Cornerstone University and Grand Rapids Theological Seminary Welcome New Faculty Members
by Jaleesa Stanford
Cornerstone University strives to reach academic and spiritual excellence. Professors who are passionately dedicated to their disciplines, to their students and to God are what makes Cornerstone stand apart.
This fall, CU is pleased to announce the appointment of four new traditional undergraduate and three new seminary faculty members who are committed to influencing students and our world for Christ.
Dr. Jenny Chien, Assistant Professor of Counseling
Dr. Jenny Chien, who begins teaching residentially at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary this fall, holds a doctoral degree in counseling from Florida Atlantic University and has more than a decade of field experience as a counselor. Her research interests include issues of attachment and resilience, university mental health and spirituality in counseling.
In her spare time, Dr. Chien enjoys outdoor activities and prioritizes opportunities to connect with her husband, son and daughter.
Dr. Desmond Ikegwuonu, Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Worship Arts
Desmond Ikegwuonu, assistant professor of music and director of worship arts, is a composer, pianist, conductor and singer who was born in Lagos, Nigeria. He holds a bachelor's degree in music composition from Houston Baptist University and a master's degree in composition from the Moores School of Music.
Desmond earned his Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition degree at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Dr. Kendra Jackson, Assistant Professor of Counseling
Dr. Kendra Jackson, assistant professor of counseling at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision from Ohio University. Her research interests include leadership and advocacy; play therapy; multicultural issues; and the intersection of religion, spirituality, ethnicity and mental health.
In her spare time, Dr. Jackson's hobbies include baking, playing with dogs at the animal shelter, shopping, trying different foods, bowling, traveling and visiting with family and friends.
Brad Porter, Assistant Professor of Film Production
Brad Porter (B.A. '08), assistant professor of film production, is a film production director and cinematographer who has spent the last 18 months living, working and teaching at Coventry University in England before rejoining the faculty at Cornerstone University.
He earned his M.F.A. from Chapman University and is currently finishing a feature film he directed in partnership Cornerstone colleagues Pete Muir and Cam Lewis as well as alumni Kemp Lyons and Katie Fox-Webb.
Outside of work, Brad enjoys playing board games, gardening and hiking with his wife, Meg.
Dr. Kenneth Reid, Assistant Professor of Systematic & Historical Theology
Dr. Kenneth Reid, assistant professor of systematic and historical theology at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, earned a Doctorate of Philosophy in Systematic Theology from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His research interests include atonement theology, the Trinity, pneumatology, hermeneutics, and biblical justice and racial reconciliation.
Outside the classroom, Dr. Reid enjoys keeping his chess game sharp, reading theology and history, watching documentaries and cheering for the Georgia Bulldogs and all Atlanta-based teams (i.e., Falcons, Hawks and Braves).
Shawn Sudduth, Assistant Professor of Music Education
Shawn Sudduth, assistant professor of music education, is a native of Webberville, Mich., and earned a bachelor's degree in music education at Western Michigan University. Her teaching experience includes all grades preschool through the university level, and she has led bands, choirs, orchestras and worship teams in Michigan, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota and Kentucky.
Her master's degree is in education with an emphasis in teacher leadership. Her most recent position was as Music Education Director at University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky., where she and her husband, Steve, served for nine years.
Shawn and Steve have three children: Jacob, Luke and Neva Grace.
Matthew Williams, Assistant Professor of Engineering
Matthew Williams, assistant professor of engineering, is responsible for pioneering the newly-minted traditional undergraduate engineering program, which includes teaching, fostering a partnership with Grand Valley State's school of engineering and long-term strategic planning.
Prior to coming to Cornerstone, Matthew served in the U.S. Navy as an engineer and program manager for the installation of nuclear reactors onto the USS Gerald R. Ford—the Navy's newest aircraft carrier. He was also integral to a classical Christian school start-up in Hudsonville, Mich., where he designed curriculum and taught for three years at the rhetoric level in the math, science and Bible departments.
Matthew received a bachelor's in civil engineering from M.I.T. in 2007, a master's in nuclear engineering from Penn State University in 2010, a master's in engineering management from Old Dominion University in 2012, and a M.Div. in Pastoral and Teaching Ministry from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary in 2017.
Matthew is married to his wife, Allie, of 10 years.
Cornerstone University is a Christ-centered university with a passion for global influence through the transforming power of the gospel. As an interdenominational institution located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Cornerstone offers traditional undergraduate programs as well as adult undergraduate and graduate programs through the Professional & Graduate Studies division, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary and Asia Biblical Theological Seminary.