Dr. Amy Iwani
Learning Experiences that Changes Lives
Amy Iwani is a wife and mother (and mother in law) and is currently living in Indonesia. Amy works as a school consultant; serving mainly in the area of curriculum development for K-6. She is passionate about helping Christian teachers (especially in Indonesia) to teach from biblical perspective and to leave their secular-spiritual divide (SSD) way of life. On Amy’s leisure time she likes cooking and plating and trying new recipes.
Dr. Amy Roedding
Spiritual Formation in the Everyday Classroom
Dr. Amy Roedding has been teaching for over 30 years. She and her husband taught at Alliance Academy in Quito, Ecuador for 18 of those years. She is passionate about Spiritual Formation and encouraging the next generation to step into the good works God has called them to do.
Anne Marie Gosnell
How CIU Prepared Me to Create an Online Ministry
Anne Marie is a 1998 CIU Alumni and a Bible Teacher and Bible curriculum writer with more than 30 years of experience. Authoring seven books, she owns FutureFlyingSaucers Resources and the Bible Creative Conference where she has the privilege of helping creative Bible Teachers around the world train children and youth by using object lessons. The foothills of South Carolina are home, and she loves to indulge herself with English history, along with, Jane Austen books and movies!
Dr. Annie Gallagher
Making Fishers of Men Through Christian Education
Annie Gallagher, the founder of Transformed PD, is a follower of Jesus Christ, professional development coach, instructional program consultant, teacher, wife, mother, and grandmom who currently lives in Kentucky. She has coached Christian educators and instructional leaders in the US and internationally in how to authentically plan and teach Christ-centered instruction, so students see God revealed in content area subject matter. Dr. Gallagher is primarily known for coaching teachers through the PAQ method of Christ-centered instruction, which she developed as part of her doctoral research at Columbia International University, which was supported by Summit Ministries.
Dr. Debbie Moore
Good Intentions Versus Intentionality
Debbie is an educator with over 37 years’ experience in K-12 and Higher education. Her passion is to work with educators to teach with intentionality using biblical integration to develop spiritual formation in students. Dr. Moore’s course work includes Curriculum Development, Designing Instruction, and Instructional Strategies.
Dr. Debra Keeler
Foundational Truth as the Plumbline for Education in our Society
Debra has more than 40 years of professional experience in Early Childhood Education as a teacher, site director, program director, author, Assistant Director of Early Childhood for the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and university professor at Vanguard University and National University in Orange County, CA. urrently, she is a Consultant with the Professional Services Division with California’s State Commission on Teacher Credentialing involved in the development of the new PK-3 ECE Specialist Instruction Credential, teacher preparation programs (“accreditation”) as well as providing technical assistance to programs implementing the Teacher Performance Expectations (TPEs) and Program Guidelines to universities across the state. Debra previously directed a program with 24 sites serving more than 2400 children including fee based/state funded, school readiness, and transitional kindergarten programs for a large district in Orange County. Debra holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Columbia International University.
Dr. Dell Brabham
Creating the Ideal Classroom Culture
Dr. Dell Brabham is an alumni of Columbia International University. Prior to retiring in 2022, the public school system was her mission field for 28 years, serving in Richland District Two, Kershaw, and Richland One. During her tenure, she held various positions to include classroom teacher, Instructional Technology Specialist, Assistant Principal, and Principal. Currently, she serves as the Program Director for the MED program at CIU Global.
Godly Role Models
Dustin became a disciple of Jesus Christ at the age of seven and later became involved with Child Evangelism Fellowship in 2002. He earned his undergraduate and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Columbia International University in 2009 before teaching at a public elementary school in Columbia, SC. It was while teaching that he met his wife and was then called to Myrtle Beach to direct the work of CEF. They now have four children and a vibrant heart for pointing others to Jesus.
Dr. Elaine Lindsey
Teaching Christianly: Communicating Passionately the Integration of Your Love for God and Your Understanding of Academic Content
Elaine Lindsey was born in Lock Haven, PA and spent most of her childhood in China where her parents were Missionaries. Elaine earned a BA in Chemistry and Zoology from Houghton University; a EdM in Science Education from Temple University; and EdD in Curriculuem and Instruction from University of South Carolina. She has taught Science in both public and private schools and served as College of Education faculty member at Columbia International University. Elaine’s passion is to help Christian teachers to come to understand and to teach their students that academic knowledge is founded upon Biblical principles.
Dr. Frew Tamrat
Deep Learning for Transformational Education
Frew Tamrat is an Ethiopian who is the president of the Evangelical Theological College. He got his PhD in Higher Education Leadership from CIU in 2013. He is married and a father of two children. He has been in Theological Education for more than 20 years.
