Semiotics, Church, and Culture Faculty and Team

Lead Mentor

Photo of Len Sweet

Len Sweet

Visiting Distinguished Professor

Learn more about Len.

Project Faculty

At the beginning of the program, Project Faculty are paired with their advisees to provide them with individual guidance and coaching. They help their advisees develop and focus their areas of specialization within the project portfolio research sequence.

Seminary faculty routinely serve as Project Faculty within the Doctor of Minstry program. See Portland Seminary faculty page for details.

Photo of Gregg Borror

Gregg Borror

Position: Project Faculty; Lead Pastor Mountain Park Church

Academic and Professional Background: BS Psychology, Warner Pacific College; MDiv. Western Seminary, Portland, OR; DMin. Portland Seminary

Expertise and Research Interests: Practical theology, philosophical and cultural considerations in light of biblical truth; Semiotic understanding and communication in contemporary context; narrative theology



Photo of Colleen Butcher

Colleen Butcher

Position: Project Faculty

Academic and Professional Background: Bachelor of Music (BMus), University of Western Ontario; Masters in Business Administration (MBA), Schulich School of Business, York University; Doctor of Ministry, Semiotics and Future Studies (DMin), George Fox University. Certifications in Project Management, Business Analysis, and Agile Software Development. Adjunct Faculty at Clark College and Gonzaga University, WA.

Expertise and Research Interests: Professional expertise in Business Process Reengineering and Change Management. Research interests/expertise in creativity and innovation, especially as it relates to teaching and learning, design thinking, semiotics, and cultural engagement.



Photo of Mark Chironna

Mark Chironna

Position: Project Faculty, Faculty Advisor, Bishop, Pastor, Mentor 

Academic and Professional Background: DMin, George Fox Evangelical Seminary, Portland, OR; MA, Saybrook University; BA,Wagner University 

Expertise and Research Interests: Post Graduate Researcher at University of Birmingham in Pentecostal Theology. 


Office: 321-304-4111

Photo of Karen Claassen

Karen Claassen

Position: Project Faculty; Designated Pastor

Academic and Professional Background: BA, University of California at Santa Cruz; MDiv, Princeton Theological Seminary; DMin, Portland Seminary

Expertise and Research Interests: Multi-cultural, Aboriginal-Indigenous, and intergenerational ministry; leadership formation; mentoring students; conflict mediation and management; healthy practices for legacy congregations; preaching and teaching for the contemporary context; interim and intervention strategies.


Phone: 208-816-8402

Photo of Aaron Friesen

Aaron Friesen

Position: Project Faculty (Portland Seminary); Associate and College Age Pastor at Eugene Faith Center

Academic and Professional Background: BS, Pastoral Studies, Eugene Bible College; MDiv, Fuller Theological Seminary; PhD, University of Wales.

Expertise and Research InterestsHistory of Holiness-Pentecostal movements in America; global Pentecostalism; Pentecostal theology; Luke-Acts;



Photo of Cal Habig

Cal Habig

Position: Project Faculty; Adjunct Online Faculty; Grand Canyon University (2009-present)

Academic and Professional Background: BS, Manhattan Christian College; MDiv, Emmanuel Christian Seminary; DMin, Fuller Theological Seminary.

Expertise and Research Interests: Lay leadership development; American church history; ethics in coaching relationships


Office: 503-970-8449


Photo of Dan Lioy

Dan Lioy

Position: Project Faculty and Adjunct Professor; also, Senior Research Academic at South African Theological Seminary (South Africa); Professor of Biblical Theology at the Institute of Lutheran Theology (South Dakota); and Thesis Professor at Theological University of Apeldoorn (the Netherlands).

Academic and Professional Background: BSc, University of Southern California; MTh, Dallas Theological Seminary; PhD, North-West University, South Africa; Dual clergy rostered in the Evangelical Church Alliance and the North American Lutheran Church.

Expertise and Research Interests: Old Testament and New Testament exegesis,Old Testament and New Testamen Theology,Old Testament and New Testamen Hermeneutics, Hebrew, and Greek.


Phone503-508-1794 blogs

Photo of David McDonald

David McDonald

Position: Project Faculty; Lead Pastor, Westwinds Community Church, Jackson, MI

Academic and Professional Background: Dr. David McDonald is the teaching pastor at Westwinds Community Church in Jackson, Michigan and the founder of Fossores Global Ministry development, a training network for creative pastors. His work has been been featured on and in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and Time Magazine. David lives in Jackson with his wife, Carmel, and their two kids. 

Expertise and Research Interests:


Twitter: @fossores

Instagram: @doctordavidmcdonald


Photo of Phil Newell

Phil Newell

PositionProject Faculty

Academic Background: BA in biblical studies, New Hope Christian College; MAET, MDiv, & DMin, Western Seminary; certified coach and spiritual director.

Expertise and Research Interests: Leadership development through coaching and spiritual direction.

Photo of Eric Peterson

Eric Peterson

Position: Project Faculty; Pastor of Colbert Presbyterian Church in Colbert, WA

Academic and Professional Background: BA in Theology, Whitworth; MDiv, Princeton Theological Seminary; DMin from Portland Seminary.

Expertise and Research Interests: Sacramental Theology


Office: 509-468-9923


Photo of Mindy Smith

Mindy Smith

Position: Project Faculty; Director of Church Engagement at Whitworth University

Academic and Professional Background: B.A. in Theology Whitworth 1998; M.Div Princeton Seminary 2006; D.Min Preaching as Story" Portland Seminary 2018; Ordained PCUSA Minister; 10 years as Campus Pastor, Whitworth University

Expertise and Research Interests: Mindy's doctoral work centered around women and preaching. She runs a women's preacher cohort and does private coaching for preachers working to hone their craft. 


Office: 509-777-4341


Photo of Len Wilson

Len Wilson

Position: Project Faculty; Publisher, Invite Resources; Director of Innovation and Strategy, St. Andrew United Methodist Church, Plano, TX; Author, Consultant, Coach

Academic and Professional Background: BA, Communication, Summa Cum Laude, McMurry University. Master’s study at Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. MA, Religious Communication, United Theological Seminary. DMin, Semiotics and Future Studies (DMin), George Fox University. Launched and developed three ministries.  Author, ten books. Adjunct Professor, Northwest Nazarene University. Senior Leadership Editor at Abingdon Press, United Methodist Publishing House. Silver Telly Award winner. 

Expertise and Research Interests: Communication Studies, Creativity, Innovation, Worship, Technology


Cell: 972-841-3488


Photo of Sunggu Yang

Sunggu Yang

Position: Project Faculty; Assistant Professor of Christian Ministries, George Fox University

Learn more about Sunggu.

Seminary Doctoral Team

The Seminary Doctoral Team manages the program online platforms, organizes the Advances, and provides support to students and Project Faculty, in-person or online. In short, this team is the 'glue' that holds the various elements of the program together.

Loren Kerns

Director, Doctoral Programs

Clifford Berger

Associate Director, Doctoral Programs

Jen Macnab

Jen Macnab, MPA

Assistant Director of Academic Engagement, Doctoral Programs

Heather Rainey

Program and Operations Coordinator, Doctoral Programs