Type to search

Leadership Team

Warren Cole Smith


Warren Cole Smith is the president of MinistryWatch.com.

Prior to taking on this role, Smith was Vice President-Mission Advancement for the Colson Center for Christian Worldview.  Warren also hosts the weekly podcast “Listening In,” a long-form interview program heard by tens of thousands of subscribers each week. 

He also served as Vice President and Associate Publisher of WORLD News Group, publisher of WORLD Magazine. Before transitioning to a career in ministry, Warren spent more than 20 years in the corporate world, including seven years as the Marketing Director for a major division of PricewaterhouseCoopers, the global accounting and consulting firm. 

Smith has written more than 3000 articles in his career, including investigative or enterprise pieces on some of the biggest Christian ministries in the country.  He has also written, co-written, or edited more than 10 books, including Restoring All Things:  God’s Audacious Plan To Change The World Through Everyday People (with John Stonestreet, 2015).  

Other books include, with Marvin Olasky, a revised and updated edition of the classic book on Christian journalism, Prodigal Press:  The Anti-Christian Bias of the American News Media (2013).  Smith’s 2009 book A Lover’s Quarrel With The Evangelical Church was an influential look at megachurches and mega-ministries.  During the 90s and early 2000s, he published “The Charlotte World.”  During his time as publisher and editor of “The Charlotte World,” that paper was twice being named “Newspaper of the Year” by the Evangelical Press Association/ Fellowship of Christian Newspapers.  

His education includes a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in English, both from the University of Georgia. He and his wife Missy have been married for more than 35 years, and they have four grown children. Warren and Missy live in Charlotte, N.C.

Tim Burns

Chairman of the Board

Tim Burns serves as the Chief Financial Officer for Stewardship Partners Investment Counsel. Stewardship Partners is an investment manager dedicated to helping Christian investors align their investing with their biblically based world. Prior to joining Stewardship Partners, Tim held roles in public accounting and worked in the Controller’s department at Belk.

Tim is a graduate of King University where he was a four year letterman in Varsity Soccer. Tim participated in the Charlotte Leadership Forum and was selected to serve as part of the Young CPA Cabinet by the North Carolina Association of CPA’s. He received the King University Alumni Legacy award in 2015. Tim holds the Certified Public Accountant and Chartered Global Management Accountant professional designations.

Tim serves as Treasurer for the Presbytery of the Mid Atlantic. He has also served on the Board of Elders and on the Finance Committee of his church. He is active in his community and coached youth soccer for a number of years.

Tim and his wife, Jane, live in Weddington, NC (a suburb of Charlotte) and they have been blessed with five children and one labradoodle.

Rusty Leonard


Howard J. “Rusty” Leonard, CFA, is the Founder and CEO of Stewardship Partners Investment Counsel, Inc. located in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Stewardship Partners is an investment manager dedicated to helping Christian investors align their investing with their biblically based worldview. Stewardship Partners is a recognized leader in the field of Biblically Responsible Investing and serves institutions and individuals using separately managed accounts. Prior to forming Stewardship Partners, Rusty was Executive Vice President of Templeton Investment Counsel, Inc. During his 10+ years at Templeton Rusty served on the firm’s Portfolio Management Committee and managed $3.5 billion of mutual fund and separate account assets in both global and international mandates. Rusty played an important role in the success and rapid growth that Templeton’s institutional business enjoyed during the 1990’s and was regularly ranked by his colleagues at Templeton as one of the firm’s top securities analysts. Prior to joining Templeton in 1989, Rusty served as the Director of Investment Research for First Pennsylvania Bank and earlier as a securities analyst at Provident National Bank. Rusty’s career in the investment business actually began at the age of 19 when he became a licensed stock broker. He received his CFA designation in 1984, one of the youngest ever to receive this prestigious designation.

Rusty also owns and serves as CEO of the Biblically Responsible Investing Institute, Inc. The BRI Institute is a leading organization that compiles information on the actions of public corporations that might be of concern to Christian investors. This information is used by Stewardship Partners as well as other Christian institutions and financial advisors seeking to be good stewards of the wealth the Lord has entrusted them with.

Rusty and his wife Carol founded a non-profit ministry, MinistryWatch.com, in 1998. MinistryWatch.com provides insightful research reports on Christian ministries for use by current and prospective donors to those organizations. Thousands of users access this website each month. Rusty is currently the CEO for MinistryWatch.com, which is located in Matthews, North Carolina. Additionally, Rusty co-authored a column on the subject of charity for WORLD Magazine from 2008 until 2010. The work of MinistryWatch.com has been featured on ABC’s 20/20, The O’Reilly Factor and Good Morning America as well as in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and many other media outlets.

Rusty is a graduate of Temple University (BBA with a double major in Finance and Economics, 1981). Rusty and Carol, who have been married for 35 years, have three children. The Leonards currently reside in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia, and are members of Grace Covenant Church.