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Church Planter Assessment Center - October 26, 2014
Mentoring Church Planters Training - 2 Day Seminar - November 3-4, 2014
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Mentoring Church Planter Training - Online Training  Beginning January 5, 2015
Missional Coach Certification Training - November 17-18, 2014 - Minnesota South District Office

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 Phone 952-657-2182
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Certified Coaches


A certified mission coach is a missional leader who is effectively engaged in a coaching ministry, understands and has mastered the art of mission coaching, and has successfully met and fulfilled the established requirements of coach certification from the Center for United States Missions. These requirements include:

  1. Intensive training in the art of coaching
  2. Nine Coach Mentor Sessions under a Certified Coach Trainer
  3. Effective and assessed coaching relationships
  4. Evaluative coaching feedback from coaching clients while in training
  5. Positive coaching capacity results measured through an Online Coaching Assessment
  6. Development and implementation of a Coaching Excellence Personal Development Plan

If you are serious about the mission of Jesus Christ (Missio Dei), then you will discover tremendous support, accelerated missional results and increased missional capacity by having your own mission coach. You are invited to contact any of the certified mission coaches and explore their interest and availability in serving as your personal coach.

You are encouraged to explore synergy and negotiate fees directly with the Certified Mission Coach of your choice.

A coach is someone who has been where you want to go … and is willing to help you get there.  Like Barnabas in the New Testament, whose name means Son of Encouragement, the coach comes alongside mission field workers (church planters, missional pastors, missionaries, evangelists and church revitalization leaders) and bring to them encouragement, support (especially through prayer), mission strategy stimulation, action-planning for results, and Kingdom accountability.  In simple terms, a coach is one who comes alongside a person or team in order to help them discover God’s agenda for their life and ministry, and then serving the Holy Spirit to see that agenda to become reality.

Click Links Below For More Information About Each Certified Coach

Contract All | Expand All - You may also expand or contract vitae by clicking the person's name (recommended).

Rev. Dr. Victor J. Belton


Coaching Specialty:


Victor J. Belton is a native of Washington, DC. He was educated in the DC public school system and had a first career in data processing. He pursued a call into ministry in 1978 obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree from Concordia College in Bronxville, New York and a Master of Divinity degree from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. He was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws (L.L.D.) from Concordia College in Bronxville, New York. He has spoken extensively throughout the United States and has twice been the proclaimer for International Lutheran Women’s Missionary League convention. Rev. Belton is currently the pastor of Peace Lutheran Church in Decatur, Georgia and serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod in the capacity of member-at-large. Wenona has been his beautiful bride for almost thirty years and the Belton’s have one son Michael, who lives in St. Louis. You can learn more about Pastor Belton, hear a teaching, leave a prayer request or learn more about the ministry of Peace Lutheran Church online at

Rev. Cliff Bira

Rev. Cliff Bira

Coaching Specialty: Mission Planters, Missional pastors, Pastors working through Church Revitalization, Discovering and organizing life around God-given Life Purpose, Personal Spiritual Development, Leadership Development


Phone: 810.240.1445

Address: 6356 Queens Court Flushing, MI 48433

Rev. Cliff Bira is married to wife Carolyn - a Director of Christian Education for 30 years. They have two grown and married Children - Hannah & Bethany and one grandchild. Since 1984 Rev. Cliff Bira has served as Senior Pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church. He has also served as Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Osceola, Iowa (1981-1984) He is also currently serving in the office of Circuit Counselor in the Michigan District. In his present congregation he also serves his community through the Flushing Community Outreach Center, various joint Christian community outreach efforts in past years and as a pastoral leader among churches in the Flushing Community. He has also served as past president and founding member of the Rotary Club of Flushing.

He attended University of Wisconsin - Whitewater (1972-1976) from which he received a Bachelors of Science Degree in Economics. He received his Masters of Divinity degree from Concordia Theological Seminary - Fort Wayne, Indiana (1978-1981)

He has received additional training through the completion of the Beeson Institute For Advanced Church Leadership and receiving additional training through the Pastoral Leadership Institute. Rev. Bira has also been named as a team leader for PLI International for Latvia & Lithuania beginning August, 2008. He has attended Basic Mission Planter Training as well as serving as an assessor for the Church Planter Assessment Center of the Center for U.S. Missions. His personal greatest passion is helping people to discover, develop, and live out their God-given Life Purpose.

