As associate dean for urban and multicultural programs in Azusa Pacific Seminary, Enrique Zone, Ed.D., equips Hispanic and urban church leaders to minister the Gospel in a culturally relevant way. In his position of leadership in the seminary, Zone draws on years of ministerial and administrative experience as a senior pastor, cabinet member, and Hispanic regional superintendent of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, and as executive director of Asociación Teológica Hispana. Zone has also authored numerous articles on church leadership, publishing in the Hispano Bulletin, Refleciones, and Connection. He serves as director of the MATUL program.

Viv Grigg, Ph.D., has lived among the marginalized and in slum communities in Manila, Calcutta, Sao Paulo, and Los Angeles. Led by the Spirit, he has catalyzed several networks of workers who choose to live in the slums of more than 40 emerging mega-cities, creating a plethora of organizations that transform poverty. Trained in theology, community organization, and urban anthropology, he is also the author of Companion to the Poor (Authentic Media and World Vision, 2004), Cry of the Urban Poor (Authentic Media and World Vision, 2004), and The Spirit of Christ & the Postmodern City (Urban Leadership Foundation and Emeth Press, 2009), along with other works. Grigg serves as an associate professor in the MATUL program, teaching Building Faith Communities, Leadership of Urban Movements, and other courses.

Michael A. Mata, M.Div., has led and equipped others in urban transformation for more than 30 years through the creation of community and church-based programs. His work is focused on community transformation, youth leadership development, public health, intercultural outreach, and multiethnic ministry. Mata serves as community transformation specialist for Compassion Creates Change, Inc., and served as the director of tools for transformation for World Vision U.S. programs. He has nearly 20 years of experience in urban pastoral leadership, and is director of the Los Angeles Track of the M.A. in Transformational Urban Leadership program. Mata holds degrees in biblical literature, religion, and urban planning.

Don Thorsen, Ph.D., has served in Azusa Pacific Seminary since 1988. In addition to being widely published, Thorsen travels internationally, presenting on various theological topics. He has been an associate/ contributing editor to Christianity Today, Light and Life, and Christian Scholar’s Review. Thorsen teaches master’s and doctoral classes and holds membership in such societies as the American Academy of Religion, the Wesleyan Theological Society, and the Oxford Institute. He teaches Contextual and Global Theology for the MATUL program.

Alice Yafeh-Deigh, Ph.D., is an associate professor of biblical studies. Her areas of expertise, research, and teaching interests include New Testament exegesis, Greco-Roman sexual ethics, cultural hermeneutics, feminist hermeneutics, postcolonial hermeneutics, and literary and rhetorical methods of biblical interpretation. She teaches The Synoptic Gospels for the MATUL program.

Kevin Young, M.Div., is pastor of a culturally and ethnically diverse church in Inglewood, California. His passion is to equip leaders toward city transformation through incarnational engagement. He teaches Biblical Theology in an Urban Context, Urban Reality and Theology, and Service Among the Marginalized for the MATUL program.

Adjunct Faculty

Rie Manabe-Kim, D.I.S., is trained and experienced in intercultural communication and missiology. Her passion and calling is cross-cultural missions, and she enjoys teaching language and culture learning that focuses on the development of meaningful relationships within the communities where students live. She facilitates the Language and Culture Acquisition class for the MATUL program.

Maryada Vallet, M.P.H., has spent her academic and professional career focusing on the health of vulnerable populations. She served as a program officer for World Vision’s relief efforts in the Horn of Africa and provided leadership for a migrant aid station on the U.S.-Mexico border. Vallet serves as a consultant for NGOs and teaches the Primary Health Care course for the MATUL program.

Global Faculty

Attorney Raineer Chu, D.Min., is based in Manila, Philippines, and has served extensively in urban marginalized ministry through advocacy and land rights, church planting, microfinance, and urban planning. Since 1981 he has practiced law focusing on land rights, labor, and tax law. He teaches for Asian Theological Seminary, and the course Advocacy and the Urban Environment in the MATUL program.

Alvin Mbola, M.S., is a teacher, community development practitioner, and researcher who focuses on quality of life for urban informal settlements. He is managing partner for Kileleni Africa, a development consultancy firm, and teaches Community Transformation at St. Paul’s University in Nairobi, Kenya, and for the MATUL program.

Indigenous Experts

At some partner sites, students attend classes taught by indigenous practitioner-theologians from partnering institutions. Students gain hands-on knowledge relating to ministry and development in their communities from these experts.

Note: This information is current for the 2015-16 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.