Elyse holds a certificate in biblical counseling from CCEF (San Diego) and an M.A. in Biblical Counseling from Trinity Theological Seminary. She has authored 23 books on daily living and the Christian life. Elyse loves to proclaim the good news of the gospel: That Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity, perfectly obeyed all the Law in our place, suffered in isolation and agony as punishment for our sin, died, and then rose again, all for our justification.
A frequent speaker at conferences, she has been married for over 40 years and has three adult children and six really adorable grandchildren. Along with her husband, Phil, Elyse is a member of Valley Center Community Church , a reformed congregation in the community of Valley Center.
Dr. Christopher Yuan has taught the Bible at Moody Bible Institute for over ten years and his speaking ministry on faith and sexuality has reached five continents. He speaks at conferences, on college campuses, and in churches. He has co-authored with his mother their memoir, Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son’s Journey to God, A Broken Mother’s Search for Hope (100,000 copies sold and now in seven languages). He is also the author of Giving a Voice to the Voiceless. Christopher graduated from Moody Bible Institute in 2005, Wheaton College Graduate School in 2007 with a Master of Arts in Biblical Exegesis and received his doctorate of ministry in 2014 from Bethel Seminary. Dr. Yuan’s newest book is Holy Sexuality and the Gospel: Sex, Desire, and Relationships Shaped by God’s Grand Story.
Jen Pollock Michel is the author of Teach Us to Want: Longing, Ambition and the Life of Faith, Christianity Today’s 2015 Book of the Year. Her second book, Keeping Place: Reflections on the Meaning of Home, was published in 2016. Both books have been produced as original video series by RightNow Media. Finalist for The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association New Author Award in 2015, Jen writes widely for both print and digital publications. Additionally, Jen travels to speak at churches, conferences, and retreats. Jen holds a B.A. in French from Wheaton College (Wheaton, IL) and an M.A. in Literature from Northwestern University (Evanston, IL). She is married to Ryan, and they have five school-age children and live in Toronto. You can find more at www.jenpollockmichel.com or follow Jen on Twitter @jenpmichel.
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.
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.
Brian desires to be part of a national movement of disciple-making in urban centers of America. He serves as the Executive Director for Legacy Disciple which encourages, equips, and empowers thousands of urban Christian laity to make disciples of Christ in their neighborhoods and the nations. He serves as the Director of Leadership Development for The Chicago Partnership which supports new church plants and church revitalizations throughout the city of Chicago. He is a founding pastor of Legacy Christian Fellowship, a church planting movement seeking to launch a house church in each of Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods. In addition, he serves in various capacities with the AND Campaign, Together Chicago, J29 Homes and other organizations seeking the flourishing of Chicago. Brian has been married to his best friend and ministry partner, Heidi, since July 2000 and together they have housed and discipled close to 200 young people in their home.
Jessica is the author of several books and is a frequent conference speaker. Her heart is to see women, families, and children freed from the bondage of moralism. Jess has a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology and with her mother, Elyse Fitzpatrick, she co-authored the books Give Them Grace , Answering Your Kids’ Toughest Questions, and Mom, Dad… What’s Sex? Jess believes the truth that salvation is “naked confidence in the mercy of God.”
Robert Row admits that—despite 20 years of pastoral ministry to children, youth, and families—Jesus was once something of a distant superhero to him. “In 2014, the Lord awakened my heart to the humanity of Christ,” he explains, “and I set out to discover the real Jesus.” Robert’s explorations led him to seeJesus, where he now serves as Student Ministries Coordinator and helps others discover the person of Jesus. Robert loves practical jokes and adventures in the outdoors and was once chased by a moose while working at Yellowstone National Park. (Apparently, there are pictures). Robert and his wife, Rebecca, have five children, one of whom is now with Jesus, and live outside of Chattanooga, TN.
