ECSW Lay School of Ministry is blessed with well respected and knowledgeable instructors. Each love what they do and look forward to walking with you on this journey of faith formation.

Pastor Cheryl Davis

Core Education Instructor:
Faith & Spirituality

Pastor Cheryl Davis has been the pastor for almost five years at First English Lutheran Church in Wisconsin Rapids. She was introduced to Lutheran theology when she was 25 years old and knew her heart had come home in the message of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Her passion is to bring other hearts “home” as they learn of Christ’s love for them and grow in relationship to him. She loves solitude, reflection, writing, walking, conversations and nature. Pastor Cheryl is married to Horace. Together they share four adult children and their spouses and 13 grandchildren.

Rev. Ryan G. Eikenbary

Core Education Instructor:
New Testament

I am the Faith Life Pastor at First English Lutheran in Appleton, WI. I am a northern California native who served at a church in Stockton, CA before moving to Wisconsin in January of 2022. I attended The Masters University in Southern California, earning a BA in Biblical Studies. My graduate studies include an MA in Church History from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific and an MDiv from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary. My thesis for my MA is titled “And God Spoke in England: Puritan Iconoclasm and the Creation of the Verbal Icon”. In addition to my parish work, I was an adjunct professor in ethics and religious history courses at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA. When I am not working, I enjoy reading, cooking, working in our garden, swimming, and spending time with my family. I have been married since 2012 and my spouse and I have two adopted children.

Rev. Mark Granquist

Core Education Instructor:
Church History

Mark Granquist is an ordained ELCA pastor, who has taught at Luther Seminary, St Paul, Minnesota for the last 15 years.  Prior to this he taught at St Olaf College and Gustavus Adolphus College, and served a congregation in Rochester, Minnesota.  He lives in Northfield, Minnesota with his wife Kathy, and they have two adult children and one granddaughter. His area of expertise is the history of Christianity, especially in America.

Pastor Rachel Knoke

Continuing Education Instructor:
The Art of Preaching

My name is Pastor Rachel Knoke and I have been serving at Trinity Lutheran in Green Bay since 2015.Prior to that, I spent a decade in Washington state at a L’Arche community, living and working with adults with developmental disabilities. Academically, I graduated from Luther Seminary in 2007 with an MA in New Testament Studies and then graduated again in 2014 with an MDiv. (I like school.)

I love what I do and love serving alongside the people of Trinity. These years in “official” ministry are beginning to teach me patience and humility, both of which have proven to be far more helpful to service than my natural inclinations towards compulsion and pride. (Funny how that works, eh?)

When not pastoring, I love tinkering outside and gardening in the summer and a good book or jigsaw puzzle in the winter. I currently live with my spouse, our adorably cute, three-legged jerk of a dog, and two teenagers (pray for us!), all of whom I love dearly.

Pastor John Meachen

Continuing Education Instructor:

Pastor John has taught as part of the East Central Synod of Wisconsin Lay School of Ministry for all but one year beginning in 2005 until the present. His primary focus has been Martin Luther, Reformation history, and Lutheran confessional theology. Stemming from a deep love of congregational life, his continuing education classes have been focused on exploring and building the health of the local parish and its leaders.

Pastor John served as a parish pastor for 34 years in North Dakota and Wisconsin before accepting the position as the Executive Director of Crossways Camping Ministries in 2011.

Pastor John officially retired in 2017 and lives with his wife Jan in their home south of Rhinelander, WI.

Pastor Phyllis Smoot

Continuing Education Instructor:

My name is Phyllis Smoot and I currently serve Saint John in Mosinee Wisconsin, and have since April 14, 2020.  My first call was a two point parish and Kendallville and Albion, Indiana.  I was ordained in 2009 at the congregation I was baptized and married in on the Northside of Chicago.  I have a great spouse, Justin Smoot, two daughters, Lillian and Genevieve, and two dogs, Yoda and Lucy.  For fun I enjoy spending time outside, volunteering with the Mosinee Community Theater, Girl Scouts, and the local AFS chapter.  AFS is an international student exchange program.

I attended Valparaiso University where my deep studies of theology and scripture began.  I majored in Psychology and minored in Hebrew and Theology.  Learning the languages of Hebrew and Greek, translating the scriptures, and studying them, has given me a deep knowledge of the Bible and a knack for teaching this to others so that the scriptures can be renewed in their lives.

Dr. Jennifer Hornyak Wojciechowski

Continuing Education Instructor:
Women and the Christian Story: A Global History

Jennifer Hornyak Wojciechowski is assistant professor of church history at Luther Seminary. Prior to this, she taught in the religion department at Augsburg University.

She is author of the book Women and the Christian Story: A Global History (Fortress, 2022) and numerous articles. Her research focuses on women’s history, American history, and the intersection of religion and social reform. She is also the associate editor of the journal Word & World.

She lives in Minnesota with her husband, two children, and tabby cat. She enjoys drinking coffee with friends, playing her banjo, and traveling.

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