Our Regional Directors (RD) come alongside the leaders of leaders in their regions through one-on-one visits, addressing challenges and solutions, praying with them and simply serving as a sounding board. The RDs are deeply experienced in training Christian leaders of vision, integrity and competence, most having served in multiple capacities of leadership in seminaries, schools and other institutions. All of them are products in some way of one of our partner schools.
Whether they are encouraging a leader whose institution is facing daunting financial problems, conducting a workshop to better equip faculty for teaching or providing training for a seminary board, these men work tirelessly to see transformational theological education, the kind that produces leaders who make a difference. Our RDs provide us with deep knowledge, extensive experience and rich creativity.
John Jusu, PhD
Regional Director for Africa | Overseas Council
Dr. John Jusu was born in Sierra Leone. He pursued a Bachelor’s degree in preparation of becoming a medical doctor, but that was never to be. Through many tumultuous episodes in his life, he ended up at the Sierra Leone Bible College as Assistant Librarian and teaching responsibilities.
As John’s first encounter with theological education, he immediately noticed the disconnect between what he saw at the seminary and the Church. He abandoned his plans for medical school for a desire for pastoral training. He received an Overseas Council scholarship and earned a Master’s degree in Christian Education at a partner school. He also earned his Master of Philosophy degree and completed his doctoral studies in Education in 2008 at Trinity International University.
John returned to his alma mater, now Africa International University, and served as Dean of the School of Professional Studies. He has also served the Church in many capacities including as an ordained minister. He and his wife, Tity, have three children. John joined Overseas Council as Regional Director for Africa in 2013.
Ashish Chrispal, PhD
Regional Director for Asia | Overseas Council
Dr. Ashish Chrispal has been the Overseas Council Regional Director for Asia since 2007. Born in Mumbai, he has more than 30 years of experience in pastoring and teaching theology in India. After his Bachelor’s degree, Ashish obtained theological training at Union Biblical Seminary in Pune, India. A Langham Scholar, he earned the PhD in Systematic and Practical Theology at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. He has served on several boards and in roles at various seminaries, including his role as Principal of the South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies, India. He is an author, a pastor and an educator. His passion is to provide theological education that is holistic in terms of balance between academic excellence and theological and ministerial competence.
Ashish and his wife, Susan, live in Bangalore, India, and have a grown son and daughter. Their son, Anugrah, is married and has two daughters. Their daughter, Snehanjali, studied at Anderson University in Indiana before returning to India. The family continues to trust our Lord’s promise of resurrection for their second son, Arpit, who was called to the Lord’s glory in June 2005 at the age of 22.
Overseas Council works with additional consultants in Asia, but due to the sensitive nature of the region, we do not publicize them.
Regional Director for Euro-Asia | Overseas Council
Taras Dyatlik was born into a Baptist family in the western Ukrainian city of Rivne. Raised during the Soviet period, he helped his father with an underground Christian publishing ministry as a child. He received Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior when he was 17 years old and graduated from Donetsk Christian University in 1997.
Taras has served in a multitude of positions in higher education, including Academic Dean, Professor and Head Librarian. He earned the MTh from the Evangelical Theological Faculty in Leuven, Belgium, and is pursuing the PhD there. He also serves the Euro-Asian Accrediting Association (EAAA).
Taras and his wife, Natasha, live in Rivne with their two teenage children, Tanya and Nazar. Taras joined Overseas Council in 2011 as the Regional Director for Euro-Asia.
Marvin Oxenham, PhD
Consultant for Europe | Overseas Council
Dr. Marvin Oxenham was born and raised in Italy as a missionary kid. After he obtained his degree in theology in Canada, he returned to fulltime ministry in Rome with his wife, Silvana. For 25 years, they have been involved in church planting, evangelism, youth work and theological education among Italians.
Marvin obtained his PhD from King’s College London. Since 2004, he has also served as coordinator of the European Evangelical Accrediting Association (EEAA). He has gained international experience in the enhancement of theological education with the International Council for Evangelical Theological Education (ICETE) in addition to joining Overseas Council. He is also employed at London School of Theology as program leader for postgraduate studies in theological education.
