Faculty | Organizational Leadership Certificate | Concordia University Irvine

Faculty & Staff

Directors

Biography

Dr. Margaret Christmas Thomas has served as interim and as an assistant dean at Concordia University and previously worked in the office of Adult, Graduate and Online Programs to help programs from all over the university reach new levels of rigor and relevance in an online environment. She began at Concordia as a professor in the School of Education, then as Director of Curriculum and Assessment for the Master of Arts in Education Master's programs, which include master's degrees for Administration, Curriculum and Instruction and School Counseling. She also assists in the Doctorate in Educational Leadership program.

Most recently she has moved to the Dallas, Texas area with her family. She will continue working remotely with Concordia and the Townsend Institute as Director of Curriculum and Assessment primarily working with CACREP Accreditation.

For the years prior to higher education she led national Counseling/Academic services for a large national human services provider and consulted internationally in Europe and the United Arab Emirates in the areas of counseling, education and special education services. She has hosted several national conferences for counselors and educators and presented on these topics across the United States and the United Kingdom. Prior to her national position she was a principal at Excel Middle and High School, a school designed exclusively to serve expelled students. The school became a national model during her stewardship for agencies who seek to serve the “hardest to serve” populations of young people.

During her Ph.D. research and while completing her clinical supervision for her licensure in psychotherapy (FL) she completed her dissertation on the effect of counseling interventions on the academic achievement and behavior of secondary at-risk youth. Beyond her primary career, she has served as an adjunct professor and curriculum writer of Psychology and Education at Belhaven University from 2005 to March 2010.

Degrees Earned

  • Ph.D., Education and Leadership, Barry University
  • M.A., Counselor Education, University of Central Florida
  • B.A., Psychology, University of North Florida
Makin, Scott

Biography

Scott has a Master’s in Counseling Psychology and is the Executive Director of the Townsend Institute for Leadership and Counseling. Scott was previously the Founder and Director of the Wabash Friends Counseling Center for 21 years. The counseling ministry grew to 7 satellite offices in surrounding cities with over 20 clinical staff. In addition to this Scott created a yearly psycho-educational conference that became one of the largest one-day conferences in the Midwest for nearly 25 years. Scott is also an executive leadership coach and business consultant. Scott met Dr. John Townsend in 1996 and has co-facilitated 5 different teams with John. Scott is also a Senior Director of the Townsend Leadership Program and runs a group out of Indianapolis.

Degrees Earned

  • M.A. Counseling Psychology, Trinity International University
  • B.S. Psychology, Houghton College
Paessler-Chesterton, Heather, Ph.D

Biography

Like most counselors and those in the business of people helping, Dr. Heather Paessler-Chesterton (“Dr. C”) has a heart for the hurting. A Regent University graduate, Dr. C earned a PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision and has spent the past decade as a counselor educator and faculty member at Walden University. Her background is also rich in clinical work, specializing in the treatment of children and adolescents, with an emphasis on trauma and attachment. Dr. Chesterton’s work has spanned the country as a consultant, researcher, mentor, and supervisor. She speaks at local and national levels on working in diverse settings and meeting the needs of challenging youth. Dr. C is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, a National Certified Counselor, and she also holds certifications in school counseling. Dr. Chesterton is also a Disaster Mental Health Volunteer for the American Red Cross.

While Dr. C has been blessed to have experienced a wide range of professional opportunities, she feels particularly called to the role of “people helper,” as well as being of service to other people helpers. She and her husband have been active in urban youth ministry and reside in Western New York with their three young children. As faculty and Director of the Masters in Counseling Program, she is dedicated to partnering with both students and faculty in order to empower them toward remarkable goals and to help prepare them as their own professional calling unfolds.

