President's Leadership Team

President's Leadership Team

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President's

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Leadership Team

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Jay Akkerman

Assistant to the President for Congregational Engagement
Jay Akkerman serves at NNU as the Assistant to the President for Congregational Engagement. In his role, he extends NNU’s relationship with pastors and congregations across the Northwest Educational Field using a variety of channels and deepens connections with those from other traditions beyond the Church of the Nazarene. Jay has been with NNU since 2003, most recently serving as Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies and Director of the Graduate School of Theology. Besides being a member of NNU’s theology faculty and the Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies, Jay is the Co-Director of Wesley Center Conferencing and is also an Ordained Elder in the Church of the Nazarene. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from NNU in 1989, followed by a Master of Divinity in Pastoral Theology from Nazarene Theological Seminary in 1993. In 2004 he earned his Doctor of Ministry from the Beeson Center for Biblical Preaching & Church Leadership at Asbury Theological Seminary. Jay is an Ordained Elder in the Church of the Nazarene and has served in churches nationwide for over 20 years. He and his wife have three daughters.
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Stacey Berggren

Chief Admissions Officer
Dr. Stacey Berggren is no stranger to NNU. She has previously served as an Admissions Counselor, Director of Undergraduate Admissions, and Vice President for Enrollment & Marketing, and most recently as Registrar. Stacey has a deep understanding of NNU, its people and its culture. She has extensive sales and customer service experience before coming to work for NNU initially. Stacey holds a B.S. from Troy University (AL), a M.Ed. from Northwest Nazarene University, and an Ed.D. from Trevecca Nazarene University.
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Mark Cork

Associate Vice President for Marketing and Communications
Mark Cork joined the staff of NNU in August of 2017 as Associate Vice President for Marketing and Communications. Prior to this, Mark spent more than 13 years in the marketing and advertising industry working at two of Kansas City’s leading agencies. In addition, Mark is an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene and has held pastoral roles in the local church, and administrative roles at the denominational level. Mark began his education at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, TN and holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Mid-America Nazarene University in Olathe, KS. He has also taken graduate courses at Point Loma Nazarene University and just received a Master of Arts degree in Spiritual Formation at Northwest Nazarene University. He and his wife Jacque have 3 married children and 6 grandchildren.
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Steve Emerson

Vice President for Finance & Operations
Steve Emerson most recently worked as Senior Vice President (SVP) of Commercial Banking at the Bank of the Cascades. In addition to his role as SVP, he has held leadership positions at American Bank of Commerce, First Security Bank, KeyBank, Farmer’s and Merchants Bank and Home Federal Bank over the span of his career. Emerson earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and Accounting in 1992 and a Master of Business Administration in 1999, both from NNU. He also played on the basketball team. He is married to his wife, Jonna, and together they have four children: McKenna, Chandler, Ellie and Annabelle.
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Brad Kurtz-Shaw

Vice President for Academic Affairs
Dr. Kurtz-Shaw comes to NNU from Greenville College in Greenville, Illinois in 1991. He has served as professor, coordinator of new faculty development and as interim vice president for academic affairs. Shaw holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Religion, a Master of Arts in English and a Ph.D. in American Literature. He was a Fulbright scholar and later a Fulbright professor of American Literature at University of Bergen, Norway.
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Grant Miller

University Chaplin
Grant Miller was recently appointed NNU’s next University Chaplain. As Chaplain, Grant provides leadership for campus spiritual life through responsibility for chapel programming, worship, discipleship, pastoral care, mission trips, administration and Christian community building. The Chaplain serves as a member of the Office of University Mission & Ministry, which oversees NNU’s institutional commitment to faith integration throughout everything the University does, as well as the University’s connection to local congregations and their pastors. Grant has been serving as NNU’s Director of Community Life for seven years and is currently the college pastor at Nampa College Church of the Nazarene. He graduated with a double-major in political science and public communications from NNU in 2010, returning the following year to get his third major in philosophy. In 2017, Grant received his Master of Divinity in Spiritual Formation from NNU and is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Public Policy & Administration at Boise State University. Grant is an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene and has served in the local church for 10 years. Grant and his wife Jen just welcomed their third child into their family in June.
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Karen Pearson

Interim Vice President for Student Life
Karen Pearson has served Northwest Nazarene University for over 30 years, the whole of her service in the area of Student Life. She has filled roles such as Resident Director, Director for Residential Life and most recently as the Associate Vice President for Student Engagement. Karen has given direction to New Student Orientation (NSO) and a variety of conferences and retreats for both regional and national Student Development organizations. Karen received both of her undergraduate degrees and her master’s degree from NNU. She is married to Joe and they have three grown children and one grandson.
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Heidi Powers

Director of Human Resources
Heidi Powers recently joined NNU as the Director of Human Resources. Heidi brings over 16 years of experience in the Human Resources and Finance industry having served in administrative roles in private education and in human resourcing for multiple hospital health care systems. Heidi holds a BA in Education and an MBA from Western Governors University and her PHR certification. Heidi is passionate about her service, both to the HR industry and to her faith. She is actively involved in her church with her family. She is married to Andrew and they have three children.
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Mark Wheeler

Vice President for External Relations
Mark Wheeler serves as Vice President for External Relations, which entails overseeing all external relations departments of the university, including University Advancement, Admissions, Marketing, Alumni Relations and Community Relations. Prior to his current role, Wheeler served as NNU's Associate Vice President of Development since 2012 and as Director of Major Donor Relations from 2002 to 2007. He is a 1987 and 2005 NNU graduate with Bachelor of Biological Science and a Master of Business Administration degrees, respectively.
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Michelle Kuykendall

Administrative Assistant to the President & Executive Assistant to the Board of Trustees
Michelle serves NNU as the Administrative Assistant for the President and the Executive Assistant to the Board of Trustees. She served for 19 years in both the College of Business and the Office of University Mission & Ministry before moving into the President's Office in 2017. Michelle holds a BA in Business and an MBA, both from Northwest Nazarene University. She is married to Steve and they have three grown children and six grandchildren.
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