John Lenschow, Director

John Lenschow, Director

Th. M., New Testament, Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary
M. Div., Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary
B.A., Oral Roberts University

John grew up in Massachusetts and spent 15 years in youth and pastoral ministry in his home state and in Oklahoma. After returning to Gordon Conwell, he became an instructor at John Brown University (Siloam Springs, AR) in the Biblical Studies Division.  After two years, he moved to Belfast, Northern Ireland, where he lived, taught, and studied. He worked with JBU’s International Studies Program and was an Adjunct Professor. He also taught at Belfast Bible College and Queen’s University, Belfast.  Now he serves as the director of this new BestSemester program and the JBU Irish studies program. John also teaches the Christian Thought and Practice course. He loves living in Belfast because of the rich culture, the great people, and the incredible coffee shops.


John Lenschow, Director

William A. Stevenson III, NIS Program Advisor & Professor of Peacemaking and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland

M. S., Educational Counseling, John Brown University
B.A., Business Administration, John Brown University

His work as Senior Director of International Programs at John Brown University allows Bill Stevenson to do what he loves: create a global learning environment for university students.  His vision and passion for international education have helped establish JBU’s program as one of the top within the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. 

He grew up in Belfast then lived in Korea for 10 years as a student. In 1979 and 1980, Stevenson used his knowledge of Korean to translate for the US and British Embassies.  He first came to America in 1983 to study at Emmaus Bible College in Chicago, Illinois.  In 1983 he transferred to JBU, graduating May 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.  He remained at the university as associate registrar.  Stevenson completed JBU’s master’s program in counselor education in 1997. 

Within the campus community, Stevenson oversees international student programs, study abroad opportunities, and all international mission projects.  In addition to his administrative duties he teaches and chairs the Irish Studies Program.  Professionally, he stays active in the National Association of Foreign Student Educators (NAFSA).

Stevenson’s work has enabled him to travel to more than 70 countries. Speaking engagements take him on the road nationally and internationally.  He is called upon to discuss topics as diverse as international travel risk management, conflict resolution, cross-cultural leadership, Irish Politics and society, as well as to share his personal testimony.


J N Ian Dickson, Professor of Ireland and Western Civilization

Ph.D, Modern Irish History, Queens University Belfast
B.A., Humanities, Open University, Glasgow

Ian Dickson is Founder and Director of Tiō – a pioneer initiative advancing Christian perspectives on intellectual disabilities. He is a consultant on preaching and public speaking. Currently, he leads the teaching team in Christ Church Belfast, where he and his family worship. Ian is married to Yvonne, a Special Education and Music Teacher, and they have a son Ross and a daughter Amy, who has Down syndrome. Ian is a published author, presently researching an historical novel.

Having studied literature and drama in his early years, his passion for both continue to play a part in his life and work. After his conversion to Christianity, he trained for and served in pastoral ministry (1982-97). In 2000, Ian entered academia, having completed his doctoral studies in modern Irish religious history. After a period as a Research Fellow at Cardiff University, Ian returned to Ireland to teach at Belfast Bible College, part of the Institute of Theology at Queen’s University (2004-17), where he held several senior positions. As a tutor, researcher and writer, he places a high value on inter-disciplinary and innovative approaches to education. 


Ryan David Hawk, Professor of Intercultural Communications

M.Th, Historical and Systematic Theology, Queen’s University Belfast
M.Div, New Testament and Historical Theology, Lipscomb University
B.S., Youth Ministry and Biblical Studies, John Brown University

Ryan David Hawk is lecturer in Intercultural Communications on the Northern Ireland Semester. He is currently a PhD student at Queen’s University Belfast examining the role of community in academic and spiritual formation in theological education through the work and life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He is married to Sarah Beth, has two sons, and they have called Belfast home for almost four years. Before coming to study and teach in Northern Ireland, Ryan lived in Nashville, Tennessee working as a professional musician, songwriter, and recording artist. His interests in culture, art, theology, and philosophy drive his research to integrate how we see the world and creatively imagine Christian community. 


Philip Orr, Professor of Irish Literature

M.A., Irish Studies, University of Ulster, UK
B.A., Literature, Univeristy of East Anglia, UK

Philip Orr  is a Literature graduate of the University of East Anglia, holds a master’s degree in Irish Studies and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. 

Philip was Head of Theatre Studies at the Down High School but since 2005 has worked as a freelance educator and writer. He has written a number of books on Irish history and he has written and produced several community drama projects, dealing with contentious history.

He is interested in the Christian imperative to seek reconciliation and he is the chair of an organisation known as Mediation Northern Ireland.


Hazel Neill, Professor of Irish Art and Culture

M.A., Fine Art Photography, Goldsmith's College, UK
B.A., Fine Art Sculpture, Univeristy of Ulster, UK

Hazel Neill is a graduate of the University of Ulster in Belfast. She has a BA (Hons) degree in Fine Art Sculpture, A Post Graduate Diploma in Fine Art Photography and an Art Teacher's Diploma from Goldsmiths' College, London.

Since completing her studies she has taught Art and Design and History of Art in High school and currently works for CCEA as an Assistant Principal Moderator for 'A' level Art and Design. As a practising artist, her work has been exhibited in N. Ireland, the UK, Eire and Europe and is in the collections of the Arts Council and Queen's University.