Hometown: Because I grew up in Kumasi, Ghana, and both my parents are from Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), I have two hometowns: Abidjan (Ivory Coast) and Kumasi (Ghana).
Education: Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the SBNM, North Park; M.Div and M.A. Counseling Psychology from Trinity International (Deerfield).
About Me: I am a family man, husband of 12 years to my wife Sandra, and father of three children, who I affectionately call “my people.” I try to the best of my ability to think and live by the Book. Although it might not be obvious, I am multicultural to the core—my parents are from the Ivory Coast, but I grew up in Ghana (sorry, US soccer fans); I speak, understand, and know the basics of languages, mostly Africans, that you probably have not heard of. Some people think I look serious while others think I am funny. I guess I am all things to all people so that I might amuse and save some.
Interests: I am into sports—although I must say I have tempered my habits quite a bit. I love soccer and high stakes sporting events—NCAA basketball, NBA (only the finals these days), football, baseball (I am still learning), the Olympics, etc. Oh, did I mention the World Cup? I love music and movies. I like to cook and entertain under the right circumstances.
Favorite Music: I have to say I have a tough time picking favorite things; this is particularly true when it comes to music. How do you pick a favorite with music when your tastes are pretty eclectic? Perhaps a helpful question might be favorite music per category. I love Jazz (classic and contemporary); musical geniuses such as Louis Armstrong, Parker, Coltrane come to mind; I also listen to classical music; love Reggae (mostly classic stuff—Marley, Culture, Third World, among many others); I also listen to Dire Straits, Phil Collins, and let me close it off with Christian music: hymns (And Can It Be?) and praise and worship (Brooklyn Tabernacle, Fred Hammond).
Favorite Movies: The Lord of the Rings, The Matrix, Remember the Titans, Coach Carter, Stand and Deliver, The Firm, Meet Joe Black, Coming to America, Beverly Hills Cops, Antwone Fisher, The Man in the Iron Mask, In Love and War (yes), The Truman Show, Bruce Almighty, Tsotsi, Les Miserables with Jean-Paul Belmondo (French with English subtitles), The Lion King, Madagascar (just for the kids), and let me top it off with one opera, although it is technically not a movie - The Marriage of Figaro. I told you I love movies!
Favorite TV: The Cosby Show, The Honeymooners, Hunter, Matlock, Band of Brothers, Lost, Shaka Zulu, Winnie the Pooh, and House of Mouse.
Favorite Books: The Bible, good biblical commentaries that interact with the Greek and Hebrew texts, Julius Caesar, Things Fall Apart (African Writers Series), la Carte d’Identité, Candide(Voltaire), Siddhartha (Herman Hesse).
Favorite Childhood Memory: Two come to mind: One is going to church with my dad hanging out at a local restaurant after mass. Two is sneaking into the local race tracks to watch our favorite horses.
I'd Like to Meet: I am still trying to understand this celebrity thing (pray for me). I do respect Colin Powell a great deal, but I don’t know what I would say when I meet him. Example: “Yo bro’, what’s up?” That sounds pretty lame. Obviously, I need help in this regard.
Favorite Superhero Power: It would be awesome if I could heal people of diseases and make situations right just by speaking a word or two. Come to think of it, maybe I can..
Judy Peterson is the campus pastor for North Park University. She comes to this role after previously serving congregations in Madison, Wisconsin and Elgin, Illinois. Judy is passionate about communicating good news in everyday language and travels across the United States speaking to audiences about how to put feet to their faith. Her passion for walking it out took the form of walking across the United States for her internship toward her Master of Divinity degree at North Park Theological Seminary. While the walk across the United States is how Judy first received the name "walking pastor" it is her day to day desire to walk into the lives of others that continues to make the title well deserved. Judy is happily married to Jeff Peterson.
For speaking availability, please click HERE
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Education: B.M. in Piano Performance from the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music.
About Me: Proud husband of 9 years to Trina Kelly, and proud father of 7 year old Stephen Marcellus. I have a passion for people, especially those that are broken and hurting. I'm excited about collaborating across cultural, social and economic backgrounds to truly embody Shalom. I'm compelled by the calling of all humanity to truly be reconciled to God and each other. I'm passionate about racial reconciliation and justice. I am a musician, and enjoy participating in serving the church through music in various capacities.
Interests: People, Family time, Mentoring and being mentored, Music, Candy, Basketball, chess, TV, boxing, basically sports of any kind, anything sweet.
