Dr. Steve Wilke is the Executive Director of the Institute for Discipleship at Southwestern College, which is committed to bringing the educational online tools of our culture to churches. Steve develops relationships with partners, dreams big, and directs the overall work of the Institute.

Lisa Buffum is the Director of Online Education for the Institute for Discipleship. She trains and coordinates instructors at BeADisciple.com. Lisa serves as our resident expert when it comes to online learning, course development, instructor training, customer service, and much more.


Britt Bradley is the Director of the Timothy Circle for the Institute. She designs and manages the Timothy Circle project alongside Steve, and maintains the overall look and voice of the Institute’s websites, printed pieces, and external communications.


Kathy Armington is the Director of App-Based Learning. She is leading the team developing the BeADisciple App, a new mobile platform promoting spiritual growth of Christian disciples via paced personal study and facilitated small group interaction. A long-time Disciple Bible Study leader, Kathy is also assisting in adapting the content and transformational quality of the experience into a completely virtual platform as the app’s first study offering.

Sarah Wilke is the Director of Global Relations. Her role is to support the Institute’s growing focus on international ministry, with her initial priority to help develop a smart-phone platform for small-group Christian education.

Melissa Hanson is the Director of Administration for the Institute and BeADisciple.com. She works to keeps the website up to date, payments for instructors and keep processes efficient within BeADisciple.  Also works in finance within IFD.

Sara Weinert is the Communications Manager for the Institute for Discipleship. She works toward clarity and accuracy in the ways we communicate with all of our constituents–learners and instructors, the media, donors, and others who might interact with the institute. This includes editing course descriptions for BeADisciple.com, and newsletters for its many audiences.

Lori Richey is the Director of Faith Formation for Youth and Young Adults and Program Director for the IFD Certifications.  Lori began working for the Institute with the Timothy Circle in 2018 before moving into this role.  She is also an experienced Lead Instructor for the IFD Certification in Youth Ministry . She directs The Summit Youth Academy, a summer retreat for high school junior and seniors about vocational discernment, hearing God’s voice, and Wesleyan theology. Funding for this position is provided in part by the Robert and Beverly Dockhorn Endowment for Faith Formation.

Michael Beardslee is the Program Director for the Wesley Academy for Advanced Christian Studies.  Michael began working for the Institute for Discipleship and BeADisciple in early 2016, developing and facilitating courses for a new project called the Wesley Lay Academy.

Beth Perry is the BeADisciple Instructor Coach.  Her role is to come alongside brand-new and experienced IFD instructors as needed to coach them in Blackboard course design and/or marketing strategies as needed.  Beth has been a popular instructor on BeADisciple.com since 2008.

Beth Galbreath is the Course Registrar for BeADisciple. She builds courses and manages course enrollments. She’s also a popular instructor on BeADisciple.com!


Teryl Cartwright teaches the online Timothy Circle Mentoring course, which help Christian adults form mentoring relationships to help guide young people through their faith development and call discernment journey, and the Culture of the Call courses that help camps, campus ministries, and churches find ways to support ‘call’ at an institution-wide level.


Jacob Maforo is the director for the Building for the Future conference. He is a pastor in the Great Plains full-time.



Dr. Farai Brian Kwaramba is the Director of Global Integration and Projects Manager. He is responsible for broadening and deepening the Institute’s operations portfolio by working at the intersection of science, technology, discipleship, and global development. He also oversees the Institute’s domestic and international partnerships with United Methodist universities, colleges, research institutions, faith organizations, lay organizations and corporate collaborators.