Missio Alliance is guided by the partnered effort of a Board of Trustees, Advisory Council, and a Staff Team. Combined, these groups represent involvement from across the Wesleyan, Baptist, Reformed, Holiness, Anglican, Charismatic, Anabaptist, and other traditions.

The Staff Team is responsible for catalyzing the initiative, providing overall vision and direction, and cultivating partnerships with like-minded groups on national and regional levels.

Chris Backert

After years of hearing from leaders the necessity of a “space” to discern the issues related to mission in a post-Christianizing culture, Chris began pulling together the pieces for what would become Missio Alliance in 2010. Now, he happily serves as Co-Director and is excited to see a church being re-imagined across tribes and traditions for the sake of the restorative mission of Jesus Christ.

In addition to his role with Missio, Chris serves as the National Director of Fresh Expressions US and Ecclesia Network. Both are centered on his passion of working with church leaders to develop new expressions of Christian community and networking those efforts together. He also continues to serve with the Baptist General Association of Virginia in a variety of capacities. Before delving into trans-local work, Chris served as a pastor/church planter for 13 years in Maryland and Virginia. His doctoral work at Fuller Seminary focused on the future of denominations.

Chris lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with his wife Rachel and two children, Elliana and Jase.

JR Rozko

JR has spent most of his working life serving simultaneously in local churches as a pastor and in theological education as a program developer and instructor. His main interests and passions revolve around helping the Western Church develop missional perspectives and instincts, especially through a greater awareness and engagement with Church leaders in the Majority World. Helping to create new networks, partnerships, conversations, and resources that embody and advance the good news of God’s mission of reconciliation is at the center of JR’s personal sense of call.

JR has a Doctorate in Missiology  from Fuller Theological Seminary. He, his wife Amy, and their two daughters, Aubrey and Junia, live in Canton, OH and are part of LoveCanton, a congregation of RiverTree Christian Church.

Wendy Chinn

Operations Coordinator
wendy.chinn@missioalliance.org

Wendy has worked in public and higher education as a public relations specialist, crisis counselor, academic advisor and instructor. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Virginia. Wendy periodically teaches on Sundays, in addition to serving with her husband David on the community congregation equipping team at New Life Christian Fellowship in Blacksburg, Virginia. Together, they have been volunteer staff members since 2002.

Wendy holds bachelor degrees in Communications and Psychology from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree in Counseling and Human Development from Radford University. She is currently taking seminary classes through the John C. Leland Center for Theological Studies. In between playing dress-up and hosting tea parties with their daughters, Daisy and Rose, they enjoy cheering on the Hokies and all things Chicago.

Jane Linton

Administrator
admin@ecclesianet.org

Besides serving Missio Alliance, Jane Linton is the Administrator for The Ecclesia Network, and also for Fresh Expressions US and Kairos Partnerships. She was an active part of a Richmond church plant called ‘Imago Dei’ for five years, and loves sharing her love of planning and organization to help churches and their staff fulfill their callings. Jane graduated from Virginia Tech with majors in History and Political Science. Before working with churches she taught school groups with the Valentine Richmond History Center. When Jane is not meticulously and joyfully color-coding tabbed binders and formatting trip itineraries, she can be found chasing her two small boys Alex and Luke around Richmond or working with her husband Brandon on a new Pinterest-inspired home project.

The Board of Trustees is comprised of individuals who represent varying perspectives and interests from across a range of theological traditions, ministry contexts, and backgrounds.

In our early stages of development, these leaders are serving Missio Alliance as both consultants and advocates. As an initiative seeking to foster connection and collaboration amongst diverse groups within the broad spectrum of the evangelical tradition, these leaders, along with the communities and constituencies they represent, are helping us to develop an ever-deepening awareness and sensitivity to God’s work in and among the Body of Christ as we engage in mission together.

David Bailey

Executive Director, Making a Melody

David M. Bailey is a speaker, music director, and producer that has spent the past decade using music as a tool in the reconciliation process. He is an active worship leader and presenter at national and international conferences. His specialty is in leading multi-cultural worship, equipping Christian communities with the tools needed to connect diverse people and cultures. He is on the core leadership team for the National Multicultural Worship Leaders Network. David is the author of Arrabon: Learning Reconciliation through Community and Worship Music and a contributing author for Worship and Mission for the Global Church: An Ethnodoxology Handbook.

