Timothy Keller will open Rooted 2020 with a video greeting. He is the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, which he started in 1989 with his wife, Kathy, and three young sons. For 28 years he led a diverse congregation of young professionals that grew to a weekly attendance of over 5,000.
He is also the Chairman & Co-Founder of Redeemer City to City (CTC), which starts new churches in New York and other global cities, and publishes books and resources for ministry in an urban environment. In 2017 Dr. Keller transitioned to CTC full time to teach and mentor church planters and seminary students through a joint venture with Reformed Theological Seminary’s (RTS), the City Ministry Program. He also works with CTC’s global affiliates to launch church planting movements.
Ligon Duncan is the Chancellor/CEO of Reformed Theological Seminary and the John E. Richards Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology. A 1983 graduate of Furman University (B.A. History), he received the M.Div. and M.A. (Historical Theology) from Covenant Theological Seminary. He earned the Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh, New College, Scotland, in 1995. Ligon’s pastoral experience now spans three decades and four congregations, including the historic First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, Miss., where he served almost 18 years.
Ligon has authored, co-authored, edited or contributed to more than 35 books. Along with his friends Mark Dever, Al Mohler, and C.J. Mahaney (joined by John Piper, John Macarthur, and R.C. Sproul) Duncan co-founded Together for the Gospel (“T4G”) in 2006. T4G has become a major catalyst for the young reformed resurgence. He is also the founder and chairman of Reformed Academic Press. Ligon and his wife Anne have two teenagers and reside in Jackson, Miss.
Dr. Walt Mueller is historically one of the preeminent voices in youth ministry and youth culture. He is the founder and President of the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding, a non-profit organization serving schools, churches, and community organizations across the U.S, Canada, and worldwide in their efforts to strengthen families. He has written extensively on youth culture and family issues and is the author of eight books, including the critically acclaimed Gold Medallion Award winner, Understanding Today’s Youth Culture (Tyndale House, 1994). He is a regular contributor to a variety of publications (both professional and popular) including Youthworker Journal and GROUP. Walt Mueller’s commentary and analysis on youth culture is heard daily on over 800 radio stations across the United States and Canada on CPYU’s daily radio program, Youth Culture Today. Walt Mueller earned his B.A. in Sociology from Geneva College (Beaver Falls, PA) and his M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (South Hamilton, MA, Summa Cum Laude), and his doctorate in postmodern generations from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Walt and his wife Lisa live in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, have four children and three grandchildren.
Watson Jones III
Watson Jones III was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago. At the age of 14, Watson made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ in his freshmen year of high school. It was then that Watson began to discern a call into the ministry and began preaching and teaching the bible soon after. Although Watson began preaching at the age of 14, he was licensed to preach at the age of 19, making him the youngest minister at his home church, Salem Baptist Church of Chicago.
Watson earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Marketing at Trinity International University and then continued on to earn a Masters in Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Upon completion of seminary, Watson joined the ministerial staff at his home church—Salem Baptist Church of Chicago. At Salem, he served as Children’s Pastor and eventually Youth Pastor, while leading a group of 1,000 members in various church-wide activities.
In 2012, Watson entered a joint pastoral leadership and Church planting residency with Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock, Arkansas and Epiphany Fellowship Church in Philadelphia. In 2015, Watson started Restoration Church of Philadelphia and served on the Leadership Team of the North Atlantic Region of Acts 29.
In 2018, Watson became the Senior Pastor of Compassion Baptist Church. In addition to his pastoral duties, Watson is a student in the inaugural cohort for the first-ever Ph.D. in African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. He currently serves in the Chicago chapter of the AND Campaign, where he and others pastor organized the largest forum in the 2019 mayoral election. He is also a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated. He is married to Kelli Jones and is the proud father of Yeshaya Nicee Jones, Watson Jones IV, and Ellison Samuel Benedict Jones.
