jack Russell Terrorist named "Woody" (a.k.a. "El Capitan"). Rusty came to the spiritual life team at George 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.
Trisha WelstadInterim Associate University Pastor for Pastoral Counseling
Trisha is passionate about investing in leaders to see them become all God has created them to be. Growing up in Salem, Ore., Trisha was called to ministry while in high school. She was invested in by mentors and youth pastors who gave her the opportunity to explore practical ministry as an intern while in college. After finishing a degree in youth ministry and biblical studies from Corban University, Trisha moved to Los Angeles to attend graduate school at Azusa Pacific University. She received an MDiv from the Haggard School of Theology and was ordained as an elder in the Free Methodist Church in 2006. While in Southern California, Trisha served as a pastor within the local college community of Azusa, the pastor of youth and spiritual development at Marina Christian Fellowship in Los Angeles, and as co-pastor to Rose City Church in Pasadena.
Since moving to Southeast Portland in 2011, Trisha has promoted a growing partnership between George Fox and the Free Methodist and Wesleyan Holiness Churches in the area through her service as the director of The Leadership Center. The Leadership Center is a network facilitating the development of new and current Wesleyan leaders, churches and disciples through internships, equipping, mentoring and scholarship. Trisha enjoys pastoring among her community in Portland, throwing parties, growing food and plants, listening to audio books and the latest musical creations by Troy Welstad. Trisha is also a guest blogger on evangel-vision.com.
Fall 2016 Speakers
Speaking Date: Sept. 6
As a teacher, Leah Payne is passionate about creating a learning environment that encourages students to learn about and to do history, theology and spiritual formation. She wants them to know the basics, and also wants them to draw upon their own denominational histories and their personal contexts and experiences. She invokes history, theory, popular culture and current events to involve students in the learning process. As a member of the Foursquare Church, she is especially committed to mentoring ministers and ministers-to-be in Pentecostal-Charismatic movements.
Before entering the academy, Payne worked in the music business for Grammy-award-winning producer and artist Charlie Peacock, and she appreciates music of all sorts (right now she is loving singer-songwriters like Hozier and Portlanders Portugal. The Man. And, as a child of the 1990s, she loves Dave Grohl and Lauryn Hill.) In her spare time, she enjoys chatting with friends and family, reading good fiction, watching great TV (she’s a HUGE sci-fi/fantasy fan), and sipping delicious coffee.
Speaking Date: Sept. 13
A.J. Swoboda is a professor, author and pastor of Theophilus in urban Portland. He teaches theology, biblical studies and Christian history at George Fox Evangelical and Fuller seminaries, including a number of other universities and Bible colleges. Previously, A.J. served as a campus pastor at the University of Oregon. His doctoral research at the University of Birmingham (U.K.) explored the never-ending relationship between the Holy Spirit and ecology. He is a member of the American Academy of Religion and the Society for Pentecostal Studies. A.J. is the author of The Dusty Ones: Why Wandering Deepens Your Faith (Baker), A Glorious Dark: Finding Hope in the Tension between Belief and Experience (Baker), Messy: God Likes It That Way (Kregel), Tongues and Trees: Toward a Pentecostal Ecological Theology (JPTSup, Deo), Introducing Evangelical Ecotheology (Baker Academic), and Scripting Pentecost: A Study of Pentecostals, Worship and Liturgy (Routledge). You can find his website and blog at ajswoboda.com, or follow him on Twitter @mrajswoboda.
Speaking Date: Sept. 20
James Choung has been in campus ministry for more than 20 years. He currently serves as InterVarsity’s national director of evangelism and is ordained with the Association of Vineyard Churches. He has written True Story: A Christianity Worth Believing In and its follow-up, Real Life: A Christianity Worth Living Out, and he has taught at Bethel Seminary San Diego on culture, leadership development and evangelism. He speaks frequently at campuses, churches and conferences, and his work has been featured in many publications, including Christianity Today, Leadership Journal, and Outreach Magazine.