David and his wife Joy live in Richmond, Virginia and enjoy exploring new cities and entertaining friends (old and new) in their home.

Dr. Leroy Barber

Executive Director, The Voices Project and Holla

Leroy is currently the Executive Director of The Voices Project and Holla, organizations committed to supporting and developing leaders of color. Besides Missio Alliance, he serves on the boards of the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA), The Simple Way and EEN, the Evangelical Environmental Network.

He is the author of New Neighbor: An Invitation to Join Beloved Community, Everyday Missions: How Ordinary People Can Change the World, (IVP) and recently released Red, Brown, Yellow, Black, White: Who’s More Precious in God’s Sight? (Jericho). He was also a contributor to Tending to Eden, and the groundbreaking book UnChristian: What a New Generation Thinks about Christianity and Why It Matters.

Dr. Jim Baucom

Senior Pastor, Columbia Baptist Church

Dr. Jim Baucom has been Senior Pastor of Columbia Church, Falls Church, Virginia, in the inner suburbs of Washington, DC, for ten years. As a consultant, Christian leader, speaker, and writer, Dr. Baucom has worked with businesses, churches, and non-profits around the world. He has served in many leadership capacities nationally and is presently Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the John Leland Seminary, Chairman of the Board for the Spence Leadership Network, a Trustee of Averett University, a member of the General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, and serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Evangelicals.

Of particular importance to him is his work in the slums of Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Richmond, a Master of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry from Princeton Theological Seminary. Dr. Baucom lives in McLean, Virginia with his wife Debbie and daughters, Marlee and Kelly.

Dr. Douglas R. Cullum

Vice President and Dean, Northeastern Seminary

Dr. Cullum’s teaching ministry emphasizes the seamless relationship between the academic and practical aspects of Christian theology. His desire is to assist the local church in finding renewal along biblical and classical lines. Having been active in ministry since 1978, Dr. Cullum served pastorates until 1994 when he was invited to come to Roberts Wesleyan College to serve as college chaplain and faculty member in the religion department. In 1998, Dr. Cullum became one of the founding faculty members of Northeastern Seminary at Roberts Wesleyan College. Areas of special interest include Wesley and the Methodist tradition, Reformation theology and history, liturgy and liturgical theology, 19th century American religion, and 20th century neo-orthodoxy. Professionally, Dr. Cullum participates in the North American Academy of Liturgy and the Wesley Studies Group of the American Academy of Religion.

Dr. Scott Daniels

Senior Pastor, College Church of the Nazarene

Scott Daniels, Ph.D., currently serves as the Senior Pastor of College church of the Nazarene in Nampa, Idaho. Previously, Daniels served simultaneously of as the Dean of the School of Theology at Azusa Pacific University and as the Senior Pastor of Pasadena Nazarene Church in Pasadena, CA. He became an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene in 1991.

In addition to leading large churches in California and Texas, Daniels has also served as a member of the Board of Trustees for Fuller Theological Seminary and Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Okla. He has a passion for teaching, with 15 years of experience in the classroom, including recently completing a semester as an adjunct professor of practical theology and preaching at APU.

Lesa Engelthaler

Senior Associate for Victory Search Group

Lesa Engelthaler is a Senior Associate for Victory Search Group, assisting nonprofits to recruit executive leaders. Lesa is also a writer for such publications as The Dallas Morning News, Christianity Today, Gifted for Leadership, Relevant, Today’s Christian Woman and Prism. Lesa is a founding member of Ink and proud to be a part of the Redbud Writers Guild. Recently she started blogging at Conversations Journal and Faith Village. Her friends would say that Lesa is passionate about empowering women. For the past several years, she has served on the Circle of Friends board of New Friends New Life and leads an annual trip to partner with the House of Hope a nonprofit in Nicaragua helping women escape prostitution. Today, Lesa finds herself completely taken by one small girl – her first grandchild Lucy. A native Texan and current resident of Dallas, Lesa earned a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies from Columbia International University where she met and married Mark, Executive Pastor at Woodcreek Church. Lesa is wild about reading (favorite book, Jane Eyre), live music and anything from the seventies hippie era.