The Rev’d Canon Dr Ashley Null is an internationally respected scholar on the grace and gratitude theology of the English Reformation and the author of Thomas Cranmer’s Doctrine of Repentance: Renewing the Power to Love (Oxford 2000). Holding research degrees from Yale and the University of Cambridge, Ashley has received numerous awards for his work, including Fulbright, National Endowment for the Humanities and Guggenheim fellowships as well as being elected fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Society of Antiquaries in London. He currently holds a research post funded by the German Research Council at Humboldt University of Berlin and is a visiting fellow at the Divinity Faculty of Cambridge University and St. John’s College, Durham University. His project is editing the private theological notebooks of Thomas Cranmer, the author of the independent Church of England’s founding formularies, for Oxford University Press. This is a five-volume project.
In addition to his scholarly activities, Ashley is an ordained Episcopal priest, Canon Theologian of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Kansas, Theological Advisor to the ACNA Diocese of the Carolinas and Senior Fellow of the Ridley Institute of St. Andrew’s, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.
Ashley also serves as a chaplain to elite athletes and coaches, helping them to integrate the Reformation’s emphasis on the unconditional love and grace of God with their vocation as professional sportspeople. He is the author of Real Joy: Freedom to be Your Best (Haennsler, 2004) and served for six years as chairman of the Major Event Chaplaincy Commission. Ashley has served three-times as the Olympic chaplain, most recently at London 2012.
Blessed by an array of academic, professional and lived experiences, Christina is committed to bringing diverse people together to promote personal and team flourishing.
Christina holds a PhD in Counseling Psychology from Tennessee State University, a MS degree from the University of Rochester in Family Therapy, and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Hampton University.
Currently, Christina serves as the Dean for Intercultural Student Development at Calvin College. The Intercultural Student Development Center (ISDC) is committed to inspiring, challenging, and equipping Domestic and International students to engage in meaningful and intentional intercultural interactions within a global society. Additionally, a Certified Cultural Intelligence facilitator, public speaker, and mental health therapist, Christina is often contacted by churches to consult about both diversity and mental health issues. Her writing has been seen and referenced in a variety of outlets including Essence.com, YourBlackWorld.com, and Gospel Today magazine. She is also one of the co-hosts of the Truth’s Table podcast.
A graduate of Phillips Academy at Andover and Boston University, Dr. Stephen Um received an M.Div. and Th.M. in Biblical Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in New Testament studies at St. Mary’s College (University of St. Andrews) in Scotland. Since 2002, Dr. Um has been an adjunct professor of New Testament Studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and has taught at Covenant Theological Seminary and Emerson College. Dr. Um is the Senior Minister of Citylife Presbyterian Church in Boston, and the author of The Theme of Temple Christology in John’s Gospel, The Library of New Testament Studies 2006 and T & T Clark International (formerly the Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement Series), The Kingdom of God (Crossway, 2011), Why Cities Matter (Crossway, 2013), 1 Corinthians from the Preaching the Word Commentary series (Crossway, 2015), Gospel Shaped Mercy (Good Book, 2017), Micah for You (Good Book, 2018), and the editor of The Gospel Changes Everything (Durrano, 2019). Dr. Um serves as a Council Member and Director of Asia and Asian American Ministries for The Gospel Coalition. He is also a trainer for Redeemer City to City Asia Pacific. Dr. Um resides in Boston, MA with his wife and three adult children.
Cameron Cole has been the Director of Youth Ministries at the Cathedral Church of the Advent since December of 2005, and in January of 2016 his duties expanded to include Children, Youth, and Families. He is the founding chairman of Rooted Ministry, an organization that promotes gospel-centered youth ministry. He is the co-editor of “Gospel-Centered Youth Ministry: A Practice Guide” (Crossway, 2016). Cameron is the author of Therefore, I Have Hope: 12 Truths that Comfort, Sustain, and Redeem in Tragedy (Crossway, 2018), which won World Magazine’s 2018 Book of the Year (Accessible Theology) and was runner up for The Gospel Coalition’s Book of the Year (First-Time Author). Cameron has a B.A. in Latin and English and an M.A. in Education, all from Wake Forest; he nearly done with his Masters in Divinity from Reformed Theological Seminary.
