Weimar College Welcomes its Newest Faculty

The new school year is off to a great start with new students and faculty pouring in from all parts of the globe! This year, Weimar College has the privilege of welcoming a new team of diverse and wonderfully accomplished faculty to join us.

Mr. Joel Lutes


Joel Lutes comes to the Weimar College from Angwin, California.

Mr. Lutes grew up in the San Diego area and went to Pacific Union College (PUC) where he studied theology and education. As a college student, Mr. Lutes worked in the library to help pay his way through college. Upon graduation, he had plans to become a bible teacher. However, because the era of baby boom was coming to an end, and enrollment in schools was declining, Mr. Lutes realized he needed a second option. He decided to pursue a master’s degree in library sciences since he had a positive experience previously working in libraries. After completing his master’s program, he then worked at PUC, teaching and managing the library’s electronic systems for 35 years.

This past summer at a weekend event, Mr. Lutes met Dr. Benson, the current vice president of academic affairs. Dr. Benson invited him to visit the Weimar campus and asked if he would consider working part-time as one of the institute’s librarians.

After a visit and some consideration, Mr. Lutes agreed to work at Weimar. He is currently on campus to help Weimar grow its library. This includes adding new resources and databases specific to the information needs of each department. He also teaches part-time at the college, helping students and staff learn how to use the databases.

Mr. Lutes says, “Weimar is a great place, I’m enjoying watching how God is working here. I think God has blessed this college with a lot of great faculty, I’m excited about how we’re able to grow the library program.”


Ms. Julie Farmer

Business Department

Julie Farmer was originally born in Genoa Italy, but grew up in the US.

Before working at Weimar, Ms. Farmer had previously worked in the corporate world for over 20 years. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in finance/accounting, she worked as a consultant to help businesses implement accounting systems. She then completed a master’s in business administration (MBA) from Andrews University. Upon graduating, she worked as an outside contractor for corporate companies. Her job took her to many different places across the across the US.

Ms. Farmer is no stranger to Weimar. She had been coming to the Weimar church for the past 3-4 years. During that time, she heard about the business program through one of the academic deans and was later invited to assist the program. She now serves as the interim chair of the business school.

In addition, Ms. Farmer also teaches a class on microeconomics. She says, “It’s fabulous! Whoever reads this blog, you should come to our class; you can even audit it.” She also has a directive study with a student for business finance.

As a teacher, she is excited to have more interaction with the students. She says, “The students that I see and teach and am getting to know are becoming my children—my kids,” she says jokingly. She continues, “I’m interested in seeing them succeed. I’m interested in seeing them be placed in the future roles and positions that God would have them to be. That’s my goal for them.”


Mr. Rodolfo Ramirez

Student Services

Born in Mexico City, and raised in Baja California, Rodolfo Ramirez comes to us from Ensenadas, Mexico.

Mr. Ramirez holds both a bachelors and master’s degree in business. In addition, he has studied photography for nearly 30 years and is an avid photographer. While in Ensenadas, Mr. Ramirez worked for the state university, Universidad Autonoma de Baja California (UABC), and two private universities, Centro de Estudios Tecnologicos y Superiones (CETYS) and Universidad Interamericana para el Desarrollo (UNID). He has been teaching business-related or photography-related classes both at the high school level and university level for 25 years.

Mr. Ramirez first learned about Weimar in 1986 when a professor from Weimar visited his church in Mexico. His brother, Dr. Eddie Ramirez, then joined the Institute as a researcher for the Nedley Clinic. However, it was only three years ago that he had the opportunity to come and visit Weimar. Eventually, Mr. Ramirez met Dr. Nedley, and was offered the position of the director of student services. He accepted the position and joined this fall.

He says, Weimar “is very different from what I’m used to – living in the city. I like the place; it’s very private in a way. it feels very relaxed … I like the people. I really enjoy people who represent different cultures, different mindsets…there are so many different people, it’s like a kaleidoscope.”

This is the first time that Mr. Ramirez is not in a teaching position in almost 25 years. Still, he is open to teach college classes such as photography in the future.

Mr. Ramirez says, “Weimar is a place that allows you to develop the tools that God is going to use to serve others and to proclaim the message. And I’m here to add, to help in that regard… I’m just here to serve… according to my capacity.”


Dr. Phodidas Ndamymugabe

Theology Department

Dr. Phodidas Ndamymugabe comes to Weimar from the country of Rwanda located in eastern Africa.

Before coming to Weimar with his wife and three sons, Dr. Ndamymugabe was a professor at the large Adventist University of Central Africa (AUCA) for the last 14 years. Dr. Ndamymugabe holds a PhD in religion with an emphasis in world missions. He also taught part-time for the University of Eastern Africa, Baraton in Kigali, Rwanda and the Adventist University of Africa (AUA), located in Nairobi, Kenya.

Dr. Ndamymugabe has a passion for evangelism. While in Rwanda, he participated in multiple evangelistic campaigns, resulting in thousands of baptisms during his 25+ years of church service.

While at AUCA, Dr. Ndamymugabe became acquainted with Dr. Benson, then AUCA president. Dr. Benson asked Dr. Ndamymugabe to join the theology department at Weimar. Feeling that it was time for a change of environment and culture, and looking forward to the prospect of working at Weimar, Dr. Ndamymugabe accepted the invitation to join Weimar’s theology department.

Dr. Ndamymugabe appreciates Weimar’s emphasis in evangelism and Christian atmosphere. He will be teaching Hebrew, Greek, Life and Teachings of Jesus, and mission-related courses such as world missions at the college.

So far, he and his family enjoy the environment of the Weimar campus. He hopes that he can travel more to nearby churches and high schools to continue preaching.  “It is good to love the Lord,” he says. “That is the true success. When you love Jesus, anything else you do will succeed.”