Administration and Staff

Dr. Nichole Criss

Communications Director. Nichole holds a Doctorate of Worship Studies from the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies, a Master of Arts in Christian Leadership from Hope International University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Kent State University. As an award-winning piano instructor and collaborative pianist, Nichole has taught private piano lessons since 2006 and is currently the staff accompanist for the choral departments of Green Local Schools and Northwest Middle School Choirs in Northeast Ohio, where she also serves on the Worship Leadership Team of New Life Tabernacle. Nichole was the recipient of the 2017 Steinway & Sons Top Teacher Award and the 2019 Church Mutual Religious Scholars Award.

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 his 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 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. Dinelle Frankland 

Academic Dean. Dinelle Frankland has been serving as Minister of Worship and Choirs at First Christian Church in Clinton, Illinois since September 2019. From 2003-2021, she served as Professor of Worship Studies at Lincoln Christian Seminary in Lincoln, Illinois, where she developed a Master of Arts in Formative Worship degree. She also served as academic dean at LCS from 2011-2015.

Dr. Frankland holds a Bachelor of Sacred Music degree from Lincoln Christian University, a Master of Music in Church Music from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Worship Studies from the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies. She previously taught music and worship at Dallas Christian College and Ozark Christian College and has taught as an adjunct for TCMI Institute, a seminary near Heiligenkreuz, Austria. She is the author of His Story, Our Response: What the Bible Says About Worship and travels throughout the U.S. as a speaker and worship leader. At IWS she enjoys interacting with a variety of students who are eager to further their education for the benefit of God’s KingdDinelle has taught music and worship in Christian Higher Education for over forty-four years, teaching at Dallas Christian College, in Dallas TX; Ozark Christian College, in Joplin, MO; and Lincoln Christian Seminary, in Lincoln, IL. She has a Bachelor of Sacred Music degree from Lincoln Christian University and a Master of Music in Church Music degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, both with a piano performance emphasis. She holds a Doctor of Worship Studies degree from the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies, where she currently serves as professor and Academic Dean. Her teaching duties have ranged from musical – including music theory, piano lessons, music history, and choirs – to her current area of worship theology, history, and culture. Dinelle has also served as part-time worship minister in several churches. She has spoken all over the United States for conferences, retreats and college chapels, and continues to provide workshops and seminars on worship.

Officially “retired” as of January 2023, along with her part-time position at IWS Dinelle directs
the Community Choir, serves as an accompanist for various community events, and serves on
the worship team at First Christian Church, Clinton, IL.

Dr. Jun Harada

Online Instruction Support Technician. Jun holds a bachelor’s in management from Skidmore College with a minor in Music & Theatre, an M.Div. from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, an MBA from the University of Colorado, and a Doctor of Worship Studies from IWS. He has been in full-time ministry working with Young Life over the past 20 years in the US and Japan. He has been serving in small churches for over 30 years and now he is an ordained pastor for ECO Presbyterian Church in Colorado. He previously was a member of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus (the choir that sings with the Boston Symphony and the Pops Orchestras). Besides producing worship services, playing guitar, and event planning, he recently served as a Mac and iPhone Advisor for Apple and is still consulting on IT and church technologies.

Dr. Darrell Harris

Dean Emeritus 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 served IWS as its chaplain from the school’s inception in 1999 until 2019. Darrell is the recipient of the D.W.S. Honoris Causa 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 worship leadership for more than 40 years. Dr. Hart and his wife, Carol, have three daughters and three grandchildren.

Carol Hart 

Development 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 previously served as the Host Home Coordinator for over ten years.

Carol Hayes 

Library Assistant. Carol Hayes holds a B.A. in English from The University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee. Prior to coming to IWS, Carol served for five years as the campus librarian for the Jacksonville campus of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Carol and her husband Peter have three grown children. They reside in Jacksonville and worship at Switzerland Community Church.

Joe Jamerson

Director of Recruitment. Retiring after 41 years in the life and health insurance industry, Joe Jamerson was Vice President of National Accounts, Strategic Alliances and Field Personnel Development for Allstate Benefits. A passionate musician, Joe was Principal Trumpet of the Gainesville Orchestra and Brass Quintet for 39 seasons. He is the founding member of the Gainesville Brass Quintet. Upon completing the Master of Worship Studies at IWS, Joe has taught worship theology courses in Kiev, Ukraine and Havana, Cuba, and is actively involved in church planting in Cuba. He has authored two books, Finishing First and Plain Ol Jack, and serves the Assemblies of God Florida District by serving as interim pastor in troubled churches that are undergoing leadership transition.

Dr. Jessica Jones  

Associate Academic Dean. Rev. Dr. Jessica Jones serves as one of the Thesis Directors of The Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies, as well as the Associate Academic Dean. Jessica is an ordained deacon in the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA) and has held multiple provincial roles, most recently as the Provincial Canon for the Next Generation Leadership Initiative for the ACNA. She currently serves as the Archdeacon and Canon for Leadership for the Gulf Atlantic Diocese.

Jessica holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Northwest Nazarene University, a Doctor of Worship Studies degree from The Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies, a specialist degree in Educational Leadership from Northwest Nazarene, a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Florida State University.

