About Our Facilitators

Ruthanne Lynch

Agency United World Mission

Courses: Equipping, Language Learning Accelerator, Debrief Retreat

Ruthanne’s love for cultures began at an early age. She was raised in the home of a pastor with frequent missionaries and international visitors. Starting at age 13 she has participated short term missions in 9 different countries in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America.

Ruthanne has a BS in nursing. She worked in a mission hospital in Sierra Leone, taught nursing, worked in a pediatric oncology at UNC and in the NICU in California.

She served in Chile for over 10 years working with the Chilean church and working with an indigenous people group.

Ruthanne has raised 3 TCKs (Third Culture Kids) while in Chile. She enjoys hiking, dark chocolate, coffee and good conversations.

Chad Lynch

Agency: United World Mission

Courses: Equipping

Chad’s spiritual journey started when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease during his sophomore year in high school. Later, God drew him closer as he became involved with the “Navigators” at California Polytechnic University. Upon graduation, Chad worked for IBM as a network programmer specialist at Research Triangle Park in North Carolina and attended Chapel Hill Bible Church where he met his wife, Ruthanne, and gained spiritual maturity. After 5 years, Chad moved back to Salinas, California to start an LLC with his father in computer consulting for school districts. During this time, they adopted their three children while attending a bilingual church. 

Following God’s leading towards the mission field, they moved to Columbia International University in South Carolina where Chad received an MDiv degree in Missions. At last, the family packed their bags and headed to southern Chile for the next 10 years to work among the Mapuche, an indigenous people group. In 2018, Chad joined CIT, where he and Ruthanne now share their experiences and encourage new missionaries as they prepare for their international journeys.

Dr. Pam LaBreche

Agency: United World Mission

Courses: Equipping, Language Learning Accelerator

Pam grew up in the home of church planters and was interested in missions from an early age. She committed to serve as a career missionary during her first year in college and solidified that commitment during a summer internship in the Ivory Coast. After marrying Andy, she spent two years teaching English in China. After seminary, she spent 22 years in Romania (1996-2018). She homeschooled her two boys while also serving as librarian at the Areopagus Center for Christian Education and Contemporary Culture, doing some teaching, and baking brownies for international students. She served as language consultant for her mission, writing a language policy and advising missionary supervisors on language learning issues. She has also had roles in member development, Europe-wide mission leadership, and on the board of SHARE Education Services.

Pam has a B.A. in English in Bible, and a Th.M. in Old Testament from Dallas Theological Seminary. In 2019 she completed her Ph.D. at the Evangelische Theologische Faculteit in Heverlee (Leuven), Belgium, with her dissertation entitled, “Locals as Stakeholders: An Investigation of the Contribution of Romanian Evangelicals to North American Missionary Ministry Evaluation.”

In her spare time, Pam enjoys reading just about anything and watching old movies.

Dr. Andy LaBreche

Agency: United World Mission

Courses: Equipping

Andy grew up in a Christian family. He met Pam at Bible college, and she go him hooked on missions. In 1984, after graduation and just a year after marrying, they set off for China, where they taught English for two years, ate Chinese food three times a day, and Andy enjoyed being a head taller than almost everyone else.

After China, Andy and Pam returned to the States and entered the Th.M. program at Dallas Theological Seminary. Andy graduated in 1992 with majors in Old Testament and Historical Theology. In 2007, he completed the doctoral program in missiology at the Evangelische Theologische Faculteit in Heverlee (Leuven) , Belgium. His dissertation was entitled “Ethnocentrism. U.S.-American Evangelical Missionaries in Romania: Qualitative Missiological Research  into Representative Cross-Cultural Value Based Conflicts.” And in spite of its long title it has actually proved quite practical in missionary training and even in mediating several conflict situations.

Andy and Pam served in Timisoara, Romania, from 1996 to 2018. Andy assisted with projects at the Areopagus Center for Christian Education and Contemporary Culture, taught in Bible institutes, and did outreach to university students. He also served his mission in field leadership, missionary training, and member development.

Andy and Pam have two boys, Alex and Nate, who are out of the nest. And they still love Chinese  food.

Stephen Seely

Agency: United World Mission

Courses: Equipping, Language Learning Accelerator

One of Stephen’s early memories was inviting his biology teacher father to his elementary school classes each year to show his creature collection (including a ten-inch bird spider) and talk about the year his family spent at a Wycliffe base on the edge of the Amazon Jungle. The impact of belonging to a family and church family with a heart for the world was that he also sought opportunities to serve abroad.

