MEET THE STAFF
Field Director and Business Office Coordinator
Steve & Rhonda Nicholes
Steve, Rhonda and their family are currently located at the Word of Life Bible Institute on Jeju Island. A lot of their focus and energy is invested in teaching and training WOLBI Jeju students in the Word of God so that those students can eventually go into other areas of Asia to do the same thing.
Steve is currently the Field Director and resident Bible Survey Professor. Rhonda is overseeing the business office. Their children are also very much involved in the ministry at WOLBI. An equally important role for Steve is overseeing the entire WOL Korea staff: meeting with them each week, seeking to meet their needs and giving direction for each area of ministry Local Church Ministries, SYME (English immersion discipleship training school), Camping and Advancement with family life conferences. Each Sunday Steve is also involved in pastoring an English-speaking congregation within a local Korean church.
Filipe Santos is the Executive Dean at WOL Bible Institute Jeju. Born and raised in Brazil, Filipe has been serving with WOL since 2010. He first started teaching at WOL Bible Seminary in São Paulo, Brazil, and later moved to Hungary, where he served for 6 years as a Resident Professor, Dean of Students and later as Associate Executive Dean at WOL Hungary. Filipe holds BAs in Law and Theology, MAs in Historical Theology and Biblical Studies, and he is currently working on his PhD in Biblical Studies.
In 2012, Filipe married his wife Carol. In that same year, Carol joined the ministry in Hungary with Filipe, where she served as Academic Dean at WOL Bible Institute Hungary. In 2016, Emma Santos, the couple`s first child was born in Hungary, and in the Fall of 2017, the Santos family moved to South Korea in order to serve the ministry of WOL in Jeju island. In the spring of 2018, the Santos family welcomed their son, Samuel.
Dr Mike Ivey
Dr Mike Ivey and his wife Jill have served as missionaries in South Korea since 1986. They have led three different churches in Korea. Dr Ivey holds Master's degrees from Yonsei University and Columbia International University, as well as a PhD from the University of South Carolina.
Dr Ivey is the co-founder and president of Bible Baptist Aid Ministry, a non-governmental organization which provides relief, aid, and development work touching the lives of North Koreans through nutrition, medicine, and food relief. Mike and Jill are preparing to do church planting work among Asian and international expatriates living and working on Jeju Island.
Dr Ivey teaches Pastoral Epistles, Old Testament Survey, and New Testament Survey in addition to serving as WOLBI Jeju Academic Dean.
Jean comes from the United States. She earned a BA in mathematics at the University of Louisville, then had her first trip to South Korea with her husband and youngest son to SYME Korea in 2006. In 2008 they moved to South Korea to serve full time. And in 2009 they came to Jeju Island to assist in building the Bible Institute.
Jean's husband, John Hawkins went home to the Lord in March 2015 after 38 years of marriage and serving as WOLBI Jeju's first main Theology Professor.
Jean continues to serve at the Bible Institute as an academic assistant.
Born and raised in Bermuda, Thalia trusted Christ as her Savior in 1973.
Thalia became familiar with Word of Life through the club ministry in Bermuda and volunteered for many years as an Olympian leader and then as Teen Club leader. She was a high school Business teacher for a number of years and then worked in a law firm for over 25 years in various positions including Secretarial Services Manager, Corporate Manager, and Corporate Administration Trainer but is now semi-retired. She holds a BSc in Business Education.
Dean of Men
After graduating from WOLBI Canada and earning a Master's degree at Columbia International University, Sam worked as an educational pastor in local churches in the US for several years.
In 2015, he joined the team at WOLBI Jeju with his wife, Lily, and their two adorable sons and daughter - Joowon, Joohyeok and JooHa. He serves as Dean of Men.
Dean of Women
Born and raised in Michigan. Ashley is a graduate of WOLBI NY and has earned a B.A. in Women's Ministry from Moody Bible Institute. Ashley served as a Discipleship Coordinator for two years at WOLBI NY prior to joining the staff at WOLBI Jeju.
Ashley is passionate about discipleship and coming alongside others as they grow in Christ. She will be working closely with the young women studying at WOLBI Jeju to support and encourage them.
Samantha Sickel (Western)
Jasmine Lee (Asian)
After two years at the Bible institute and experiencing missions and training in France, Sammie joined staff as a cook at WOL Jeju. She shares the love of Christ to students not only through the savory Western food she prepares, but also as a counselor and friend, often taking students on trips and dinner meetings. Once a month she does European Cuisine night, choosing a different country every time and making popular dishes from that particular place!
Jasmine has been on Jeju Island for five years with her husband and three children. She is a former WOLBI student, and joined the chef staff in 2018.
Ministries Dean and Camp Director
David and Victoria Baek
David Baek was burdened to become a missionary in 2008 when he was in discipleship training school in School for Youth Ministries in English (SYME) which is a Word of Life ministry in South Korea. After finishing 8 months of SYME program, he served Word of Life as Local Church Ministry intern and Camp Coordinator for two years and four months. He was one of the students at WOLBI Jeju’s first year and then went on for another year to study at Word of Life Bible Institute in the US. In 2013, he officially became a Word of Life missionary appointed to South Korea. David also served a local church as a youth pastor for two years.
In 2014, David married Victoria. Victoria was trained at SYME in 2010 and served as an Admissions Counselor there. She also studied at Word of Life Bible Institute in Jeju and is a great support to David for God’s ministry.
Lou and Thelma Nicholes
Lou and Thelma have been married for 57 years and have faithfully served the Lord throughout their life. In 1962 they joined Word of Life and pioneered the Word of Life Local Church Ministry in the Midwest part of the United States, serving 262 Bible Clubs in local churches.
In 1988, they directed a short-term mission program, Youth Reachout, accompanying over 2,000 young people to 42 countries in 12 years, receiving 40,000 signed professions of faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour. In 2000, Word of Life asked them to be representatives, travelling to various Asian countries, helping to establish new ministries and recruit new missionairies, while holding 'Family Life' and 'Mission Recruitment' Seminars.
They currently live on the campus and spend time every day in prayer for each student.