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Vibrant Faith Coaches

Meet our Coaching School Faculty

Jim LaDoux

Vibrant Faith Coach

Coaching Focus: Coaching for leaders, teams, cohort groups, congregations, and non-profit organizations

About Jim: Jim LaDoux lives in Burnsville, MN and is on the Vibrant Faith leadership team since 2003. He currently oversees our coaching program. Jim has been a coach since 1992. He has a Master of Management Arts specializing in organizational development and is a certified PCC (Professional Certified Coach) in Training. Jim has been part of church staff for Lutheran, Methodist and Presbyterian congregations. In his spare time, Jim likes to travel, go hiking, and biking.

You may have read Jim’s work: Surface To Soul: Coaching Spiritual Vitality in Congregations, Vibrant Faith Coaching School Manual.

You may have seen Jim at: The Vibrant Faith Coaching School, at any Leading Well event, at all of our Vibrant Faith Staff meetings, at the 2019 Symposiums, and in anything coaching related with Vibrant Faith.

Rev. Brandyn Simmons, PCC

Instructor & Mentor Coach

Coaching Focus:  Organization Development, Executive, Business, Leadership, NonProfit, Life Coaching

About Brandyn: Rev. Brandyn Simmons lives in Chicago, IL.  He is the Executive Director of Generations Care Partners Foundation, is the Pastor at Christ Church of Chicago, and is the owner of Generations Care Partners. Brandyn has been coaching for over 10 years. He holds the following degrees MBA, Master of Geriatrics, Master of Divinity, Doctor of Ministry in Community Organizing Candidate, and is a Professional Certified Coach, and is certified in Mindfulness and Appreciative Inquiry.  Brandyn has also served on numerous adjudicatory board in the United Church of Christ, assisted in the revitalization of the Illinois Conference in the UCC, mentor coaching, and teaching in various coaching programs. In his free time, Brandyn enjoys hiking and writing.

You may have read Brandyn’s published work:

  • Kindling Hope: Discovering a Life of Meaning and Igniting the World

Rev. Dr. Felix Villanueva, MCC

Director of Coaching School, Instructor & Mentor Coach

The Rev. Dr. Felix C. Villanueva is the Director and Co-Founder of the Vibrant Faith Coaching School. Dr. Villanueva has been coaching for over two decades. He is a Master Certified Coach with the International Coaching Federation (ICF). Dr. Villanueva’s coaching practice includes: clergy and congregational coaching, executive and professional coaching, and group coaching. He is also specialist in the areas of grief and loss, diversity, equality and inclusion, team building, conflict management, and business and leadership development. Dr. Villanueva holds a Doctorate Degree in Organizational Leadership (EdD), and two Master Degrees: one in Divinity and the other in Pastoral Counseling. He was ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in 1982 and has served as a U.S. Navy Chaplain, local church pastor, and as a denominational executive. He is currently retired from church ministry and dedicates his time to transforming lives through coaching. Dr. Villanueva’s favorite faith practice is walking labyrinths. He says: “Walking a labyrinth refreshes my soul and inspires me. I never miss an opportunity to walk one.”

Rev. Dr. Nathan Swenson-Reinhold, PCC

Instructor & Mentor Coach

Nathan Swenson-Reinhold is an ICF Professional Certified Coach with 2000+ hours of coaching experience. His passion is the resourcing and development of leaders and lead teams within organizations. He has an MDiv from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, and a DMin from Portland Seminary of George Fox University in Portland, Oregon. His doctoral work was grounded in matters of leadership and organizational culture change. He is an ordained pastor in good standing in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Nathan is a certified behavioral consultant through PeopleKeys, and is a certified trainer for Take Flight Learning. He is currently working on his Advanced Credential in Team Coaching (ACTC) through the Team Coaching Global Alliance, and is also working towards his Master Certified Coaching credential. His favorite spiritual practice is fly-fishing. 🙂

Meet our Vibrant Faith Coaches

This team of dynamic coaches are here to support and guide you and your organization toward healthy and effective practices.

