Meet our eProfs!
Jim Carder, Director of PLI
MA, PhD (Leadership)
Jim Carder and his wife, Linda, both graduates of Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU), have served together in pastoral ministry for more than 30 years. In fact, Jim has been involved in church leadership since the age of 13 when he was appointed church treasurer of a small church in his hometown. (Ask him about paying the pastor out of a mason jar.) In 1981 he accepted an associate pastor position at a small mission church in El Paso, Texas, while serving as a military policeman in the US Army. Five years later, after his stint in the army, Jim completed a BS in Criminal Justice and Biblical Studies — an unusual combination! — and went on to earn an MA in Ministerial Education in 1994. In 2009, he earned an MA in Advanced Leadership Studies before completing his doctorate in Organizational Leadership in 2012. His dissertation, titled “The Relationship between Servant Leadership and Affective Organizational Commitment” studied this correlation found in high-performing organizations.
Ordained as an Elder in the Wesleyan Church, his credentials are also recognized by the Church of the Nazarene. Jim has also held many general church and conference positions. Since 2007, Jim has taught many Level One PLI courses. He became the Director of PLI in 2016.
Jim and Linda, blessed with four children and three grandchildren, reside in Mansfield, Ohio.
MEd, MDiv, DMin
Dr. Allen Tyndall has dedicated his life to serving the Lord. Called to ministry at 17, his path in life has led him to service in public and private education as teacher, coach, principal, central office & state administration, and pastoring churches in 4 states. He holds a bachelor degree, two master degrees, and a doctorate. He is a “Pastor to Pastors” as National Director of PastorCare.org, a national clergy support network ministry providing practical assistance to hurting pastors and their families. He teaches Bible courses, conducts prayer seminars, and does interim church pastoring. He writes and publishes daily prayers and authored three books: My Prayer with You Today, The Day Santa Met Jesus, and Heart to Heart. He and his wife, Doris, have been married for 56+ years, have 4 children and 10 grandchildren, and reside in Kannapolis, NC.
MDiv, MA (Biblical Counseling)
Raised in a Christian family that actively displayed their faith through ministry involvement (especially hospitality), John trusted Jesus as his Savior at a young age and rededicated his life to Christ in high school. While traveling with a ministry team the summer after high school graduation, God awakened in John a passion for evangelism and a desire to pursue full-time ministry. After earning a BA degree in Speech Communications at Grace College, he continued his studies at Grace Theological Seminary where he received a Master of Divinity and a Master’s degree in Biblical Counseling.
Over the past 30 years, Oelze has served as a youth pastor, associate pastor, and senior pastor in congregations ranging in size from a few hundred to fifteen thousand. John and his wife, Linda have three adult children — Erin, Benjamin, and Micah (two of whom are married) — and now live in Wichita, Kansas, where John serves as Executive Pastor at a growing church.
John has taught several PLI classes — Writing Skills Development, Homiletics, Pastoral Caregiving, Fundamentals of Christian Counseling, Strategic Leadership, and Teaching Methods & Christian Education — as well as his xPLI course “Walking with the Wounded Heart.” His diverse background, education, and experience allow him great flexibility in serving the PLI family!
John says, “I am very excited to continue growing in my personal faith and ministry experience as well as sharing what I have learned with others through PLI. I’m so grateful for the grace and mercy of Christ displayed for me and now through me to others. My desire is to continue to share the love of Jesus with others and challenge those who already know Christ to become fully devoted followers of Him.”
Phil began his teaching career with PLI in 2016. He is an ordained minister in the Wesleyan Church and is currently serving as a pastor in Cincinnati, Ohio. He has his Masters of Divinity in Systematic Theology and a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy & Theology. In addition to serving at his church, Phil also serves in a number of district-level capacities for the Greater Ohio District of the Wesleyan Church. He teaches courses for Indiana Wesleyan University and has an academic membership in the Wesleyan Theological Society.
In his spare time, Phil loves reading, enjoying a good cup of coffee, and restoring vintage typewriters. “I have a vision for renewing the life of the church through deep discipleship and spiritual formation. I love developing leaders in the ancient faith and practices of the church.”
MDiv, ThM (Masters in Theology)
I became a Christian in high school and figured out pretty quickly that teaching Bible was going to be a significant part of my life. As a teenager I enjoyed studying the Bible and leading Bible studies with my peers. I knew, even then, that God would do something with that passion. That is why I attended Toccoa Falls College (Toccoa Falls, GA), where I became a Biblical Studies major. I went on to complete my MDiv at Columbia International University (Columbia, SC). Later I would attend Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Deerfield, IL) and earn a ThM in New Testament.
I am interested in PLI because I love being a teacher, and in particular, I want to equip pastors. When I teach, I draw deeply from my own pastoral experience. I have had the great opportunity of serving as a youth pastor, an assistant pastor, and a solo pastor. I have lived in the beautiful mountains of West Virginia as well as the sprawling concrete jungle of Bangkok, Thailand. I am currently serving as a pastor in Princeton, IL, and I love it. I want to equip pastors with sound theological foundations so that they can proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to their communities.
