The mission of Journeywise has always been clear: Help people love Jesus, and love like Jesus. By offering classes that explore topics like Bible study, the life of Christ, and practical ways of caring for others and sharing our faith, we are giving people tools to help them grow. Each course is done through a collection of short (usually 8 to 12 minute) sessions, taught by recognized experts in the field. The courses are developmental — that is, the first sessions lay a foundation for those that come later — and they can be completed by an individual or by a small group or classroom of people. Each course has a book or handbook that is available to provide a more complete study of the topic, and the entire Servant School catalog of courses is available to watch at home on your computer, or at church on a big screen.
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Dr. Shane Stanford
Shane has enthusiastically stepped into the position as CEO/Founder of the Moore-West Center for Applied Theology after a 30 plus year career as as a pastor/church planter. Most recently, Dr. Stanford was the sixth senior minister of Christ UMC in Memphis, TN. Prior to that appointment, he served congregations in Florida, Mississippi and North Carolina, including as the founding and senior pastor of Asbury UMC in the Mississippi Annual Conference. Shane also served as the director of stewardship and healthy congregations for the Mississippi Methodist Foundation and as the advisor for Church Growth for the Bishop of the Mississippi Annual Conference.
A familiar face to many, Shane served as host of ‘The United Methodist Hour’, a television and radio ministry airing in more than 30,000,000 homes nationwide. As co-host of We Believe in Memphis’ with Maxie Dunnam, Shane brought local and national issues to light through the popular interview-based television program broadcast in the Memphis metro area.
Shane was awarded a doctorate from Asbury Seminary in 2014. He also holds graduate degrees in theology and ethics from Duke Divinity School, where he was awarded the prestigious Jameson Jones Award in homiletics. He is a graduate (cum laude) of the Honors College of the University of Southern Mississippi, where he holds a degree in political science with a minor in history and also has advanced training in marriage and family studies from the University of Southern Mississippi.
Shane has traveled extensively sharing his personal testimony as an HIV- and hepatitis C-positive hemophiliac. He has spoken across the nation, including at the 2006 Saddleback Global AIDS Summit in California and at the Global Gathering for AIDS Awareness in Texas. He has appeared on several media outlets, including Good Morning America, Fox & Friends, Canada’s Harvest TV and CNN.
Shane is married to his high school sweetheart, Dr. Pokey Stanford, and they have three daughters and two son-in-laws—Sarai Grace Smith (Wesley), Juli Anna Gibson (Jonathan) and Emma Leigh.
As an accomplished author, Shane has written numerous books, including When God Disappears, Making Life Matter, Five Stones, Mosaic: When God Uses All the Pieces, and What the Prayers of Jesus Tell Us About the Heart of God. “I have spent my years as a pastor, teacher and author sharing what it means to “be salt and light’ from the pulpit. Now I’m eager to share the importance of how being in relationship with Jesus along my journey has blessed my life and what it can mean to others along the way.”
Be salt and light. You Matter, Shane
Dr. Kim Reisman
Kim is an author, pastor, teacher, and theologian. She received her BA from Emory University in Atlanta, GA, her MDiv from Yale Divinity School in New Haven, CT, and her PhD from Durham University in the UK. In addition to her work with the Servant School, Kim serves as the Executive Director of World Methodist Evangelism, a ministry that equips the global Wesleyan Methodist family of Christians to share the good news of Jesus Christ. She has written numerous books, most recently, Embrace: Showing and Sharing the Love of Jesus (Abingdon, 2019). Kim lives with her husband John in West Lafayette, IN where she enjoys music, hiking, reading, needle crafts, and jewelry making. They have a son and two daughters – Nathan, and his wife Sarah live in Memphis, TN; Maggie lives in Denver, CO; and Hannah and her husband John Watkins live in Atlanta. In all her work, Kim seeks to serve God by awakening, strengthening, and enlivening the faith commitment of individuals as well as empowering communities of faith to become visible witnesses to the love of Christ for the world.
