Contact Information

Global Mission Institute

Northwestern Hall 110B

Fax: 651-641-3531

Who We Are - Staff


Contact the GMI
Ph: 651-641-3487
via e-mail

Dr. Robera Battal, Interim Director

Robera brings to this position significant experience in multicultural ministry and studies in international relations. He also brings congregational ministry, program oversight and administrative experience. He most recently served as assistant to the bishop in the Minneapolis Area Synod. Robera has degrees from Augsburg College, Yale University and Bethel Seminary.

Chenar Howard

Chenar E. E. Howard, Program & Relations Coordinator

Chenar has worked in the GMI since October 2006. In May 2012, she also became the Assistant Director of International Student and Scholar Affairs at the seminary.

Chenar is a member of NAFSA: Association of International Educators, served on the Minnesota International Educators Board from 2009-10 and 2010-11, served on the Board of Directors for a local non-profit, and has served on several church committees. She is pursuing a M.A. in Leadership from Augsburg College.

Chenar is the grand-daughter and great-grand-daughter of missionaries to India, and has traveled to a variety of countries herself. She has found a true vocation in her position, where her faith foundation intersects with her professional field of International Education.


Katherine Museus, GMI Student Worker

Katherine is an affiliate student at Luther Seminary as well as an M.A. student in the History of Christianty. She received her B.A. in Theatre Arts and Religion from nearby Hamline University in 2010 and her M.Div. from Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville, TN in 2013. Katherine is a candidate for ordained ministry in the Southeastern Synod of the ELCA. Her non-theological (if there is such a thing) passions include Battlestar Galactica, playing music, and turning plastic bags into yarn.




 Dynna Castillo Portugal

Dynna Castillo Portugal, GMI Student Worker

Rev. Dynna Erika Castillo Portugal is from Mexico and is affiliated with the Evangelical (Free Methodist) Church. She is an ordained pastor; before coming to Luther Seminary, she completed a residency of Clinical Pastoral Education at Fairview Southdale Hospital. She speaks English and Spanish. In 2005, Dynna received her MATS (Masters of Arts in Theological Studies) at Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, MN. Dynna loves sports and music. She is a talented musician who enjoys singing, playing the piano, mandolin, and drums. At Luther Seminary, Dynna is pursuing a Ph.D. in Pastoral Care and Counseling. Dynna plans to return to her home congregation in Mexico City where she will be able to work full time in pastoral care and counseling.

Lisa Cohen, GMI Development liaison


Jenna Gieseke

Jenna GiesEke, GMI Development Liaison