Burnout to Rekindled
Jan has been an educator for 40 years. From the US, to Indonesia, and now Thailand where she as Executive Director of SAFE, Jan has illustrated a passion to serve TCKs and their families. She leads 18 educational consultants cross-culturally bringing resources and assistance to families living in Asia with the education of their children.
Dr. Jennifer Merkey
Phonological Awareness – Pre- Reading Skills for the Brain
Jenny Merkey is currently the curriculum director at Covenant Day School in Matthews, NC. She is a lifelong learner and is especially interested in The Science of Reading. Jenny has a heart for missionary kids and assists missionary families in making educational decisions for their students through testing and consulting.
Jeremy Kingsley is a best-selling author, leadership expert, and one of the most sought after Christian speakers in the country. Since 1996 he has spoken to over 500,000 people at live events and given over 2000 keynote speeches/sermons. A large portion of his ministry has been dedicated to helping Christian schools and universities. Jeremy holds bachelors and masters degrees from Columbia International University. Jeremy and his wife Dawn, live in Columbia, South Carolina with their sons, Jaden and Dylan.
Dr. Joseph Craft
Leading Your Students with Love and Logic: Transforming the Way You Manage Your Class
Dr. Craft is driven by the Holy Spirit to help students recognize their God-given potential as Christian educators. He specializes in early childhood and elementary education with increased emphasis in instructional design, assessment, and classroom and behavior management. He has a passion for teaching and supporting students. Dr. Craft is married to his wife Rachel of 15 years. They have three children. They attend and serve at Awaken Church in Columbia, South Carolina.
Dr. June Wu
Redeem the Minds
A Christian, a lifelong learner, and an educator.
Hit the Ground Running in the Indonesian Education Context: Applications for School Admins to Enhance Education
Kristhianto Nathanael Kainama is an accomplished Indonesian educator with a wealth of experience in educational administration. He holds a Master’s degree in Educational Administration from the CIU program and currently serving as a mathematics teacher and high school principal at IPEKA BSD Christian School in Indonesia. Starting in August 2023, Mr. Kainama will take up a new role at a Christian School in Oregon, USA, where he is eager to continue his work in teaching God’s truth and shaping the lives of young people.
He is married to Feronika Sevalis, and the couple has one son, Faith Enthusiast Ginting Kainama. Mr.Kainama’s family is an essential source of support and inspiration for him, and he draws strength from their love and encouragement in his work.
Dr. Lindsey Fain
Fostering Teacher-Student Rapport: Teacher Perceptions of the Most Effective Practices
Lindsey Fain received her B.A. in Secondary Education and M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Covenant College, and Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Columbia International University. Currently she holds the position of Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Certification Official. Additionally, she supervises MAT clinical practice and has taught other courses in the graduate school of education.
Lindsey is married to Chris, who is also an educator and basketball coach, and they have three children: John Parker (15), Maggie Kate (11), and Merritt (7). In addition to academic work, Lindsey enjoys running, exercise, trips to the beach, watching (taxiing) her kids in their activities and sports, and spending quality time
outdoors with family and friends.
Dr. Lynn Hoekstra
Christian Teaching: A Distinctive Difference
Dr. Hoekstra joined the College of Education at CIU in 2012. She had 16 years’ experience teaching in Christian schools in Michigan and California before receiving her Ed.D. in teaching and learning from Azusa Pacific University. Her special interests include designing curriculum and instruction with a biblical worldview, promoting inquiry-based and outdoor education, developing resilience, and nurturing spiritual growth. Dr. Hoekstra desires to prepare teachers with a biblical worldview who, by God’s grace, can then inspire and encourage their own students.
Dr. Mark McCann
Looking for God’s Purpose When Life Gets Difficult
Dr. McCann’s desire is for undergraduate and graduate students to develop and refine their heart for ministry as future teachers and educational leaders who will serve the Lord with academic excellence and spiritual acuity. He believes this development and refinement must be rooted in God’s Word to guide a biblical understanding of life, family, and ministry. From a program perspective, he sees data informed, mission driven decisions, must include accurate assessments to measure outcomes so as to glorify Christ with excellence in pursuit of the program goals.
Dr. Michael Johnson
CIU's Influence on Being Distinctly Christian in Thought and Career
Dr. Michael Johnson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Arts in Teaching degree in elementary education from Columbia International University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in education and intercultural studies from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He served in the Copper River School District as superintendent, school principal, district curriculum and staff development director, elementary teacher, and special education program assistant. Dr. Michael Johnson was appointed Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development on June 17, 2016 and served until June 30, 2022. From 2019 to 2022, Dr. Johnson served as Alaska’s Lt. Governor Designee. Dr. Johnson currently serves as Associate Dean of the College of Education at Columbia International University in Columbia, SC.
Dr. Michelle Clevenger
Let's Play: Utilizing the Power of Playful Learning in the Lives of Young Children.