Rev. David J. Born

Rev. David J. Born

Coaching Specialty:


Rev. David J. Born serves as the Director of Missions for the Northeastern United States for LCMS World Mission. In that position, he serves as a consultant and mission catalyst to six districts and their congregations in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and New England. He seeks to build the capacity of the districts of his region in revitalizing churches and planting new cross-cultural missions. Part of his work involves coaching leaders and field developers who multiply ministries especially in the urban areas of the region. In order to gain more effectiveness in this work of coaching, David trained with the Center for US Missions and received his certification in Coaching in February, 2008.

David Born ministered for over 30 years as a parish pastor in New York City, and served the last seven of them concurrently as the Mission Executive of the Atlantic District. He and his wife Anita moved to Central New York State in 2004 after accepting the call from LCMS World Mission.

The Borns have two married children and three grandchildren.

Rev. Greg Fairow

Rev. Greg Fairow

Coaching Specialty: Campus Ministry, Strategic Planning


Phone: 319-338-4692


Rev. Greg Fairow serves as the executive director of Transforming Campus Ministries, a nonprofit corporation he formed to help others make Christ-followers on campus. He has trained, consulted and/or coached church leaders from 30 states and one Canadian province.

While Greg specializes in campus ministry, his coaching and other services can easily be adapted for most churches and other ministries.

Greg also serves as the campus pastor at Concordia University, Portland, Ore., a Christian liberal arts university preparing leaders for the transformation of society.

He previously served as a campus pastor in Milwaukee and Madison, Wis. Prior to attending seminary, Greg managed three radio stations, including a Christian radio ministry in Nebraska that he helped start.

He has a Master of Divinity degree from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Greg's wife, Teresa, serves as a ministry advancement officer for Lutheran Hour Ministries, a Christian outreach ministry supporting churches worldwide.

Rev. Travis Guse

Rev. Travis Guse

Coaching Specialty: Leadership development , Personal growth, Mission Planters, Missional Leaders, Revitalization



Phone: 805-236-8388

Rev. Travis Guse is an ICF Certified Life & Executive Coach, Mission Coach, TCN Consultant & Coach, Gallup Faith Field Advisor in Leadership Excellence (LE) & Strengths Coach, and Certified MBTI Consultant. He is also the face behind The Thrive Initiative (TTI). TTI exists to spark initiatives that empower individuals, organizations, and churches to thrive in all aspects of their life and mission for the sake of the Kingdom.

TTI seeks to equip and empower God's people to live missional lives for service both within the Church and in their communities for Christ. It is also the vision of TTI to spark missional movements by linking like-minded individuals to begin entrepreneurial ventures where the Gospel is lived out incarnationally. Finally, TTI seeks to see churches fulfill their calling to be missional communities, engaging society with the Gospel of Jesus in meaningful and transformative ways.

Besides being an LCMS pastor, Travis has coaching experience with various organizational leaders, those in the arts and entertainment industry, entrepreneurs, non-profit organizations, pastors, and churches. No matter your background, Travis can assist you in discovering God's way forward with whatever opportunity or challenge you might be facing in life.

As a coach, Travis serves as a creative think partner who can assist you in setting clear goals in all aspects of your life, both personally and in ministry. He works with individuals, organizations and churches desiring to discover their strengths, gifts and passions in order to unleash within them God's dream for their lives and for the world. This is done through utilizing informal and formal assessments, articulation of values, thought provoking questions, strategic thinking, commitment to action, with prayer and support through the process. He also offers various coaching and empowerment programs for individual as well as small and large group settings.

"Coaching not only can help you increase your impact for the Kingdom, but also provides a pathway to multiply ministry through others. It's time that we begin to recapture the essence of what it means to be the priesthood of all believers - to increase engagement, empower God's people, develop missional leaders, create synergy and unleash the Church to be the life changing movement that Jesus always intended it to be!"

Mrs. Christie O. Kieschnick

Mrs. Christie O. Kieschnick

Coaching Specialty: Personal growth, Leadership skills, Youth and Christian Community Development


Phone: 504-287-7916

Address: 6230 Paris Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70122

Christie and her husband Kevin reside in New Orleans where they direct LINCNewOrleans, a ministry that connects and supports neighborhood missional leaders and city-wide issue-based advocates in order to strengthen NOLA communities. They are involved with public schools, area churches, foster care initiatives, anti-crime movements, and neighborhood organizations. They have two lovely daughters, Layne and Renni.

Christie received a B.A. in Theatre Arts from St. Edwards University in Austin and a Master s of Communication Disorders from LSU Health Science Center s School of Allied Health in New Orleans. She was a school-based speech-language pathologist for ten years. She is a New Orleans Court Appointed Special Advocate for children in foster care and recently became a CASA mentor for new advocates.

