Meet the Staff
Mark S. Dickerson, JD, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President and General Counsel
Mark S. Dickerson was appointed general counsel of APU in January 2002 and was named the vice president for legal and community affairs of the university in 2003. He has been practicing law since 1976 and has served in private practice, as general counsel for a multinational corporation listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and as a member of a crisis management team addressing the legal and financial issues facing a large charitable organization involved in one of the largest charitable bankruptcy proceedings in U.S. history.
Dickerson received a B.S. in Mathematics from Grand Canyon University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, an M.A. in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary, and both an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Systems from Fielding Graduate University. He has an appointment as associate professor in the Department of Leadership and College Student Development in the School of Behavioral and Applied Sciences and teaches a number of graduate classes. He and his wife, Barbara, have two children and reside in Azusa, California.
J. Christopher Jennings, JD
Associate General Counsel
Chris joined Azusa Pacific University in 2011 as the associate general counsel, assisting the general counsel with advising administrators and key leaders on legal matters affecting the university, managing litigation, reviewing and approving university contracts, and training the university community on legal topics. Prior to joining APU, Chris practiced law at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in Los Angeles for eight years, representing major multinational corporations and partnerships in a wide variety of industries. While in private practice, he specialized in antitrust, securities, and legal malpractice defense and gained experience at all levels of federal and California courts. Chris began his legal career clerking for the Honorable Nathaniel M. Gorton in the United States District Court in Massachusetts, and he was an adjunct professor in APU’s Department of History and Political Science.
Chris received a B.A. in History and Political Science from APU in 1996, and a JD from Boston University School of Law in 2002. He lives in Pasadena with his wife, Sara (Finley ’98), and their three children. He’s a member of Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena and serves as chair of the board of directors of Bienvenidos Children’s Center, Inc., a Los Angeles-based organization dedicated to healing children and their families.
Brenda Harrison Young, JD
Assistant General Counsel
Prior to joining the Office of the General Counsel, Brenda Harrison Young was the executive director of human resources at APU for nearly five years. Prior to coming to APU, Brenda served as the regional director of human resources for CBS, Inc., director of business and legal affairs for KTLA-TV in Los Angeles, and director of human resources and corporate counsel for the Shoah Foundation. Brenda earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from UCLA, and her JD from the University of Southern California Law School.
Joyce Foster began serving as legal assistant and paralegal for the Office of the General Counsel in 2002. Prior to joining APU, she began working in the legal field as a court transcriber for two Los Angeles-based court reporting firms. She later worked for two firms in Pasadena, most recently with a firm partner specializing in family law. Her experience in two well-known Los Angeles-area Christian law firms includes personal injury, criminal, and family law.
Updated: September 5, 2014