Danny Kwon, Ph.D, has been serving 28 years in ministry, 26 years leading the family and youth ministry at Yuong Sang Church. Along with his love for sports, eating, and making people laugh, he is married to Monica, a family and marriage counselor and professor at CCEF, and has three children, who all survived his youth ministry. He completed his Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership, with his dissertation focusing on innovation theory and emerging intergenerational ministry paradigms. He is also speaker/trainer for The Youth Cartel, teaches as an adjunct professor at Missio (formerly Biblical) Seminary and Eastern University, and has authored three books “A Youth Worker’s Field Guide to Parents: Understanding Parents of Teenagers” and Mission Tripping: A Comprehensive Guide to Short Term Missions (Book and Team Journal).
Dennis Hollinger is President Emeritus and Senior Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, MA. Prior to assuming his present role in 2008, he served as President and Professor of Christian Ethics at Evangelical Theological Seminary in Myerstown, PA. Dennis has served in administrative, pastoral and seminary teaching ministries, including Vice Provost at Messiah College, Pastor of the Washington Community Fellowship on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., and Associate Professor of Church & Society at Alliance Theological Seminary in Nyack, New York. He is the author of four books, including The Meaning of Sex: Christian Ethics and the Moral Life (Baker), Head, Heart, Hands: Bringing Together Christian Thought, Passion and Action (Inter Varsity Press), and Choosing the Good: Christian Ethics in a Complex World (Baker). He is a board member for the National Association of Evangelicals and the Board of Advisors for the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life at Boston College. Dennis received the B.A. from Elizabethtown College, the M.Div. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, the M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Drew University, and did post-doctoral studies at Oxford University. He and his wife, Dr. Mary Ann Hollinger, live in Beverly, MA, and have two adult daughters and six grandchildren.
Mary Ann Hollinger
Greg Lanier (Ph.D., Cambridge) is Assistant Professor of New Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando. He enjoys teaching and researching early Christology, the Synoptic Gospels, and issues related to canon and textual criticism. He is also associate pastor at River Oaks Presbyterian Church. He lives in Oviedo, FL, with his wife, Kate, and their three daughters. His publications include Old Testament Conceptual Metaphors and the Christology of Luke’s Gospel (2018), How We Got the Bible: Old and New Testament Canon and Text (2018), Septuaginta: A Reader’s Edition (2018), All the Fullness Bodily: How Scripture Teaches that Jesus is Fully God (forthcoming), and several academic articles. He has also written for The Gospel Coalition, Tabletalk, and Credo. He is a graduate of UNC Chapel Hill and RTS-Charlotte.
Collin Hansen serves as editorial director for The Gospel Coalition. He is the author of several books, including Young, Restless, Reformed: A Journalist’s Journey With the New Calvinists and A God-Sized Vision: Revival Stories That Stretch and Stir (with John Woodbridge). He earned an MDiv at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and an undergraduate degree in journalism and history from Northwestern University. He edited Our Secular Age: Ten Years of Reading and Applying Charles Taylor and The New City Catechism Devotional, among other books. He and his wife belong to Redeemer Community Church in Birmingham, Alabama, and he serves on the advisory board of Beeson Divinity School.
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.
Chelsea Kingston Erickson
Chelsea serves as Pastor of Youth and Families at First Congregational Church in Hamilton, MA, where she delights to see students follow Jesus and connect to the local church. She writes and edits for the Rooted blog, and occasionally contributes at the The Gospel Coalition. Chelsea holds a B.A. in nonfiction writing from the University of Richmond and 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 at Gordon-Conwell. Chelsea met her husband Steve in the hallowed pews of their 300-year-old church, where they are thankful to serve together in various ways. 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.
Kendal currently serves as the Student Ministry Girls’ Director at Henderson Hills Baptist Church in Edmond, Oklahoma. Kendal received her BA from Union University in Public Relations. After graduation, she served 2 years overseas in Central Asia. She has spent the last 5 years working within parachurch youth and outreach ministries before moving to Oklahoma.
Anna Meade Harris is a single mom of three almost-grown sons. She is the Rooted Blog Parent Editor and the Preministerial Scholars Coordinator at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. She is the author of Fresh Faith: Topical Devotions and Scripture-Based Prayers for College Students and blogs at sow-love.org.
