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Meet the Team

Joel Oesch

Joel Oesch, PhD

Executive Director

Preferred Super Power: Teleportation
Day Job: Director of the Graduate Programs in Theology at Christ College, Concordia University

I would appreciate the power of teleportation. One, I can teleport to Dallas every Sunday afternoon to watch the Cowboys play. Two, I can finally fish the world's greatest trout streams without spending a dime on travel. Three, if I found myself in a sticky situation...I could get the heck out. I suppose you could do all these things by flying as well, but I have to wonder, wouldn't flying like Superman leave you with an incredibly sore neck?

Joel Oesch, MDiv, holds a PhD from Concordia Seminary and is a graduate of Yale University. Dr. Oesch has served as the Director of the Graduate Programs in Theology for Christ College, Concordia since 2012. Prior to his tenure as a college professor, Oesch served as Director of Christian Education for 10 years. His research interests include embodied theology, the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and contemporary culture.

  • Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO, PhD 2015
  • Yale University, New Haven, CT, M.Div. 2009
  • Concordia University, Irvine, CA, B.A. 1997

Rebecca Duport

Rebecca Duport, MA

Associate Director

Preferred Super Power: The Force
Day Job: Assistant Professor & Director of the Director of Christian Education Program of Christ College, Concordia University

I would like the power of the force. It would be awesome to be a Jedi, of course, and use my powers for the right cause: protection. I would not be swayed by the Dark Side.

Rebecca became an Assistant Professor/Director to the DCE Program of Christ College after serving Lutheran Churches as Director of Christian Education throughout the country (Idaho, Kentucky, Arkansas, Florida) in life-span education roles working with Children, Youth, Family, Older Adults for 14 years. Her service to the body of Christ also includes speaking at youth gatherings, conferences and leading training events for Family Friendly Partner's Network (FFPN).

  • Concordia University, Seward, Nebraska, M.S. 2010
  • Concordia University, Irvine, California, B.A. 1998

Daniel Deen

Daniel Deen, PhD

Program Director

Preferred Super Power: Cyberpathy
Day Job: Assistant Professor of Philosophy, specializing in the Philosophy of Science at Christ College, Concordia University, Irvine

The ability to control software with your mind. The world will be in dire trouble from two post-apocalyptic sources: zombies and killer robots. When, not if, those two threats to humanity merge as zombiots nobody will be ready for what follows. In such an environment computer-programming skills to deprogram the zombiots will be key to survival. Thus, my desired superpower is the ability to program computers with my mind, aka cyberpathy. But wait! If biological zombies do not have minds, will zombiots not have a functioning CPU to run software?

Dr. Daniel Deen is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Concordia University, Irvine. He earned his Ph.D. from Florida State University in 2015. His philosophical musings lean toward virtue epistemological perspectives in religious and scientific epistemology with a strong penchant for dialogue between science and religion, Christ and culture. In other words, he is committed to that philosophical ideal of promoting great conversations with an eye toward apologetics. When not philosophizing, he is often found surfing, exploring nature with his wife and three children, or getting into trouble with power tools.

  • Florida State University, PhD. 2011
  • California State University Long Beach, MA 2006
  • Concordia University, Irvine, BA 2001

Paul Elliot

Paul Elliott, PhD


Preferred Super Power: Time Manipulation
Day Job: Associate Professor of Theology, specializing in the Old Testament at Christ College, Concordia University Irvine

I could jump around in time in order to study history firsthand. I could also loop back in time a few minutes every time I mess something up. Or I could just pause time and take a nap whenever I like.

Dr. Elliott received his Ph.D. and M. Phil. from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and is the lead professor of Hebrew for Concordia University Irvine's Christ College. Dr. Elliott published “The Israel of God in the Sermon: Connecting Old Testament Texts to New Testament People” in Feasting in a Famine of the Word in 2016 and is preparing a commentary on the prophet Habakkuk.

  • Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, M.Phil., 2013; Ph.D., 2018
  • Concordia Seminary – St. Louis, M.Div., 2009
  • Concordia University – River Forest, B.A., 2003
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