Personal Stories and Updates

Keeping us connected! You will be blessed, inspired and informed by these updates from 26 alumni. In addition, what a thrill to see the significant ways alumni continue to grow and make an impact for the Kingdom! The Lord is using the work of IWS and blessing the vision of Bob Webber. Thanks be to God!

Lindel Anderson, D.W.S. (Chi 2013)

Lindel is the Dean of Worship Studies at Indiana Bible College in Indianapolis, Indiana. He developed a worship studies degree plan four years ago incorporating his IWS course work and thesis research. The student enrollment has grown each year. He will be a guest instructor at the Declare Worship Conference for the United Pentecostal Church International in Manila, Philippines in November 2017.

Nancy Beyer, D.W.S. (Rho 2010)

“I am retired from congregational work, but continue to work with the Rocky Mountain Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America as a freelance worship consultant. I serve on their Ministry Review Team working with congregations to assess their strengths and weaknesses and to consult on worship. I also assist the synod in planning worship for synodical gatherings, theological conferences, and synod assembly. Additionally, I teach classes on the meaning of the liturgy of the ELCA for congregations looking to make their worship more impactful. All of this work is only possible because of my study at IWS.”

David Brown, D.W.S. (Lambda 2007)

“This summer, Tri-Village Christian Church in central Ohio, where I serve as worship pastor, completed a facility expansion including a chapel (named Shiloh Chapel, signifying God’s presence resting among His people). I’ve taught a number of courses for three different schools. The training and preparation I received from IWS ten years ago has been invaluable.”

Jarrod Brown, D.W.S. (Mu 2008)

“I am still practicing dentistry in Danville, VA, but using my education from IWS as the Worship Chairman at First Presbyterian Church.  I’m helping to better inform our liturgy and restore our use of paraments. I began a Community Prayer Service that meets monthly to pray for the needs of our area. In addition, I’m continuing my pulpit supply ministry in area churches, promoting my book of poetry, Times Yet to Be, and working on a new Christian fiction novel.”

Rick Capezza, D.W.S. (Omicron 2009)

“I continue to serve as Executive Director of Flood of Justice, a non-profit serving Ugandan orphans, and as Spiritual Care Coordinator for Auburn Crest Hospice in Boise, Idaho. In June, I laid down my ordination vows in the North American Lutheran Church to be ordained as priest of the Church of the Holy Trinity, Meridian, where I’ve been interim pastor for the last nine months. It’s been incredible to shepherd a congregation that loves convergence worship from icons and incense to dance and lifted hands. My heart is as full as my schedule, and I’m so thankful to fully put my IWS education into practice in a number of different ministries.”

Bill Davis, D.W.S. (Lambda 2007)

“This July I began my eighth year as Chair of the Music and Worship Division of the Baptist College of Florida in Graceville, Florida. I also serve as interim worship pastor at area churches. New developments at the college include the addition of a Master of Arts in Music and Worship Leadership, distance sites in Jacksonville and Orlando, and a significant offering of online music courses. We just conducted our third annual worship arts camp (Elevate) for teenagers at our Blue Springs campus in Marianna, Florida.”

Dale Dirksen, D.W.S. (Gamma 2003)

“I have been executive pastor at Forest Grove Community Church in Saskatoon, SK, Canada since 2009. Part of my role is to give leadership to multi-site initiatives. Each site must be unique and have a distinct sense of mission. Our first site is typical larger evangelical; the second site has been greatly influenced by my DWS program and Vatican II. We gather weekly around the symbols of cross, flame and cup. Acts of worship are simple, which is appealing to younger generations. We are currently developing our third site with similar but unique values and distinctives. It is an exciting part of my role. I also preach 20 times per year and dabble a bit in music (honing my fretless skills). My wife and I have 4 grandchildren (newest 3 weeks ago) and that is a whole new kind of fun. We still do a lot of outdoor stuff and had an adventure with our self-built cedar strip canoe in July. Google “Sahli Lake SK” to see where we went. It’s the far edge of the middle of no-where. The water, fish and bugs are spectacular!”

