Our professors teach students, not just courses.

At Right On Mission, our adjunct faculty members are independent thinkers who have such a sense of self that they are willing to be corrected.  Because they carry a message of grace, they are able to be truthful, and that's how they help students to be honest.

William Griffin, Ph.D. (Old Testament Bible Scholar, Pastor)

Dr. William Griffin is an army brat, raised in Germany then Salinas, CA.  He started following Jesus in February 1972 and  had a massive life-changing experience with the Holy Spirit in February 1973.  After that Bill attended UC Davis in pursuit of a degree in Bacteriology even though he sensed that God wanted him to do something else.  

In his first year of university work, he relented to God’s unwanted prompting and went to seminary in Berkeley where he became fascinated with theology but disappointed in much of what he was taught. With resolve to become a seminary prof (and teach it right!), he started his Ph.D. program at Graduate Theological Union.
Alas, Bill says that he got too smart for God for a long, long time.  During the most difficult season of his life as solo pastor of small church, Bill finally returned to his First Love.  He ended up in a house-church planting adventure in Redding, CA.  At last, he joined the faculty at Simpson University (for 13 years) and now Right On Mission.

Bill and his best-friend-wife have a grown daughter and son and a rescued dog named Tank.

Nancy Grisham, Ph.D. (Speaker, Evangelist, Author)

Nancy Grisham brings expertise from the business world.  However, her most prominent specialty lies is equipping people in sharing the gospel in today’s culture.  She is an unusually gifted encourager who has done church training in evangelism, ministry retreats, and guest preaching in churches and chapel services.  Her first book, Thriving: Trusting God for Life to the Fullest (Baker, 2013), is followed by her next book, Forever Together: Sharing Christ With Your Family (forthcoming) .  


Dr. Grisham earned her PhD in Educational Studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and her MA in Evangelism from Wheaton college.  Once she completed her formal studies, she launched a speaking ministry called Livin’ Ignited and became a contributor to the Billy Graham Center’s evangelism blog.


After stepping down from a career in business that included executive management, Nancy moved into vocational ministry.   Since then she has served as the Discipleship and Evangelism Pastor at Elmbrook Church in Waukesha, WI in a congregation of 6,500 people; and as Associate Director of Evangelism at the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College and on adjunct faculty at Wheaton College.


Nancy lives in Colorado where she sells real estate.

David Merrill, Ph.D. (Theologian, Pastor, Spiritual Director)

Dr. Merrill recently earned his Ph.D. in Theology from Durham University in England.  His M.Div. and Th.M. are from Talbot School of Theology at Biola University in southern California.  Dave currently teaches courses in spiritual formation at Talbot.  His main area of interest lies in seeing how theology connects with spiritual formation,  psychology, and philosophy.     
He lives with his family in Chico, California where he has served as a pastor.  On the side, Dave Merrill leads spiritual retreats and serves also as a spiritual director.
Dave’s mission statement is to inspire God’s family to be receptive children.

Tom Mount, Ph.D. (Theologian, Pastor)

Dr. Tom Mount has been in full-time pastoral ministry since 1987 and currently pastors in Chico.  Since 2010 he has served as an adjunct faculty member at A.W. Tozer Theological Seminary.  He has been ordained by the Evangelical Free Church and also the Christian & Missionary Alliance.
Tom's mission is to guide others into the endless, sheer beauty of God.  His intellectual pursuits include the areas of theology, church history and spiritual formation. He has degrees from California Polytechnic State University (SLO), A.W. Tozer Theological Seminary and South African Theological Seminary. Tom’s Ph.D. dissertation focused on the ways our transcendent-yet-proximate God compassionately interacts with His creation.
Tom has been married to his wife, Lynn, since 1983.  They have four kids, all of whom are grown, and three grand-kids.

Lisa Orimoto, Ph.D. (Psychologist, Mission Statement Writer)

Dr. Lisa Orimoto is a mission statement writer, faculty member, consultant, and promoter for Right On Mission in Hawaii and the Pacific Rim.  She is a formally trained scientist whose expertise includes human development, communication, strategic planning, and relational dynamics.

Dr. Lisa's education includes a B.S. in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Studies from the University of Hawaii.  She holds an associates coaching credential (ACC) through the International Coaching Federation and is a certified Birkman consultant.  

Lisa is a clinical psychologist and executive coach who co-founded Higher Ground International, a roundtable and coaching organization for Christian business leaders.  She lives in Honolulu with her husband.