Favorite Music: Kirk Franklin, Israel Houghton, Fred Hammond, CeCe Winans, Mary Mary, most contemporary gospel, Jazz, R&B, CCM, Hymns, Jazz and some Hip Hop. I love and grew up on classical music from Chopin to Rachmaninoff, Beethovan, Liszt, Grieg, Bach, and many others I cannot pronouce.
Favorite Movies: Everybody's got Shawshank and that's truly one of my favorites. The Negotiator, Sound of Music, Life, The Philadelphia Story (Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart - a must see), Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Godfather trilogy, Booty Call (with Jamie Foxx), The Score (Edward Norton), Primal Fear (Edward Norton - a must see as well), A Few Good Men, GoodFellas, Training Day, Crimson Tide, Out Of Time, actually anything Denzel Washington. And how could I forget Gladiator and Braveheart? Those are just a few of my favorites.
Favorite TV: NFL Network, SportsCenter, CNN, Breaking Bad, Homeland, Couple's Therapy, Reality TV, Boss, The Good Wife.
Favorite Books: The Cost of Discipleship, The Next Evangelicalism, Martin and Malcolm, The Irony of American History, God of the Oppressed.
Favorite Childhood Memory: Playing basketball with my five older brothers, and traveling and playing different places on piano.
I'd Like to Meet: MLK, Nelson Mandela, both of my Grandfathers.
Favorite Superhero: It has to be Superman, the only real born Superhero.
Name: My name means unmerited favor of God, or that I move like a swan.
Hometown: I was raised in Wheaton, IL.
Education: Working on a Masters in logic, Master in common sense, and Master hospitality.
About Me: I am the only girl in a family of six. I love God, family, and football. I defend the people I love until death. I have a star in every room of my house, sometimes you can't see them but you have to look for them like, Seinfeld with superman.
Interests: I love playing pit with my family, theatre, music. I like doing the small, tiny things that give people joy.
Favorite Music: U2, The Police, The Beatles, Mo-Town, Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, Diane Washington, Billy Holiday too many to continue…
Most influential: Dr. Sues and my Wise Grandmother.
Favorite Movies: Excaliber, Braveheart, The Count of Monte Cristo, Shawshank Redemption, & Big, just to name a few.
Favorite TV: My all time favorite TV shows are Extreme Make-Over, Amazing Race, and Survivor.
I'd Like to Meet: Sting, if he met me, he would want to be my best friend.
Hometown: Places I’ve called Home: Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin; Ciudad Juarez de Mexico; Santiago de Chile; Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Chicago, Illinois
Education: I think I will be a college student for life. It’s been ten years so far, and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. In 2004 I received a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in Spanish, Latin American Studies and a certificate in Business from University of Wisconsin, Madison. In 2005, I achieved a Masters in International Public Affairs with a concentration in International Development from the La Follette School of Public Affairs at UW-Madison. In 2006 I attended the Nations 2 Nations Discipleship Training School with Youth with a Mission in Amsterdam. I am currently studying for a Masters in Christian Formation from North Park Theological Seminary.
About Me: I am an extrovert! I love meeting new people, traveling to new places, and learning new things! I love big cities, but living in them makes me appreciate the beauty of nature. I am passionate about education, and I believe that traveling and volunteering are very effective ways of learning about one’s self, others and the world. I fell in love with Jesus when I was 15 and I continue to be awed by the provision, power, compassion, and complexity of God. I enjoy walking the journey of faith alongside others, and I think University Ministries provides us with opportunities to do just that—Dream Big and Travel Together.
Interests: Traveling, theology and missions, international development, fashion, world music, local and organic food, reading novels, painting, photography and other art projects
Favorite Music: Adele, Jaimie Lidell, The Swell Season, Phoenix, Cougar, Spoon, John Legend, Vampire Weekend, and North Park’s Worship Bands with Steve Kelly
Favorite Movies:Thought provoking Movies and Documentaries: Crash, L'Auberge Espangole, Whale Rider, Frida, Slumdog Millionaire, Babel, The Visitor, Blood Diamond, Charlie Wilson’s War, The Motorcycle Diaries, Born into Brothels, Who Killed the Electric Car, For the Bible Tells Me So, No Impact Man, Trouble the Water, and Food Inc.
Favorite TV: TV can be a fun escape from daily reality, so right now I like Glee, Ugly Betty, and Gossip Girl.
