Founded in 1999 with the input of local pastors, iSSACHAR exists as a place where theology meets the streets – an urban “L’Abri” where students (and a broader community of leaders) wrestle with life and urban issues. We seek to develop leaders who – like the tribe of Issachar – “understand the times and know what God’s people should do.” (1 Chronicles 12:32)
iSSACHAR equips student apprentices for urban Christian leadership through a rigorous program of academics, servant-leadership, and discipleship. Delivered via a shared-life residency component, the iSSACHAR experience represents a community – a tribe – of diverse young leaders who seek to follow Jesus into the heart of their neighborhoods. We create dynamic partnerships and shared sacred spaces to inspire a movement of transformational change in and around Denver.
We are not merely a group of individuals, but a people – a community of urban Christian leaders who connect for personal growth, inspiration, and practical work in the city. With partners such as Urban Young Life, Celebration Church, and Destino (Cru), and a growing network of alumni and friends, iSSACHAR acts as a hub for relationships and initiatives that benefit our city and our world.
Scott was part of iSSACHAR’s second class and is an alumnus of the apprenticeship program. He has 25 years of experience in urban and student ministry in cities including Minneapolis, Kansas City, Denver, Chicago, and New Orleans. Scott’s experience in New Orleans, including Hurricane Katrina, furthered his passions for developing young urban Christian leaders and engaging followers of Jesus in issues of race, poverty, and justice. Upon his return to Denver in 2008, he worked with Mile High Ministries to produce the Urban Entry video series and became re-engaged at iSSACHAR. In his role of program director since 2011, Scott lives his passion of developing urban Christian leaders who leverage their resources for God’s Kingdom. Scott holds degrees in Communications and Media from Bethel University and an M.A. from Denver Seminary. He lives in Denver with his wife, Melanie, and two daughters.
Sandy’s passion for developing and counseling young people spans two decades and five states. She has served as a social worker for underserved youth and court-ordered juvenile delinquents and their families, a school crisis counselor, a church youth leader, an intercultural competence trainer and a discipleship director. She worked alongside Scott Lundeen to create an urban leadership development program in New Orleans, and later accepted his invitation to join the iSSACHAR staff in 2012. Sandy enjoys helping people understand who they are at their core, in order to discover what God has for them in their story. She desires to equip apprentices who walk with confidence into their gifts of leadership to impact the world. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from Trinity International University, a M.S.W. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Florida State University.
Academic Success Coordinator
Fabian has nearly 14 years of experience working with young people. With a B.A. in Bible and Theology from Crown College in Minnesota, he served three years as a youth pastor in the northern Denver metro area, and spent five years as a mentor, teacher, and supervisor with the nonprofit youth organization, Colorado UpLift. While there, Fabian first learned about iSSACHAR from his direct supervisor – an alumnus of the apprenticeship program. The desire to grow leaders from the neighborhood for the neighborhood hit home with Fabian, reminding him of his own leadership journey. Joining the iSSACHAR team allows him to live out his passion for teaching and learning, and affords him the chance to mentor the next generation of young leaders as they learn more about who and what God calls them to be and do.
Caleb & Amy Nothwehr
Between the two of them, Caleb and Amy have 15 years of experience working in urban ministry. Amy spent hers as a volunteer with South Denver Young Life, as a school counselor in the Philadelphia public school system, and as a former academic coach for iSSACHAR. Caleb Served with Central Denver Young Life, and has taught in urban schools in both Philadelphia and Denver. They both appreciate the chance iSSACHAR affords to disciple young people in the city, doing ministry as a couple, and living as a "family on mission" with the other staff members as they raise their two daughters Vera and Miriam. They cherish how iSSACHAR seeks to be a place where people of differing backgrounds and opinions can gather and discern what God is doing in the world. They view it as peculiar and urgent work, and are proud to be a part of it. Amy holds a M.A. in School Counseling and Caleb holds a M.Ed. in Multicultural Education, both from Eastern University.
Jason H. Tucker
Jason is CEO of JHTDesign Studios, a Colorado-based design company, founded in 2010. He first crossed paths with iSSACHAR four years ago, and was immediately inspired by its willingness to engage in real-world conversations across cultural, socioeconomic and generational lines. As he began to interact with apprentices and the iSSACHAR culture more, his desire to partner with the organization only increased. Jason has always enjoyed working with young people, and the chance to come alongside students during their formative college years, within a community dedicated to effecting transformative change in the city, continues to be an amazing gift. As a consulting communications director, Jason uses his design expertise to help iSSACHAR share its story with the broader Denver community.
What Is Urban Christian Leadership?
Urban: We invest in culturally and economically diverse communities, advocate for justice, and develop unlikely friendships.
Christian: We submit to the Spirit and Scripture, love others, pursue Kingdom vocation, and lead others as we follow Jesus together.
Leadership: We empower our communities as proactive, trustworthy, skilled and responsible agents in our lives, relationships and vocation.
"iSSACHAR has been the cocoon to my transformation from a little caterpillar who overcame generations of poverty and brokenness and was trying to find a way to survive and make different choices for herself to a beautiful butterfly that has found freedom and a divine beauty in who she is and is preparing to soar fearlessly through life."
© 2018 iSSACHAR. This site was conceived at JHTDesign Studios, LLC - "We. Design. Wonder."