Danette Matty

Vibrant Faith Coach

Danette Matty is a trained coach in Vibrant Faith’s International Coaching Federation-certified program. She has earned her ACC Level and is currently working toward the PCC Level. Her coaching experience has been honed through full-time vocational ministry at a thriving church in the Midwest. The churches at which she and her husband have served, while affiliated with the Assemblies of God (cooperative fellowship), have been intentional about a Jesus-centered focus, biblically-based, multigenerational, and multicultural. Danette’s coaching and leadership development specialties revolve around volunteer team members, youth leaders, team leaders, and ministry leaders who want to grow. Danette has earned a Bachelors in Biblical Counseling and a Masters in Leadership. She considers daily time alone with God as “the bread and butter” of her relationship with God. There’s something about nature that resets the heart and mind. Hiking in the forest seems to make his voice just a little clearer.

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Deacon Tammy Devine

Vibrant Faith Coach

I am honored to walk with God’s people as they seek to live and lead well. I am passionate about health, healing, and wholeness. As a Professionally Certified Coach (PCC) through the International Coaching Federation, I draw upon my experience and additional training as an End-of-Life Coach, Spiritual Coach, Positive Intelligence, and Boundless Compassion Facilitator. Most recently I have been engaged in growing my personal work around Racial Justice. This has taken the form of co-facilitating conversations with cohorts for self-discovery of their own racism and connecting it with their faith. 

Throughout my ministry, I accompany leaders, congregations, and teams in coaching relationships targeted at formation, listening skills, and healthier working relationships. I am creative and seek to explore, empathize, innovate, navigate, and activate the change desired to be the best version of oneself, and their community. I serve on the Leadership Team for Leading Well and the Life of Faith Initiative, and I’m a member of the DEI team for Boundless Compassion.

Denise Utter

Vibrant Faith Coach

For more than 30 years, Denise Utter has embraced her vocation in the fields of education and ministry, these last six years focusing her energy and passion on coaching individuals, teams, cohorts, congregations, and non-profit organizations; primarily in the areas of leadership in ministry, team transitions, life transitions, change management, and ministry with families. She loves working with church leaders and their teams reimagining faith formation, navigating team transitions, life transitions, change management, and ministry with families. She is a trained coach in Vibrant Faith’s International Coaching Federation-certified program, is currently preparing for the ICF’s ACC Level test, and has aspirations of reaching the PCC Level in the near future. In addition to her coaching credentials, Denise holds a Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies and a Bachelor of Science in Education. Her commitment to ministry is evident through her roles on nonprofit organization boards and on advisory councils for religious orders. Denise listens for God’s nudges in the quiet, through journaling, reading the works of other seekers, in nature, on long walks, and in travel.

Janny Franken

Vibrant Faith Coach

Janny started coaching First Grade students through a program called “Odyssey of the Mind.” She guided students in small-group problem-solving by asking questions, sharing observations, but not giving answers. She enjoyed their creativity and critical thinking skills. She has a heart for coaching people in congregations, ministry leaders around the nation, and women in transition. Janny has a Dutch Master’s Degree in Educational Sciences, a Bachelor’s in Pedagogy, and has completed training to lead a Dutch Elementary School in a foreign country. She is an International Coaching Federation Associate Certified Coach, and has had her own coaching business since 2021. Janny has completed PCC (Professional Certified Coaching) training. Her favorite faith practice is listening to music and singing along—she finds God through music, in the car, during exercise, with her familyeverywhere!

Jason Bland

Vibrant Faith Coach

Jason D. Bland is an International Coaching Federation-certified coach, focused on supporting leaders as they develop solutions to their strategic problems. In addition to Jason’s professional coach training, he is also completing his doctorate in strategic leadership at Regent University, with a concentration on servant leadership. And hehas 15 years of hands-on leadership experience in the military and civilian business world. When Jason isn’t coaching he enjoys spending time on long walks so that he can take time to think, meditate, and praysupporting the development of his own clarity and focus.

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Jim Merhaut

Vibrant Faith Coach

Jim Merhaut has been coaching leaders and leadership teams for 10 years through his coaching business, Coaching to Connect. He specializes in organizational change. Jim holds a Master of Science degree in Religious Education with an emphasis in adult spiritual formation from Duquesne University. Jim also studied coaching through the Institute for Life Coach Training and received his PCC credential from the International Coaching Federation. He is also a Certified Reinvention Practitioner through the Reinvention Academy of Dr. Nadya Zhexembayeva.  

