Derek Zahnd, Ph.D.

Derek Zahnd, Ph.D.

Associate Dean, Associate Professor – School of Theology & Leadership


  • Ph.D. in Intercultural Studies 2008 Fuller Theological Seminary
    Domains: Globalization, Ecclesiology, and Leadership
  • Spanish Certificate 1996 Rio Grande Bible Institute
  • Master of Divinity 1994 Fuller Theological Seminary
    Emphases: Leadership and Intercultural Studies
  • B.A. in Political Science 1989 University of California Davis


I lead and I teach.

I am a transformational leader with over 30 years of experience developing and leading non-profit organizations. I have partnered to produce results in the US, India, Cameroon, Uganda, Poland, Canada, Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico, where I lived with my family for ten years.

I come from an education-oriented family: my father was a college professor for 35 years, my mother taught as an adjunct professor and my sister is a middle school teacher. In our family, Christmas looked like a book exchange! My main qualification as an educator is that I am curious.

I am fluent in Spanish. I love traveling, hiking, biking, Thai food, and Mexican food.

At Jessup, I serve as an Associate Dean for the School of Theology & Leadership. I am also the Program Director for the Master of Arts in Leadership (MAL) program. I teach undergraduate and graduate leadership courses. Typically about half of my students serve local churches and half serve in the marketplace.

Undergraduate courses:

  • Introduction to Leadership
  • Leading Others

Graduate Courses:

  • Strategic Leadership Foundations
  • Emotional Intelligence and Leadership
  • Leadership: Vocation and Calling
  • Mission and Justice




  • Associate Dean, School of Theology & Leadership
  • Program Director, Master of Arts in Leadership (MAL) program, 2019-present
  • Senior Pastor, Sunrise Community Church, Fair Oaks, CA 2013-2018
  • Mission Pastor, Creekside Christian Church, Elk Grove, CA 2007-2013
  • Missionary Church Planter / Pastor Iglesia Cristiana de Miramar, Guaymas, México 1995-2007

Connect with Derek on his social media below.