About Us

The Perpetual Teachers

Joel Heim, M. Div., Ph.D.


Nelia Beth

Nelia Beth Scovill, M.Div., Ph.D.


During our careers in higher education, our students routinely identified us as some of their most influential and engaging teachers. When our academic careers ended earlier than expected, we found ourselves at the end of a proverbial rope.  No matter what we did, we could not escape our true calling as educators:  to help others become a better version of themselves.

In 2018, we figured out how to tie a knot in our proverbial rope so we could hang on to our calling:   we formed Explore Big Ideas LLC, an online personal development and education company. Now, no longer limited to serving students enrolled in a specific institution, our opportunities seem limitless. Through our web-based offerings we can reach anyone willing to join us on the journey of exploring ideas that matter.

Enrich Your Life With Big Ideas

Explore Big Ideas LLC provides unique learning experiences that enrich your life and help you become a better version of yourself. 

Our projects and websites feature

  • adult-focused, personal development content, 
  • interactive web-based education, and
  • engaging multi-media formats.

By fully engaging in our offerings you will

  • learn to think better;
  • learn to act consistently with your values;
  • learn to interact amicably and respectfully with those who hold different views;
  • progress in finding your purpose, understanding your true self, and living more fully;
  • prepare to participate in our multi-cultural world; and
  • gain experience in discussing with others ideas that matter.

Master Educators

Long noted for our engaging and innovative teaching styles, we bring more than 40 years of college teaching experience at universities in California and Wisconsin. We have also led urban and suburban congregations and led education programs for children, youth, and adults in religious organizations.  Joel spent 5 years teaching in Nebraska public schools before heading to seminary.  Since leaving higher education, Nelia Beth now works in healthcare information technology.    

We both earned our Ph.Ds. in social ethics from the University of Southern California and master’s degrees in religion from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York (affiliated with with Columbia University). Joel has a bachelor's degree in secondary education from the University of Nebraska.  Nelia Beth has her bachelor’s degree in religious studies from Oregon State University.

Joel and Nelia Beth

Get To Know Us at Explore Big Ideas LLC

Free Will

Try it out!

Experience first-hand what it means to explore a big idea as you watch this 5 minute video about "free will."

Learn Ponder Engage

The EBI Process

Better understand the Explore Big Idea process of exploration by reading about each of its three phases.  

Nelia Beth & Joel

Nelia Beth & Joel

Discover more about each of us on our individual pages, which includes our most recent CV.  

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