Dr. David Fitch

Betty R. Lindner Chair of Evangelical Theology, Northern Seminary

David Fitch is B. R. Lindner Chair of Evangelical Theology at Northern Seminary Chicago, IL. He is also  the founding pastor of Life on the Vine Christian Community – a missional church in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago. He coaches a network of church plants in the Christian and Missionary Alliance linked to Life on the Vine. He writes on the issues the local church must face in mission including cultural engagement, leadership and theology and has lectured and presented on these topics at many seminaries, graduate schools, denominational gatherings and conferences.

Deb Hirsch

Speaker, Author, and Church Leader

Deb Hirsch is a speaker, church leader, and writer. She has led churches in both Australia and Los Angeles. She is one of the founders of Forge Mission Training Network and a current member of the Forge America national team. She was part of the leadership team of Christian Associates (a church planting movement in Europe, North & South America). She co-authored (with Alan Hirsch) Untamed: Reactivating a Missional Form of Discipleship. Her new book Redeeming Sex reflects something of her own journey and attempts to bring new conversations around sexuality into the context of the church. Deb has been involved in social work, community development and as a trained counselor has worked in the field of sexuality for over twenty five years. She and her husband live in community with others in Los Angeles.

Dr. Frank A. James, III

President and Professor of Historical Theology, Biblical Seminary

Along with his teaching responsibilities at Biblical, Dr. James currently serves the seminary as president. He has two doctorates, a D.Phil. in History from Oxford University and a Ph.D. in Theology from Westminster Theological Seminary. Dr. James has taught at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Villanova University, Westmont College and was Visiting Professor at the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Oxford University. Dr. James has two academic specialties, the Reformation and Contemporary American Evangelicalism. He has written or edited 9 books and published over 60 articles in popular and academic journals. His latest book is Church History: Reformation to the Present, (Zondervan, 2013). He has given lectures at distinguished universities and research institutes around the globe including: Oxford University, University of Zurich, and the University of Padua, Italy. Frank is married to the noted author Carolyn Custis James and they have one daughter, Allison.

Dr. Jo Anne Lyon

General Superintendent, The Wesleyan Church

Besides serving as the General Superintendent of The Wesleyan Church, Dr. Lyon serves on the board of directors at many organizations, including the NAE Executive Committee, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, the Christian Community Development Association and the Association for Biblical Higher Education. She also serves as an Ex – Officio board member for all Wesleyan institutions of higher education.

Dr. Lyon holds a Masters Degree in Counseling, further graduate studies in Historical Theology and has been granted five honorary doctorates. She has written several articles and publications, including the book Ultimate Blessing: Experiencing God to the Fullest and has served over 30 years in pastoral ministry. She has been Adjunct Professor of Church and Society at both Indiana Wesleyan University and Asbury Theological Seminary. Known by many as the founder and CEO of World Hope International, Alexandria, VA, she led the organization to great influence as a faith-based relief and development organization; alleviating suffering and injustice in over 30 countries.

Dr. Lyon and her husband Wayne, the pastor of United Family Wesleyan Church, live in the Indianapolis area. They have four children and eight grandchildren.

Lisa Rodriguez-Watson

Assistant to the CEO, Christian Community Development Association

For over a decade Lisa has served as an urban church planter, collegiate minister, seminary professor and international missionary. Her heart to see people reconciled to God and to one another has led her to invest her life, family and ministry in places and people that have often been looked over by the world.

Lisa served as co-founder of a grassroots organization in Memphis, TN that was committed to mobilizing Christians to love their undocumented neighbors, and consider an appropriate Christian response to our nation’s immigration crisis. She works as Assistant to the CEO of the Christian Community Development Association.

Educated at Florida International University and Golden Gate Seminary, she lives in Washington, DC where she is a mom to 3 fantastic children, Nathan (8), Elias (5) and Annelies (2), and a wife to Matthew, a Church Planting Pastor at The District Church, who is the best man she’s ever known.

Dr. Charlie Self

Professor of Church History, Assemblies of God Theological Seminary and Senior Advisor, The Acton Institute

Charlie is an ordained Assemblies of God minister, credentialed since 1980. He has been active in pastoral ministry for over 30 years across the USA. He has been an associate pastor, interim pastor (serving six communities) and lead pastor in California, Oregon, Washington, D.C. and the Midwest. He is presently Professor of Church History at Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Springfield, Missouri and a Senior Advisor for the Acton Institute.