A summer Stephen spent in Taiwan paved the way for accepting an opportunity to teach English in China. In the end, Stephen’s two-year commitment turned into more than twenty years. He later met his Oklahoman, farm girl wife while both were studying Chinese. They enjoyed doing life in China with their four children who range from elementary age up through high school. A love for the Chinese people and a heart for those that serve abroad are the legacy of that period of time.

Stephen is energized by sharing God’s Word and by participating in others’ spiritual formation. He also enjoys making sourdough bread, hiking, gardening and playing music with his family.

Tim P

Agency: Greater Europe Mission (GEM)

Courses: Equipping, Language Learning Accelerator, Debrief Retreat

Tim has served inter-culturally for 20 years, first in Taiwan, then in a Chinese church here in North Carolina, and most recently in Europe. He is a graduate of Mercer University (BA) and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (MDiv) and is married with five children. As a family they enjoy supporting Liverpool FC and visiting their relatives in Georgia.

Steve Torrison

Agency: IM, Inc

Courses: Equipping, Language Learning Accelerator

Steve came to know the Lord at the age of 8 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He recommitted his life to God while serving in the U.S. Navy and answered the call to ministry during the same time. After his service in the military, God opened the door for Steve to attend Randall University in Moore, Oklahoma, where he obtained his B.A. in missions and Christian Education. During his time at Randall, Steve met his wife and the Lord directed them both to overseas missions.  

Steve and his wife spent 2 terms in Panama, where both their girls where born. During his time in Panama, the Lord directed Steve to teaching and training, which he had the opportunity to continue when they transitioned to Uruguay some time later. After 6 years in Uruguay, and through much prayer, God gave them to opportunity to serve at CIT. Steve has been employed with IM,inc. since July of 2004. 

Ed Somerville

Agency: Worldwide Evangelization for Christ (WEC)

Courses: Equipping, Language Learning Accelerator

Ed grew up with five younger brothers and no bathroom on a hillside in West Virginia. For twenty years he bravely taught middle schoolers, finishing his time as principal of Trinity Christian School here in Rutherfordton.

In 2000, Ed and his wife, Debbie, joined Worldwide Evangelization for Christ. They piled their eight children, the “Ten Amigos,” and a Newfoundland into a van and headed to southern Mexico. For sixteen years God used them to develop a camp and missionary training school for Mexicans called “El Monte.”

He has written about growing up in Appalachia in a book called “Hillbilly Boy” and another about his family’s experiences in Mexico called “…But God Moved!” Ed is a graduate of Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary (MDiv).

Al Swenson

Agency: Ethnos360

Courses: Language Learning Accelerator

Al grew up in Wisconsin and was saved at the age of thirteen. He desired to know the Bible and grow in his faith, so his pastor suggested attending the New Tribes Bible College in Waukesha, WI. It was here that he heard for the first time about unreached people groups. After completing the two-year bible course, Al went on to train for mission work with Ethnos360 (formerly, New Tribes Mission) in Rochester, PA. There he met Dori and they married in October of 1982. After his four-year training with Ethnos360, Al received a degree in Intercultural Studies.

In 1984, with their three-month-old daughter, Al and Dori left for Papua New Guinea to begin a work with the Mangseng People Group who lived remotely on the island of West New Britain. After two years Al had some major health issues that brought them back to the USA. Ethnos360 asked Al to join the staff at the training facility in Camdenton, MO. He taught culture and language acquisition there for 23 years. God blessed Al and Dori with two more daughters and a son while they were in Missouri. In 2011 they moved to Sanford, FL to be Chaplains at the Ethnos360 center for retired missionaries. It was then that Al began to come to CIT during the two-week SLA courses to facilitate the Phonetics segments. In 2018 CIT invited him to be the Campus Pastor full time. He is seconded to CIT by Ethnos360.

Joe Milioni

Agency: United World Mission 

Courses: Equipping

Joe and his wife, Ladaere, grew up in strong Christian families who loved missions. They met at Spring Arbor College and found they both felt God leading them to serve overseas. After teaching in Detroit, going to seminary at Liberty University, and a year in language school (Costa Rica), they landed in Uruguay with 3 young children.

In Uruguay, they helped establish a Bible school and developed a church planter training that is still being used in several areas in Latin America. Next, they moved to Costa Rica where Joe served as regional leader and helped start a church planting network in Cuba. During that time, Joe started facilitating a course on church multiplication at CIT. After Costa Rica Joe and Ladaere moved to Jordan to help UWM establish in the Middle-East.