Kevin Yi is one of the youth pastors at Church Everyday in Los Angeles, CA and has been serving the middle school and high school students for over 14 years. He is a bi-vocational pastor and is also a video editor and associate producer with Toonzone Studios in Hollywood. He is also the founder of truthmattersministries.com. Kevin and his wife Tracy are celebrating 10 years of marriage together and have 3 children: Caden, Isabella, and Ian. He will be starting his Master of Arts in Philosophy at Talbot Theological Seminary in the Fall of 2017.
Alice Haygood Churnock is a Licensed Professional Counselor who regularly speaks and leads seminars locally, regionally, and internationally. After receiving her undergraduate degree in Corporate Journalism from Auburn University, Alice earned her Master’s in Counseling from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Alice specializes in counseling adolescents, women, and parents in areas relating to eating disorders, body image and depression, as well as stress and anger management. For more from Alice Churnock, listen to her on Rooted’s Ask Alice podcast.
Charlotte Getz is the Editor-in-Chief for Rooted Ministry. She is also the co-author of Unmapped: The (Mostly) True Story of How Two Women Lost at Sea Found Their Way Home and a frequent contributor to the Mockingbird Blog. She received her B.A. in Creative Writing from Pepperdine University and her M.F.A. in Photography from SCAD. Before working for Rooted she served as an associate Youth Minister at the Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham, AL. She currently resides in Long Beach, California with her husband and their two children.
DAVID THOMAS, L.M.S.W., is the Director of Family Counseling at Daystar Counseling (daystarcounseling.com) in Nashville, TN, the co-author of eight books, including the best-selling Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys (Tyndale House Publishers) and Are My Kids on Track? The 12 Emotional, Social & Spiritual Milestones Your Child Needs to Reach. He is a frequent guest on national television and podcasts, including his own with Sissy Goff and Melissa Trevathan called Raising Boys and Girls, has been featured in publications like USA Today, and speaks across the country.
He and his wife, Connie, have a daughter, twin sons and a feisty yellow lab named Owen. You can follow him on social media at raisingboysandgirls and find the latest parenting resources at www.raisingboysandgirls.com.
Chad Bird is an author and speaker who is devoted to honest Christianity that addresses the raw realities of life with the Good News of Jesus Christ. He has served as a pastor, professor, and guest lecturer in Old Testament theology and Hebrew. He is a regular contributor to Christ Hold Fast, 1517, and Mockingbird Ministries, and he cohosts the popular podcast, “40 Minutes in the OT.” He hold master’s degrees from Concordia Theological Seminary and Hebrew Union College. He has contributed articles to many journals and websites, including Christianity Today, The Gospel Coalition, Modern Reformation, The Federalist, and Lutheran Forum. He is also the author of several books, including Night Driving: Notes from a Prodigal Soul, Your God Is Too Glorious: Finding God in the Most Unexpected Places, and Upside-Down Spirituality: The 9 Essential Failures of a Faithful Life. Chad and his wife Stacy have four children and two grandchildren. They enjoy life together near San Antonio, Texas.
David Zahl is the director of Mockingbird Ministries and editor-in-chief of the Mockingbird blog. Born in New York City and brought up elsewhere, David graduated from Georgetown University in 2001, and then worked for several years as a youth minister in New England. In 2007 he founded Mockingbird in NYC. Today David and his wife Cate reside in Charlottesville, VA with their three boys, where David also serves on the staff of Christ Episcopal Church. His first book, A Mess of Help: From the Crucified Soul of Rock N’ Roll, appeared in 2014. Most recently, David co-authored Law and Gospel: A Theology for Sinners (and Saints) with Will McDavid and Ethan Richardson. Even after all these years, he’s still mourning the end of Calvin and Hobbes (and hoping that Morrissey and Marr will bury the hatchet). His favorite theologian is probably a cross between Johnny Cash, Flannery O’Connor and his brother Simeon.
