Co-Serve International
Co-Serve International

 
 
 
 
 

Co-Serve staff currently work to develop cultures of servant leadership at the following locations around the globe:

KAZAKHSTAN: The Kazakh-American Free University
UKRAINE: Borys Grinchenko Kiev University and Wisconsin International University Ukraine
PHILIPPINES: Center for Servant Leadership Philippines
AFGHANISTAN: Institute for Leadership Development and Afghans for Progressive Thinking
THAILAND: Karen Leadership Development Program
BRAZIL: Instituto Teológico Boa Terra
USA: Deschutes Economic Alliance (Bend, Oregon)


Our history traces back to the creation of the Kazakh-American Free University (KAFU) in Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan in 1994.  This university offered a unique, international education in post-Soviet Kazakhstan that utilized American partnerships.  In 1997, Dr. Marshall Christensen visited KAFU with three business representatives from Oregon.  As a result of their visit, in August, 1997, they created the Marshall Christensen Foundation (the MCF) as a non-profit, private foundation in the State of Oregon to support the development of international higher education.  The initial work of the MCF was focused on supporting programs at KAFU with the goal to develop leaders of character for Kazakhstan's newly emerging democracy and free-market system.  As part of this, the MCF sent American teachers and it provided grants for computers, textbooks and classroom refurbishment.  The MCF also created new programs, including a business internship program for students in the United States and a program that allowed top students to continue their education in the USA.  Today, partly in thanks to the support of the MCF, KAFU is recognized as a leading university in Kazakhstan with over 2000 students and undergraduate and graduate degrees in over 15 majors.

In 2004, Marshall Christensen created a leadership course at KAFU for students who demonstrated strong leadership potential.  This course came out of Marshall’s observation that, although the university had the goal of developing leaders, there was not a specific course at the university on the topic of leadership.  This new course presented the ideas of servant leadership - where leadership is about serving and empowering others to help them reach their potential.  The impact and results of this course were dramatic.  Students were eager to talk about the leadership problems that they saw in the world and to consider a better approach that embraced different values.  Students were also searching for a place where they could know acceptance, mutual respect and community – and this course provided such a place for them as well.  As a result of this course, the MCF understood the great need to work with places of learning to help students and teachers consider the most important values - values different than the popular notions of materialism, greed and power.  So, the MCF began putting the pieces together for a larger program, which is today the International Servant Leadership Program or (ISLP).  The MCF also began developing a vision for expanding the ISLP beyond KAFU to other places of learning around the world.

In 2006, Daniel Ballast, who had been working at KAFU through the American organization InterVarsity, began working directly with the MCF to assist in this effort.  Over the next five years, the MCF launched servant leadership programs at places of learning in Ukraine, Afghanistan, the Philippines, India and Brazil.

To operate these programs, the MCF relied on a growing base of public donor support.  As a result, in 2008, the MCF received formal authorization from the IRS to operate as a public charity.  In 2009 the Board of Directors approved a new name for the organization, "Co-Serve International," a name which better reflected the on-going work of the organization.  "Co-Serve International" is an assumed business name for the Marshall Christensen Foundation and is now the primary name for the organization.  Part of the meaning behind this name is an emphasis on building community (hence, the "Co").  Co-Serve believes that servant leadership is all about building accepting, empowering, and interdependent communities.  As such, all of Co-Serve's programs today endeavor to cultivate and model community through experiential, interactive approaches to learning.

Our mission is to model and cultivate servant leadership communities around the world.

Our vision is that emerging leaders around the world will be transformed in learning environments and will live as servants in community.

Our core values are:
Communities of Learning.  Valuing relationships with students, teachers and staff.
International Understanding.  Bringing cultures together in dialogue, friendship and partnership.
Volunteerism.  Involving individuals who are willing to volunteer their time.
Stewardship.  Efficiently delivering programs that provide maximum impact.
Servant Leadership.  Drawing out the principles of servant leadership through all of our programs.
Community.  Modeling and building communities of servant leadership.



Marshall Christensen visits KAFU with a delegation from Oregon in 1997.


Students who participated in the first leadership course at KAFU in 2004.


The first servant leadership Academy is held in Oregon as part of the ISLP in 2007.


The first servant leadership course is held in Ukraine in 2007.


The MCF supports the first Servant Leadership School in the Philippines, led by the Center for Sharing, in 2008.