Dr. Clevenger began her career in education teaching in South Carolina public schools with a degree in Early Childhood Education and also certified in Learning Disabilities. She taught in Kindergarten, second grade and third grade. She earned her Master’s degree from Lesley University and her Ph.D. in Early Childhood Education from the University of South Carolina. Dr. Clevenger currently enjoys sharing her passion for investing in young learners with future teachers at Columbia International University. She desires to prepare educators to value the foundational experiences early childhood teachers can provide in the cognitive, social, and spiritual development of their students.
Dr. Milton Uecker
The Role of the College of Education in Fulfilling the Mission of CIU: Impacting the Next Generation with the Message of Christ
Dr. Milton Uecker, professor emeritus at Columbia International University, served CIU as early childhood professor, Dean of the College of Education and Dean of the Graduate school. He currently continues to provide staff development needs within Christian Schools and as a guest lecturer within graduate education courses. He is the author and general editor of a series of books dealing with the design and implementation of early childhood programs that are Distinctively Christian and Christ-centered in philosophy.
Dr. Mitch Jaeger
Bible Centered Teachings
Mitch is a recent graduate of the CIU PhD program in Educational Leadership. He is the husband of his lovely wife Amy and the proud father of four children: Levi (9), Lucas (7), Lawson (5), and Tahani (2). Mitch works as the coordinator of the Graduate Residency Program at Impact 360 Institute where they strive to cultivate young professionals who are Christ-centered, culture-shaping servant leaders. In addition to his PhD, Mitch holds a BS in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, an MS in Theoretical Mathematics from Auburn University, and an MA in Science and Religion from Biola University.
Dr. Nathan Johnson
How to Put Out an Organizational Fire in 5 Minutes 😉
Nathan is an ’01 graduate from Furman University (B.A. History, Secondary Education). He then completed an M.Ed. at Columbia International. In 2014 he finished his doctorate at Vanderbilt University, researching how to create a world-class school within a diversified, urban context. Since 2014, Nathan has founded and led Charleston Bilingual Academy whose mission is to partner with parents to inspire world changers through Christ-centered, intercultural, language immersion education.
Dr. Rhett Davis
Good Questions Drive Learning
Rhett and his wife, Kara, met at CIU while attending graduate school and have been married for twenty years. They have five children who attend two Christian school in Charlotte, NC. Rhett has been teaching high school Bible classes at Charlotte Christian School for close to two decades and continues to enjoy learning about the Bible and teaching. He is also an avid drone enthusiast.
Dr. Rick Christman
Dr. Christman is the Interim President of Columbia International University.
Dr. Rick Martin
Creating Love-Informed Classrooms
Rick is married to Annette and they have 5 grown children, 2 sons-in-law, and 3 grandsons. In addition to developing Heartwork at School, Rick serves as the chief academic officer for Calvary Chapel University and also presents for the National Center for Biblical Parenting. When not working, Rick likes to take walks with his wife, travel, and try new food. Rick’s life verse is Eph. 3:20. “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”
Dr. Scott Finnamore
Rock Climbing with Roy
Scott Finnamore serves as a vice president for LifePlus Worldwide Learning, along with teaching adjunct classes for CIU. He spent most of his formative years in international schools, where his father was a principal and both parents were teachers. He lived with his wife Angie and two children for more than 20 years in Tianjin, China, where he served with LifePlus leading international schools. He completed his master’s in education administration from CIU, and his doctorate in education from the University of Minnesota.
Dr. Tara Williams
CIU: A Life Changing Experience!
Dr. Tara Smith Williams is a native of Columbia, South Carolina and was born a twin (the late Tamara Smith Riley) to two dedicated and loving parents, Clarence and Paulette Smith. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia College in Early Childhood Education. She continued her education by attaining a Masters of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Columbia International University. In 2015, Dr. Williams became the first African American female to complete a Doctorate in Educational Leadership at Columbia International University. She has been called to serve in Education as an Early Childhood educator, mentor, educational leader, and professional presenter for over 20 years.
Dr. Todd Marrah
Life on Life Impact
Todd R. Marrah, Ph.D. is Superintendent of Tree of Life Christian Schools in Columbus, Ohio and Executive Pastor at Rock City Church, one of the fastest growing churches in America. He sits on the board of the Columbus Dream Center and is board chair elect for the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI).
Dr. Marrah’s experience as a middle and high school teacher, a middle and high school principal, and school superintendent combined with over 30 years of pastoral ministry as a children’s pastor, youth pastor, preaching pastor, and executive pastor provides unique insights into issues facing education and the church. His research focused on the spiritual formation of middle and high school students. Dr. Marrah has the privilege of consulting with Christian schools and churches and frequently speaks on a variety of topics including board governance and leadership, strategic planning, spiritual formation, and Christian parenting.
He is a father of 6 wonderful children, ages 21-31, four grandsons, and husband to his lovely wife, Jana.