Favorite Books:Here and Now by Henri Nouwen, Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri, When Helping Hurts-How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor and Yourself by Corbett and Fikkert, Foreign to Familiar by Sarah Lanier Warrior Princess by Princess Kasune Zulu, Love is an Orientation by Andrew Marin, Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller.
Favorite Childhood Memory: Playing “Kick the Can” with my neighbors, putting on plays with my brother, playing soccer from age 6 to 14, road trips to Colorado and Florida with my family, and birthday parties
I'd Like to Meet: Barak Obama and Nelson Mandela are great leaders and I would love to meet them. I am also interested in meeting other leaders who are not so famous but are passionate about improving their community and the world.
Favorite Superhero Power: Teleportation and the ability to speak every language.
Hometown: I have learned to make home wherever I am. I was born and raised just north of Pittsburgh in Wexford, PA. I lived in Denver, CO for 5 years in college, moved to Alberta Canada for a year, then to Cameroon Africa for a year, now I’m in Chicago and have been here since the start of 2009.
Education: Covenant Bible College (Biblical Studies Certificate), Colorado Christian University (BA in Youth Ministry, Minor in Music), North Park Theological Seminary (Master of Arts in Christian Formation), North Park University (Master of Non-Profit Administration)
About Me: I love to feel alive! Some things that make me feel alive are: traveling (I’ve been to 46 states, 7 Canadian Provinces, 12 different countries, and 5 continents), singing, being in nature, connecting with God, creating things (such as good food, sewing projects, crafty projects, great photographs, good music), and growing and caring for plants and people. I love my family and friends so much and would not be who I am without them. I am the middle child of three girls. I’m introverted but love people. I love Golden Retrievers, lions, dolphins, and horses. I can never decide whether I would prefer to live by the beach or in the mountains cause I love them both! I love French press coffee and dessert (together or separate is fine)!
I love challenging myself and others to live uniquely as God created us all to be. I am continually in awe that I serve and love a God who is so powerful and mysterious, and at the same time beautiful and intimate. I’m amazed that he loves me with an unfailing love every single day, and I seek to learn how to return that love with my life. Two of my favorite verses are: Psalm 63:3, “Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.” And Psalm 119:32, “I will run in the path of your commands for you have set my heart free.” Life circumstances may continually change, but the one thing I am sure I am called to is to love God, his creation, and his people with the love the Jesus exemplified.
Interests: vegetarian cooking/eating, traveling, nature photography, reading, singing/playing piano, gardening/growing things, exploring, adventures, being active (yoga, pilates, running-at least I like the idea of it, biking, walking, skiing), coffee…mountains, falling leaves, waterfalls, fresh snow, the smell of the forest, peaceful forest streams and lakes, sunsets, sitting around a fire, feeling the warmth of the sun, picking fresh fruit from the tree/bush, the sound of snow crunching under my feet….ok now I’m just getting carried away. But seriously, I love creation and its creator and I enjoy living simply and trying to stay connected to creation and care for it well. Its God’s free provision for us that he has asked us to help care for.
Favorite Music: So hard for me to choose favorites! I will give you a sampling of my favorites in different categories! Singer/songwriter acoustic folky artists: Alli Rogers, Sara Groves, Bebo Norman, Shane and Shane, Jenny and Tyler, Derek Webb, Great Lake Swimmers, Patty Griffin, Mindy Smith, and so many more; Country (yes I like country, I blame it on living in CO): Carrie Underwood, Dixie Chicks, Martina McBride, Sara Evans, Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban, Sugarland; Broadway Shows: Wicked, Miss Saigon, Rent, Tic Tic Boom, anything I can belt out!
Favorite Movies: Action: Last of the Mohicans; Animated: Beauty and the Beast; Dance movies: Step Up and Dirty Dancing Havana Nights; Chick Flicks: Sweet Home Alabama, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, August Rush; Fantasy: Harry Potter (in its complete form), Lord of the Rings
Favorite TV: I have a clear favorite here…Gilmore Girls! Others I like: Friends, Castle, Lost, Once Upon a Time, So You Think You Can Dance
Favorite Books: The Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers, Harry Potter, anything by Robin Jones Gunn; Favorite Spiritual Authors: Henri Nouwen, Richard Foster, Brennan Manning
Favorite Childhood Memory: going to camp every summer and taking vacations with my family. Not profound, I know…but clearly has shaped my interests today.
