Monticello Road

Sam Rubinson

Sam Rubinson, CIU professor
Professor of Youth Ministry, Family, and Culture
(803) 807-5463
B.S., Valley Forge Christian College; M.A., Columbia International University; D.Min., Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Dr. Rubinson joined the faculty of CIU’s Seminary & School of Ministry in 2011 and has taught Youth Ministry, Family, and Culture from that date until the present. Before coming to Columbia, he was a children's pastor, a youth pastor, a senior pastor, and a summer camp director. He also started his own non-profit ministry using the wilderness as a platform for discipleship.  


Cathy Warn

Cathy Warn
Director of Training and Internship
(803) 807-5351

B.A., Montreat College; M.A., Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary


Cathy Warn, MA, LPCS, LMFTS, is the Director of Training and Internship. Cathy’s primary responsibilities focus on planning and directing all program orientation and training for students enrolled in the College of Counseling as it relates to professional skills, identity, and ethics, as well as the development and maintenance of College of Counseling internship policy, procedures, and sites. Cathy holds South Carolina State credentials as a Licensed Professional Counselor and licensed supervisor, as well as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and licensed supervisor. In addition to her work at CIU, she is in private practice part time. She has experience in grief and loss, parenting, adolescent and young adult issues, aging issues, relationship concerns, growth and spiritual development, divorce recovery, pre-marital, marital and family therapy, and clinical supervision and consultation. Cathy is a clinical member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, South Carolina Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, American Counseling Association, American Mental Health Counseling Association, and South Carolina Association of Licensed Professional Counselors. She also holds membership in two National College Scholarship Honor Societies, Alpha Chi and Psi Chi. She has presented at Alpha Chi’s national and regional conventions. Cathy was born and raised in Orange County, California and is the youngest of seven children. Cathy and her husband, Randy, of over 35 years are blessed with two daughters, one son, and one granddaughter. They enjoy active membership in their church. Both Cathy and her husband have been involved with various ministries including teaching Sunday school, youth ministry, spiritual retreats, and small group leadership. In addition to spending time with her family, Cathy enjoys riding Harley-Davidson motorcycles, reading, traveling, and watching sunsets.


EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE: B.A. (Bible & Religion), Montreat College; M.A. (Christian Counseling), Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary; Counseling Program Administrator, Columbia International University, Graduate School Division 2003-2007; Private practice, Lexington Baptist Church Counseling Center 2004-2011; Private Practice, Warn Clinical & Consulting Services, LLC, Columbia/Lexington, SC, 2011-present; Associate Director of Clinical Counseling Program, Columbia International University, Columbia, SC; 2007-2010; Director of Training and Internship for the College of Counseling and resident graduate faculty in counseling, Columbia International University, Columbia, SC, 2011-present; SC Licensed Professional Counselor; SC Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist; SC Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor; SC Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Supervisor.



Jim Brown

Psychology Professor

B.A., Belhaven College; M.Div., Covenant Theological Seminary; M.A., Columbia International University

Mr. Brown has his own practice as a professional counselor for individuals, couples, families, children, adolescents and group therapy. He specializes in addictions. He teaches several courses on the undergraduate level as an adjunct professor. You may learn more at his website

B.A. in Christian Ministries, Belhaven College, Jackson, MS; Master of Divinity, Degree in Pastoral Counseling, Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, MO; M.A. in Counseling, Columbia International University, Columbia, SC; Served as Assistant Pastor working with Youth, College age and Families in Hattiesburg, MS; St. Louis, MO; Miami, FL and Irmo, SC; Presently in private practice for the past 10 plus years as a professional counselor and supervisor of LPC Interns; teaching, preaching, training and consulting in various settings.


James R. Lowther


B.A., Moody Bible Institute; M.Div., Columbia Biblical Seminary; Ph.D., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Dr. Lowther serves at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary where he is a writing tutor. He has been an adjunct professor at Malaysia Baptist Theological Seminary and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also works at the Arlington Chinese Baptist Church.

Ph.D. in New Testament (minor: theology), Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2001; M.Div., Columbia Biblical Seminary, 1992; B.A., Moody Bible Institute, 1980.