Jackson Painter, Ph.D. (New Testament Academic Leader)

Dr. Jackson Painter has taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels for over two decades with a specialty in New Testament literature and Greek. He has taught a variety of courses including the Synoptic Gospels, John’s Gospel and Letters, Acts and Pauline Letters, Revelation, Biblical Interpretation and Philosophy of Church Music. His Ph.D. is from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY.  He currently serves as Professor of New Testament and Greek at Simpson University, Redding, CA and as Adjunct Professor of New Testament at the A. W. Tozer Theological Seminary.  He has written The Gospel of John: A Thematic Approach (Wipf & Stock, 2010) and has presented numerous papers on a variety of New Testament topics.


Jackson is married to Lynn and has three delightful children, Emily, Joanna and Daniel. He enjoys kayaking, woodworking and photography.

Laurie Reinhart, M.A. (Consultant)

Laurie Reinhart is the Director of Consultant Development and a Senior Consultant with The Genysys Group, an organizational development company with deep expertise in transformational change, vision based strategic planning, succession planning, strategic human resources, and organizational transformation. Much of The Genysys Group's work involves the role of vision as clients learn to develop and leverage a vision for their future.
Laurie spent 28 years working in public sector human resources, including 18 years providing senior level human resources consultative support to the Orange County Fire Authority, one of the largest fire departments in the country with over 70 fire stations, multiple unions, and over 1300 employees.
​Currently she teaches as an adjunct professor at Azusa Pacific University (APU) and Right On Mission.  She holds an undergraduate degree from Whittier College, a Master’s degree from A​PU​ in Human & Organizational Development, and certifications as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and a Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP). ​ ​

Hugh Ross, Ph.D. (Astrophysicist, Researcher, Author)

Dr. Hugh Ross is an astronomer and best-selling author.  He travels the globe speaking on the compatibility of advancing scientific discoveries with the timeless truths of Christianity. His organization, Reasons to Believe (RTB), is dedicated to demonstrating, via a variety of resources and events, that science and biblical faith are allies, not enemies.
While in college, Hugh committed himself to faith in Jesus Christ. After his study of big bang cosmology convinced him of a Creator's existence, curiosity led him to test religious "holy books" for scientific and historical accuracy. Only the Bible passed the test, therefore persuading him of Christianity's validity. Later, Hugh was surprised to discover how many people believed or disbelieved in Christ without checking the evidence. Prompted by family, friends, and colleagues, he founded Reasons to Believe in 1986, to bring scientific evidence for Christianity to light.
With a degree in physics from the University of British Columbia and a National Research Council of Canada fellowship, Hugh earned a PhD in astronomy from the University of Toronto. For several years he continued his research on quasars and galaxies as a postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology. In 2012, Hugh, together with Dr. Gerald Schroeder, received the Ide P. Trotter Prize presented by Texas A&M University in recognition of his work in demonstrating connections between science and religion.
Outside of RTB, Hugh also serves as a minister at Sierra Madre Congregational Church where he conducts a weekly apologetics class.
Hugh lives in Southern California with his wife, Kathy, and their two sons.

Matthew Sayovitz, M.B.A. (IT Director)

Matthew Sayovitz has a broad diversity of experience and expertise in software development and implementation in the non-profit, education, online learning, financial and HRIS sectors.  He has also worked on campus with college students. 


Matthew's education includes a BA and MBA from Azusa Pacific University.


Matthew does extensive volunteer service for his local church, para-church ministries, and also for community enterprises.  He lives with his growing family in Southern California. 

Halee Scott, Ph.D. (Researcher, Writer, Christian Educator)

Halee Gray Scott, Ph.D, is an author and social researcher of issues related to millennials, women in ministry leadership, and spiritual development. She works full-time at Denver Seminary. Her writing has appeared in Christianity Today, Christian Education Journal, Real Clear Religion, Relevant, Books and Culture, Gifted for Leadership, Outcomes, Intervarsity’s The Well.

Her first book, Dare Mighty Things: Mapping the Challenges of Leadership for Christian Women was released by Zondervan in 2014. She lives in Littleton, CO, with her husband and two daughters. When Halee is not writing or teaching, she is usually randomly Googling, baking challah bread, running, or doing Crossfit.  Follow her on Twitter at @hgscott. Soli deo gloria.

James Spencer, PhD. (Theological Studies, Old Testament)

Dr. James Spencer came to faith in 1998 through the ministry of Campus Crusade (now Cru) and the persistence of his high school sweetheart (now his wife of 20+ years).  For over a decade, Dr. Spencer James served in academic leadership at Moody Bible Institute. Currently he serves as Vice President of the Moody Center Online and as faculty in Right On Mission.  As a consultant, Dr. Spencer assists colleges and universities as an Associate Consultant for Ruffalo Noel-Levitz in the areas of online program development and enrollment management.


