Who We Are
Our team was founded at Ashland Theological Seminary as the mentors and program coordinator for the Pastors of Excellence (PoE) program (2002-2016). The program focused on nurturing, renewing and healing pastor's hearts from the wounds that are sustained in life and ministry. Close to 700 pastors passed through the program.
The mentors, believing strongly in the powerful ways God was using the program, decided to continue the program for pastors, as well as develop a version for believers who are not in full time ministry. Into the Deep is the direct result of that effort. Collectively, we have had the privilege of ministering in Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia, Toronto, Honduras, Tanzania, Nepal, and the Philippines. We are now excited to expand the program to utilize the internet, making it more widely available and affordable to a much broader audience!
Who We Are
Rev. Kathie Kuhn
Reverend Kathie Kuhn is a Bible teacher, published author, and international speaker who was a staff pastor at an Ohio church for over 31 years; she was also the Professor of Old Testament Studies and Dean of Students at Hosanna Bible Training Center in Ohio.
Kathie also served for over ten years on the faculty of the Pastors of Excellence Program at Ashland Theological Seminary as teacher and mentor. Now semi-retired, she is the founder and director of Promise River Ministries, a soul care ministry specializing in spiritual direction for pastoral leadership. She assists Christian leaders and churches both locally and around the globe to develop strengths, heal hurts, and create positive change through Christ-centered soul care and spiritual direction.
Kathie is a widowed mother of eight and grandmother of fourteen who enjoys writing, reading, walking on the beach, and praying, especially for her family.
Reverend Kuhn’s ministry is one of personal transformation, restoration, and grace, as she continues the journey to authentic spirituality.
Dr. David Oliver
Rev. Dr. David M. Oliver is the founder of Living Water, LLC in North Canton, Ohio. He assists Christian leaders and churches across the globe to develop strengths, heal hurts and create positive change. To do this he uses Transformational Coaching, Christ-centered Spiritual Direction, Inner Healing and Freedom Encounter Deliverance. Dr. Oliver and his wife, Dr. Jane Hoyt-Oliver, have one married daughter and two delightful grandchildren.
Dr. Oliver earned his Doctor of Ministry in Spiritual Formation at Asbury Theological Seminary and his Master of Divinity from Duke University Divinity School. Before founding Living Water, he served United Methodist Churches in Ohio for nearly thirty years.
Rev. Vicki Podjasek
Pastor Vicki has ministered as a youth minister, worship pastor, church-planter and the Program Coordinator/mentor for Pastors of Excellence (PoE) at Ashland Theological Seminary. Currently, she is the pastor of The Seed, Brethren in Christ Church. She received her training at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School & Ashland Theological Seminary.
Pastor Vicki experienced an abundance of inner healing when she participated in PoE. It transformed her ministry. As a result, Spiritual Direction and Inner Healing Prayer are ministries that are near and dear to her heart. She is passionate about working with people who desire to position themselves before Jesus to receive his healing touch.
Vicki and her husband, Jeff, are both cancer survivors. They spent approximately a decade ministering to children as foster parents and have one daughter, Alexis, who was married in the fall of 2020.
Rev. Bryan Swash
Bryan Swash recently retired after 45 years of pastoral ministry in the Fellowship of Christian Assemblies in Canada. He has been married for 42 years. He and his wife, Liz, have two daughters and eight grandchildren. Prompted by a personal crisis, in 2008 he attended a pastor's soul care/repair ministry at Ashland Theological Seminary called Pastor's of Excellence. That began a journey of self-discovery that led to experiencing God's radical, life-changing grace. His involvement with "Into the Deep" is a direct result of that journey.
Bryan's inward journey has brought a new understanding of himself and, when shared, has brought lasting change for others in the U.S., Canada, Kenya, Nepal, Philippines and other countries. It's Bryan's great joy to share these principles of life change with you.