Meet Our Team
The Institute Staff
Our team is here to guide young men and women as they intensely study God’s Word, establish a foundation of beliefs, work through broken past, and create a vision for their future.
Keith Chancey is the founder of the Kanakuk Institute. He is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University and Dallas Theological Seminary with more than 45 years of ministry experience at KLIFE, Denton Bible Church and Kanakuk Kamps. Keith is married to Karen and together they have two children and two grandchildren who he is affectionately known by as “Champs!” Keith desires for young men and women to be equipped for a lifetime with God’s Word no matter what their occupation is. This is what really sparked the vision to start the Kanakuk Institute in 2002. Keith has a heart for as many people to come to know Christ as possible, and his love for God is contagious!
, Director of Women
Karen Chancey founded the Kanakuk Institute alongside her husband Keith and has more than 43 years of ministry experience. She has been a missionary with AIM and a Women’s Director at both KLIFE and Kanakuk Kamps. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri and Dallas Theological Seminary and has a passion to teach the Word of God. Karen is a certified leader/teacher for Precepts Ministries, Evangelism Explosion, Walk Thru the Bible, and Evangelical Teacher Training Association. She loves teaching at the Kanakuk Institute while also coming alongside the students as they discover more about God and His Word. She and Keith have two children and two grandchildren, which call her one of her favorite titles, “Cookie!”
, Vice President
Chad Hampsch helped start the Institute with Keith and Karen and is now the Vice President. In addition to his role at KI, Chad is a Director at Kanakuk Kamps and a part of the teaching team at First Baptist Church Branson. Chad is married to Cat and together they have four children. While Chad wears many hats, most often you can find him in his St. Louis Cardinals one, his favorite is husband and dad. Chad is passionate about helping others understand how to accurately handle the Word of God and blesses our students as he uses his spiritual gift of teaching to do so.
, Women's Staff
Catherine Hampsch said yes to marrying Chad and starting the Kanakuk Institute all at once! She has been part of every year of students since 2002. She and Chad love being mom and dad to their four children. She is a graduate of Southwest Baptist University and has more than 20 years of ministry experience. Cat’s humble confidence and wisdom are assets to how we as a staff get to invest in our students. Although she’s quieter in her passion, Cat cheers for the St. Louis Cardinals and Blues as much as Chad and the rest of her family!
, Dean of Men
Grant Gaines has been part of the Kanakuk Institute staff for nearly a decade as the Dean of Men. He was a student in the Class of 2013, then served with a ministry called AfterDark before joining the team. He is a graduate of the University of Arkansas where the Lord really began to get a hold of his heart. Grant is married to Sarah and together they have three children. He plays a primary role in the discipleship of our male students and lives his life in a way that gives them an example to follow. Grant is a gifted Bible teacher as well as a loyal Dallas Cowboys fan!
, Dean of Women
Lindsay Mawhorr fills our team as the Dean of Women where she primarily focuses on the discipleship and development of our female students. In addition to her role at KI, she is a Director at Kanakuk Kamps. Lindsay is married to Josh and together they have one child. She is passionate about young people understanding who God is so they can understand who they are, and then live confidently for a lifetime because they have acquired the tools to make wise decisions on their own. She is a graduate of Oklahoma State University, then received her masters from John Brown University while attending KI in the Class of 2010. She is a foodie at heart who loves trying new restaurants when traveling and almost always has Blue Bell Ice Cream her freezer!
, Director of Operations
Joy Oatman attended the Kanakuk Institute as a student in the Class of 2010 and has been a part of our staff ever since. She is a Bearcat, a graduate of Southwest Baptist University. Joy is gifted in a way that brings clarity and structure to the administrative needs of KI as the Director of Operations, all while also bringing adventure, fun and humor. She loves helping students discover how loved they are by God while also strategically knocking off travel destinations from her bucket list each year!
, Office & Academic Manager
Julie Brinkman serves as our Office and Academic Manager. The academic component of the Kanakuk Institute is critical to our program, and Julie oversees, manages and enhances the student experience through it. A graduate of Abilene Christian University, Julie then attended KI in 2017. She has lived in Branson ever since and has found ways to plug into the community through the local theater both performing and directing. Julie loves helping students fully understand and comprehend all they are learning about God’s Word and enjoys walking alongside students to help in this process.
, Men's Discipleship & Recruiting
Cody Terrill joined our staff officially in 2019 after volunteering for years simply because he believed in the work God’s doing at the Kanakuk Institute. While insurance is his full-time employment, Cody finds time to significantly contribute to Men’s Recruiting and Discipleship. His laid back, relational gifting allows him to build equity with our students and recruits quickly as he simply desires to see them love God more. He graduated from Baylor University, then attended KI as a student in 2013. Cody’s married to Courtney and together they have two children. He spins many plates, but he still finds time to cheer on the Cubs and the Bears (both Chicago and Baylor)!
, Women's Discipleship & Recruiting
Jennifer Ford attended the Kanakuk Institute in the Class of 2013 after moving to Branson from Dallas when she married her husband, Don Ford. She then joined our staff and serves in a significant role with Women’s Recruiting and Discipleship. Jenn brings vast experience to our team formerly working in both the business/sales as well as ministry worlds. She has led the charge in adding in a coaching element to our student experience that has moved the needle for next steps decisions for our students. Jenn is an avid Oklahoma Sooners fan, and she and Don thrive in the realm of hospitality together using their home as a ministry tool.
, The Cottages Customer Specialist
Janna Brown has lived in Branson for more than three decades where she and her husband Terry have raised their three adult children. They have actively served in their local church and have been serving as a host family for the Kanakuk Institute since 2002. When we bought our own property, The Cottages on Lakeshore, we knew we had a hole we needed to fill in the Cottages Customer Specialist. Janna’s gift of hospitality made her the perfect fit! She serves our vacationers all summer long, then also our students throughout the year. She is passionate about seeing young people understand the freedom available in Christ alone. Janna is a graduate of the University of Kansas and the discipleship program, Doulos. You can find her cheering on the Jayhawks regularly, but she loves cheering on her grown kids the most!
Our Teaching Faculty
The Kanakuk Institute Faculty is a diverse group of business professionals, pastors, non-profit executives, and lay church leaders from across the country that are also playing a part of gospel-work on the global scene. Every year 40-50 uniquely gifted individuals come and share Biblical wisdom and practical knowledge in areas such as Bible, Apologetics, Practical Theology, Marriage and Family, and Societal and Ethical Issues. These leaders bring literally 100’s of years of experience, wisdom, and knowledge with the goal of raising up leaders who “will be able to teach others also.”
For more information about out Curriculum, Staff, or Faculty please feel free to fill out the Contact Us button below.