Charlie has been involved in professional post-secondary education since 1981. He has been a professor of Religion, History and Philosophy at Bethany University, Continental Theological Seminary (Brussels, Belgium), George Fox University, Western Seminary, and The Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. He has also served as a Student Life Director, Associate Dean and on multiple strategic teams.

Sara Jane Roxburgh Walker

President, The Missional Network

Sara Jane holds a MCS in Theology from Regent College, Vancouver, BC and an undergraduate degree in English Literature. Her background includes leadership development with inner-city youth, contributing to the worshipping life of her local church and building the ministry and business of TMN with a team of colleagues.

Sara Jane serves as the President of The Missional Network providing leadership as the organization resources and partners with church systems and local congregations joining with God in their neighborhoods. Sara Jane is passionate about how we creatively and faithfully embrace this journey and the ways in which new modes of social connectivity are transforming how we relate with one another and participate with God in our local communities.

Sara Jane has three school-aged children and lives with her husband, Matthew, in North Vancouver, BC. She enjoys connecting in her local community through both her children’s activities and her own interests and hobbies including paddling, running and singing.

JR Woodward

National Director, V3 Church Planting Movement

JR Woodward (M.A., Global Leadership, Fuller Theological Seminary) desires to awaken people to join God in the renewal of all things. He is a church planter, activist, missiologist and author of Creating a Missional Culture. He founded [nlcf] and cofounded Kairos LA The Solis Foundation, the Ecclesia Network, and Missio Alliance. He is currently serving as the National Director for Church Planting with V3, a missional church planting movement in the United States.  He serves locally with the District Church in Washington D.C, and is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Manchester (UK). He enjoys blogging and you can find him tweeting here. He loves to surf, travel, read, skateboard, and meet new people. He enjoys photography and film and tries to attend the Sundance Film Festival whenever he can.

The Board of Advisors consists of those who have provided strategic input, feedback, and wisdom to help guide and shape the Missio Alliance in its initial stages.

  • Alistair Brown: President, Northern Seminary
  • Amos Yong: Professor & Director of PhD program, Regent University
  • Cherith Fee Nordling: Associate Professor of Theology, Northern Seminary
  • Dallas Willard: Speaker, Author; Professor, University of Southern California
  • Derek Cooper: Director of LEAD MDiv Program, Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies & Historical Theology, Biblical Seminary
  • Don Goertz: Director of In-Ministry MDiv Program, Associate Professor of Church History, Tyndale Seminary
  • Gary Nelson: President, Tyndale Seminary
  • Howard Snyder: Professor, Chair of Wesley Studies, Tyndale Seminary
  • JP Anderson: Associate Vice President for Undergraduate and Seminary Admissions, Roberts Wesleyan College & Northeastern Seminary
  • Jeremy Summers: Director of Adult Spiritual Formation and Community Based Ministries, The Wesleyan Church
  • John Chandler: Executive Director of Spence Network for Congregational Leadership, Baptist General Association of Virginia
  • John Hershman: Senior Pastor, West End Assembly of God
  • Keith Matthews: Interim Director, Doctor of Ministry Program, Chair of the Department of Ministry, Professor in the Graduate School of theology, Azusa Pacific University
  • Ken Schenck: Dean and Professor of New Testament and Christian Ministry, Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University
  • Kevin Mannoia: Professor of Ministry & Chaplain, Azusa Pacific University; Founder & Chair, Wesleyan Holiness Consortium
  • Kurt Fredrickson: Associate Dean, Doctor of Ministry and Continuing Education Programs, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry, Fuller Theological Seminary
  • Mark Olson: President, Leland Seminary
  • Michael Rudzena: Pastor, Trinity Grace Church
  • Tory Baucum: Rector, Truro Anglican Church
  • Travis Collins: Senior Pastor, Bonair Baptist Church
  • Scott Olson: President & CEO, International Teams
  • Alan Roxburgh: Founder, The Missional Network
  • James Bryan Smith: Executive Director, The Apprentice Institute
  • Earl Lavender: Professor, Lipscomb University