Christie has received extensive training in leadership and community development through Pastoral Leadership Institute, Christian Community Development Association, and Leadership Network. She completed the Advancing Youth Development course through the DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation. Christie is a life-long learner and loves to see people identify and use their God-given talents and passions to change the world.

Rev. Dr. Peter Meier

Rev. Dr. Peter Meier

Coaching Specialty: Church Planting, Missional Leaders, Rural Ministry, Urban Ministry


Phone: 952-657-2182

Prior to joining the Center for US Missions on July 1, 2013, Peter served in the Minnesota South District, LCMS, as Executive Assistant to the President (2005-2006), and Assistant to the President for Missions (2005-2013). He served as Senior Pastor of Zion Lutheran Church and School in Mayer, MN from 1982-2005.

Peter was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Frederick and Helen Meier, October 6, 1956. His parents were Lutheran Educators. He attended Mt. Calvary Lutheran School, Milwaukee Lutheran High School, and Marquette University. Following graduation Concordia Teachers College in River Forest, IL, he received his theological degree and Master of Divinity from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1982.

His Doctor of Ministry degree was granted in 2011 by Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana upon completion and successful defense of his dissertation, “Missional Leadership in Lutheran Schools: A Key Component in Lutheran Schools as Mission Outposts.”

Peter is married to Kathy, a Special Education teacher at Mayer Lutheran HS; they are blessed with three married children, and two granddaughters. Peter and Kathy enjoy spending time with their family, reading, biking, camping, kayaking and the outdoors. Peter’s life verse describes his greatest joy and passion, “Living and sharing the Life that is truly Life,” (1 Timothy 6:19).

Email Peter

Rev. Geoffrey L. Robinson

Rev. Geoffrey L. Robinson

Coaching Specialty: Campus Ministry, Revitalization, Missional Leaders, Rural Ministry


Phone: 260-423-1511, 800-837-1145 ext.208

Address: 1145 Barr Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46802

Rev. Geoffrey L. Robinson served 25 years in the parish ministry prior to receiving and accepting the call to become the Executive for Outreach for the Indiana District of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.

He served Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Jonesboro, Arkansas from 1982  1986; St. Paul Lutheran Church and School in Haven, Kansas from 1986-1990 and Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church from 1990  2007. Rev. Robinson also has served in various synodical and district positions. He has served as circuit counselor of the Hutchinson Circuit in Kansas, Secretary of the Central Illinois District, Assistant Secretary of the Central Illinois District, Rural Ministry committee chairman of the Central Illinois District, Stewardship Commission chairman of the Central Illinois District, Mission Commission Chairman of the Central Illinois District, Finance and Management Commission Chairman of the Central Illinois District, Congregational Life commission member for the Central Illinois District, and he served as a member of the floor committee on Missions for the 2004 synodical convention.

He currently is the Executive Counselor for Outreach for the Indiana District of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.  His areas of responsibility are mission work and evangelism.

Rev. Robinson has been actively involved in radio, television, and newspaper outreach. He has taught college level Environmental Science and Biology to both traditional students and incarcerated students.

Rev. Robinson graduated from the University of Florida in 1976 with a Bachelors of Science in Agriculture; and Concordia Seminary St. Louis in 1982 with a Masters of Divinity.

Rev. Michael R. Ruhl

Rev. Michael R. Ruhl

Coaching Specialty: Church Planting, Missional Leaders


Phone: 734-648-0185

Rev. Michael R. Ruhl was installed April 30, 2004, as the Center's Executive Director of Mission Training.

A native of Ontario, Canada, Mike grew up in Michigan and pastored congregations in Minnesota and Michigan. He then served for 16 years as director of missions in the Michigan District office before accepting the call to the Center.

Pastor Ruhl comments, "There is no greater joy than seeing the Holy Spirit bring pre-Christian, diverse people into saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Planting new mission congregations is also a great joy. As the United States emerges as the third largest mission field in the world, what a privilege it is to bring advocacy, training and resources to both of those endeavors!"

Rev. Ramdat Saran

Rev. Ramdat Saran

Coaching Specialty: Missional Pastor, Church Planter, House Church Planting and Apostolic Leadership Development


Phone: 585-436-2747, 518-878-1312 (cell)

Address: 1009 St. Paul Street, Rochester, NY 14621-5213

Rev. Sarran and his wife, Lobby, were born and raised in the country of Guyana, South America, which is the only English speaking country on the continent. They have 3 grown children of which, 2 are married and all of them are involved in his church planting team in the Eastern District - LCMS.

