For almost 40 years, Norm Nelson was the President of Compassion Ventures, Inc. and host of Compassion Radio, a unique faith-based, boots-on-the-ground activist media ministry based in Lake Forest, California. The program is heard daily in most major markets across the United States, and in Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East. Its humanitarian projects have been carried out in 30 countries.
Norm’s pioneering vision was to move beyond the traditionally passive “I talk, you listen” broadcasting formula, to involve listeners in responsible servant outreach to the neediest people in the toughest places on earth. In keeping with this vision, Compassion Radio has mobilized its listening partners to launch and support dozens of Compassion Projects around the world.
Dr. Nelson was uniquely prepared to develop and lead such an activist ministry. He held a B.A. from Westmont College, an M. Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary, a Th. M. from Princeton Theological Seminary, and completed doctoral studies in Religion, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution at the Graduate Theological Foundation. He pursued graduate studies in Islamics at Oxford University and held post-graduate certificates in Human Rights and International Law from the International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, and from American University in Washington, D.C.
He also served as a regional board member for such organizations as the American Red Cross, the Heifer Project, and Partners of the Americas. He was a trustee of several Christian human rights organizations, including Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding (EMEU), and a Board of Advisors member of service organizations in India and Egypt. Late in his career he was named to the national Mission Network Task Force on Iraq of the Presbyterian Church USA.
Norm was a published author, a contributor to numerous books, magazines and journals. He is also frequently spoke at churches, colleges, universities, schools and conferences.
The Right Rev. Dr. Norm Nelson passed to Glory on April 10, 2017 after a long illness. Highlights from the Best of Dr. Nelson’s teaching are still heard on a frequent basis as ‘Compassion Radio Classics’ and continue to inspire the Compassion Radio Family to do the Word, not simple hear it. His wife, Cher, continues to serve the Ministry as Chairman of the Board, as frequent contributor to the Compassion Radio Broadcast, and as Donor Relations Director, continuing a very personal ministry to the thousands of Compassion Radio Giving Partners.