Alison Branham

Voice Instructor

B.Mus., Columbia College; M.Mus., University of South Carolina; doctoral candidate, University of South Carolina

Lee Branham performs extensively around the Columbia area, and has in the past, performed international opera and oratorio through the University of South Carolina. She actively works to keep her students performing at the standards of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and she looks forward to introducing new vocal programming at CIU in the future. Outside of her singing career, she raises a family, participates extensively in her church choir and other local choir programs, enjoys reading, composing children's songs, and volunteers her musical abilities at nursing homes in the community.

B. M. in Vocal Performance and Sacred Music, Columbia College; M. M. in Vocal and Opera Performance, University of South Carolina. Mrs. Branham is in the process of pursuing her Ed.D. in Higher Education from Columbia International University; private studio teacher and music faculty: Riverland Hills Music Academy, 2005-2008; Carolina Music Academy, 2006-2007; private studio teacher, 1996-present; Adjunct Professor in voice, Columbia International University, 2008-present.


Alena Pagal

Piano Instructor

B.Mus., Bowling Green State University; M.Mus., University of South Carolina

Alena Pagal has served as Visiting Guest Lecturer in Piano Pedagogy, Community Music Program coordinator, and Group Piano area coordinator at the University of South Carolina, Columbia. She is involved in the Columbia music community as an MTNA member. She is a piano instructor for the Music Ministry studios of Riverland Hills Baptist church and has helped to adjudicate events for various local music organizations. Ms. Pagal is active as a collaborative pianist for various local school district events. She also serves as staff accompanist, applied piano area coordinator, and group piano instructor for USC Aiken. In addition to maintaining a private studio, Ms. Pagal currently teaches at the University of South Carolina, Columbia and Aiken Campuses, and at Columbia International University. Ms. Pagal is active in the community as a teacher, collaborative pianist, and adjudicator.

B. M. in Piano Performance, with emphasis in literature, collaborative piano, and piano pedagogy, Bowling Green State University (OH); M. M. in Piano Pedagogy, University of South Carolina; 2002 recipient of the Helen Lakofsky Piano Scholarship; 2003 collaborative pianist recipient of Marjorie Conrad Peatee Artsong Competition; 2004 recipient of C. Elizabeth Cobb Memorial Scholarship for collaborative piano.


Chris Essig

Guitar Instructor

M.M. in Guitar Performance, University of South Carolina under the instruction of Christopher Berg; B.A. in Guitar Performance, Geneva College

Chris Essig has been teaching guitar for over nine years and enjoys teaching and performing in the Columbia area. Mr. Essig has given recitals at the University of South Carolina (USC), the Columbia Guitar Society, Geneva College, Columbia International University (CIU), and various weddings and events. Mr. Essig specializes in classical guitar and contemporary/traditional worship styles. His philosophy in teaching the guitar is to help students reach an in-depth understanding of the blessing and power of music through the study of guitar technique, music theory, interpretation, repertoire, and musicianship.

M.M. in guitar performance from the University of South Carolina (USC) under the instruction of Christopher Berg; B.A. in Guitar Performance from Geneva College. Guitar teacher, Carolina Music Academy (2004-present); adjunct faculty guitarist, Columbia International University (2007-present); guitar teacher, Heathwood Hall Episcopal School (2004-present); Worship Coordinator, Columbia Crossroads Northeast Church (2008-present); Worship Leader New Kirk Presbyterian church (2004-2008).


Juenarrl Keith


B.A., Morris College; M.A. in Counseling Services, Webster University; M.Div., Erskine Theological Seminary; D.Min., Drew University

Dr. Keith serves as Coordinator, Graduate Counseling Studies at Webster University (Columbia Metropolitan Campus). He is also Dean of Christian Education in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, 7th Episcopal District, Columbia, South Carolina, and Presiding Elder, 7th Episcopal District - Central Conference, Orangeburg District. He has also served as adjunct professor at Allen University, Limestone College and Williamsburg Technical College. He and his wife have two sons and a daughter.

