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Faculty & Staff

Jay Conn

TiM Instructor
B.S. Eastern Mennonite University; M.A. Ashland Theological Seminary; D.Min. Liberty University
Course(s): Spiritual Formation
Jay Conn is the instructor for the Spiritual Formation course that is part of the Training in Ministry program at Rosedale Bible College. From the start, you will notice Jay’s passion to see individuals formed in the image of Jesus – personally, spiritually, and academically. Since 2001, Jay Conn has been pastoring and is currently the head pastor of Martin’s Creek Mennonite Church in Millersburg, Ohio. He received his bachelor’s degree from Eastern Mennonite University; his Master of Divinity Degree from Ashland Theological Seminary; and his Doctor of Ministry Degree from Liberty University. Since 1994, Jay has been married to his wife Vicki, and together they have four children: Brady, Whitney, Chloe, and Jesse. Jay’s family is quickly growing, as Brady is married to Courtney and Whitney is getting married to Kody in the Spring of 2022. Jay has a passion for discipleship and enjoys preaching and teaching God’s Word and equipping people to more effectively use their gifts for ministry. His experience with online learning, while earning his doctorate, has positively shown him the importance of offering alternative forms of education for pastors and others pursuing ministry or spiritual growth. He feels the Training in Ministry program at Rosedale is the perfect way of providing this for individuals across the country and feels blessed to be an active part of this educational process.

John Risner

TiM Instructor
B.A. Bluffton University; M.Div. Ashland Theological Seminary
Course(s): Congregational Gift Development
John Risner is the instructor for the Congregational Gift Development course that is part of the Training in Ministry program at Rosedale Bible College. From the start, you will notice John’s energy for teaching others. Serving as a pastor, speaker, and leader, John has a passion to strengthen hearts and homes with the gospel. He serves as Lead Pastor at Mennonite Christian Assembly, and is a high-energy communicator and storyteller, committed to solid biblical teaching. John is gifted in teaching, encouraging, and leadership. He is a highly relational extrovert who thrives on relationships. He highly values teamwork and excellence. John’s goal as a leader is to motivate, train, and encourage others in ministry. A guiding passage is Ephesians 4:11-12, “Christ himself gave… pastors and teachers to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” John and his wife Rachel reside in Ohio’s beautiful Amish country with their eight children. Their family enjoys nature walks, board games, playing sports, and beach vacations. John is also a loyal fan of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Hiland Hawks basketball. Interestingly, at age seventeen, John won a talent competition for a short comedic sketch. He acted primarily in church dramas until landing the lead role in the Bridgestone Multimedia release Redemption Ride. The film was featured at the 2010 San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival and John was thrust into the national Christian film spotlight. His acting career has included work on The Scarlet Letter, Skydog, Courageous Love, Polycarp, and the Kevin Costner film, Draft Day. Risner is a proud Ashland Theological Seminary alumnus where he attained his Master of Divinity. John also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from Bluffton University. He was homeschooled grades K-12. You can find him online at johnrisner.net.