Degrees Earned

  • Ph.D., Counselor Education and Supervision, Regent University
  • M.A., Community and School Counseling, Regent University
  • B.A., Sociology, University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire

Faculty

Biography

World traveling, adventure seeking adrenaline junky, motorcyclist, husband, and father Michael Anderson. After a brief hitch in the US Army National Guard, Michael joined the staff of Cru and continues to work in vocational ministry with Cru's Athletes in Action. He teaches and consults in leadership development, team building, and communication all over the world. Among his resources are degrees in Electrical Engineering (AS), Communication Science (BA UConn), a master's degree in Communication and Leadership from Gonzaga University, and decades of experience in executive leadership. Michael is also a certified executive coach, CoreClarity Facilitator, and Action Learning Facilitator. It is his great joy to work as an adjunct at Indiana Wesleyan University and Concordia University, Irvine as he leads people and teams around the world to wild success.

Degrees Earned

  • M.A. Communication and Leadership, Gonzaga University
  • B.A. Communication Science, University of Connecticut
  • Balman, Wendy
  •  
  •  
  •  

Biography

Jill has a Ph.D. from Capella University in Organizational Management with an emphasis in Leadership. She has a M.S.M. from Notre Dame de Namur University with an emphasis in Project Management. Jill’s experience spans from 12 years in the collegiate classroom to working in the board room as a business executive for more than 20 years. A dynamic and seasoned entrepreneur with a track record in developing and implementing effective business processes, Jill has experience in managing and leading internal teams, creating win-win relationships with vendors and suppliers to improve cost-efficiency across the supply chain, and tracking adherence to organizational strategy, strategic objectives and action plans. Currently she is the chairman and CEO at NSI (Nutritional Services, Inc.) in San Carlos, CA.

  • Cummins, Richard
  • Professor
  •  
  •  

Biography

Barry Davis is a Career and Executive Coach with Gift of Self Career Services. LLC. Holding a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology from Millersville University and a Pastoral Degree from Lancaster Bible College and Graduate School, he is designated as a Certified Master of Career Services by the National Career Development Association and is a licensed minister of the Gospel. An adjunct professor at Concordia and Huntington Universities and an active blogger (on both career and faith), he has written for the Social Media Examiner, NCDA and the Middle Atlantic Career Counseling Association’s newsletters. Davis’ presentation experience includes keynoting for MACCA, presenting to the Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers, Maryland Career Development Association, Human Resource associations, Business Executives Networking Group, Lancaster Young Professionals, and various organizations, colleges and universities on diverse topics including The Blessings of Failure, Creating Luck, and Leading through Conflict. A certified AVA Analyst and Certified Talent Consultant for advanced assessment training with the Institute of Personality and Ability Testing, he also holds certification in Critical Incident Stress Debriefing from the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation. Over his 25+ year career, Barry has worked with thousands of people in diverse industries in dealing with the age-old question "What do I want to be when I grow up?", whether they are taking their first career steps or transitioning into a new field entirely. He has extensive experience in working with companies and individuals in the throes of employment and life transitions and continues to learn what all he wants to do! Barry is passionate about integrating Biblical truth in all he does, often noting that "all truth belongs to God." On a personal side, he is an inveterate reader, pushing books on anyone who comes within earshot (he has over 190 book reviews on Goodreads), and has completed over 30 full marathons.

Degrees Earned

  • M.S., Clinical Psychology, Millersville University of Pennsylvania
  • B.S., Bible/Pastoral Studies, Lancaster Bible College
Hooper, Matthew

Biography

Matthew’s personal and professional pursuit of holistic growth are at the center of his life and work with others. He holds degrees in Communication from Biola University (1994) and Christian Ministry and Leadership from Talbot School of Theology (2001). Spiritual Development and Pastoral Counseling were the specialized emphases of his graduate work. Matthew also received a certificate in spiritual direction from the Archdiocesan Spirituality Center in Los Angeles. Currently, he is studying to complete a doctoral program in Higher Education Leadership at Azusa Pacific University. Over the past 17 years, Matthew has cultivated his vocation toward influencing the holistic development of emerging adults, leaders and professionals. Currently, he serves as the Associate Dean of Students at Biola University. In recent years, Matthew launched a professional consulting business (TRACK 3 Leadership Development) integrating Christian spirituality, psychological insight, and intentional community for the purpose of holistic leadership development. He finds unique inspiration for his work in creation, spiritual friendship and the daily pursuit of humility as the highest virtue for human growth. Matthew, his wife, Sheela, and their three children, Annie, Breeana and Jarren, live, work and play in northern California.