Jim moves fluidly among Episcopal, Catholic, ELCA Lutheran, UCC, and other mainline denominations in his life and work, and is especially interested in churches that want to engage in dynamic partnerships with community organizations beyond their campus. Jim’s nurtures his spirituality in silence, in nature, in reading, and in small communal spiritual practices.

María G. Covarrubias

Vibrant Faith Coach

María G. Covarrubias is a Vibrant Faith-trained coach working toward her ICF certification. Her specialty is coaching church leadership. She earned a Master of Arts in Religious Studies, and is certified in Christian Spirituality. María has an extensive professional experience in faith formation. She is Catholic, and her favorite faith practices are contemplative prayer, nature walks, and keeping a faith-life journal.

Rev. Dr. Mark A. Slaughter

Vibrant Faith Coach

As your coach, I provide a relational space that feels safe and free from judgment. I listen intently to what you are saying and ask caring questions that allow for deeper conversations and insightful next steps. My goal is not to “fix” you, but to accompany you to deeper self-awareness. Becoming your best self requires an investment of time, and I consider it my calling and privilege to accompany you through this process. I am qualified to help you in the areas of career discernment, leadership, worship, spiritual formation, and emotional intelligence. I am an associate certified coach with the International Coaching Federation and have completed training for the professional level of certified coach.   

I believe coaching is a partnership based on trust, where the coachee experiences greater discernment and clear steps to move forward. I can coach both individuals and teams. For the past 30 years I’ve served in local congregations—my desire and calling is to help others flourish through spiritual formation. I currently serve in an ELCA church but spent many years in the Baptist denomination. My educational experience includes a Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary, Master of Divinity and Church Music from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Bachelor of Music from Belmont University. I love to experience God leading worship in the local church and I find peace in God’s amazing outdoor sanctuary. My primary spiritual practices are reading, listening to music, and my small group.

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Rev. Dr. Tanya Campen

Vibrant Faith Coach

Rev. Dr. Tanya Campen has more than 15 years of consulting and teaching experience, along with three years of coaching experience. She is currently working on her hours towards an International Coaching Federation certification. Her specialty/interest areas include: Ministry with Children, Intergenerational Ministry, Leadership in Ministry, Productivity, and Time Management. She enjoys engaging ministry leaders, guiding them to their next best step toward their goals.  

Tanya has a PhD in Christian Education and Congregational Studies. This includes a focus on Children’s Spirituality and Quantitative Research. She enjoys listening for how God is at work in and through people’s stories and experiences. Tanya is a United Methodist deacon with more than 20 years of ministry experience in diverse contexts. One of Tanya’s favorite faith practices that keeps her grounded and connected to God is running. She deeply enjoys this time in God’s beautiful creation.

Rev. Erik Samuelson

Vibrant Faith Coach

Erik Samuelson, MDiv, MA, PCC, is a leadership, vocation, transition, and transformation coach who works with individuals, teams, companies, churches, non-profits, and educational institutions. Erik holds the Professional Certified Coach (PCC) credential from the International Coaching Federation, is a certified Church Planter Coach through Fuller Seminary, and is trained in community organizing, discernment, and clearness practices. He is the founder of Come Alive Coaching, which offers coaching, workshops, practices, and resources to individuals and communities looking to deepen their impact, renew their organization, navigate transition, and develop leaders.  

 As a former college professor and campus pastor, Erik delights in helping young adults (and not-so-young adults) discover their calling and live into their vocational potential. His faith is nurtured by a variety of contemplative spiritual practices, and he feels closest to God when wandering in the North Cascades mountains near Seattle. He is a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and has led, consulted, and coached a number of new ministry starts, networks, and congregational renewal efforts. He is a coach, MasterClass teacher, and coaching school faculty member with Vibrant Faith.

