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Faculty & Staff

See all Program Directors listed by school and program name. 

Stephan SchultzeStephan Schultze

Executive Director, Cinematic Arts, Zaki Gordon Center

An active industry professional, both as a writer and cinematographer, Mr. Schultze was the former director of the Zaki Gordon Institute. Schultze was instrumental in the development and oversight of the film school for its first ten years. He holds an M.A. from Northern Arizona University and a B.S. in Communications from Appalachian State.

Mr. Schultze began his career in advertising, before moving to Los Angeles in 1989 to pursue a career in the film industry. Once in Hollywood, he worked his way up through the ranks, while learning the craft from the best, including projects directed by James Cameron and Ron Underwood. Mr. Schultze has worked in every aspect of the industry including major motion pictures (The Abyss, Tremors, Henson Productions), television (Drew Carey Show, HBO, Showtime), music videos, commercials, industrial videos, and countless independent films. As a cinematographer, he has worked with all media formats, including 70 mm, and High Definition. Schultze’s credits include The Lesser Evil, an independent film he co-authored and co-produced with Jeremy Levine (MGM).

Doug MillerDoug Miller

Associate Professor, Cinematic Arts, Zaki Gordon Center

As a filmmaker, Mr. Miller has worked all over the world: Vienna, Austria; Managua, Nicaragua; Hiroshima, Japan; the Capitol Mall in Washington D.C. From feature films in Nigeria and India to lighting the 700 Club TV show on location in Jerusalem, he has developed a reputation for being the “calming influence” on the set while getting the job done with grace and style. Mr. Miller’s work as a Director of Photography and Lighting Designer/Director has been seen on PBS, INSP, The Family Channel, ABC, NBC, The Kennedy Center, and in Africa and India.

As an educator, Mr. Miller has been instrumental in the lives of students now graduated and working in the industry in Europe, Asia and the US including New York City and LA. He completed his MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts at Goddard College in a program that has allowed him to bring together his belief that God loves the arts and desires to use them for His kingdom.

Michael TorresMichael Torres

Associate Professor, Cinematic Arts, Zaki Gordon Center

In his twenty years as an industry professional, Dr. Michael Torres worked as a writer, producer, and director on projects ranging from 30-second spots to feature-length films. His credits reach across the world on projects produced and broadcast in Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, the South Pacific, Africa, South, and Central America, as well as the United States.

For nearly ten years, Dr. Torres worked with the International Programming Department of the Christian Broadcasting Network. During that tenure, he was involved in multiple creative roles on drama, docudrama, music video, animation, and combined live-action and animation productions. One of the highlights of that tenure was managing producing and co-directing an original and Angel award-winning musical drama, Adventures of a Colorful Life, shot on location in Manila, Philippines, and Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Durell NelsonDurrell Nelson

Assistant Professor, Cinematic Arts, Zaki Gordon Center

Mr. Nelson has thirty years in the film industry and has worked in the capacity of actor, stuntman, stunt coordinator, screenwriter, director, and producer. He is the director/producer of Texas Rein. During his career, Mr. Nelson has had the privilege of working on projects directed by Ron Howard, Brian DePalma, Oliver Stone, and Claude LeLouch. As a writer, Mr. Nelson is a recipient of the prestigious Jerome Lawrence Award for his stage play Falling Lightly and first prize winner at the Maryland Film Festival for his screenplay The Home Game, co-written with his wife Rebecca. Most recently he penned the teleplay adaptation for the book Dragonflies, Shadow of Drones. Mr. Nelson holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte, a Masters of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California, a Masters of Arts in Theological Studies from Liberty University, and is a summa cum laude graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Finance from Woodbury University.

Also a SAG member for more than 20 years, Mr. Nelson has worked on numerous productions including Killing Lincoln, JAG, An American Carol, X-Files, General Hospital, Melrose Place, Blow Out, Passions, and the mini-series, Les uns et les autres. Mr. Nelson is a co-founder of Beautiful Feet Productions with his wife Rebecca. Their mission is to create films that impact the world through the redemptive power of a Christian worldview. As a professor and certified Leadership Coach, Mr. Nelson is devoted to equipping and challenging students toward reaching their full potential, vocationally and spiritually, as purposed by Christ.

