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Introducing the Theology Department

This week, we continue our series to help you become better acquainted with each department at Maranatha.
We asked the eight faculty members of the Theology Department to share a little about themselves, particularly any unique projects they incorporate into their curriculum, along with any hobbies or pastimes they enjoy outside of school. 
Several of these teachers revealed a few of the special projects planned for their students this year. Mr. McAleese uses a “Practicing Virtue” project for his seniors. Mr. Mesisca’s students research a Biblical patriarch, then write and film a video about key events in the patriarch’s life. Mr. Parker’s World Religions students have projects in which they create their own myth, and find religious symbols in their day-to-day life. 
Dr. James Layton, who serves as Chair of the department, joined Maranatha 15 years ago. When not at school, he finds joy in spending time with his wife, Cyndi, and his son, Archer.  Pat Mesisca is an alum from the Class of 1992 who returned to teach at Maranatha these past 23 years. He keeps pretty busy teaching both Theology classes and Speech & Debate, but also enjoys watching and playing baseball with his three children. John Wells has been with Maranatha for 15 years, and currently teaches both Theology and Performing Arts classes. In his spare time, he loves to cook and entertain, but also enjoys picking up a good book. Dr. Matt Ketterling has been with Maranatha these past 6 years, but also taught here from 2004 to 2006. His four young children keep him busy outside of school, with most of his free time spent at Little League baseball games, youth basketball games, doing art projects, and “keeping little humans alive.” Greg Parker came to us 7 years ago. In addition to his teaching schedule, he also oversees our student ministry team. He is a competitive swimmer (yes, he still races) and can be found in the pool at the Rose Bowl most mornings before school. Nathan McAleese has also been with the department for 7 years. In his free time, his self-proclaimed hobby is “playing DnD with friends and family”. Mike Mancini came to us 6 years ago and also serves as a Dean of Students. Outside of work, he loves to fish, as well as read history books when time permits. Philip Chew is the newest member of the department, teaching these past 5 years at Maranatha. In addition to being comfortable in the classroom environment, he is also comfortable tackling home improvement projects - when he’s not taking walks with his wife, Linda, of course. 
We are grateful for the dedication and talent these teachers bring to their classrooms, and for the impact, they have each day on the lives of our students.