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

Jonathan Ruehs

Rev. Jonathan Ruehs, MA, MA,Th

Team Member

Preferred Super Power: Flight
Day Job: Assistant Professor of Theology and Director of the Center for Church Leadership

Ever since I was a kid I wanted to have the superpower of flight. I'd love to soar in the sky, fly through the clouds, and take in the sights and sounds of the world around and below me. Teleportation on the other hand are for those who are in a hurry and just want to get from point A to B without really taking time to experience the wonder and beauty of the created world around us. The power to fly would provide the chance to de-stress and decompress in the midst of a busy life. ​

Pastor Ruehs has been in ministry for over 20 years. His first ten-years of ministry were in Burbank, California where he served as the Director of Youth and Parish Education. The last ten plus years of ministry he has served at two different Concordias in five different positions, which included a seven-year stint in campus ministry. Jonathan has masters degrees in Christian apologetics and pastoral ministry with a focus on cross-cultural ministry. He is currently working on a doctorate in intercultural studies focusing on the topic of pastoral responses to paranormal experiences.

  • Columbia International University, Columbia, South Carolina, PhD (pending)
  • Concordia University, Irvine, California, MA,Th 2015
  • Biola University, La Mirada, California, MA, 2001
  • Concordia University, Irvine, California, BA, 1995

Dana Peterson

Dana Peterson, DCE

Team Member

Preferred Super Power: Time Travel
Day Job: Director of Local Mission & High School Youth at Christ Lutheran Church & School, Costa Mesa, CA

The ability to move through time​

Dana Peterson ​serves as the Director of Local Mission and High School Youth at Christ Lutheran Church and School in Costa Mesa, California,​ since the fall of 2014. She finds joy in leading the church and school into the neighborhoods of Costa Mesa through local partnerships​. Dana has a heart for all youth to know and live the gospel of Christ. She gets to shape the faith of youth as she leads the confirmation course and high school youth ministry.

Dana was certified as a Director of Christian Education after completing an internship at Trinity Cristo Rey Lutheran Church in Santa Ana, California. Following her internship, she served as a Graduate Assistant for Concordia Irvine’s Around-the-World Semester® program and traveled to over 10 countries in 5 months. From 2012 to 2014, Dana worked in the Global Programs Office at Concordia Irvine where she assisted and led in areas of study abroad, global mission and service-learning trips. Dana’s heart has been shaped by people from all over the world and now even more in Costa Mesa.

  • Concordia University Irvine, B.A. 2011

Tyler Haase

Tyler Haase

Social Media Coordinator

Preferred Super Power: Invisibility
Day Job: Student at Concordia University Irvine, and ASCUI Club Commissioner

Tyler Haase Is currently a student at Concordia University Irvine, studying Business Administration with a double emphasis in Marketing and Finance. Tyler is also apart of ASCUI (The Associated Students of Concordia University Irvine) were he serves as Club Commissioner for 25 Clubs on Concordia's campus. He has also served at Crosswise last year, and is excited to be part of the Crosswise team again.

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