Founders of HLI

The Founders of HLI:


Phil Strout is the National Director of the Vineyard Movement. Phil has served the cause of Christ for the last 37 years as a senior pastor, missionary, and church planter. He has served the Vineyard USA in it’s missions development and served on the national board for a number of years. He graduated from Bible College in 1983 and has a Master in Ministry from St. Stephens University. He is particularly passionate about the development of this Institute due to his own journey in ministry and his profound belief that the five core Vineyard values and the four ancient pillars described Heroic Leadership are the chips needed for the next generation of leaders.


Allen Austin has served as the executive pastor of Pathway Vineyard for the last 13 years and has recently assumed the role of senior pastor of Pathway, an assignment with which he is honored and blessed. His heart for local church ministry, as well as his role as a parent, gives him a unique voice in the development of HLI. He has an Associate’s Degree in radiology and is a graduate of Vineyard Leadership Institute. He will be assisting in the development of the curriculum and making his staff available to students to ensure that each HLI graduate has both a love for and a vision for the many areas of local church ministry. He also helps us make sure that the financial and legal details are complete.


Shawn and Jenna Stepp are the founding directors of the Heroic Leadership Institute. They have been serving the youth and young adults of the Vineyard East region for the last decade.  They have served as youth pastors and as the regional task force leaders. Shawn is passionate about worship and seeing young people experience the in-breaking of the Kingdom every day. As a Physician Assistant, he leads Pathway’s medical outreaches to the Dominican Republic and loves seeing communities of healing developed both locally and internationally. Shawn has a bachelor’s of art in Biblical Literature from Oral Roberts University and a Master of Science: Physician Assistant from the University of New England.

Jenna currently serves on the Vineyard USA’s national youth task force and is passionate about seeing young people empowered with the supernatural reality of the Christian life!  Jenna holds a bachelors degree in International Business from Oral Roberts University and a graduate of the Vineyard Leadership Institute.  Both Jenna and Shawn will be directing HLI staff, developing curriculum and assisting in the teaching/mentoring portions of HLI, as well as hosting a ridiculous amount of HLI gatherings in their home.