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 

Assistant to the President. 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 continues to work toward a Master of Arts in Ministry at Indiana Wesleyan University. She is married to Commander Dennis Andrews, a US Navy Chaplain who is in his 14th year of service. Dianna has served in ministry with her husband for more than 25 years. They currently live in St Johns, FL. They have a son who is a Senior at Southern Wesleyan University, Central, SC; and a married daughter who is working toward her Master of Worship Studies at IWS.

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. She joined IWS in 2005 and is responsible for student services, session logistics, and office administrative support. Sandy is a lifelong resident of Orange Park and has two wonderful daughters with her husband Matt.

Dr. Frank Fortunato

Coordinator of Missional Relations and Director of the GROW Center. Frank Fortunato has served in music ministry his entire lifetime. He taught college music courses followed by music ministry with Operation Mobilization’s mission ships. Frank completed Master’s studies in ethnomusicology and a doctorate in worship studies from the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies. Frank serves as the international worship consultant for OM, and as an arts in mission advocate with various global Christian networks. He is the Vice President of The International Council of Ethnodoxologists (ICE). He serves as the Coordinator of Missional Relations for the Webber Institute, and directs the Institute’s GROW (Global Renewal of Worship). He is the founder of OM’s Heart Sounds International, a ministry producing indigenous worship recordings mostly in the restricted parts of the world. Frank co-authored All the World is Singing—Glorifying God through the worship music of the nations, and co-edited Worship and Mission for the Global Church-an Ethnodoxology Handbook. The Fortunatos are based at the OM USA headquarters in Atlanta.

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 received a Bachelor of Science in Family, Youth and Community Science from the University of Florida (where he met his wife, Elise), a Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and is a doctoral student at IWS. He has been programming since 1996 and worked as a web developer in Gainesville, FL, from 2001-2005 before entering ministry full-time. He still does consulting part-time in the IT and audio/visual fields (specializing in working with churches). Sam and his wife Elise are planting a church in Green Cove Springs, FL.

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.

Susan Massey 

Library Director. Susan Massey is Head of Discovery Enhancement at the Thomas G. Carpenter Library of the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida. She has held a variety of positions in academic libraries in Florida, Texas, and Louisiana for the past twenty-five years. Susan earned her M.L.I.S. from Louisiana State University and also received an M.Div. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

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 holds a B.A. in Religion from Davidson College and an M.A. in Theology and the Arts from Fuller Theological Seminary. He is an ordained deacon of the Anglican Church in North America and he lives in Jacksonville with his wife and their son. Mark has been with IWS since 2009.

Dr. Eric H. Ohlmann

Academic Dean. Eric Ohlmann has invested all of his adult life in theological education. After earning 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. From 2004 to 2009 he served as part-time Director of Strategic Planning and Accreditation at the Institute for Worship Studies, and since 2012 has been the Academic Dean of Taylor Seminary in Edmonton, Alberta.

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.

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 in liturgical studies. 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 two books, An Architecture of Immanence: Architecture for Worship and Ministry Today and Greening Spaces for Worship and Ministry: Congregations, Their Buildings, and Creation Care. He continues to pursue research exploring the relationship between the Christian faith and the visual arts.

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.