Jon Showalter

TiM Instructor; Adjunct Faculty
B.A. Ohio State University; M.A. Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; doctoral studies, Ohio State University
Course(s): Anabaptist History & Theology (TiM); Core Christian Beliefs I; Western Civilization; Christian Apologetics; Contemporary Christianity
Jon Showalter is the instructor for the Anabaptist History & Theology course that is part of the Training in Ministry program at Rosedale Bible College. He also teaches a few courses on campus. From the start, you will notice Jon’s experience, passion, and knowledge. Married to Dawn, Jon and his wife live in Rosedale Ohio, at least most of the time. Along the way, they have also lived in China, Morocco, and Costa Rica. They are the parents of four young adult sons—all married—and recently became grandparents for the first time. Showalter became interested in the history and theology of Anabaptism as he grew up in a family and church that took their Mennonite identity seriously. While a student at Rosedale Bible College in 1977, Jon participated in their first Anabaptist history study tour to Europe, and his interest developed further from that point. After Rosedale Bible College, an undergraduate degree in philosophy at Ohio State University opened windows to a broader world of ideas. Church planting with Rosedale International in Ecuador raised questions about if and how Anabaptist identity matters outside of the Mennonite enclaves into which Jon was born. Jon would go on to study theology and church history at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he asked new questions regarding how the Mennonite tradition has been shaped by the controversies which unfolded among American fundamentalists and evangelicals in the twentieth century. Jon returned to Ohio, to study at Ohio State University, for additional study at the doctoral level. His doctoral studies focused on the Protestant Reformation and the world in which Anabaptism first emerged. While at OSU, an invitation to teach one course at Rosedale Bible College opened the door to what turned into twenty-five years of teaching courses in history, theology, and ethics. All of these courses are connected by the common thread of shared questions: how did the ideas so unique to Anabaptism in the Reformation era develop in the centuries which followed? To what extent do those themes continue to shape Mennonites and other groups in the twenty-first century? And perhaps most importantly, why and how does any of this matter?

Leon Zimmerman

TiM Instructor
Diploma, RBC; B.S. Lancaster Bible College; M.A.R. Evangelical School of Theology
Course(s): Biblical Interpretation and Study
Leon Zimmerman is the instructor for the Biblical Interpretation and Study course, as part of the Training in Ministry program at Rosedale Bible College. Zimmerman is keenly interested in this topic and has attempted to understand and apply it in his life and ministry for the past forty years. You will quickly notice that Leon’s passion is to see the expansion of God’s reign over the whole earth but also starting in his own heart. Married, Leon and Naomi live in Gap, Pennsylvania. They have four adult children who are also involved in all kinds of endeavors. Together, Leon and Naomi have traveled to Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe to assist the church in its growth and development. In the past, Leon and Naomi have served as missionaries in the country of Albania to see the church become completely indigenous and self-sustaining. Additionally, Leon serves as a teacher with Eastern Mennonite Missions and is working on numerous leadership training strategies for the developing church around the world. Locally, he is also involved in interim pastoral work and in providing oversight for a few churches. Leon has served many influential ministry and leadership roles throughout his journey, including as pastor and as an assistant prison chaplain. He also worked in equipment rental, carpentry, and engine mechanics. Interestingly, Leon served as a president and faculty member at Rosedale Bible College. It was during those years that Rosedale Bible College achieved accreditation with the Association for Biblical Higher Education. Leon holds a master’s degree from Evangelical Seminary in Myerstown, Pennsylvania – specialized in Old Testament, New Testament, and counseling. Also, he holds a bachelor’s degree from Lancaster Bible College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, but has studied at numerous other colleges over the years.

Preston Yoder

TiM Instructor
A.A. Rosedale Bible College; B.S. Cincinnati Christian University; M. Div. Ashland Theological Seminary
Course(s): Congregational Care
Preston Yoder is the instructor for the Congregational Care course, as part of the Training in Ministry program at Rosedale Bible College. From the start, you will notice Yoder’s love and care for the people he serves. Serving as Lead Pastor, Preston Yoder has faithfully served Shiloh Mennonite Church, in Plain City Ohio, since 2015. Previously, he also served as an Associate Pastor in the Cincinnati area, from 2006 to 2009. Additionally, he served as the Pastor of Cornerstone Mennonite Fellowship from 2012 to 2015. Yoder earned his Associate of Arts in Biblical Studies from Rosedale Bible College in 2006. After Rosedale Bible College, he went on to complete a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies from Cincinnati Christian University. Then, in 2012, Preston graduated from Ashland Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity Degree. Marrying the love of his life in 2009, Preston is busy pastoring and raising his children.

