A proverb in the Downs household is that Bert still works for everyone he ever worked for, and that’s very close to the truth. At various times a high school teacher and principal, a football coach, the vice president for Walk Thru the Bible Ministries, a WTB seminar instructor, a seminary staff and faculty member, a seminary president, the executive director of a conference center, a regional exec for a church association, a seminary chancellor and an interim pastor multiple times over, Bert still periodically engages in all of those things, often with the original groups he started with! Yes, multi-faceted and multi-engaged would be good ways to describe Bert’s career in and out of the ministry.
Perhaps through all of the facets of his life, however, Dr. Downs is best known as an effective change agent, having led several organizations through major changes while guiding them to new life and having coached other leaders to lead their groups in the same way. And though not a trained theologian, he is recognized by those with whom he works as bringing a sound theological basis to the changes he has so frequently led and coached. He says of himself, “I’m a Bible guy . . . so no matter who I’m working with or what the specific project is, I’m always asking what the Bible has to say about each particular situation.” Bert began his post-college career as a high school teacher and football coach. Even though those days are now in the distant past, many with whom he works still call him “coach.”
While holding degrees from Washington State University, Multnomah University, Western Seminary, and Denver Seminary, Bert’s down-to-earth leadership coaching and team approach define his life and ministry. Bert and his wife Alice and their two adult children live in Washington State near the Olympic Mountains, Puget Sound. From there, Alice operates a business she launched in 2012. Bert continues his multi-faceted life, including serving as Chancellor of Western Seminary, the regional coach for Southwest Church Connection, and a personal coach/trainer for individuals and groups throughout the West.
- Master of Arts (MA) - Western Seminary
- Bachelor of Arts (BA) - Washington State University
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