Katie is wife to Chris, a PCA pastor at Trinity church in Kirkwood, MO, and together they have three children, Ella, J-Rod, and Lily. Katie works as the music director at Trinity and serves on the Women’s Ministry Committee. She also spends much of her time writing, playing piano, leading women’s Bible studies, and speaking to women’s groups about the joy she has found in Christ. Katie graduated from Covenant College with a BA in English Education and has served on the board of Covenant. She is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in Theology from Covenant Seminary in St. Louis. For more information, as well as various blog entries, you can visit her website at www.katiepolski.com
Natasha Crain is a married mom of three, a public speaker, author and blogger who is passionate about equipping Christian parents to raise their kids with an understanding of how to make a case for and defend their faith in a secular world. She has written two apologetics books for parents, Talking With Your Kids About God and Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side. Natasha and her husband have three children and reside in Southern California. Learn more about Natasha at her blog, christianmomthoughts.com.
Chap Bettis is the author of The Disciple-Making Parent: A Guidebook for Raising Your Children to Love and Follow Jesus Christ and Parenting with Patience: Overcoming Anger in the Home. He is also a frequent conference speaker and executive director of The Apollos Project, a ministry dedicated to helping families pass the gospel to their children. For 25 years, he was lead pastor of a New England church plant. He and his wife, Sharon, have four children and reside in Rhode Island. You can find him on Twitter or blogging at TheApollosProject.com.
For the past 13 years Philip Walkley has served as the executive director of Service Over Self (SOS), a home repair and leadership development organization serving low-income communities in Memphis, TN. Prior to SOS, he served as the director of student ministries at First United Methodist Church of Grenada, MS. Philip, his wife, Kelsea, and their three children live in the Binghampton neighborhood of Memphis, one of the marginalized communities served by SOS. Philip is a contributor to the book Gospel Centered Youth Ministry: A Practical Guide.
Syler Thomas is a native Texan who has been the student ministries pastor at Christ Church in Lake Forest, Illinois, since 1998. He writes a column for YouthWorker Journal, has had articles published in Leadership Journal and the Chicago Tribune, and is the co-author of two books. Syler and his wife, Heidi, have four kids.
Chelsea Kingston Erickson
Chelsea serves as Pastor of Youth and Families at First Congregational Church in Hamilton, MA, where she lives with her husband, Steve. She holds an M.Div from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She loves teaching the arc of redemptive history and is currently pursuing a Master of Theology (Th.M.) in Old Testament Studies. In her free time, she enjoys restaurant hopping around Greater Boston and spending time with her retired thoroughbred, Aiden Magee.
A veteran of vocational student ministry, Davis Lacey now serves as the Lead Planter and Pastor of Autumn Ridge Community Church in Ellijay, GA. He is also a member of the Rooted Steering Committee. He holds the MTS and MDiv degrees from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, as well as an Engineering degree from Mercer University. He is married to his childhood sweetheart Charis, and the two of them love having adventures with their two children: Evelynn and Haddon.
Anna Meade Harris
Anna Meade Harris is a single mom of three almost-grown sons. She is the Rooted Blog Parent Editor and the author of Fresh Faith: Topical Devotions and Scripture-Based Prayers for College Students. In her free time, Anna enjoys gardening, great books, running, hiking, hammocks, and ice cream. She cheers for the Crimson Tide and wants to live by a mountain stream in Idaho someday.
Liz Edrington received her Masters in Counseling from Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, FL, and is currently on staff at North Shore Fellowship in Chattanooga, TN, where she works with youth and young adults. She is also a counselor at Summit Counseling Center. She has served on the Rooted Steering Committee since 2010 and authored a chapter in Gospel Centered Youth Ministry: A Practical Guide.
Seth Stewart is a husband, dad, and family pastor at Redeemer Fellowship in Kansas City. He’s also a co-host of the Spoken Gospel podcast. In his spare time you can find Seth writing, pursuing an MDiv. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, or baking.