Meet Our Board Members
Dr. Brian T. German – Director
After graduating from Concordia University Wisconsin in 2006 (B.A.), Dr. Brian T. German attended Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana (M.Div., 2010), and Wycliffe College at the University of Toronto (Ph.D., 2014). His main area of research has been the history of biblical interpretation, with a particular focus on how earlier interpreters understood the presence of Christ in the Old Testament. Dr. German joined the faculty of Concordia University Wisconsin in July of 2014. He is an Associate Professor of Theology and the Director of Concordia Bible Institute, and was appointed Chair of the Theology Department in July of 2023. He and his wife Kalia have five children: Grace, Zephaniah, Job, Amos, and Hildegard.
+ Rev. Dr. John W. Saleska (1929 – 2017) – Director Emeritus +
Rev. Dr. John W. Saleska was the Director Emeritus of the Concordia Bible Institute. He was a professor for 23 years at Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, IN, teaching such courses as Old and New Testament, Bible Psychology, Counseling, and Homiletics. He was also chairman of the Department of Pastoral Ministry and Missions. Before that he taught for 23 years at St. John’s College in Winfield, KS. He received degrees from St. Paul’s College, Concordia, MO and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. His graduate work in Psychology and Guidance and Counseling was done at Washington University in St. Louis and Wichita State University, Wichita, KS. He received an honorary doctorate from Concordia University, River Forest, Il. Dr. Saleska joined the Concordia Bible Institute as Director in December of 2000. He also served on the Advisory Board of the Women’s Leadership Institute of Concordia University Wisconsin.
Phil Meinzen – Chairman
Mr. Philip Meinzen is a retired LCMS commissioned teacher and specialist in charitable planning. Meinzen served individual and corporate stewards of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and The LCMS Foundation. Phil provided early administrative support to the CUW Institutes at the time of the CBI’s inception. Phil has been blessed to listen to how The Holy Spirit is working in the lives of people hungry for the mysteries of the Gospel. These mysteries are clearly contained, even if hidden, in Holy Scripture. We pray that the days are coming that CUWAAs Theology experts and resources will become a much more visible highlight for the world to see. Our founder had a vision for the Concordia Bible Institute strengthening CUWAA’s brand as a ‘Bible College’ for lay leaders also. Our highly trained and faithful teachers of theology and God’s Word will bless many through our use of streaming and archiving of content for the public and the Church to use. We serve at the invitation of the University and are privileged to support experts such as Directors Saleska, (now sainted), and Rev. Dr. Brian German. These are beautifully gifted men who inspire us with their knowledge of “Christ in Every Word.”
Mr. Jim Behrens is a member of Pilgrim Lutheran Church in West Bend, WI. He has been on the Concordia Bible Institute Advisory Board since 2005. Jim has a degree in Agriculture from the University of Illinois and has worked in marketing for the John Deere Company for 24 years where he was Product Manager for several lines of lawn and garden products. Jim currently operates a marketing communications company, Behrens Services, LLC in West Bend, Wisconsin. Jim and his wife, Diane, have two daughters and three grandchildren. Jim enjoys spending time with his daughters and grandchildren, studying the Bible, attending farm auctions, and vacationing with his wife. They have been on several Caribbean cruises. Jim would like to see more people taking advantage of the many excellent learning opportunities the Bible Institute provides.
Mr. Bob Knuth was a member of Pilgrim Lutheran Church in West Bend, WI, from 1963 to 2004, he returned as a member to Pilgrim when he moved back to West Bend with his wife Susan, when he retired in 2017, to be closer to their kids and grandkids. Bob worked in construction for 28 years, building and remodeling homes, building cabinets, and building trade show exhibits for companies such as Harley Davidson. He was a member of the Unites States Army Reserve from December 7, 1972 until December 31, 2010 when he retired from the Reserves. Because of 9/11, he returned to active duty in the Army in January 2004 and served at Fort Devens,MA for two years, and Fort Knox,KY for 7 years until he retired from the uniform. He worked for the Department of Defense until 2017 when he retired and moved back to West Bend. Bob has been married to his wife Susan for 39 years. They have three children, Jessica Hill, Robert Jr (BJ) Knuth and Pamela Nitzke, along with 6 Grandchildren from 13 years to 16 months old.
Mr. Van Komurka received a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin–Platteville, and an M.S.degree in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University. Since graduation, he has worked as a geotechnical engineer, first for several Milwaukee-area firms, and for the last 18 years with Wagner Komurka Geotechnical Group in Cedarburg. Van and his wife Paula live outside West Bend, and have two sons: Andrew, who is a sophomore studying mechanical engineering at Michigan Tech, and Joel, who is a freshman at Living Word Lutheran High School. In his free time, Van enjoys cars and motorcycles, reading, and road trips. He is a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Grafton. He played piano on the contemporary worship team for 10 years at his previous church, St. John’s West Bend. Van has been a loyal member of the Concordia Bible Institute’s In-Depth Bible Study since it began.
Mr. Allen Neuwirth received his Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Painting and Drawing from the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee in 1970. He has taught Art at Cedarcrest Girls Residence for 6 years. He was Senior Graphic Designer at Walthers for 29 years. He is now retired and enjoys working as a lay leader at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in Milwaukee. Since he has been a member there he has been president, chair of a building committee, and Bible study leader. He has been a delegate to both national and district conventions of the LCMS. He has studied biblical Greek at Concordia University—Wisconsin. His passion is Christian outreach, where he strives to impart the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ, especially to those who have yet to receive faith.
He is married to the love of his life, Veronica and has two grown children, Aaron and Vanessa. He enjoys gardening and tennis. He is a tennis coach at Brookfield Central High School and Instructor of Recreational Tennis at the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee.
Mrs. Sarah Pecor is the Assistant Vice President of Continuing Education, Expedited and Extended Campus Operations. She serves as the vanguard to research and vet industry trends and promising practices and accelerate development from concept to market. Sarah oversees the development, implementation and refinement of continuing education and professional development based upon research and data on learner interest and market demand.
Other responsibilities also include the oversight of all extended campus operations and driving the production of new programming, meeting critical financial targets to ensure success, sustainability and a cohesive growth strategy.
Sarah holds a Bachelor of Science degree from UW-Stout and Master of Business Administration in Management from Concordia University Wisconsin. She is an active member in her community, church and serves on various boards at Concordia University.
Bruce Gilbert – founding member
Mr. Bruce Gilbert is a passionate man of faith and a proud, founding member of the Concordia Bible Institute. It is his fervent desire that more people study the Bible and that the Bible Institute be an integral arm of Concordia University Wisconsin as it continues to reach out to more lay people and students. He would eventually like to see the Bible Institute become a Bible College and that Concordia University Wisconsin become known as THE Bible School in Wisconsin. Mr. Gilbert has been involved in the aggregate and ready mix industry for over 50 years. He and Ellen, his wife of almost 40 years, have five children, Susan deceased. In addition to the Bible Institute, Mr. Gilbert is interested in his family, work, ranching, hunting, reading, and has authored a book entitled Hunting & Horse Trails From Mongolia to the Yukon.