Directors

James Philo Theodore, M.Div., Ph.D.

Dr. Theodore is the Founding Director and Chief Instructor of The Institute for Intellectual Formation and Skeptical Inquiry. Prior to his current profession, Dr. Theodore served a member of the U.S. Army Special Operations Forces from 1995-2000. He graduated from Concordia University-Wisconsin with a B.A. in Liberal Arts (2004) and Concordia Theological Seminary with a M.Div. in Systematic Theology (2008). He also pursued his doctoral studies at CTS, and was awarded his Ph.D. in 2011. In the interest of his professional development and dissertation research, Dr. Theodore also studied questions at the interface of science and religion at Princeton Theological Seminary. In addition to his work at the Institute, he also lectures as an adjunct professor at CTS and throughout the area. His areas of specialty include religious epistemology, the integration of science and religion, philosophical theology, and Islamic studies.

Chad Van Meter, B.A.

Chad Van Meter is the Director of the Institute’s northeast satellite location. Chad has a distinct interest in helping young adults think clearly. Chad holds a B.A. in Philosophy and Religion from Spring Arbor University and received his colloquy in Christian Education at Concordia University, St. Paul. He has been working with youth and young adults for over 15 years, particularly encouraging a more robust Christian understanding of the world, culture, and art. He is currently serving at Holy Cross in Fort Wayne, IN.

Rev. Henry Graf, M.A., M.Div.

Henry Graf serves as Director of the northwest satellite location of our Institute. Henry is the Senior Pastor of Promise Ministries, Fort Wayne, IN. Henry began his career in the ministry by serving as a summer camp counselor at Camp Lutherhaven. A few years into college, he had the opportunity to tour the West Coast with one of Youth Encounter’s Captive Free teams. Having served in various professional ministry settings, he earned an M.A. in Communication and went on to teach at IPFW in the Communications Department. Having served at Promise as Youth Director beginning in 2000, he was called back after completing his M.Div. from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne. Pastor Graf is a published author and is invited to speak internationally. He enjoys reading, writing, and drinking Old Crown Coffee. He loves spending time with his wife and two daughters, and could not be happier in Fort Wayne serving at Promise.

Rev. Heath Trampe, M.Div.

Heath Trampe directs the Institute’s newest satellite location. Heath serves as Associate Pastor at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, a congregation of over 2000 souls, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He earned a B.A. in Interpersonal Communication from Concordia University Nebraska in 2005 and an M.Div. from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, in 2010. He is currently pursuing a Doctor of Ministry degree, also from CTS. Heath is a published author (www.tripillarpublishing.com) who has traveled throughout the United States sharing his Extraordinary News for Ordinary People, and hopes to write a sequel in the near future. At this time, Heath is collaborating with Dr. Joseph P. Gudel and others to create a uniquely apologetic Lutheran world religion text. He enjoys reading, writing, teaching, caffeine, movies, and spending time with his wife and two sons. He and his family have been very blessed by their time at St. Peter’s, and he finds great joy in serving God’s people.