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.
Clark currently serves as the worship pastor at Sunset Church in San Francisco. Before that he served as a youth pastor in the Asian-American context for nearly 10 years. He received his undergraduate degree from UC Irvine and an M.Div. from Talbot Theological School in Southern California. He is also an emeritus member of Rooted’s Steering Committee. He and his wife, Janet, reside in San Francisco with their new baby girl and hope to eventually move to East Asia to serve as a long-term missionary.
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
Dave Wright is the Coordinator for Student Ministries in The Anglican Diocese of South Carolina. He has been in full time youth ministry for over 30 years, having served churches near Chicago, in Cheshire England, and Charleston South Carolina. Dave has written for YouthWork Magazine (UK), Youthworker Journal, TGC blog, and contributed chapters to several books. He has led training in the UK, Canada, and USA. Dave and his wife Jane have three grown children and one amazing grandson.
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.
Tucker Fleming is a youth minister to junior high boys at the Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham, Alabama. When he isn’t hanging out with students, he is probably watching Baltimore Orioles baseball.
Mike McGarry is the author of A Biblical Theology of Youth Ministry: Teenagers in the Life of the Church which will be released this June. He earned his M.Div & D.Min from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and authored a chapter in Gospel Centered Youth Ministry: A Practical Guide (Crossway, 2016). Mike and his family are lifelong New Englanders and are passionate about seeing the Church revitalized in the NorthEast. You can read more of Mike’s writings at www.livingtheologically.com or follow him on Twitter @RevMcGarry.
As the founder and director of Kaleo Missions, an urban short-term missions program, Ronnie is committed to mobilizing teams to serve in the poor and marginalized communities of the United States. Ronnie has been mobilizing mission teams for almost 20 years and is committed to making sure that short-term mission trips are done in a way that are both a blessing to local communities as well as transformative in the lives of the participants. Ronnie has a Masters degree in Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary and a MBA from Emory University. Ronnie lives north of Dallas with his wife and his 4 daughters where they are members of the Village Church of Denton.
Stephen Yates is Pastor for Students at Intown Community Church in Atlanta, GA, and a Visiting Instructor at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO. He is in the process of completing a PhD in Educational Studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Chicago, IL), where he studies youth ministry and intellectual development. Stephen and his wife of 11 years, Krissi, are foster parents to MJ, M, and J, and always parents to Julie and Judah.
Syler Thomas is a native Texan who has been the student ministries pastor at Christ Church in Lake Forest, Illinois, since 1998. He wrote a column for YouthWorker Journal, has had articles published in Leadership Journal, the Chicago Tribune and The Gospel Coalition, and is the co-author of three books. Syler and his wife, Heidi, have four kids.
Rebecca Heck has served for the past 10 years at Intown Community Church in Atlanta, GA as Co-Director of Student Ministries. Becca served for many years on Rooted’s Steering Committee and is in awe that she continues to be able to be a part of Rooted’s mission and community. Her biggest joy comes from deep conversations with her people, talking about God’s desire and power to step into our self-made chaos to give us God-given peace, the perfect cup of coffee and making regular things into beautiful adventures. When she isn’t meeting with students over coffee or queso, Rebecca is currently working on her MDiv at Reformed Theological Seminary in Atlanta, GA.
Conor recently graduated from Pingree School in Hamilton, MA and will be attending Wheaton College (IL) in the fall. Conor helped to re-launch high school ministry at his home church, First Congregational Church of Hamilton, beginning as a high school freshman. He served as a student leader at youth group his sophomore through senior year, helping to create a high-energy and inviting culture. He also served as Recreation Director at VBS for multiple years. Conor has a vivid online presence, as his Christian meme page has garnered him more than 12,000 followers on Instagram. In his free time, Conor enjoys sports (especially soccer and baseball) and playing guitar. If you’d like to hear more from Conor, you can follow him @memesbyconor on most major platforms.