Meet Our Board Members
Reverend Doctor John W. Saleska
Rev. Dr. John W. Saleska is the Director of the Concordia Bible Institute. He was a professor for 23 years at Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, IN, teaching such courses as Old and New Testament, Bible Psychology, Counseling, and Homiletics. He was also chairman of the Department of Pastoral Ministry and Missions. Before that he taught for 23 years at St. John’s College in Winfield, KS. He has received degrees from St. Paul’s College, Concordia, MO and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. His graduate work in Psychology and Guidance and Counseling was done at Washington University in St. Louis and Wichita State University, Wichita, KS. He received an honorary doctorate from Concordia University, River Forest, Il. Dr. Saleska joined the Concordia Bible Institute as Director in December of 2000. Currently he also serves on the Advisory Board of the Women’s Leadership Institute of Concordia University Wisconsin. He and his wife, Sallie, are the parents of four children and grandparents of twelve children.
Coordinator for Lay Studies
Reverend Doctor John Oberdeck
Rev. Dr. John Oberdeck is Professor of Theology, Director for Lay Ministry, and the Coordinator for Lay Studies at Concordia University Wisconsin. He is a 1979 graduate of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, and received his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Missouri – Columbia in 1999. For ten years Dr. Oberdeck served parishes in central (Trinity, Stewardson and St. Paul, Sigel Dual-Parish) and southern Illinois (Zion, Litchfield). From 1989 to 2002 Oberdeck served as an associate professor in the practical department on the faculty of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis; at various times directing the field education, continuing education and Doctor of Ministry programs. He is in his eleventh year at Concordia University Wisconsin. Besides his administrative duties, Dr. Oberdeck teaches courses in theology and youth ministry, and recently published a book Eutychus Youth on the subject of theology in youth ministry practice.
Mr. Phil Meinzen is a Sr. Gift Planning counselor-Coordinator of Training and Consulting for the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod Foundation. His experience in education, counseling, gift planning and development spans thirty years. He has served with many organizations to facilitate and guide strategic success for mission advancement. He earned his BA Degree from Concordia College, Seward, Nebraska in 1977 and a Masters Degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1984. He is a Certified Fund Raising Professional, a Certified Development Executive, and a Christian Gift Planner. “When I am privileged to encourage people who have been given a generous spirit, and to teach the faith-filled how to uncover their “best gifts” in light of spiritual, personal, economic, and tax optimization, the result is pure joy.” The Concordia Bible Institute has been blessed to have Phil on its Advisory Board.
Ellen Leslie has been a long time member of Trinity Lutheran Church-Freistadt. She is a graduate of Concordia University Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Management and Communication. She became Operations Coordinator at the university for the Concordia Bible Institute in July 2010 and has been Administrative Assistant for the Lay Ministry Program since July 2004. She is married to Tom who is a physics and math instructor at MATC, and they have identical twin sons. Ellen is a Place of Refuge volunteer and enjoys book club, golf and gardening.
Mr. Jim Behrens is a member of Pilgrim Lutheran Church in West Bend, WI. He has been a member of the Concordia Bible Institute Advisory Board since 2005. Jim has a degree in Agriculture from the University of Illinois and has worked in marketing for the John Deere Company for 24 years where he was Product Manager for several lines of consumer products. Jim operates a marketing communications company, Behrens Services, in West Bend, Wisconsin. Jim and his wife, Diane, have two daughters and one grandchild. Jim enjoys studying the Bible, attending farm auctions, visiting his mother and brothers in Illinois, and vacationing with his wife; they have been on a Caribbean cruise and hope to go again. Jim would like to see more people taking advantage of the many excellent learning opportunities the Bible Institute provides.
Doctor William R. Cario
Dr. William R. Cario earned his B.A. in history and secondary education at Concordia College, River Forest, Illinois, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in American history at New York University, New York, New York. Before coming to CUW, he taught social studies at elementary and secondary schools in New York City; he also taught at University of Maryland – Baltimore County and Wesley College, Dover, Delaware. At Concordia he has taught courses in United States and Latin American history while serving as the History Department chair. In May 1998 he was appointed Assistant Vice President of Academics; in January 2006 he was appointed Vice President of Academics. He was named Senior Vice President of Academics in 2008. He has published several articles and has co-edited, with Dr. Angus Menuge and Dr. Alberto Garcia, and contributed an article to, a book, Christ and Culture in Dialog (St. Louis: Concordia Academic Press, 1999). Bill lives in Mequon with his wife Cheryl and two sons David and Stephen.
Mr. Terry Donovan retired in March, 2002 after 34 years with United Parcel Service. During that time, he and his wife, Sandra, relocated 12 times giving both of them countless opportunities to learn and roles to fill, most of them in leadership and/or training capacities working both domestically and abroad. Terry retired from UPS as the Vice President of Human Resources for UPS e-Ventures which explored and initiated new business opportunities. Terry graduated from Concordia College in 1967 and from the University of Wisconsin in 1972. He and Sandra have served congregations of the LCMS as Sunday school teachers and members of a Call Committee. Additionally, Terry has participated on a visioning committee. They are currently members of Rivercliff Lutheran Church, Dunwoody, Georgia where Terry serves as Chair of the Capital Campaign and Chair of the Building Committee. He serves on the CUW Board of Regents, the Foundation Board, and Advisory Board of the Concordia Bible Institute.