JinSoo Ga, D.W.S. Candidate

JinSoo began as Graduate School Professor at Seoul Christian University this year teaching Worship Leadership: Modern Worship and the Worship Leader. His book by the same title will be published in September. Most of the 15-week lectures focused on the theology and history of modern worship.

Teresa Ho, D.W.S. (Nu 2008)

“After a few years of teaching in Hong Kong Alliance Bible Seminary, I went back to Vancouver in 2015 where I serve as an Adjunct Professor at ABS teaching online.  My second book, Magnify the Lord: Revisiting the Concepts and Practices in Worship and Church Music, was released in 2016. It is a theological and biblical reflection on worship and music ministry with the aim of strengthening and encouraging those who serve in the ministry. I am engaged in another writing project on worship planning and intend to create a website to share my passion and experience.”

Carol Hochhalter, D.W.S., (Pi 2010), M.W.S., (Beth 2007)

“I recently began as Director of Worship and Adult Discipleship/Outreach at Park Christian Reformed Church in Holland, Michigan. It is particularly sweet to be able to return to the church that I served before working at Kuyper College.”

Heather Hood, D.W.S. (Gamma 2003) and Nicki Jordan, D.W.S. (Epsilon 2 2016)

Heather and Nicki co-teach the class Music Ministry Foundations at the University of Northwestern-St. Paul as part of the school’s Music Ministry degree program. Heather also teaches a class on Music Ministry Administration and Nicki teaches Music History classes.

Melody Kuphal, D.W.S. (Eta 2 2017)

Melody recently released Mighty Maker, her 5th album in the Mighty Kids series, which is praise and worship music crafted to teach and inspire a generation of youth as worship leaders. Melody is the Director of Music Ministries at Hosanna! Lutheran Church in St. Charles, IL, and was just appointed an adjunct professor position as Worship Arts Internship Supervisor at Judson University, Elgin, IL.

Yat Hin Leung, AGCWS, (Phi 2014) and Simon Ng, D.W.S. (Psi 2013)

“We have been teaching the Sacred Music Course in the Liangyou Theological Seminary radio ministry. The Far East Broadcasting Company broadcasts live 22.5 hours every day to 14 billion Chinese people. The course teaches how to setup and run church music ministry including sound and projection. One of the textbooks we use is the newly published Chinese version of The Worship Architect by Dr. Cherry.”

Budianto Lim, D.W.S. (Psi 2014), and Lidya Siah Lim, D.W.S. (Psi 2014) and M.W.S. (Gimel 2008)

Budianto & Lidya Lim“We have begun our new journey back home in Jakarta, Indonesia. We are called to Reformed Indonesia Theological Seminary where we are entrusted to design a worship studies program. It is a Master of Theology in Worship. The challenge is to discern what is the real need of churches in Indonesia and to test if our curriculum can really equip Christian leaders to facilitate worship renewal. We sensed a disintegration between worship and other aspects of church life. Therefore we designed three integrative courses to address this issue: (a) worship and discipleship, (b) mission-evangelism, (c) and pastoral ministry. We hope the IWS community will remember us in your prayers. Please pray for us to have a continuous discernment to be able to equip Christian leaders to rejuvenate worship life in its wholeness.”

David Manner, D.W.S. (Xi 2009)

David is beginning his 18th year with the Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists as Associate Executive Director. His responsibilities include worship consultation, leadership development and administration. David was elected to serve in 2017-18 as the president of the Baptist Church Music Conference, a national consortium of Baptist educators, denominational ministers and local church musicians. He continues to lead worship and leadership conferences with numerous churches, conventions and educational institutions, and serves as an adjunct faculty partner for graduate intensives at Liberty University Center for Music and Worship. He had the opportunity to teach worship courses for the Kenya Baptist Theological College, Nairobi in January 2014.  Check out his Worship Evaluation Blog.

Simon Miner, M.W.S. (Gimel 2010)

This past March, Simon became Pastoral Musician at Living Hope Church of the Nazarene in Beverly, MA.  He has released two albums of original music. Several of the songs from those albums are sung by churches across the country. Simon also works at Christianbook.com, where he has helped lead the web development team for over 18 years.