Now residing in the city of Rochester and called by Hope Lutheran Church as the Mission Field.

Developer for the “Rochester Initiative” in that city.

The Sarrans were involved in planting 13 churches in Guyana before migrating to New York City, where he and his family spent approx. 2 1/2 years in the “Big Apple”. The Lord brought them to Schenectady New York at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, where they planted their first mission in America. After being Called, Commissioned and Colloquied as an LCMS Pastor, Rev. Sarran answered the call to be the Field Developer in Rochester, New York.

He attended Hauraruni International Missionary Training Center in Guyana, South America (1980-1983) from which he received his Theological and Ministerial certification. He has also received additional training from Concordia University, Irvine California in Mission Planting (2005) and completed Missionj Coach Certification Training in Texas (2006).

He brings a passion to his apostolic call with prayer and fasting. Focusing that determination and excitement to train, equip, and empower men and women for the work of the ministry in the endtime harvest.

Rev. Dr. William D. Seaman

Rev. Dr. William D. Seaman

Coaching Specialty: Church Planters, Missional Pastors


Phone: 919-212-1199; 919-610-1392 (cell)

Address: 5101 Duckdown Ct., Raleigh, NC 27604

Rev. Dr. William (Bill) Seaman is Mission and Ministry Facilitator for the Southern Region (North and South Carolina) of the Southeastern District - LCMS. He served as the sole pastor of Our Savior, Hickory, NC for 25 years previous to joining the district staff. He has served on various district task forces, was circuit counselor for three terms, and was pastoral advisor to both the LLL and LWML. He served in various community capacities with Right to Life, Birthright, Kiwanis, Crisis Pregnancy Center, Co-operative Christian Ministry and hospital chaplaincy.

Bill has taught biology, human anatomy and physiology, physics, computer science and a variety of other science courses at the college, high school and junior high levels. He was chair of both the science and religion departments at Rockford Lutheran High School in Illinois and the assistant principal. He initiated the computer curriculum at Rockford Lutheran and also St. Stephens Lutheran in Hickory. He served on the IT staff at Lenoir Rhyne College in Hickory.

His undergraduate work was done at Concordia, Bronxville and Concordia, Ft. Wayne. He is a graduate of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (M.Div.) and Concordia Seminary, Ft. Wayne (D.Min). He holds an M.A. degree from UNC, Chapel Hill in botany and has done postgraduate work at Mountain Lake Biological Station in Virginia, Northern Illinois University, University of Illinois and Indiana-Purdue University. He and his wife Sue (an R.N.) are the parents of three children ? Mark (a pastor in Corpus Christi), Krista (an O.R. nurse in Raleigh), and Karin (a medical technologist in Raleigh).

Rev. Eric R. Wenger

Rev. Eric R. Wenger

Coaching Specialty: Small Relational Communities, Mission Planting


Phone: 608-835-9030

Address: P.O. Box 233, Oregon, WI 53575

Eric serves Community of Life Lutheran Church as their Pastor. He and his wife, Carrie, and their four children live in Oregon, WI. They enjoy building relationships through service in their community and by participating in a variety of athletic endeavors. Their family is on the mission of connecting people to life in Jesus.

The Wengers together with a small core group of families began work to plant a new church in Oregon, WI in 2003 as a partner of Christ Memorial Lutheran Church of Fitchburg, WI. The church was planted using a Life Group (small relational community) and Celebratory Worship model. Community of Life was publicly launched on September 12, 2004.The mission team partners of Community of Life continue to move forward with the vision of being a network of biblical communities.

After receiving his BA from Concordia  St. Paul (1993) and his MDiv from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis (1997), Eric has been privileged to serve in several ministries. He taught theology and coached athletics at Lutheran High School Northwest in Rochester Hills, MI, served at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Greenville, WI as Associate Pastor focusing on outreach and assimilation, and at Christ Memorial as Pastor of Discipleship and Growth. He has also completed Basic Mission Planter Training (2004), the Pastoral Leadership Institute (2006), and Mission Coaching Certification through the Center for United States Missions (2009).

Eric enjoys reading, sports, and a being part of an adventure. He is passionate about multiplying disciples, leaders, small relational communities, and churches. He views mission coaching as an important part of this exciting process.

Your Partner in Success

If we might assist you in any way, please email us or phone us at 952-657-2182.