Teaching the first servant leadership course in Afghanistan in 2008.




Dr. Marshall Christensen, Leadership Team Member.   Marshall has dedicated his career to higher education and helping students prepare for life.  He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Oregon and he was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Heidelberg, Germany.  He worked for 15 years as the president of Warner Pacific College in Portland, Oregon.  He is a professor of history and the international provost for the Kazakh-American Free University in Kazakhstan.

Dr. Daniel Ballast, Leadership Team Member.   For twelve years, Dan helped to develop international higher education as vice-president of  the Kazakh-American Free University in Kazakhstan.  He now lives with his family in the Philippines, where he helps to direct Co-Serve's programs around the world.

Bob Maddox.  Bob has a Masters degree and has been doing leadership training around the world for the past 25 years.  He's a Life Coach, Consultant and Leadership trainer and he is currently working on leadership development in Asia.

Lu Hawley.  Lu works to build community and develop servant leaders as she teaches and mentors students in Thailand.  She works specifically with Masters students at Payap University and with students from the Karen hill tribes in the Karen Leadership Development Program.

Gary Williams, Afghanistan Champion.  Gary practiced servant leadership for many years as the COO at Western Partitions, Inc. in Portland, Oregon. He now champions and directs Co-Serve's programs in Afghanistan.

Mike Hubbard, Administrative Assistant.  Mike graciously works as a volunteer for Co-Serve, handling various administrative tasks for the organization.

In addition to these staff, Co-Serve carries out its programs with the help of numerous partners and volunteers in the USA and around the world.




David Knauss teaches in Kazakhstan.


Geoff Guilfoy and Marshall Christensen in Ukraine.


Jonathan and Marshall talk with a student in Kazakhstan.



Michael Marsh, Chair.   Mike has served for over 30 years in Oregon government.  He now consults and assists state and local governments with accountable, citizen-focused financial management.  He has an MBA and is a Contributing Professor at Willamette University Graduate School of Management.

Tabatha Taylor, Vice-Chair.   After involvement in Oregon’s political process, Tabatha has spent the last 18 years in the healthcare industry.  Tabatha currently works for Providence Health & Services in Portland, Oregon.  She has extensive experience in disaster recovery of information technology and emergency preparedness.  For HAM radio fans her call sign is KE7YIZ.

Geoff Guilfoy, Secretary.   Geoff is a principal with Lumen Leaders LLC and he is an Executive Professor at Willamette University's Atkinson Graduate School of Management.  Geoff was formerly a principal at AKT LLP where he directed the company's management consulting services.

Jonathan Martin, Treasurer.   Jonathan Martin worked for 15 years in China where he taught English and English Literature.  He now directs the global outreach department at Good Shepherd Community Church in Boring, Oregon.  He is the author of "Giving Wisely," a book on financial stewardship in charitable giving.

Robert Christensen.   Bob Christensen is a retired pastor.  He and his wife Barbara have served in ministry together in the United States and in Brazil.

Dr. Andrea Cook.   Dr. Andrea Cook currently serves as the President of Warner Pacific College.  She has spent most of her career in higher education in the State of Oregon, including 15 years at George Fox University and, since 2008, at Warner Pacific.  At Warner Pacific, she has been a driving force behind the college embracing its identity as an urban campus dedicated to serving the City of Portland.

David Knauss.   David works as a professional coach, accredited by the International Coaching Federation, for senior executives and teams.  Through coaching, David partners with clients to bring clarity, confidence and direction moving from where they are now to where they want to be.  David worked formerly as the president of Interlink Resources, Inc., an international non-profit.

Lynne McNamee.   Lynne has had extensive experience in team building and leadership as part of an international career with the U.S. Air Force Reserve.  She recently retired as Lieutenant Colonel.  In her most recent assignment, she helped to cultivate relationships and facilitate communication between the U.S. and Central and South Asian countries.

Lawnae Hunter.   Lawnae is the Principal Broker of Hunter Properties, LLC., in Bend, Oregon.  She has over thirty-five years experience in general real estate brokerage.  Lawnae is an active leader in her community and has worked to found a number of non-profits to promote economic and individual development.  She is a founder of the Deschutes Economic Alliance.


P.O. Box 2099, Sandy, OR  97055, Phone: (503) 766-4925, E-mail: info@co-serve.org
Co-Serve International is a 501(c)(3) public charity.