Administration and Staff


Dr. Chris Alford

Thesis Style Reader. Chris Alford completed undergraduate studies in music history/music literature at both the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and the Victoria University of Manchester, England. He later earned a Master’s Degree in Musicology from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Chris completed the Doctor of Worship Studies program at the Institute for Worship Studies and graduated with the Institute’s inaugural “Alpha” class in the spring of 2002, with a thesis focus area on the church, worship, and contemporary culture. After nearly twenty years in music ministry, Chris now pastors Epiclesis: An Ancient-Future Faith Community in Sacramento, California, considered the first church start built on Webberian, Ancient-Future principles.

Dianna Andrews

Director of Advancement. Dianna Andrews is an ordained minister with the Wesleyan Church and holds a B.A. in Christian Counseling from John Wesley College in High Point, NC. She has completed academic classes toward the Master of Arts in Ministry at Indiana Wesleyan University. She is married to Lieutenant Commander Dennis Andrews, a US Navy Chaplain who is in his 12th year of service. Dianna has served in ministry with her husband for 24 years and they have traveled around the world with the military. They live in St Johns, FL. They have a son who is a freshman at Southern Wesleyan University, Central, SC; and a daughter who is a junior at Houghton Wesleyan College, Houghton, NY.

Cort Bender

Coordinator of Audio/Visual Technology. Cortlandt Bender, was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, and has degrees in Music with emphasis in Voice and Conducting from Tarkio College in Missouri and California Institute of the Arts. He has done postgraduate work at Westminster Choir College, Fuller Seminary, Church Divinity School of the Pacific, The Aspen Institute and the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies. He studied and taught at UCLA for 7 years. He has worked as a conductor, singer, actor, composer, producer, stage director and teacher. Cort has been a church musician for 40+ years and has been working as a consultant in the use of arts in worship, media, and pre-architectural design for over 30 years. His visual art design has been featured in Modern Liturgy Magazine and Creator Magazine. Cort conducted the musicals, operas and oratorios. He is a published composer. He is a member of SAG, AEA, and NAAL. He and his wife, Annette have been married for 47 years and have two daughters and one grandson. Cort is Minister of Music at Church of the Epiphany in San Carlos, CA.

Sandy Dinkins

Director of Student Services and Office Administrator. Sandy Dinkins holds a B.S. in Travel and Tourism Management from Clemson University. Prior to joining IWS, she worked in the hotel and healthcare industries. She has worked in various capacities at IWS since 2005. She is responsible for student services and session logistics, and provides administrative support in the development and advancement areas of IWS. Sandy is a lifelong resident of Orange Park and has two wonderful daughters with her husband Matt.

Dr. Darrell Harris

Dean of the Chapel. Darrell Harris is the founder of Star Song Records, a contemporary Christian music company. He developed and marketed the music of Twila Paris, Newsboys, Bill Gaither Trio and Vocal Band, and was the original publisher of The Complete Library of Christian Worship. He has served as the IWS Chaplain since its inception in 1999. Darrell is the recipient of the D.W.S. Honoraria from the Institute for Worship Studies.

Dr. James R. Hart

President. Jim Hart holds a B.M. in Sacred Music from Oral Roberts University, an M.M. in Trumpet Performance from the University of Tulsa, and a D.W.S. from the Institute for Worship Studies where he graduated with the Alphas–the first graduating class in 2002. He was critical to the formation of IWS in Florida and has held administrative responsibilities since its inception in 1999. He is a professional trumpeter, choral director, and a published composer/arranger, songwriter and author. He has served in church music ministry for over 30 years, most recently as Director of Music and Arts ministries at Grace Episcopal Church and New Grace Church in Orange Park, Florida, from 1993 to 2008.  Dr. Hart and his wife, Carol, have three daughters.

Carol Hart

Housing Coordinator. Carol Hart graduated from Minnesota School of Business’ Legal Secretarial program. She is a graduate of Rhema Bible Training Center with a certificate in Teaching. She has been the Host Coordinator for ten years and is also working in the area of development and fundraising.

Sam Horowitz

Director of Technical Services. Sam Horowitz a Bachelor of Science in Family, Youth and Community Science from the University of Florida (where he met his wife, Elise) and a Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He has been programming since 1996 and worked as a professional web programmer in Gainesville from 2001-2005 before entering ministry full-time. Ordained a priest in April of 2011, he is currently the Pastor of Christ Our Lord Church, an Anglican congregation in Woodbridge, VA, where he lives with Elise and their son, Micah.