I'd Like to Meet: my dad’s father, and my mom’s mother; I would like to sit with them over a cup of coffee and hear their life stories.
Favorite Superhero Power: Flying! That way I could see the entire world for free anytime I want!
Hometown: Brandon, Manitoba
Education: B.A. in Sociology (U of Minnesota), Master of Divinity (Regent College), Master of Theology in Missiology (Fuller Theological Seminary), PhD in Intercultural Studies (ABD) (Fuller Theological Seminary)
Interests: I am an avid Hapkido practitioner, and love outdoor activities like hiking, golfing, and especially hitting the beach with my family. I love coaching my daughter’s sports teams, and of course all things related to Golden Gopher Football and Basketball.
Favorite Music: R&B, Jazz, Classic Rock, Urban Praise
Favorite Movies: Braveheart, Cinderella Man, Good Will Hunting, Band of Brothers
Favorite TV: Golden Gopher football baby!!! Then college football and basketball, the NFL, Top Chef, Person of Interest, and Revolution
Favorite Books: Glittering Images by Susan Howatch, anything John Grisham
Favorite Childhood Memory: Playing football on our lawn with my Dad, my brother and our dog.
I'd Like to Meet: William Wilberforce. But he’s dead, so that’s unlikely until I get to heaven! As a close second I would love to meet Nelson Mandela.
Favorite Superhero Power: I’d settle for superhuman strength since I’m too heavy to fly!
About me: Our move to Chicago to join the North Park family makes 13 cities I will have lived in during my life. I’ve gotta say, I’ve had enough of the nomadic lifestyle and am ready to put down some roots! And I honestly can’t think of a better place to do that than here at North Park. My role here brings together everything I am passionate about in ministry—my background in college and pro athletics; my involvement with sports ministry for more than nine years while I was playing football in Canada; my passion for walking alongside young adults as they explore matters of faith cultivated through my first vocational ministry role in Southern California; my love for Christian higher education cultivated through the pursuit of two masters and a doctoral degree; my passion for matters of racial reconciliation and justice; and twelve years of pastoral experience. I don’t think I could have envisioned a more exciting role in a more appropriate place!
The best part, of course, is that I get to take this exciting new journey with the love of my life, Mary, and the apple of our eye, Amaya. There is nothing more important to us than family, so getting to move to such a family-friendly part of one of the coolest cities in the world is double exciting! We are minutes from the beach, one of my favorite places to spend hot summer days with Amaya; minutes from Lincoln Square, where I can enjoy many romantic nights out with Mary; and just minutes from one of the largest Hapkido and Tae Kwon Do dojangs in the country, where Amaya and I can continue to study martial arts together while Mary is off doing Boot Camp somewhere! Yes!!!
Education: University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), BS Psychology/History Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, MDiv
About Me: I am an avid Bears, Bulls and Cubs fan; this means I am loyal to a fault and no stranger to suffering. I am married (Selena) and have two little boys (Micah and Lucas). When I'm not at work, you can probably find me scouring a nearby garage sale or thrift store for vintage jazz vinyls.
Interests: I love learning about all things Chicago: architecture, history, food, and the neighborhoods. I also enjoy reading modernist literature.
Favorite Music: Bebop Jazz: Bird, Coltrane, Miles, Dizzy, Monk, Mingus, Blakey Rock: U2, Radiohead Gospel: Marvin Sapp
Most influential: Henri Nouwen for his insight. MLK for his vision. Bono for his passion. Mother Teresa for her compassion. My father for his corrections. My sons for their innocence. My wife for her patience.
Favorite Movies: The Godfather, Glory, Braveheart, Gladiator
Favorite Books: The Brothers Karamazov (Dostoyevsky), To the Lighthouse (Woolf), Anna Karenina (Tolstoy), The Sound and the Fury (Faulkner), Dubliners (Joyce), Black Boy (Wright), The Catcher in the Rye (Salinger), The Adventures of Augie March (Bellow), Invisible Man (Ellison), The Namesake (Lahiri), Three Lives (Stein).
Favorite TV: Bears, Bulls and Cubs games. ESPN Sportscenter. History Detectives.
I'd Like to Meet: Nelson Mandela.
In partnership with North Park Theological Seminary, seminary students serve at University Ministries as interns. They play vital roles in ministering to students and facilitating various programs in our department. We are grateful for the countless sacrifices they make in serving our staff and students.