Dean Moyer, D.W.S. (Beta 2003)

Dean has recently relocated to Denver, NC, where he serves as Pastor of Connections and Spiritual Formation at Lake Forest Church, Westlake. After over 30 years of serving as a worship pastor, his new position allows him a broadened influence by using his gifts and experience to create relational pathways for guests and giving shape to spiritual formation through worship, group life and serving opportunities. Since 2010 Dean has served as a Teaching Assistant for the DWS 701 class.

Bob Myers, D.W.S. (Theta 2007)

“After a difficult season of ministry, God provided a place of rest and healing for me serving as the Interim Senior Pastor at Benson Baptist Church in Omaha, NE.  On July 1, I transitioned to become the Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church in Galesburg, IL. We are grateful for God’s faithfulness and goodness in placing us in a healthy ministry once again. During my one-year stay in Omaha, I was able to complete the manuscript of a book that has been in process for six years: Strategic Portraits: People and Movements that Shaped Evangelical Worship. I am hoping it will be released in 2018.”

Jonathan Powers, D.W.S. (Chi 2013)

“These past few months have been full of many changes for my family and me. On March 24, my wife and I welcomed our second daughter, Elizabeth Joy, into our family. At the beginning of May I accepted a full-time, tenure track faculty position at Asbury Theological Seminary as their new professor of Worship Studies. I am very honored by the opportunity to teach at Asbury and am excited to further the formative work of IWS in my life by investing in the students and the worship life of the school. Finally, I have been blessed by the opportunity to continue personal education on Robert Webber as I complete a Ph.D. at the London School of Theology. The focus of my dissertation is the worship theology of Robert E. Webber.”

Scott Shepherd, D.W.S. (Chi 2013)

Paul Clark, D.W. S. (Xi 2009), served as Worship and Music Ministries Specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Convention for 15 years. During his tenure, Paul was my most influential mentor and a treasured friend, in addition to being the primary impetus behind starting my journey at IWS. Paul suffered a severe stroke in 2015, and, due to lingering health concerns, he was unable to return to his ministry. As my wife and I prayed about the possibility of me serving in this new role, my initial reluctance was transformed into an overwhelming attraction. I found satisfaction knowing I could continue, build upon, and expand Paul’s legacy. After 15 years serving as Associate Pastor of Music and Worship at First Baptist Church, Paris, TN, I began as Worship and Music Specialist with the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board in June 2017. My primary responsibilities include assisting the worship and music ministries of Tennessee Baptist churches, with particular emphasis on encouraging worship renewal. I will offer consultation, training, pastor and worship leader conferences and retreats, coordinate various statewide events, and enjoy the opportunity to conduct the TN Baptist Men’s Chorale and TN Ladies Chorus. My experience in the doctoral program at IWS was essential in preparing me for this position. I would appreciate your prayers as I seek to honor Christ in this new chapter of ministry.”

Nathan Soice, D.W.S. (Omicron 2012)

After 14 years of service as Worship Minister at First Christian Church in Monticello, IL, Nathan has transitioned to the Atlanta (IL) Christian Church as their first Associate Minister of Worship and Pastoral Care.  He and his family will reside in nearby Heyworth, IL.

Rick Kong, AGCWS (Iota 2010)

Rick is Senior Pastor at Faith Church in Seattle, Washington, and General Director of the Federal Way Youth Symphony Orchestra. He writes, “I received my D.Min. from Fuller Theological Seminary in June 2017 and I am planting the third church in the Seattle area. I will travel to South Korea with the Youth Mission Orchestra in August. I founded this youth symphony orchestra 11 years ago with the mission to promote Excellence, Service, and World Education.”

Tim Yoder, D.W.S. (Kappa 2009)

“After an abrupt transition from New York City to Lancaster, PA, God has provided in many ways. I have become the ultimate, music freelancer!  In addition to taking on the position of Director of Music at First Presbyterian Church, Strasburg, I am also working for a Steinway dealership based in Philadelphia, and I have joined the Worship and Performing Arts Department at Lancaster Bible College as an adjunct professor where I am teaching piano and organ, overseeing the piano labs, and teaching a basic musicianship course.  Each spring I also teach the capstone Worship Arts Administration course for seniors where I get to let them know about the real world they are entering!”