While serving in Jordan, Joe was asked to consider the position of Director for CIT Global. Joe is excited about the opportunity to help missionaries from all nations thrive as they serve around the world.

Paula Robb

Agency: United World Mission

Courses: Debrief Retreat

Paula’s interest in other cultures began in her teen years, when her dad who was a social worker, helped resettle people from Southern Asia in Toledo, Ohio. The exposure to their lives, traditions and beliefs sparked her desire to travel and to make many international friends.

After six years of working in public and private schools, Paula and her husband felt led to serve in China for a “couple of years” and subsequently fell in love with the people there. They served in China 25 years, living in six cities and raising two children.

Paula has a Master’s in Music Education, but has taught many different subjects along the way. She is a certified Life Coach through Coaching Mission International (CMI) and finds joy in coming alongside overseas workers who need help finding their next step or direction.

Paula and Jon started work at CIT January 2020 and Paula serves as the Debrief Retreat Coordinator and the Kids (TCK) Department Director. She loves hiking, swimming, gardening, and making music.

Mark Padgett

Courses: Equipping

As a TCK (Third Culture Kid), Mark was born and raised in Costa Rica where his parents served as missionaries for 20 years. After high school, he went to the U.S., where he studied Psychology at Bryan College and then Missions at CIU. After graduation, he pastored a small Hispanic church in Brownsville, Texas, prior to returning to Costa Rica in 1987 to serve full time in ministry. In Costa Rica, he has served on pastoral teams, been involved in teaching, discipleship, Theological Education by Extension, and sports ministry. In 1990, he married Maritza Calvo, a Costa Rican national, and since then has served at Seminario ESEPA as a faculty member and in various administrative roles. He has also had the opportunity to serve in Cuba, helping out with different ministries there. Maritza and Mark have two adult daughters, Stacy and Rachel. Mark likes to run, play soccer, and is a follower of Club Sport Cartaginés, the oldest professional soccer team of Costa Rica, who, after 81 years of losing, finally won the 2022 championship.

To partner with Mark, please make out your check to North River Church and designate it “Costa Rica Special.” Mail it to North River Church, PO Box 464, Hixson, TN 37343.

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Tim Wagner

Agency: Crossworld

Courses: Equipping, Language Learning Accelerator, Debrief Retreat

Tim was raised in south-central Pennsylvania and graduated from Appalachian Bible College in WV with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Bible/Missions.

He also has a Master of Arts degree in Ministry/Leadership from Lancaster Bible College, certification from the Institute of Motivational Living  in Behavior Analysis Consulting, and is certified in Personal Leadership Development, Team Building, and Sharpening Your Interpersonal Skills.

Tim and his wife Debbie served as church planters in Portugal for almost 9 years with BCU/TEAM. During that ministry, the Portuguese Baptist Convention ordained Tim for the pastorate. He later accepted a ministry as Director of Training Ministries and then as Executive Vice President with BCM International in Philadelphia, PA.  He joined the Crossworld team in Nov. 1998.  As Director for Mobilization, his responsibilities included overseeing the areas of Candidate Ministries, Short-term ministries, Church Ministries, and Representation. Tim also served as Director of Specialized Training with Crossworld.

After teaching periodically at CIT for 7 years, Tim joined the staff fulltime in Nov. 2005 as Assistant to the Director and Program Director. He currently is the Training Director for all of CIT’s ministries.

George Schultz

Agency: United World Mission

Courses: Equipping

George graduated in 1975 from Columbia Bible College with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Biblical Studies and a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree in l979 from Denver Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary. George completed his Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) at Columbia International University in 2001. His dissertation was entitled Models of Missionary Training: An Assessment of Alternative Approaches to Training for Cross-Cultural Ministry.

George and his family served on the field in missions from 1980 to 1994 in Canada, Alaska, and Russia doing demographic and receptivity survey work in Minnesota, Ontario and Manitoba, teacher and director of the Arctic Bible Institute, church planting in an Athabascan village in Alaska, Director of Missionary Training Outreach (summer missionary program), Alaska Field Director, Director of Siberian Ministries and Russian Field Director.

Since 1995, George has served as a director of the Center for Intercultural Training.  The CIT program now services a partnership for the training of missionaries from a variety of mission agencies and churches.

Please consider partnering financially with our facilitators. 

Those on this page are seconded to CIT from their agencies and do not receive a salary from CIT. Gifts through these partnership links will go to the individual facilitator, not the CIT general budget. Thank you for making this important training possible!