James graduated with a B.S. in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois at Chicago and worked as a personal trainer as he pursued his Master of Divinity at Moody Theological Seminary.  Having determined that his calling was to educate the church, James went on to earn his M.A. in Biblical Exegesis from Wheaton College and his Ph.D. in Theological Studies-Old Testament from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and later attended the Harvard Institute of Education Management.


James continues to write and research in the area of theology and recently co-authored Trajectories: A Gospel-Centered Introduction to Old Testament Theology.  He has also published and presented in the areas of online curriculum design and organizational strategies for higher education recruitment.  


James and his family live in the Chicagoland area.  

Sarah Sumner, Ph.D., M.B.A. (Theologian, Author, Entrepreneur)

Dr. Sarah Sumner is a global change agent whose expertise includes vision casting, networking, and turnaround-inspirational leadership.  Sarah is a mission statement writer, consultant, speaker, and professor at Right On Mission.


She has a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, an MBA from Azusa Pacific University, an MA in Theology from Wheaton College, an MDiv equivalent from Trinity, and a BA from Baylor University.  She also has executive training from Harvard University.


For over fifteen years, Sarah served in traditional higher education where she became a full professor, then also dean. Dr. Sumner was personally mentored by Carl F.H. Henry and Dallas Willard.  Her dissertation committee included H.O.J. Brown (chair), Douglas Moo, and Wayne Grudem. For nine years she was a teaching pastor.  Prior to that, she served at Willow Creek Community Church.  

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Featured Scholars & Guest Lecturers

Lilian Calles Barger, Ph.D. (Author, Researcher)

Lilian Calles Barger, a native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, immigrated to the United States with her parents at the age of eight.  She holds a Ph.D. in the History of Ideas (Humanities) from the University of Texas at Dallas and has expertise in the adaptation of religion/theology to modernity and the history of the gender revolution.  

After a career in business, Lilian founded the Damaris Project, a ten-year initiative that provided resources for women to start faith conversations in their communities.  Lilian is the author of two books:  Eve’s Revenge: Women and A Spirituality of the Body (Brazos Press, 2003) and Chasing Sophia: Reclaiming the Lost Wisdom of Jesus (Jossey-Bass, 2007).  Her forthcoming book from Oxford University Press is entitled The World Come of Age: An Intellectual History of Liberation Theology.  


Today Dr. Barger speaks and writes for numerous scholarly venues as an independent scholar and serves as a regular podcast host for the New Books Network.  She lives in Taos, NM with her husband and is the mother of two adult sons.

Mark Galli, M.Div. (Editor-in-Chief, CTI)

Mark Galli is Editor-In-Chief of Christianity Today International, CTI. A graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz (B.A.) and Fuller Theological Seminary (M.Div.), he served churches in Mexico City and Sacramento, California as a Presbyterian pastor before moving into journalism. He has also been an editor with Leadership and Christian History magazines, and has written for a variety of publications. He is author of a number of books, including Jesus Mean and Wild: The Unexpected Love of an Untamable God (Baker Publishing), Francis of Assisi and His World (Lion Publishing) and Beyond Bells and Smells: The Wonder and Power of Christian Liturgy (Paraclete Press). He has also written a forthcoming popular biography of theologian Karl Barth with Eerdmans.

Raymond Rood (Change Management Consultant)

Raymond Rood is founder of The Genysys Group, a Change Management consulting firm offering organizational development/transformation support to for-profit and nonprofit organizations and public agencies worldwide that seek to initiate, and sustain long-term change.  His consulting, teaching, and keynote speaking have taken him to all continents; he has worked in over thirty countries so far.
Ray Rood is also the founder of graduate degree programs in Student Development Education and Human Resource Leadership at Azusa Pacific University where he served in some capacity for forty years.  For over ten years he was on the Board at APU and for four the Vice Chairman and Chair of the Academic Committee.
Ray completed his undergraduate studies at Wheaton College and San Francisco State University. He completed his graduate studies through the Wright Institute at Berkeley, California and Fuller Theological Seminary.  

He has been married to Mary-Ellen for over fifty years and has one son and one grandson.

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P.O. Box 494933, Redding, CA 96049  |  530-768-7068  |  info@rightonmission.org

©2015 by Right On Mission

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