Dr. Steve Huntley

Director of Assessment and Planning. Dr. Steve Huntley has been involved with IWS since its inception, including the conducting of strategic planning workshops with IWS stakeholders and serving on the Strategic Planning Committee. He earned his Ph.D. in educational leadership and M.Ed. in couselor education from the University of Florida, and the M.B.A. from the University of North Florida. He has taught graduate level courses in organizational behavior, human resource management, higher education organization and governance and higher education finance. Dr. Huntley has extensive experience in on-campus and online education, both as an instructor and a mentor of other instructors.

Lisa Kemp

Accounting Assistant. Lisa Kemp came to IWS with experience from the banking industry where her focus was on Accounting, Operations and Internal Controls. She grew up in Miami, attended Barry University, and also attended a session at the Graduate School of Banking of the South. She has also lived and worked in Northern Virginia and in South Georgia, and now resides in Green Cove Springs with her son, Ethan.

Karen Lewis

Food Services Director. Karen Lewis has been involved with various aspects of catering and restaurant management/ownership most of her life. She attended Florida Community College at Jacksonville and has been a member of Grace Church since 1991. Karen and her family have provided food service for IWS since its start in 1999 and have been essential to the success and community orientation of our mealtimes.

Christi Matteson

Controller. Christi Matteson holds a Bachelors of Science in Management Information Systems from Florida State Univeristy. She worked as a Management Consultant for over 20 years and is a Certified Management Consultant. Additionally, she has experience working with non-profit organizations both on staff and as a board member.

Mark Murray

Director of Enrollment Management. Mark Murray graduated from Davidson College with a B.A. in Religion in 2004 and from Fuller Theological Seminary with an M.A. in Theology and the Arts in 2011. He is currently pursuing ordination through the Gulf Atlantic Diocese of the Anglican Church in North America.

Dr. Eric H. Ohlmann

Academic Dean. Eric Ohlmann has invested all of his adult life in theological education. After earning a Th.M. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Th.D. from the Graduate Theological Union, he served for twenty years as Professor of Christian Heritage, Associate Dean (and a number of times as Interim Dean) at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary and thirteen years as Vice President/Academic Dean at Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Since 2004 he has served as part-time Director of Strategic Planning and Accreditation at the Institute for Worship Studies.

Ken Polsley

Library Assistant. Ken Polsley is an ordained minister with the Southern Baptist Convention and holds a B.A. from the University of Iowa. He has completed academic classes toward the Master of Arts in Theology at International School of Theology in Manila and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Sue, were missionaries for three years in the Philippines. Ken served as a pastor in Iowa City, Iowa for seventeen years prior to moving to Jacksonville in 2011. Ken and Sue are involved as volunteer prayer ministers for Christian Healing Ministries in Jacksonville and help facilitate the practicums in CHM’s school of prayer.

Dr. Ken Rushing

Information Technology Coordinator. Ken Rushing, an ordained minister, has served churches in the Southeastern region of the United States since 1978. He has also been involved with computer technology since the early 1980s and owns his own computer business, Rushing to Serve. He earned an M.M. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a D.W.S. from the Institute for Worship Studies, graduating as an Alpha in 2002.

Carol Sittema

Interim Library Director. Carol Sittema is a Texas native who worked in Dallas for 25 years as an IT Executive. After marrying in 2000, her husband John, a PCA pastor, answered a call to Christ Covenant in Charlotte, NC, and then to Christ Church in Jacksonville, Florida. Her husband also serves as president of World Serve USA and they are passionate about resourcing the body of Christ in China, India, and other restricted areas, and are thankful that they can travel to these places regularly. Carol earned her B.S. from the University of Texas El Paso and her M.L.I.S. from the University of Texas Austin.

Dr. Mark Torgerson

Bibliographer. Mark Torgerson is Professor of Worship Studies at Judson University in Elgin, Illinois. He received an M.Div. from North Park Theological Seminary and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame. He is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Covenant Church and an artist. He has written various articles and book reviews published in Worship, CIVA SEEN, Reformed Liturgy and Music, Christianity and the Arts, The Covenant Quarterly, and the IFRAA On-line Journal. He has written the book An Architecture of Immanence: Architecture for Worship and Ministry Today and is currently working on a new book manuscript concerning religious building design and environmental stewardship.

Dr. Kent Walters

Director of Alumni Activities. Kent Walters is Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Previously, he served as music director and worship pastor in a local church for 31 years. He received an M.M. from Michigan State University and a Doctor of Worship Studies from the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies graduating as a member of the first or “Alpha” class. He has served as the school’s Director of Alumni Activities and Editor of the IWS newsletter, Anamnesis since 2004, and was appointed faculty member for the Practicum Courses in June 2007.