The daughter, wife, mother, and sister-in-law of pastors, and a pastor herself, Dr. Karen Cress has over thirty years experience as a pastor, administrator, consultant and coach, plus the education to help organizations focus on being prepared for whatever the future holds.
Dr. Cress is known as an interrogator of truth. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Theology, not to prove women could be pastors and lead organizations, but to find answers to her questions. During her college years, she met another theology student, John Cress, whom she married. Two children arrived in the Cress household (now adults, one who has given them two beautiful, intelligent grandchildren), and after serving as everything from choir director to pastor alongside her husband, she accepted an invitation to lead an experiment in one of her denomination’s regions utilizing church assessments and moving Church Boards toward governance rather than merely providing permissions.
Innovation in conservative denominations often ends poorly. The experimenting churches grew dramatically, some more than doubling attendance in three years. However, before the end of four years, the president was un-elected, and new leadership put in place. Within a few years, the Cresses moved to another part of America that wanted to continue experimenting. At that point, Karen asked to pursue an advanced degree to help her learn and grow from her earlier experience and to ensure the new region experienced churches changing successfully. Karen attended Regent University where she received her Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership with a concentration in Consulting (MOL) and her Doctorate in Strategic Leadership with a focus in Strategic Foresight (DSL).
Dr. Cress believes all truth is God’s truth, no matter where it comes from (a Regent University mantra), and is convinced all organizations, business and nonprofit, can and should learn and grow from each other. Her heart’s desire is to help leaders of business, nonprofits, and religious organizations reduce the pain of change by leading intentionally, clarifying the why, what, who, and how of change and supplying training in the tools of hindsight, insight, and foresight to lead all organizations toward visualized planning and design for an uncertain future.