Empowering people to pursue their calling is one of my greatest joys in life, so when offered the opportunity to lead Azusa Pacific’s Murrieta Regional Campus last year, I jumped at the chance. During my time in the area, I have been delighted to see so much good. Murrieta and the surrounding region deeply impress me—this is such a welcoming community blessed with outstanding community leaders in government, education, business, and non-profit! I meet countless Azusa Pacific alumni who are making a difference in their spheres of influence. Our dedicated students who come to us to get the training they need to pursue vocation in education, business, criminal justice, leadership, and psychology inspire me.
Perhaps the most energizing part of my long career in higher education is seeing students overcome serious obstacles to pursue their divinely-inspired calling. My wife and I are not strangers to challenges–– we lost our two-and-a-half-year-old son Judson to a rare disease 10 years ago. Yet, somehow, by the grace of God, I was able to complete my doctoral degree that was only half-finished when we lost Judson. Now, when I see students achieve their educational goals against long odds, I am moved—what better gift can education offer to our community than people who endured the brokenness of our world and emerge with purpose and compassion!
Shortly after our son’s passing, my wife and I founded Judson’s Legacy, a ministry of faith and hope in suffering. Through this nonprofit, we serve families of terminally-ill children, walking with them through their heartache and beyond. We also speak to groups about issues of faith, suffering, and grief.
I serve on a few boards, including the Institute for Community Impact in Orange County and as an elder at our home church.
An organization is only as strong as its adherence to its mission and core values. At its heart, Azusa Pacific University puts God first. So, we seek to honor Him by doing everything with excellence. We value people because He created them in His image. We engage and serve our community in Southwest Riverside County because God loves it. (How can he not?!) We don’t just educate students, we cultivate difference makers who will bless our local community and transform our world.
One of the most important things I can do as a leader is keep our team focused on our mission and core values. I am constantly reminding them of these things. We celebrate when we tangibly live out our values. And I try to help the team see what it means to our community when we do.
I am a big fan of basketball and of the Lakers, who have been dreadful the last few years. I enjoy walking and do so daily.
My doctoral advisor at UCLA Scott Bartchy modeled excellence as a professor and scholar and helped me see God’s compassion for the poor and marginalized.
I’ve always been partial to J.R. Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings. It speaks to our situation—that we are made for adventure in a world that is both broken and blessed.
I want to be faithful to God’s calling on my life. And I want to savor what he has given me: my wife and 11-year-old daughter, family and close friends, and meaningful work.
I completed my bachelor’s degree and met my wife at Biola University. After beginning a career in higher education there, I returned to school full-time for my master’s degree at Talbot School of Theology and later completed my Ph.D. in Early Christian History. After serving at other private institutions, I started at Azusa Pacific University at Director of their Orange County Regional Campus four year ago. I now serve as Senior Director of Azusa Pacific’s Orange County and Murrieta Regional Campuses and adjunct faculty at Azusa Pacific Seminary.
I’m a native Californian, born in Westminster.