My area of specialty is in New Testament, where I have taught numerous courses in both traditional and online formats. I have experience in teaching at both the undergraduate level (TFC) and at the graduate level (TEDS). I think that my experience as both a pastor and a scholar will be helpful to students who go through this program. My heart’s desire is for students to grow in their knowledge of the Bible as well as apply that knowledge in their own unique context.
In my spare time I primarily spend time with my family. I met my wife, Susan, at Toccoa Falls College. We have two wonderful kids, Levi and Lily. We also have a dog, Theo (short for Most Excellent Theophilus). I enjoy ’80s action movies, Star Wars, and board games.
Todd Habegger grew up in Fort Wayne, IN where he was spiritually nurtured by his parents and by his involvement at Harvester Missionary Church. After graduating from Fort Wayne Bible College and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Todd served for 36 years as the founder and lead pastor of Village Church of Gurnee--a Missionary Church in the far north suburbs of Chicago, IL. Since retiring from full-time vocational ministry in June of 2019, Todd and his wife, Marti, now live back in Fort Wayne. They have been married for 44 years, and have two children and five grandchildren.
Born into one of the most ancient royal families of Africa (in Cote d’Ivoire), Nana Couffie’s early growth and development focused on the throne he would one day inherit. However, in 2002, not long after becoming king, conditions in his homeland forced him to flee the country with his wife and young son and find refuge in Austria. While living as a refugee, Nana found Jesus and soon began a ministry among refugees that has now spread throughout Austria into other parts of Europe.
A former PLI student, Dr. Couffie went on to earn his doctoral degree from Trinity Theological Seminary. He teaches two PLI courses — Coaching Toward Discipleship and Spiritual Warfare Ministry. In addition to his role as eProf, Nana also serves as PLI’s International Coordinator, working to make PLI possible for students in Austria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and other countries in Europe and Africa.
Nana is a member of the International Association of Coaching, the European Mentoring and Coaching Council International, and the National Omicron Psi Honor Society. He is a published author, ordained minister of the Missionary Church, and an affiliate staff member of World Partners.
Nana and his wife, Sita, and their two children continue to live in Austria and hope to someday be granted citizenship there.
Rev. Dr. M. John Nissley has served for 20 years as the Professor of Spiritual Formation & Pastoral Theology at Winebrenner Theological Seminary located in Findlay, Ohio. He has served in diverse ministry contexts since 1968 as a Youth Counselor, Camp Director, Evangelism & Church Growth Consultant, and an ordained minister in the Mennonite Church. Dr. John’s spiritual direction style relies upon the spiritual gift of discernment with a teaching focus to integrate spiritual formation in Christ to become whole, mature, and complete — teleios as described in James 1:4. Celtic spirituality has become a primary area of research as it relates to recovering the passion, theology, and discipline of the apostolic church expressed in the book of Ephesians.
His undergraduate training, B.S. in Human Development (Individual & Family Counseling), was at Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA. He continued his higher education at the following seminaries: M.R.E. in Christian Education (Campus Ministry) at Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary, Grand Rapids, MI; M.Div. (Specializations in Biblical Studies & Pastoral Counseling) at Winebrenner Theological Seminary; and D.Min. (Spiritual Formation) at Bethel Theological Seminary, St. Paul, MN. His doctoral research project focused upon the analysis and lack of the spiritual/emotional/social support systems of pastors within their congregational context. He is also certified by several Christian counseling training institutes.
John is celebrating 50 years of marriage with his wife, Lois. He enjoys family life with two married daughters and four grandchildren. His hobbies include Penn State football, cycling, gardening, pondering Columbo tactics, and camping in “Georgie,” their RV home on wheels!
Dr. Don Williams
Don Williams recently began serving as the Director of Operations for the Missionary Church US offices. Previously, he was the Lead Pastor of First Missionary Church, Berne, IN, where he served for six years. He also served as the Senior Associate Pastor of First Assembly of God Christian Center in Fort Wayne, IN, for 20 years.
In addition to pastoral ministry, Don has been an adjunct instructor with Taylor University, Southwestern Assemblies of God University, Sofia Pentecostal Bible College in Sofia, Bulgaria, and the Indiana School of Ministry (Indiana District Assemblies of God District School of Ministry).
Don is a published author and was previously the Associate Editor of the Greek-English Dictionary for a sixteen-volume bible study reference system entitled The Complete Biblical Library. He has authored over 50 Greek word study articles related to New Testament studies, and he has produced a series of video-based small group studies for churches called Group in a Box.
Don has been married to his wife, Nancy, for 34 years and has three children. He enjoys outdoor activities such as fly fishing, hunting, archery, and leaf-blowing. He enjoys anything that allows him to spend time relaxing with his family and lives his life grateful for the grace of God.