Degrees Earned

  • Ed.D. Higher Education Leadership, Azusa Pacific University (in progress)
  • M.A. Spiritual Development, Biola University
  • B.A. Communications, Biola University
Flores, Pamela

Biography

Pamela has received her Masters in Counseling from Dallas Theological Seminary and was part of the Inaugural class of the Townsend Institute at Huntington University where she received the Advanced Executive Coaching Credential. She is a Leadership Coach and Organizational consultant with the Townsend Leadership Group. She is now an active TLP Director, co-leading a group in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area. Pamela is certified in the 16 PF and also offers the Myers Briggs, Strong Interest Survey, and Emotional Intelligence Assessments. Pamela has received training from Dennis Del Valle in Process Group Dynamics and Experiential Training as well as several psychodramas trainings under the Bridging Harts Institute and Psychotherapy. Pamela has also completed both the Ultimate Leadership Workshop and One Week Intensive for Counselors in Newport Beach, California hosted by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. She coaches individuals and teams to build self-awareness, improve communication skills and deal with conflict in a way that solves problems and helps people grow.

  • Fugitt, Gilbert
  • Organizational Consulting and Change Theory
  • Administration 300 A/B
  • (949) 214-3057
Fugitt, Gilbert

Biography

Gilbert has an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership and a M.A. in Psychology from Pepperdine University. He currently is the Dean of Students at Concordia University Irvine and has taught Christianity and Contemporary Culture for several academic programs throughout campus as one of Concordia's most endeared instructors. In addition to his leadership and teaching roles at Concordia, he has worked for many years as a Director of Christian Education at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Arcadia, California, where he developed servant leaders within the church and the youth ministry. At Concordia University, he is passionate about developing wise, honorable, and cultivated student leaders. He has conducted numerous presentations on servant leadership, community service, and many relevant issues critical to college age students.

Degrees Earned

  • Ed.D., Organizational Leadership, Pepperdine University
  • M.A., Psychology, Pepperdine University
  • B.A., Theology, Concordia University, Seward, NE

Biography

Steve is owner and doctor for Veterinary Healthcare Concepts for the past 25 years. He leads this multiple discipline practice with general and emergency services including orthopedic and neurosurgery. Steve is an avid outdoorsman, rancher, and pilot. He is instrument rated and certified in high performance aircraft. Steve has a passion for developing students and investing in their lives. He and his wife Lisa led the college class at their church for many years, which grew to a weekly gathering of over 200 students under their leadership. Steve and Lisa have served in leadership capacities and as local board members of Young Life, an organization designed to introduce high school kids to Jesus Christ. Steve currently is a director for the Townsend Leadership Program.

Biography

Scott is the president of Livingston Consulting Group and IntegratEI, where he partners with professionals with a focus on emotional intelligence to improve their execution and performance in their organizations. Many of his clients have expressed that he works with “heart and edge,” meaning that he’s friendly and engaging, but also holds his clients accountable to their performance objectives.

Makin, Gregg

Biography

Gregg has a Ph.D. in organizational leadership from Regent University and a Master’s from Hofstra University. He is the Group Life Pastor at Living Faith Christian Church on Long Island, NY, joining the staff in 1983. His primary responsibilities are to train and develop our church's leaders. Gregg has a passion for building community in the body of Christ, and helping people grow spiritually and emotionally. In addition, I served as an Adjunct Professor at Nyack College, Bethel Seminary and Huntington University.