In addition to serving in her diocesan and provincial roles, Jessica has served as an adjunct professor of Liturgy and Worship at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Jacksonville, FL, and a board member for Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, PA. Jessica has served as a choral educator and adjudicator for over fifteen years in addition to serving as a worship leader in the Anglican Church. Jessica’s recent research focused on how adults learn within a congregation and the teaching efficacy of ministry leaders.

Jessica is grateful to pair her training in education with her background in worship and liturgy to mentor students as they complete the thesis process at IWS.

Dr. Juan López 

Director of Admissions. Juan Lopez received a Bachelor of Science in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, a Master of Business Administration from Golden Gate University, a Master of Theological Studies from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and earned the Doctor of Worship Studies degree from IWS. He was a pilot in the U.S. Coast Guard and flew over 5,200 hours in various types of helicopters and airplanes. He retired from the Coast Guard after nearly 29 years of service and pastors a Spanish speaking Reformed Baptist congregation in Fleming Island, FL. He has been married to Betty for over 36 years and has two children and two grandchildren.

Susan Massey 

Librarian Emeritus. Susan Massey served for 8 years as IWS Library Director and now provides guidance to the Interim Librarian. She recently retired after 11 years as 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 thirty-five years. She has also served in church leadership positions as head of outreach, evangelism trainer, adult teacher, youth and children’s ministry volunteer, altar worker, prayer minister, and pastor of a Fil-Am church plant. Susan earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Houston, her M.L.I.S. from Louisiana State University, and also an M.Div. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Christi Matteson 

Vice President of Finance and Administration. 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.

Dr. Catherine Nance  

Interim Registrar. Catherine Nance holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Converse College (South Carolina) and Master’s of Music degree from Manhattan School of Music in NYC. She has been Director of Music Ministries at St. John’s United Methodist Church in Aiken, SC. Catherine is a graduate of the DWS program at IWS and has been a Teaching Assistant for the 704 class since 2019. She enjoys helping students through their time of study at IWS as way of their serving the Kingdom.

Rev. Dr. Nancy Nethercott 

Chaplain & GROW Center Co-Director. Nancy Nethercott served as a TEAM missionary in Japan for 30 years and currently has her ministry of “Global Training in Spiritual Formation and Biblical Worship” under Faith and Learning International. Besides teaching internationally, Nancy meets with people as a Spiritual Director and Ignataion Prayer Guide and teaches ESL and Japanese classes near her home in Indianapolis, Indiana. Nancy is an ordained priest in the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) in the diocese of Churches for the Sake of Others (C4SO) and licensed as a priest in the Anglican Diocese of the Great Lakes.

Nancy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social and Intellectual History from Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota, a Master of Arts in TESOL and Linguistics from Wm. Carey International University in Pasadena, California, and a Doctor of Worship Studies (2006) from the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies. Nancy also holds advanced certificates in Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Direction from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois, and Anglican Formation from Asbury Anglican Studies Institute in Wilmore, Kentucky.

As a part of her role as Co-Director of the IWS GROW Center, Nancy cooks and hosts a meal for the IWS international students each January and June session. Considering 30% of the IWS student body hold non-US passports, the dinner often has 20~30 in attendance.

Jennifer Nicholson 

Interim Librarian. Jennifer holds a B.S. in International Affairs with a minor in Music from the Florida State University, her M.W.S from the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies, and is currently working towards a Master of Arts in Library and Information Science at the University of South Florida School of Information to become an ALA-accredited librarian. She has previously worked under the State Librarian and in library grants at Florida’s Division of Library and Information Services, as an assistant manager in the Circulation Department of the Leon County Public Library, and as Director of Music Ministries at Holy Cross Anglican Church. In addition to her IWS Interim Librarian role, she is currently the Youth Ministry Assistant and Alto Choral Section Leader at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Tallahassee, Florida.

Maureen Roe

Administrative Assistant. Maureen holds a Culinary Arts Degree from American River College and B.A. from George Fox University. She joined IWS in May of 2023 as a part-time administrator and is passionate about her faith life, family, and food. She has many years of experience as a teacher’s assistant and administrator for Catholic schools. She lives in Jacksonville, Florida with her amazing husband, boy/girl teenage twins, and dog.

The Rev. Dr. Ken Rushing

Interim Director of Technical Services. Director of Technical Services. Ken Rushing is a Priest in the Anglican Communion and has served churches from Texas to Florida since 1978. He has been involved in computer technology since the early 1980s and is the owner of an IT company—Rushing to Serve. He is the Vicar of Holy Trinity Anglican Church (Missionary Diocese of All Saints) and is an Adjunct Professor of Worship (Trinity College of Florida). Ken earned a Bachelor Music in Church Music from the University of Southern Mississippi, a Master of Music 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. Jack Van Marion

Thesis Style Reader. Jack Van Marion is a founding faculty member of the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies. He teaches The Christian Year. He received a B.A. from Calvin College, a M.Div. from Calvin Theological Seminary, and a D.Min. in Worship Studies from Northern Seminary. As an ordained pastor, he has served churches in Hudsonville, MI, Des Moines, IA, Beamsville, Ontario, Canada. He is Pastor Emeritus of Calvary Christian Reformed Church in Edina, MN. Jack combines his worship and ministry experience in the pastorate with teaching opportunities, and along with others, he supervises doctoral candidates as they develop their thesis projects.

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.