Dr. Bryan Collier
Dr. Bryan Daniel Collier is the Founding Pastor and Lead Pastor of The Orchard Church in Tupelo, Mississippi. With its five sites throughout northeast Mississippi, The Orchard is focused on Growing Deep in the Love of Jesus and Branching Out to others with that love. Prior to planting The Orchard, Bryan served four pastorates in The Mississippi and Kentucky Annual Conferences of The United Methodist Church. In 1991 he earned a BS degree, Cum Laude in Education from Mississippi State University. He began his Masters of Divinity Program at Asbury Theological Seminary in the fall of 1991 and while serving pastorates in Kentucky earned his degree in the spring 1994. Receiving a Beeson Fellowship Grant in 1997, his research focus was in the arena of systems theory and it’s impact as a tool of the leader. Bryan adapted much of MIT Professor Peter Senge’s seminal work, The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of The Learning Organization for church use. In 2022 Bryan began his 26th year in pastoral ministry. His interests include leadership issues, church for the unchurched and cultural dissection. He is passionate about helping people at all stages of faith Grow Deep in the love of God and Branch Outto others with that love. His passion extends to helping leaders and organizations facilitate this growth. To that end he is the author of Becoming An Orchard, Xulon Press, 2006 and The Go-To Church, Abingdon Press, 2013.
Bryan is a sports enthusiast, a voracious reader and enjoys baseball and the outdoors. He has been married to Wendy for 31 years and they have two grown children–a daughter Olivia and a son, Houston.
Dr. Kevin M. Watson
Dr. Kevin M. Watson is the Director of Academic Growth & Formation at Asbury Theological Seminary. He is anchored at Asbury’s Tulsa Extension Site. Prior to joining the faculty at Asbury Theological Seminary, Watson taught at Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary, Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, and Seattle Pacific University. Dr. Watson received a B.A. from the University of Oklahoma (Political Science), an M.Div. from Wesley Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Southern Methodist University.
Dr. Watson’s calling is to raise up the next generation of leaders for the church. He is passionate about discipling students and loves praying with them. He enjoys preaching and teaching at conferences, denominational gatherings, and within the local church. Watson’s primary area of expertise is the history and theology of the Wesleyan tradition. He has published several books in this area including Old or New School Methodism? (Oxford University Press), Perfect Love (Seedbed), and The Class Meeting (Seedbed).
Kevin also serves as Scholar in Residence at Asbury Church in Tulsa, OK. He is married to Melissa and they have three children.
Dr. David Watson
David F. Watson is Academic Dean and Professor of New Testament at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. He has authored or edited a number of publications, including Key United Methodist Beliefs (with William J. Abraham), Wesley, Wesleyans, and Reading Bible as Scripture (edited with Joel B. Green) and has written articles for a variety of publications, ranging from the Journal of Biblical Literature to Weavings to Good News. His most recent book is Scripture and the Life of God: Why the Bible Matters Today More than Ever (Seedbed, 2017). He serves as Lead Editor of Firebrand and blogs at www.davidfwatson.me, and he is one of the hosts of “Plain Truth: A Holy-Spirited Podcast.”
David, his wife, Harriet, and their children attend Stillwater Church in Dayton, Ohio.
Dr. Ronnie Kent
Ronnie is a husband, father, grandfather (10 spectacular kids 12 years and under), retired pediatrician, and Bible fellowship teacher. He received his B.S. in Biological Engineering at Mississippi State University. He received his medical degree from University of Mississippi Medical School. He completed his residency in pediatrics at University of Mississippi Medical Center. He recently retired after 41 years of practice in Hattiesburg, MS. He and his family have been members of Temple Baptist Church since moving to Hattiesburg. He and Anne have been married for 44 years and have been blessed with three children and their families: Emily who is married to Troy have three children; Mary Brooke, Winston and Hudson; James who is married to Jessica have four children; Covington, Wylder, Roman and Ellie; Grace who is married to Casey have three children; Caleb, Eve and Kent. Ronnie’s life verse is Romans 5:2 “We confidently and joyfully look forward to actually becoming all that God has had in mind for us to be” and he looks forward to using his role directing the Faith and Wellness division of Servant School to seeing that become a reality in everyone’s life.
