About

I live on Lake Wilderness in Maple Valley, WA, with my wife, Carol, a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) clergywoman. Interests include writing, fishing, reading, hiking, and visiting our four children, their partners, and sixteen grandchildren, living in Portland, OR, Albany, OR, Westby, WI, and Snohomish, WA. A special place is Oregon’s Odell Lake where our family has vacationed for over twenty-five years. Taken from Burley Bluff, it is the website’s featured photo.

I am an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and active in retirement as a writer, educator, trainer, and consultant. See the Biography for more information about my ministerial background and career.

Professionally, my academic field is Speech Communication, particularly the areas of interpersonal, small group, and organizational communication. See my Vita for more information about my academic background and experience.

I long to see often missing parts of our Speech Communication discipline become staples in the practical ministry curricula of our theological seminaries and graduate schools. Currently, courses in preaching (homiletics and performance studies) are included from the Rhetoric & Public Address part of our discipline, but rarely is coursework offered in the other parts of our field, including Interpersonal & Small Group Communication, and Organizational Communication. Over a twelve-year period as an adjunct professor at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, I was invited to develop and teach courses in the practical ministry curriculum such as Leading Committees and Discussions, Small Groups in the Church, Improving Listening Effectiveness, Managing Interpersonal Conflict, Power and Influence in the Church, and Strategies for Effective Ministry. Toward the end of my U.D.T.S. teaching I also designed and taught a core course, Speech Communication in Ministry. This curriculum development and teaching experience provide much of the grounding for my book, Communication in the Church: A Handbook for Healthier Relationships. While it is practically oriented and targets pastors and lay leaders of our congregations, it is also academically oriented and suitable for use as a textbook in the practical ministry areas long-missing in theological and continuing education.