Our Board

Board President Deborah A. Colwill, serves as Associate Professor of Educational and Leadership Studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) in Deerfield, IL. Deborah teaches in the areas of Leadership, Teams, Organization Development & Change, Adult Education, and Research Design. Prior to her appointment at TEDS, she was Associate Professor of Leadership at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. In addition to these two tenure-track teaching posts Dr. Colwill has taught courses in the Masters and Doctoral degree programs at Northern Seminary and Benedictine University.  Deborah has earned a BA in Psychology from the University of Minnesota, M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees from TEDS, and a Ph.D. in Organization Development from Benedictine University.  Deborah is author of the book Educating the Scholar-Practitioner in Organization Development (2012) and has written journal articles, chapters, and peer reviewed conference papers. She has applied for and received several grants for her academic research projects.  Dr. Colwill has presented at national and international conferences on the topics of leadership, organization development, and education. In addition to her teaching roles, Deborah has worked in a variety of leadership and consulting positions within both profit and non-profit organizations. Recently, Dr. Colwill was given the Graduate Education in Organization Development Award (2014), an award that honors Benedictine University alumni who have made a significant contribution to the field of Organization Development.

Board member Duane Elmer directed the Ph.D. program in Educational Studies and held the G. W. Aldeen Chair of International Studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. In addition to traveling and teaching in over 130 countries, he has provided cross-cultural training to Fortune 500 companies, relief and development agencies, mission organizations, churches and educational institutions. He has also conducted peace and reconciliation efforts in several countries. As part of a team, he led faculty development workshops for over 25 Central and Eastern European schools on “Teaching for Transformation”. Earlier he taught at Wheaton College and Graduate School holding the Price-LeBar Chair of Christian Education. He has authored several books and articles.

Board Secretary Gary LaVanchy is a doctoral student in Geography at the University of Denver. He also lends oversight to the Wheaton Football Ministry Partnership—an extension of the Wheaton College football team that partners current players with former players in their far-flung endeavors. This network of partnerships allows Gary to travel extensively throughout Africa to facilitate projects, internship placement, and group service trips. Gary completed a BA in Geology and Education at Wheaton College and an MA in Geographical Studies at the University of Chicago. He has lived in Mexico, Papua New Guinea, and Honduras. He is passionate about mentoring and engaging global issues through the lens of education. In his spare time Gary enjoys triathlons and surfing.

Board member *emeritus Don Church was the creator and main administrator of Timothy Project before it merged with Faith & Learning International. Don graduated from Wheaton College and continued to be involved with the track and field program and PE program for a number of years. During those years, Don took Wheaton Athletes to a number of countries all over the world to compete against those countries’ native athletes. Through these trips, many people heard the gospel of Jesus Christ and received encouragement. Don continues to oversee various mission programs and serve as a discerning mind for Faith & Learning International.

Board member Evan Hunter oversees the program work of ScholarLeaders International, an organization committed to encouraging and equipping Christian theological leaders from the Majority World for the Global Church. Before joining ScholarLeaders International, he served as a missions pastor and in various roles related to international leadership development. As part of a doctoral program at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Evan is investigating global theological education with a specific interest in the new doctoral programs in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. He and his wife, Becky live in Gurnee, IL where they are raising their 3 active boys and a Bernese Mountain Dog.

Board member Steve Ivester serves as the Dean for Student Engagement at Wheaton College. Steve has his PhD in Educational Leadership from Talbot School of Theology, Biola University.  In his position at the College, Steve is committed to supporting and challenging students to develop in their identity, skills, knowledge, and attitudes to engage an increasingly interconnected world, to encounter Jesus Christ throughout all aspects of their life, to participate in the worldwide Christian church, to enjoy the rich diversity of God’s creation, and to graciously share their growth and faith in Christ with others. Through this commitment, he views the central objective of his work to serve as a guide – advancing student learning and spiritual formation through both curricular and co-curricular experiences facilitated by integrated partnerships with faculty and student development colleagues.