James has also sat in too many classes, writing his DMin dissertation on postmodern leadership development at Fuller Theological Seminary, receiving his MDiv from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and studying management science and marketing at MIT. He has previously served on the pastoral staff of a Boston-area urban church plant, of a megachurch in Seoul, and of a house church in Los Angeles. He has also led worship at national conferences and has been on boards for higher education and an overseas business startup. For fun, he likes to travel with his wife, tease his two sons, spoil his daughter, bask in Los Angeles’ endless summer, and swing a racket in hopes of playing something like tennis. He tweets at @jameschoung and blogs irregularly at jameschoung.net.
Speaking Date: Sept. 27
Gail and her family relocated to Seattle in 2009 from Durham, N.C. Her passion is to prophetically call people, groups and organizations to become all that God says they are, through the lens of identity, leadership development and discipleship. As a second-generation Korean American, formed in the Korean immigrant and Black Pentecostal traditions, Gail considers it a privilege to serve as the president of her denomination’s Asian Pastor’s Association. She seeks to faithfully embody advocacy and justice surrounding issues of race and gender within the life of the church. Gail is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Covenant Church and earned an MDiv from Duke Divinity School and a bachelor's degree in music from The Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. Gail, her husband Brian, and their three sons reside in Seattle.
Speaking Date: Oct. 4
Rich Swingle was born in Medford, Ore. His mother is a medical transcriptionist, and his father is a pilot, inventor, and retired farmer. Rich was raised on a farm that had been in the family since the 1920s. Swingle graduated from George Fox University, where he spent many of his weekends visiting elementary schools and churches as part of the student touring drama group George Fox Players. He was named the schoo's Alumnus of the Year in 1999.
He is an evangelical Christian and, after years of feeling called to ministry, Rich attended Massachusetts’ Gordon–Conwell Theological Seminary, one of the country’s top five evangelical seminaries, from 1991 to 1992. He received his master's degree in theatre from Hunter College, where he studied under Eric Bentley (a student of C.S. Lewis), Tina Howe (playwriting), Patricia Sternberg (sociodrama, a student of sociodrama's inventor, Jacob L. Moreno), and Jerome Coopersmith (screenwriting, screenwriter for An American Christmas Carol and many episodes of the original Hawaii Five-O). He has been married to Joyce since 1998. She is currently a counselor, actor, director of pastoral care for the MasterWorks Festival, and pastor at Westchester Chapel Church of the Nazarene in White Plains, N.Y.
Speaking Date: Oct. 11
A 21-year youth ministry veteran, Amy follows her passion to minister to teens involved in gangs, youth on probation/parole and those lost in the criminal justice system – at the core of which life-on-life mentoring is her key strategy. As a certified gang intervention specialist, she heard God’s call to move into a Latino gang neighborhood in Chicago’s Humboldt Park community to be a “hope dealer” doing street outreach and walking life with young people on her block.
Speaking Date: Oct. 18
Sandra Van Opstal, a second-generation Latina, is the executive pastor at Grace and Peace Community on the west side of Chicago. She is a liturgist and activist who is passionate about re-imagining worship that mobilizes for reconciliation and justice. In her 15 years with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Sandra mobilized thousands of college students for God’s mission of reconciliation and justice in the world. Sandra served as director of worship for the Urbana Missions Conference, Chicago Urban Program Director, Latino National Leadership Team (LaFe), and Northwestern University team leader (Multiethnic fellowship). Sandra’s influence has also reached many others through her leadership and preaching on topics such of justice, poverty, racism, racial identity, reconciliation and global mission.
