About / Faculty

J.A. Pagán, M.Div., Ph.D. 

Dr. J.A. Pagán is the founder and Chief Instructor of The Institute for Intellectual Formation & Skeptical Inquiry. Prior to his current profession, he served our nation as a member of the U.S. Army Special Operations Forces (1995-2000). J.A completed his M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees at Concordia Theological Seminary (2008; 2011). During his doctoral dissertation research, he also studied problems at the intersection of science and religion at Princeton Theological Seminary (2009-11). In addition to his work at the Institute, he is also a graduate school professor, business consultant, and author (Making the Case for Christianity: Responding to Modern Objections). His areas of specialty include analytic religious epistemology, philosophical theology, worldview theory, integration of science and religion, and Islamic studies.

Chad Van Meter, B.A.
Chad Van Meter directs The Institute’s northeast satellite location. Chad has a distinct interest in teaching young adults to reflect with clarity on rigorous concepts and contentious issues. Chad holds a B.A. in Philosophy and Religion from Spring Arbor University (1998), and received his colloquy in Christian Education at Concordia University, St. Paul (2008). He has worked with youth and young adults for nearly 20 years, particularly encouraging a more intellectually robust Christian understanding of the world, culture, and art. He is the Minister of Discipleship at Holy Cross Lutheran (Fort Wayne) and is currently deployed to Lafayette, IN as the Director of Community Ministry at University Lutheran.

Heath Trampe, M.Div., D.Min.
Rev. Dr. Heath Trampe is the Senior Pastor of Faith Lutheran Church, a growing, vibrant congregation in York, Nebraska. After completing his B.A. in Communications from Concordia University Nebraska in 2005, he the earned his M.Div. and D. Min. degrees at Concordia Theological Seminary (2010; 2015). In 2018, Concordia Nebraska named Heath as its Young Alumnus of the Year for his work in the parish and beyond. His 2009 book Extraordinary News for Ordinary People, which highlights the extraordinary work of God in the lives of ordinary people.

Outside of parish ministry, Heath speaks on the topic of congregational involvement and the unique nature of rural and small town ministry. He has also taught courses on Christian Apologetics and World Religions. From 2008-09, Heath served as a full time missionary in Riga, Latvia, and in 2013, he taught at the CLET seminary in Togo, West Africa.


What is “intellectual formation”? In Rom. 12:2, the apostle Paul writes, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

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