Mr. Jim Frerking is an Account Executive for Liberty Mutual in their National Insurance Commercial Accounts Group. He joined Liberty Mutual in 1990 as a Loss Control Engineer before moving to the Commercial Sales Department in 1993. During his career with Liberty Mutual he has worked in St. Louis, Omaha, Chicago, and Detroit. Jim currently works out of their Milwaukee, WI office working with large commercial clients to solve their risk management challenges. Jim is originally from Columbia, MO and graduated from the University of Missouri-Rolla (now the Missouri Institute of Science & Technology) where he was a three-year letterman on the UMR football team. Jim graduated with a B.S. in Engineering Management in 1990. He lives in Oconomowoc, WI with his wife, Karen, and children RJ, Rachel, and Timothy. He is a member of Peace Lutheran Church in Sussex, WI and his children all attend Peace Lutheran Academy. Jim currently serves as the Vice-Chairman of the Parish Council at Peace and as the Financial Development Coordinator for Peace Lutheran Academy.
Mr. Bruce Gilbert is a passionate man of faith and a proud, founding member of the Concordia Bible Institute. It is his fervent desire that more people study the Bible and that the Bible Institute be an integral arm of Concordia University Wisconsin as it continues to reach out to more lay people and students. He would eventually like to see the Bible Institute become a Bible College and that Concordia University Wisconsin become known as THE Bible School in Wisconsin. Mr. Gilbert has been involved in the aggregate and ready mix industry for over 50 years. He and Ellen, his wife of almost 40 years, have five children, Susan deceased. In addition to the Bible Institute, Mr. Gilbert is interested in his family, work, ranching, hunting, reading, and has authored a book entitled Hunting & Horse Trails From Mongolia to the Yukon.
Doctor Nathan Jastram
Dr. Jastram received his doctoral degree in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University. His dissertation was the initial publication of the scroll of Numbers (4QNumb) from the Dead Sea Scrolls. He has published several articles and made many presentations on the Dead Sea Scrolls, Bible translations, and the image of God. His publications include: “A Comparison of Two ‘Proto-Samaritan’ Texts from Qumran: 4QpaleoExodm and 4QNumb,” “Hierarchy at Qumran,” “Scientists Called to Be Like God,” “Man as Male and Female: Created in the Image of God.” He was born and raised in Japan, the son of missionary parents. He is a professor of theology and the chair of the Department of Theology and Philosophy at Concordia University Wisconsin
Mr. Van Komurka received a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin–Platteville, and an M.S.degree in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University. Since graduation, he has worked as a geotechnical engineer, first for several Milwaukee-area firms, and for the last 18 years with Wagner Komurka Geotechnical Group in Cedarburg. Van and his wife Paula live outside West Bend, and have two sons: Andrew, who is a sophomore studying mechanical engineering at Michigan Tech, and Joel, who is a freshman at Living Word Lutheran High School. In his free time, Van enjoys cars and motorcycles, reading, and road trips. He is a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Grafton. He played piano on the contemporary worship team for 10 years at his previous church, St. John’s West Bend. Van has been a loyal member of the Concordia Bible Institute’s In-Depth Bible Study since it began.
Doctor Gary Locklair
Dr. Gary Locklair is professor and chair of the Computer Science program at Concordia University Wisconsin. He is also director of the Information Technology masters program. Gary has been at Concordia since 1986. He double majored with a B.A. in Chemistry and a B.S. in Computer Science, then went on to earn a Ph. D. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University. While continuing his learning, Gary worked as a programmer/analyst, software engineer, technical marketing engineer, and software programs manager for a host of companies. Gary has also been an active researcher in the field of cosmogony (the science of origins) for the past 25 years. He and his wife Karen have five children: Josh, Sabrina, David, Daniel, and Valerie. His hobbies include photography, trapshooting, motorcycles, and automobiles. He and his wife are members of St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Port Washington.
Mrs. Sarah Pecor is the Executive Director of Continuing and Distance Education. She ensures optimal support for learning and equipping students to have a successful online experience. This involves supporting continuous development, implementation, and refinement of online courses, programs, and services based on a culture of assessment and research. She works directly with Marketing and Admissions to develop effective marketing and recruitment processes as well as managing, reviewing, and forecasting budget needs. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Science degree from UW-Stout and Master of Business Administration in Management from Concordia University Wisconsin. She has 25 years of management experience, 22 of which are from CUW!
Sarah is also actively involved in her home church and School, First Immanuel Lutheran in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. She is an active member and volunteer at FIL and has served on the Parent/Teacher advisory board and other church related groups. She is also actively involved in Boy Scouts. Sarah lives in Cedarburg with her husband and teenage son.
President Reverend Doctor John Willie
President Rev. Dr. John Willie was born in November of 1952 in Watertown, Wisconsin. He attended college at Northwestern in Watertown, with pastoral training at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Thiensville. He is married to Lynn and has three daughters. He has served congregations in Ohio, Illinois and Wisconsin. Rev. Wille has served as President of the South Wisconsin District since August of 2006. He is responsible for ecclesiastical oversight of 212 congregations, multiple schools and high schools. He sits on the Concordia University Wisconsin Board of Regents. He also represents South Wisconsin District on the LCMS Council of Presidents of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.