She has been featured at Wheaton College, North Park University, The Justice Conference, Evangelical Covenant conferences, Willow Creek Association conferences and various churches. Sandra serves as a board member for Evangelicals for Justice and the Christian Community Development Association. Sandra is also the worship director for the Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering in Jarkarta, Summer 2016. In addition to her ministry experience, Sandra holds a MDiv from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Illinois and has been published in multiple journals. She has authored Small Group Leader’s Handbook, God’s Graffiti Devotional, The Mission of Worship and The Next Worship.
Doreen Dodgen Magee
Speaking Date: Oct. 25
Doreen is a person (who happens to have a doctorate and 22 years of experience working with individuals and groups). She is a reluctant “geek,” spending inordinate amounts of time interacting with scholarly research, technology and pop culture around the topic of how the new digital landscape is shaping us. She is passionate (truly...passionate) about engaging people around this topic. Physicians, school districts, mental health workers, middle schoolers, attorneys, high schoolers, educators and steel workers (among many others) have all invited her to their gatherings. Her talks are fast paced, packed with illuminative video, stimulating audio, and lots and lots of kinesthetic ideas. Far from being technology phobic or averse, she works to bring a balanced view of the new norms and inspire people to become moderate (not abstinent) in their tech engagement. Doreen loves going barefoot, black coffee, the color red, dancing, documentaries, and people – especially people.
Lisa Sharon Harper
Speaking Date: Nov. 1
From Ferguson to New York to Germany, Lisa Sharon Harper has been leading trainings and helping mobilize clergy and community leaders around shared values for the common good, with a focus on racial justice. Prior to joining Sojourners, Lisa was the founding executive director of New York Faith & Justice — an organization at the hub of a new ecumenical movement to end poverty in New York City. In that capacity, she helped establish Faith Leaders for Environmental Justice, a citywide collaborative effort of faith leaders committed to leveraging the power of their constituencies and their moral authority in partnership with communities bearing the weight of environmental injustice. She also organized faith leaders to speak out for immigration reform and organized the South Bronx Conversations for Change, a dialogue-to-change project between police and the community.
Harper’s faith-rooted approach to advocacy and organizing has activated people across the U.S. and around the world to address structural and political injustice as an outward demonstration of their personal faith. Asked why she does what she does, her answer is clear: “So that the church might be worthy of the moniker ‘Bride of Christ’.” Through preaching, writing, training, network development and public witness Lisa engages the church in the work of justice and peacemaking. For example, she helped build the Evangelical Immigration Table from 2011 to 2013; she fasted for 21 days as a core faster with the 2013 immigration reform Fast for Families; and she trained and catalyzed evangelicals in St. Louis to engage the 2014 push for justice in Ferguson and did the same in Baltimore in 2015. Harper was recognized in 2015 as one of “50 Powerful Women Religious Leaders to Celebrate on International Women’s Day” by the Huffington Post. She earned her master’s in human rights from Columbia University in New York City and is currently in the process of ordination in the Evangelical Covenant Church.
Speaking Date: Nov. 8
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 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, 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.
Speaking Date: Nov. 29
Tim Timmerman has been a professor at George Fox University since 2002 in the art department. He teaches students to build things up and smash things to pieces (sculpture); mix glass, paint and clay together (mixed media); learn all about what art has come before (art history) and about the bizarre and exciting art that is happening today (contemporary art trends). He also does his best to make sure students are good to go into the art world when they leave George Fox (senior thesis). He also may occasionally be seen wearing a rabbit costume or getting as much art as he can up on campus.
Tim has been in more than 50 exhibits across the country with his artwork and does his best to speak into the world of art. He went to undergraduate at Biola University in California, receiving a BS in studio art, and got his MFA in painting and drawing in the rolling hills of Palouse at Washington State University. He’s been an assistant curator for the city of Los Angeles, a customer service agent speaking with irate customers for Eddie Bauer, a summer arts director, a grade-school art and drama teacher, and a dead pirate at an amusement park. TIm lives in community and is an evangelical monk of sorts. He believes that the only things in the long run that last are our investment in Christ or in one another, and really loves people a lot.