Reuben Sairs

Faculty; Director of Library Services; TiM Instructor
B.S. Pennsylvania State University; M.A. University of Mobile; M.L.I.S. Kent State University
Course(s): Introduction to World Religions; Introduction to Philosophy; Christian Apologetics; Anabaptism Today; Public Speaking; The Gospel of John; Introduction to the Biblical Languages; Bible Survey (TiM)
Reuben does not come from the Christianized subculture--his upbringing and its environment were secular. Although he's been in the Mennonite world for a long time, his formative years as a Christian were spent in other groups. That said, he is committed and tries to nurture an Anabaptist approach to faith. Before he went into ministry, the focus of his energies was in rock and folk music, where he had modest success and many great experiences. He is married to Vicki, and they have three grown sons. Reuben is currently on the pastoral team at London Christian Fellowship. Reuben loves teaching and believes strongly in education as a necessary part of growth in Christ. "It is the power of the classroom--the timeless human encounter of students who want to know and teachers who know the way to get them started that excites me most. Higher education is especially exciting because students are now at a stage when they have to process, sometimes disagree, analyze and learn to articulate ideas that drive the adult world. Even when it is messy, it can be wonderful, especially as you see a faith grow from childishness to maturity."

Shawn Otto

TiM Instructor
B.S. University of Southern Indiana; M.A.B.C. Faith Bible Seminary
Course(s): Congregational Counseling
Shawn Otto is the instructor for the Congregational Counseling course that is part of the Training in Ministry program at Rosedale Bible College. From the start, you will notice Shawn’s experience, professionalism, and care. As early as his teens, Shawn felt the call into church ministry and entered the pastorate in 2005. He served in both Associate and Senior Pastor roles in Indiana before relocating to Sarasota Florida in 2014. Since then, Shawn has served as Senior Pastor at Bethel Mennonite Church, where he is responsible for preaching, counseling, and providing vision for the church. Shawn Otto has been happily married to his wife Greta since 1999. They have four children, spanning ages from seven to eighteen. When he is not at church, Shawn enjoys drinking coffee, reading, and attending his children’s sporting and musical events. He is also a gym enthusiast, who enjoys pushing his limits physically. With an undergraduate degree in Accounting from the University of Southern Indiana, Shawn first began working as a Certified Public Accountant preparing tax returns and audits for small business owners but eventually grew into a consultant role for business management and systems. He went on to earn his certification through the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors in 2009 and completed a Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling from Faith Bible Seminary in 2017. Since 2007, Shawn has provided hundreds of hours of counseling, primarily in the context of the local church.

Troy Landis

TiM Instructor
B.A. Temple University; M.Ed. Morling College, Australia
Course(s): Discipling Others
Troy Landis is the instructor for the Discipling Others course, as part of the Training in Ministry program at Rosedale Bible College. Troy deeply loves the church and is committed to finding ways for the church to disciple others intentionally. Married, Troy and Michelle keep busy raising Hudson, Tessa, and Jordan. Their family loves living in the beautiful southern end of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Their house overlooks a small quaint town, but their backyard overlooks a large cornfield behind; a way of life they find very peaceful. Together, they are co-pastors of a small rural Mennonite church community. In addition to pastoring, Troy serves as the Director of Education for the small intensive English Language program of Immerse International. Previously, he had spent about thirteen years working in the world of global missions with Eastern Mennonite Missions. During these thirteen years, he served in Indonesia and the home office of Eastern Mennonite Missions. Troy Landis finished an undergraduate degree in Anthropology from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He then went on to study at Morling College in Australia, earning a Master of Education degree. Meeting new people and hearing the variety of ways that God is at work in people’s lives is something that brings life to Troy. He is also an avid fan of cycling, swimming, a strong cup of coffee in the morning, and reading good books.

Not sure who to contact? 

Admissions and Programs: admissions@rosedale.edu

Financial Aid: tweber@rosedale.edu

Donations and Alumni Relations: aaronmiller@rosedale.edu

Facility Rental: info@rosedale.edu

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