Rev. Michael Droege

Vibrant Faith Coach

Rev. Michael Droege has been coaching churches and ministry leaders for 20 years, predominantly in the area of intergenerational and adolescent formation. His academic life includes a Masters in Theology from Drew University, where he currently teaches courses on faith formation, and a PhD in practical theology from the University of Pretoria slated for completion in the Spring of 2024. Michael is an ordained minister with the International Council of Community Churches. Michael finds most of his expression in writing weekly columns for an online newsletter, academic journals, and as a contributor to the edited volumes The Generative Church and Engage all Generations. He not only writes to contribute his part to conversations around ministry, but it is his spiritual practice, taking time every day to write thoughts, poems, stories, and reflections as he moves through his life.

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Rev. Paul Oppedahl

Vibrant Faith Coach

Paul’s coaching is a natural outgrowth of his training in transitional ministry, organizational systems theory, community organizing, and his passion to make a difference in his community and the world. An ordained ELCA pastor since 1995, Paul has served multiple congregations in transition as well as long-term pastorates. He presently serves Sabylund Lutheran Church in Stockholm, Wisconsin. Paul is skilled in leading during times of transition when clear, goal-oriented, strategic planning and deliberate follow-through is necessary.  

 As an International Coaching Federation-certified coach, Paul effectively partners with you in a thought-provoking and creative process to resonate more deeply with God’s plan for you. Paul received his bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf College and his Master of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary. He is trained in intentional interim ministry, family and organizational systems theory, community organizing, and life/career/leadership coaching. He enjoys beautiful weather during all seasons, travel, woodworking, theater, all kinds of music, and time with family.

Rev. Shana Peachey Boshart

Vibrant Faith Coach

Shana has been coaching since 2019 when she joined the very first Vibrant Faith Coaching School class. A member of the International Coaching Federation, she holds the ACC certification and has taken PCC training while she’s working toward the PCC certification. Her calling is to coach pastors, middle judicatory leaders, and denominational leaders. Shana has been mentoring pastors and lay formation leaders for 25 years in the Mennonite Church USA, first as a conference minister then as a denominational minister. Now, she is the owner of Wisdom Calls Coaching. Her training in intercultural competence and spiritual direction are evident in her coaching. She is a graduate of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary. A favorite faith practice is the practice of presence; that is, practicing an awareness of God’s good presence in each moment and in each person.

Tony Myles

Vibrant Faith Coach

Tony Myles is a multi-faceted ministry veteran, conference speaker, and author with a passion for all people and the future of the church. He’s served that calling for more than 30 years as a Senior Pastor and Youth Pastor. He currently serves on the Pastoral Leadership Team at Riverside Church in Big Lake, Minnesota (Christian and Missionary Alliance), and teaches as an adjunct professor at Crown College. He has a Master’s Degree from Indiana Wesleyan University. He began his ministry journey through a two-year internship at Willow Creek Community Church, is certified as a Paraprofessional in Youth Counseling, and has been trained as a Coach through Vibrant Faith’s ICFcertified program. His coaching specialties include Ministry Leaders, Church Teams, Family/Intergenerational Conversations, and Youth/Young Adults. One of his favorite ways to connect with God is by intentionally listening and inviting Him into everything all day long, turning every experience (great or small) into a spiritual one.

Rev. Dr. Von Clemans

Vibrant Faith Coach

I have been coaching teams, individuals, and ministry leaders for the past six years. I enjoy walking alongside clients while they clarify their personal and organizational values and mission, and as they decide next steps for personal and professional growth. A particular passion is coaching faith-formation leaders of all types, but especially those serving in the “second chair” (leading, but not in charge). I am an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) with the International Coaching Federation. I served for over four decades in the Presbyterian Church (USA) mostly in faith formation ministries. I have received an M.Div., an M.A. in Christian Education, and a D.Ed.Min. I co-authored Making Disciples, Making Leaders – a Manual for Presbyterian Church Leader Development. I am a past president of the Association of Partners in Christian Education (APCE) and in 2022 was awarded their Sustain: Lifetime Achievement Award. I continue to engage with Family Systems Theory as a guide for my personal and professional life. My most powerful faith practice is reading (individually and in groups), theology, biblical interpretation, and leadership theory and re/discovering how the biblical story continues to inform our faith and practice from generation to generation.

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