Nicolet comes to the JourneyWise team after serving in Adult Ministry & NextGen Ministry at Christ United Church in Jackson, MS. In her position, Nicolet led family ministry efforts and women’s ministry. Nicolet has written and developed Bible study curriculum for adults and youth at the local church level. Prior to that, she served as a youth pastor for 3 years at St. Matthew’s UMC in Madison, MS. Nicolet has been the guest speaker at countless women’s and youth retreats and has a true passion for sharing God’s Word. Nicolet has a Master’s and Undergraduate degree in Communication Studies from The University of Southern Mississippi and is currently pursuing her seminary degree at Wesley Biblical Seminary. Nicolet has completed collegiate study in marketing, is a small business owner and served as Vice President of her local Chamber of Commerce. Out of all the hats she wears, her favorite is being wife to Dr. Preston Bell and mom to baby Josie.
Dr. Pokey Stanford
Vice President / Dean of The Servant School Channel & Courses
Pokey is a wife, mother, teacher, professor and advocate. She received her B.S. in Elementary Education at the University of Southern Mississippi. She received her her M.Ed. in Elementary Education and Reading from Meredith College in Raleigh NC. She and her husband (Shane) returned to Mississippi where earned a M.S. and Ed.D. in Special Education.
Pokey grew up in the United Methodist church and was active in leadership and discipleship development throughout her life. She and Shane married at 19 and have lived in the abundance of God’s blessings for over 32 years. They have three daughters: Sarai Grace Smith who is married to Wesley and lives in Orlando, FL; Juli Anna Stanford Gibson who is married to Jonathan and lives in Knoxville, TN; and Emma Leigh Stanford who is in college in SanDiego, CA.
Pokey is very excited to lead Servant School for Moore-West Center. She is passionate about teaching and learning for children, youth, young adults, and adults of all ages.
Dr. Ray Cummings
Dr. Ray Cummings has pastored churches in Mississippi and Alabama and has served in ministry for 30 years. He now resides in Purvis, Mississippi and serves Hattiesburg Community Church as an Associate Pastor. He is a graduate of William Carey College and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Cummings received his Doctorate in Ministry degree in 2001 with a specialization in Church Growth and Evangelism. He and his wife, Amanda, have 3 sons and one daughter. They have a non-profit named after their daughter called “Mercy’s Mission” that feeds and educates children in an orphanage in Goma, Congo. Dr. Cummings in the co-author of “The 41 Series” – a series of 41-day devotionals that culminate in spiritual victory on Christmas and Easter. Ray loves preaching, writing, hunting, and anything sports related.
Dr. Phil Tallon
Dr. Phil Tallon (PhD, University of Saint Andrews) is an Associate Professor of Theology at Houston Baptist University, where he also serves as Dean of the School of Christian Thought. His work focuses on the intersection between Christian theology and human creativity. He has written over 30 essays and articles on theology and the arts.
Dr. Tallon is the author of The Poetics of Evil (Oxford, 2012), The Absolute Basics of the Christian Faith (Seedbed, 2016), and the co-author of The Absolute Basics of the Wesleyan Way (Seedbed, 2021). He is the co-editor of The Philosophy of Sherlock Holmes (University Press of Kentucky, 2011). His next two projects are a book on horror movies and a book on visual art and Christian doctrine.
Dr. Tallon lives in Houston, Texas with his wife, three younger children, and husky dog. His oldest daughter is away at college. He‘s on Twitter: @oldhundreth.