Scotty CurleeScotty Curlee

Assistant Professor, Cinematic Arts, Zaki Gordon Center

Mr. Curlee is the Founder and Executive Producer of Red Cloud Productions, LLC. Committed to the vision of "Changing the World through Cinema", he founded RCP in 2007 to produce films that are socially responsible and have a positive impact on our communities. Mr. Curlee's feature-length film, 'The Potential Inside' has been endorsed by the American Family Association, DOVE Foundation, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes while receiving 8 festival nominations worldwide. It is currently being distributed in the United States by Echolight Studios and has distribution in 13 countries.

Mr. Curlee is a working producer/director with projects in development. He is committed to producing exciting, engaging, and technically accurate films in genres that have been previously unexplored by filmmakers while raising the level of Christian cinema, worldwide. He is excited about integrating his passion for filmmaking with teaching at Liberty University and understands the importance of training a new generation of filmmakers with the foundation of a Christian worldview. He is a native of South Korea.

James WalzJames Walz

Assistant Professor, Cinematic Arts, Zaki Gordon Center

Mr. Walz is a practicing sound engineer, music producer, and composer. As a recent graduate of Liberty University, he holds a Masters of Business Administration and a Bachelors of Music in Piano Performance. Mr. Walz is also an Avid Certified Instructor for Pro Tools. In 2008, he founded Hallow Tree Studios, a full-service recording and mixing facility where he wrote, produced, and mixed numerous projects from gospel and worship to rap, rock, classical, and bluegrass.

In 2006, Mr. Walz toured with the musical group he helped found “Six Chasing Seven”, where he got the opportunity to work with members of the Dave Matthews Band at Haunted Hollow Studios in Charlottesville, Va. It was during that experience he decided to pursue a career in audio engineering. Mr. Walz’s passion for film and music started at a very young age and was culminated in 2008 where he performed an hour-long senior piano recital that included works by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, and Bartok. Mr. Walz is honored to be a part of the faculty at his alma mater. He plans to continue the tradition of Christian mentorship and high academic standards at Liberty University.

Lorene WalesLorene Wales

Associate Professor, Cinematic Arts, Zaki Gordon Center

Dr. Wales grew up on the east coast where she attended film school, then headed out west for a career in the film industry in Los Angeles, California. She started out as a Production Assistant in low budget independent feature films and worked her way up to 1st Assistant Director, Unit Production Manager and Producer on low and higher budget features. After leaving L.A. behind she began a teaching career on the east coast and continues to work in the industry, most recently as Executive Producer for "First Landing" (ABC Family Channel), "Habeas Corpus" (award-winning short film) and the upcoming "Jesse & Naomi" (feature film co-production with Home Theater Films). She has also written two film production textbooks, the most recent titled, "The Complete Guide to Film & Digital Production" published by Focal Press.

Darin WalesDarin Wales

Assistant Professor, Cinematic Arts, Zaki Gordon Center

Mr. Wales is an award-winning producer, director and editor having created episodic television for the likes of Discovery Channel, Discovery ID, The Learning Channel, Discovery Health, and The National Geographic Channel with shows such as Wicked Attraction, The FBI Files, The New Detectives, Diagnosis Unknown, and Interpol Investigates, among others. Mr. Wales has also produced, directed, and/or edited over forty corporate and industrial video programs for companies such as DuPont and General Motors, while also writing and directing several award-winning short films of his own. Numerous Telly’s, a Cine, and various other festival and production awards are to his credit.
Mr. Wales recently completed his Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing/Screenwriting from Queens University of Charlotte to add to his Master of Education from Baylor University and Master of Communication from Regent University. Prior to his filmmaking career, Mr. Wales worked as a high school and college athletics coach and served as a foreign missionary in Africa and Europe, where he discovered his love of storytelling through film and video. Mr. Wales has two finished screenplays and several others in various stages of development.

Jonathan HoutJonathan Hout

Assistant Professor Cinematic Arts, Zaki Gordon Center

Mr. Hout is a director, cinematographer, editor, and designer who originally hails from Lexington, Ky. While he discovered his love for storytelling at a young age, he could never have known how far it would take him. From the beaches of Virginia to the mountains of eastern Europe, he's always looking forward to his next adventure - camera in-hand and ready to go. When he's not filming, Mr. Hout can usually be found working on his next narrative project or exercising his skills in marketing and web development. Most of all, however, he loves teaching others and sharing the skills and knowledge he's gained over the past 8 years of production experience. If his years on set have taught him anything, it's that hands-on experience is essential to success in the industry, and he attempts to apply this lesson to every class.

