Adventure Education Faculty

Dave Tanis
Dave Tanis
Senior Lecturer in Adventure Education; Director of Adventure Programs

Prior to his career as a faculty member, Dave spent 13 years working for a campus ministry organization.  During this time he discovered that adventure activities could be a powerful catalyst for promoting growth and transformation in student’s lives.  He is now committed to equipping students with the wisdom and skills necessary to develop powerful learning opportunities utilizing adventure activities.  Dave has a D.Ed. from Penn State in the field of Adult Education where he explored the role of play and playfulness in learning among adults.  He holds numerous professional certifications in various adventure activities, but is most passionate about water based activities and loves paddling his white water canoe on the Lower Youghiogheny River.


•    American Canoe Association Instructor/Instructor Trainer
•    Level 3 Whitewater Canoeing Instructor Trainer, 2011 - present
•    Level 3 River Safety and Rescue Instructor, 2011 - present
•    Professional Climbing Instructors' Association (PCIA) Base Managed Climbing Instructor, 2010 - present
•    Wilderness Education Association (WEA) Instructor, 1995 - present
•    Leave No Trace (LNT) Master Educator, 2004 - present
•    Association of Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) Level II Facilitator, 2013
•    Wilderness First Responder, SOLO, 1993 to present


D.Ed., 2012
Pennylsvania State University
M.A., 1997
Geneva College
B.S., 1990
Calvin College
Contact Information:
Larsen 228
Suite: 3050
Phone: 717.766.2511.2134

Jim Gustafson
Jim Gustafson
Associate Professor of Health & Human Performance

Dr. Jim Gustafson is a graduate of Wheaton College with B.S. degree in physical education.  He taught several years in the public schools prior to coming to Messiah.  His doctorate is from Temple University with a major in recreation and leisure studies.  He is a long time member of the Christian Society for Kinesiology and Leisure Studies (CSKLS) where he has served as a member of the Board of Directors and in 2011 received the Glen Van Andel Distinguished Service Award.  Dr. G.’s most recent presentations at the CSKLS annual conference focus on wellness, healthy relationships and mentoring.  His life goal is to become more like Jesus every day.

Ed.D, 1986
Temple University
M.S., 1971
Northern Illinois University
B.S., 1969
Wheaton College
CTRS, 1996-2001
Eastern Washington University
Contact Information:
Sollenberger 148
Suite: 4501
Phone: 717-766-2511.3140