Biography

Leah Nelson is an experienced leader with over 23 years of leadership experience in the military and business sectors. As a coach, she has helped individuals and businesses achieve next level outcomes. She carries a unique leadership perspective combining relationships with the need for results in both the personal and professional realms. She specializes in helping both men and women achieve their vision and achieve significant growth in both their professional and personal lives.

Leah completed her undergraduate studies at the United States Naval Academy. She served for 13 years in the military, where she was a Helicopter Pilot and a Leadership Instructor/Facilitator. Following military service, she has spent the last 20 years as a small business owner working in coaching, recruiting, leadership training and development, sales and marketing, and small business development. She received her Masters of Organizational Leadership through the Townsend Institute at Huntington University.

Helping others achieve their goals and design their lives with excellence and balance is one of Leah’s greatest joys. An avid athlete, Leah recently completed the Boston Marathon.

Degrees Earned

  • M.A. Counseling Psychology, Trinity International University
  • United States Naval Academy
Scott, Jeff

Biography

Jeff Scott is a business owner and Lay Pastor. He is an entrepreneurial leader in both the business world and the church. He has 45 years of management and leadership experience. He has been responsible for starting new divisions for companies he worked for. Mr. Scott also was a Business Manager responsible for a $100 million dollar profit center for a Fortune 500 company.

In the church Mr. Scott has been responsible for starting The Discipleship Walk which is a 3 day discipleship retreat leading people into a deeper relationship with Christ. Over 10,000 people throughout the US have been involved with this movement since its inception in 1989. Mr. Scott was also responsible for starting and developing the Alpha Course at his church into one of the largest courses in the US. He has served on the National Board of Advisors for Alpha USA. In addition to his involvement with Alpha in the US he has also trained over 500 churches in Nicaragua and India on how to develop and run their own Alpha Courses. He has taught the spiritual gifts class at his church for the past 15 years where over 1500 people have learned about the Holy Spirit and how the Holy Spirit has gifted each of them personally.

Mr. Scott’s teaching experience includes 45 years teaching the roofing industry as well as in the church environments. He loves teaching and helping his students understand how biblical principles work in both the church and business worlds.

Thompson, Michelle

Biography

Michelle has a Master of Arts in Children and Family Ministry from Bethel Seminary, St. Paul, MN. She has a Master of Science in Organizational Development and a Certificate in Conflict Resolution from Abilene Christian University. Currently she is Executive Director of Leadership Development & Training at Greater Houston YMCA Association, Houston, TX. Previously, she was the Senior Training Manager at Cameron in Houston, TX. She was the Executive Director at CrossPoint Community Church in Katy, TX and the Next Generation Strategic Leader at St. John in Ellisville, MO.

Wilhelm, Juliana

Biography

Juliana Wilhelm, MA LCPC is the founder and director of Cardia Counseling Center, Carol Stream, Illinois, where she has been providing effective counseling therapy to individuals and families for more than 19 years. As director, she has trained and supervised clinical therapists and has partnered with leaders to strengthen both their personal and professional lives.

Through the thousands of face-to-face hours of therapy and coaching with high capacity leaders in both the public and private sector, she has first-hand knowledge of the type of impact created when leaders are equipped with skills such as emotional intelligence and are strengthened in their personal character competencies. Benefits range from employee productivity, positivity, and retention, to less burn out at high-level positions and satisfying personal lives.

Through her personal experience as a participant in the Townsend Leadership Program and as an instructor in the Townsend Institute for Leadership and Counseling at Huntington University, she is well-equipped to facilitate change for leaders from all walks of life.

In addition to teaching at Huntington University and her private practice, Juliana is an adjunct instructor in the graduate program at Wheaton College and has taught at Indiana Wesleyan University. She has led ministry groups at Willow Creek Community Church and has been the featured speaker/instructor at conferences for lay and professional audiences both nationally and internationally.

Ms. Wilhelm holds a Bachelor’s degree from University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a Master’s degree from Wheaton College, Illinois. She is a licensed clinical professional counselor (LCPC) in the state of Illinois.

Degrees Earned

  • M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Wheaton College
Top