As a teacher, mentor and project manager, Marvin is passionate about learning, creating and bringing out the best in people and processes. He is the humbled father of two adult daughters and one budding son. His hobbies include supporting AS Roma and running.
Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean | Overseas Council
Josué Fernández was born in San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina, and has been in ministry for more than 20 years. As a member of the pastoral team at the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) Church of Buenos Aires, Argentina, he developed a rehab program for young drug addicts, created a feeding program for street children and led a young adults’ ministry.
Josué established and trained young leaders for ministry in three programs as the Youth Pastor of the C&MA Church in Queens, New York, followed by leading a church in Argentina as Head Pastor. He went on to serve as the Director of Communications and Fund-Raising at Buenos Aires Bible Institute (IBBA) in Argentina, where he was trained by Dr. Manfred W. Kohl, Overseas Council Special Ambassador. Then as the Assistant Pastor of a church that tripled in membership under his care, he established a discipleship program and a feeding program for street children before returning to IBBA in 2005 in his original capacity. Josué earned his Bachelor of Theology from IBBA and his Master of Arts at Alliance Theological Seminary in Nyack, New York. He was a participant in eight Overseas Council Institutes for Excellence in Christian Leadership Development held in Latin America.
Josué and his wife, Liliana, have five children, ranging in age from 14 to 21. He joined Overseas Council in 2007 as Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Abraham Najjar, PhD*
Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa | Overseas Council
Dr. Abraham Najjar was born in Egypt in a Christian family. After earning his Bachelor’s degree in 1981, he spent seven years in Christian lay ministry as a supervisor for a Christian center in his hometown, working with high school ministry and university student teams.
Abraham earned his Master of Divinity degree in 1992 from a Cairo seminary. Following his degree, the seminary’s Board elected him to teach Old Testament. He was ordained as a Presbyterian pastor in 1994, earned his Master of Theology degree in 1996 and earned his PhD in Old Testament in 2004.
In 2007, Abraham became the Academic Dean and Professor of Old Testament at the Cairo seminary. The following year, he became Vice President in addition to Academic Dean. He joined Overseas Council in 2013 as Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa. Abraham and his wife have two sons.
*Name and identifiable details have been changed for security purposes.
Other International Staff
Manfred Kohl, PhD
Special Ambassador| Overseas Council
Dr. Manfred Waldemar Kohl was born in Germany during World War II and was educated in Germany, England and the US. He earned a Master of Divinity degree at Gordon Divinity School in Massachusetts, a Master of Theology at Harvard Divinity School, a Doctor of Theology from the American Center for Congregational Studies and a Doctor of Ministry from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
Following seminary, Dr. Kohl served as pastor of the First Congregational Church in Middleboro, Massachusetts, one of the oldest churches in the US. He then served with World Vision for 17 years in West Africa, German-speaking Europe and finally with their worldwide ministry. With Overseas Council, he served as Vice President of International Development from 1994-2008 and Director of the Institute for Excellence from 2000-2008. Since 2008, he has served as Special Ambassador.
Dr. Kohl has done extensive traveling and speaking with both World Vision and Overseas Council. He has conducted seminars and conferences around the world. A significant portion of his time is dedicated to writing and publishing. Dr. Kohl and his wife, Barbara, have two adult sons.
Phil Tait, PhD
Director of FLITE | Overseas Council
Dr. Phil Tait was born in New Zealand. His first career was in urban and rural planning. Later he studied theology at the Bible College of New Zealand and served as the academic dean at the Christian Leaders’ Training College in Papua New Guinea. He then relocated to Nigeria, initially to establish a leadership center at the Jos ECWA Theological Seminary (JETSN) and subsequently as Country Director for SIM (Serving in Mission). Phil completed a Doctor of Ministries degree at Columbia International University. He is passionate about training and mentoring Christian leaders.
Phil and his wife, Jill, have three adult daughters. Phil joined Overseas Council in 2013 as Director of the FLITE program. He also has a member development and training role with SIM.