Mr. Hout has participated in a number of award-winning projects, receiving a Gold Remi Award from Worldfest Houston in 2014, where his short film, Fragile Witness, was selected and screened in front of an international audience. Currently, he is working on a number of projects at various stages of development, including a new superhero-themed web series entitled Power Trials that debuted Fall 2015.

Danny CarralesDanny Carrales

Assistant Professor Cinematic Arts, Zaki Gordon Center

Mr. Carrales is an award-winning writer/producer/director and is the founder and owner of DRC Films, LLC, which produces faith-based movies with evangelistic themes. He has worked on projects for the Christian Broadcasting Network, The Family Channel, Blue Fish TV, Dutch Television, and New Day Pictures before concentrating all his production efforts at DRC Films. His films have garnered the following awards: Finalist NY Film Festival (religion and ethics category), Silver Plaque Award (Chicago Intercom Film Festival), “Classic Gold” Telly Award and the Special Gold Jury Award (WorldFest Houston). 

His latest directing project, Beyond the Darkness, had a limited theatrical release in 2016. Mr. Carrales is excited about teaching and mentoring young Christian filmmakers to develop their calling and career in the film industry.

Stuart BennettStuart Bennett

Assistant Professor Cinematic Arts, Zaki Gordon Center

Mr. Bennett is a writer, producer, and director with a career in film and television spanning more than 38 years. He began his television career in England where he worked as a film editor for BBC Television and graduated from the BBC film-training program at Ealing Film Studios in London.

Stuart has many film and TV credits to his name and he has worked on several award-winning productions. He was First Assistant Editor on the feature film: John Wycliffe "Morning Star" (1983). The film won a CINE Golden Eagle Award, Bronze Award from New York International Film & TV Festival, Chris statuette from Columbus Film Festival, "Best Film of the Year", "Best Actor," "Best Director," "Best cinematography from Christian Film Distributors. Stuart also won a Telly Award for best documentary for the Death at Antietam episode of the TLC Archaeology series in 1994. He has produced reality, documentary, magazine and drama productions for international TV networks such as Chinese Central TV, Russia’s Channel 1, Japan’s NHK and TV11 Thailand. He has also worked for companies such as Tyne Tees Television and Grenville Films in the U.K. and New Dominion Pictures, ABC Television and The Christian Broadcasting Network in the USA.

In 2003, Stuart started North Entertainment, an independent film company that distributed films such as Man Dancin (2003), Christmas Child (2004) and many other film and video products. In addition, in 2006 Stuart began North Records (ASCAP) with a vision to launch talented international Christian artists into the U.S. market. In 2007 the song “All This for Me” by Debbie K. from Thailand was No. 1 for 14 weeks in the U.S. Independent Christian Charts. North Records worked with artists from Europe, Russia, Latin America, Africa, and Asia, produced several albums including 2 that were mastered at Abbey Road Studios in London. 

Micah JohnsonMicah Johnson

Technology Manager, Cinematic Arts, Zaki Gordon Center

Mr. Johnson is an active industry professional as a cinematographer, visual effects specialist, and editor. He has owned and operated his own production company, Micah Johnson Productions, LLC, for more than ten years. Mr. Johnson began his career as a grip working for Steve David Productions, Inc. in Phoenix, Arizona. He then went on to build several television/recording studios across the United States. He has worked in every aspect of the industry including independent films, music videos, commercials, industrial videos, and television.

Won NovalisWon Novalis

Assistant Professor, Cinematic Arts, Zaki Gordon Center

Won Novalis is an award-winning editor of six feature films as well as dozens of commercial, documentary, and short film projects. He also has feature and commercial experience as DIT and a post-production supervisor.  

In the commercial world, he has and still works with clients like GE, Microsoft, the United Way, and the American Advertising Federation. A student of his craft, he's constantly pushing the boundaries and enjoys working with those who do the same.

Seth HouserSeth Houser

Equipment Manager, Cinematic Arts, Zaki Gordon Center

Seth Houser is a member of the first graduating class in the Cinematic Arts program at Liberty. He specializes in post-production sound. As the Equipment Manager, he now enjoys taking the experience from the program and his few years in the main cinema office and implementing them into running the equipment warehouse. Mr. Houser has worked on 10 feature films, including the Kendrick Brother's War Room and Mom's Night Out, a film by Jon and Andy Erwin.

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