B.A. (1988) Morris College, M.A. in counseling Services (1989) Webster University, Post Graduate Certificate, child Mental health (1994) University of South Carolina, M.Div. Counseling Ministry (1997) Erskine Theological Seminary, D.Min (2002) Drew University, Post-Doctorate Training, Executive Leadership (2005) South Carolina Executive Institute


Peggie Etheredge Johnson

Peggie Etheredge Johnson
Adjunct Professor of Education
(803) 807-5316

R.C., Kenneth Shuler’s School of Cosmetology; B.A., W.L. Bonner College; M.A., Columbia International University, M.Ed., Columbia International University

Peggie is a native of Saluda, South Carolina and member of the graduating class of 1970 at Riverside High School. She is the wife of Richard S. Johnson, Jr. and will celebrate 43 years of marriage in August of this year. She is the First Lady of Cathedral of Faith Ministries in Irmo, S.C. and Charlotte, N.C., and serves as Director of Women’s Ministries, Sunday school teacher, Supervisor of Children’s Ministry, and in any other capacity as needed. Peggie and Richard are the parents of three sons: Richard LaMonte, Michael Ryan, and Joshua Johnson. They have two daughters-in-love: LaTanya and Nina Johnson, and five wonderful grandchildren: Richard Grant, Daniel Allen, Samuel Ryan, Nia Amarie, and Kendall Ashlyn.

Peggie came to CIU as a Seminary student in 2001. Choosing CIU was easy after reading the online love story of R.C. McQuilkin as he cared for his ailing wife. After graduation in May 2003, Dr. Rick Higgins recommend her for employment in the Field Education Department, where she became a Field Education Supervisor in August 2003. That November, she became the Director of Bible Clubs and held that position until May of 2009 when the department officially closed. In this position, she directed and supervised as many as 13 Bible Clubs per semester and instructed team leaders, teachers and mentors in cross-cultural Bible teaching and evangelism of children and youth at the Columbia, West Columbia, Cayce, and Hopkins sites. She was assisted at these sites by assistants Andre Melvin and later Brooks Heard and numerous CIU student workers.

In 2007, she was asked by Steve Auld to travel to Belize, Central America with CIU students, where God enlarged her heart and passion for ministry to children in other countries. She continues to lead CIU students to Belize each year during Spring Break. The trip to Belize also opened doors for Peggie and her husband Richard to lead small groups from their church to the village of Barancco, where they have adopted the Primary School in assistance with the school lunch program and other areas of needs in the school.

In August 2009, Peggie became the Director of Bible Field Experience in the College of Education under the leadership of Milt Uecker and continued to instruct and lead students in cross-cultural ministry to children and youth in their communities through EDU 2420. She has been a guest lecturer in many education classes on teaching African American children and Children of Poverty. In 2010 she became a Bible instructor at the Camille Griffin Graham Correctional Institution and now teaches courses in the Prison Initiative Associates of Art degree at Camille. After representing the College of Education at Francis Marion University’s Children of Poverty Fall Workshop in 2010, she was invited to become a member of the Add-On Certification for Teachers of Children of Poverty task force, which passed SC state legislation in 2012.

Peggie is passionate about children in poverty and suffering children everywhere, and has many irons in the fire to meet those needs in America, Belize, West Africa, and South Africa. Her other passions include loving and seeking God’s will, spending time with her awesome grandchildren, praying, evangelism, sewing, reading, learning and sharing dynamics of diverse cultures, especially African American.

Riverside Middle School 1980-1983; Registered Cosmetologist, 1984-1994; Church planting in North America – 1977-2001; Academic/Peer Mentor, Computer Monitor/Tutor, Midlands Technical College, 1999-2003; Director of Bible Clubs, Director of Bible Field Experience, Columbia International University, 2003-2013.



Reggie McNeal


B.A., University of South Carolina; M.Div., Ph.D., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Dr. McNeal enjoys helping people, leaders, and Christian organizations pursue more intentional lives. He currently serves as the Missional Leadership Specialist for Leadership Network of Dallas, Texas. His past experience involves over a decade as a denominational executive and leadership development coach. He also served in local congregational leadership for over twenty years, including being the founding pastor of a new church. He has lectured or taught as adjunct faculty for multiple seminaries. Reggie has contributed to numerous denominational publications and church leadership journals.



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