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YouthSphere Faculty

Doug Fields

Doug Fields has been a pastor to teenagers and ministry leader for over 30 years. After graduating Vanguard University in 1984, he received his MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary. He served at South Coast Community Church (now Mariners Church), in Newport Beach, CA for 11 years before he moved to be the youth and teaching pastor at Saddleback Church (Lake Forest, CA), where he was on staff for 18 years. Currently, he’s leading the youth ministry, as a volunteer, at a start-up church in Southern CA.

Doug is the executive director at HomeWord’s Center for Youth and Family at APU. He is also on the leadership team of Youth Specialties (YS)—a leading youth ministry resource provider since 1969. And, he blogs regularly at dougfields.com.

He the author of more than 50 books including: Speaking to Teenagers, Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry, What Matters Most, and the award winning Purpose Driven Youth Ministry which is in 20+ different languages and used as a textbook all over the world. Doug has trained leaders in almost every state and in several countries like Australia, Germany, Africa, Korea, Philippines and Brazil.

In addition to caring for youth workers, Doug also has a huge heart for teenagers. His Student Leadership Conference attracts over 1000 student leaders from all around the world.

Doug was the founder of Simply Youth Ministry (SYM), which is a resource company designed to help youth workers. In 2006 he merged it with Group Publishing to bring these two youth ministry resource providers into collaboration for wider, global impact. In June of 2011 he left SYM in very capable hands so he could join both HomeWord and YS.

Every week, Doug can be heard on his wildly popular youth ministry podcast (the Youth Ministry Garage) where he and some ministry veterans answer youth ministry related questions from around the world.

While he has a long history of youth ministry related activities, Doug would say his greatest accomplishment is marrying way out of his league to Cathy, his wife of 25 years, and having three children; Torie, Cody and Cassie. For more information about Doug Fields and his ministry, visit en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doug_Fields.

Dr. Jim Burns

Jim Burns is President of HomeWord and Executive Director of the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family @ Azusa Pacific University. Jim speaks to thousands of people around the world each year. He has over 1.5 million resources in print in over 25 languages. Jim’s radio broadcast is heard on over 800 stations a day and heard around the world via podcast at HomeWord.com. Some of his recent books include: 

Jim and his wife, Cathy and their three daughters Christy, Rebecca, and Heidi live in Southern California.

Dr. Walt Mueller

Dr. Walt Mueller 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.

Walt has been working with young people and families for over 30 years. He is a recognized authority on youth culture and family issues, and has appeared on numerous media outlets internationally to discuss teenagers and their world. A regular seminar and conference speaker, he communicates effectively with adults and teenagers alike.

He has written extensively on youth culture and family issues and is the author of the following books: 

The critically acclaimed Gold Medallion Award winner, Understanding Today’s Youth Culture was updated and expanded and re-released in January 1999. He is a regular contributor to a variety of publications (both professional and popular) including Youthworker Journal, Current Thoughts and Trends, Living With Teenagers, Parents of Teenagers, GROUP, and Today's Father.

Walt Mueller's commentary and analysis on youth culture is heard daily on over 750 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 and have four children; Caitlin, Joshua, Bethany and Nathaniel.

Megan Hutchinson, MA

Megan is a wife, mom, minister, national speaker and author who is energetic and passionate (some use the word crazy)! She worked at Saddleback Church for eight years where she co-authored and ran an 8-step program called Life Hurts – God, now selling internationally! Other writings include; I Want to Talk to my Teen About Addictions and Secret Survivors. Their home church is The Bridge where she and her husband pastor students on a weekly basis. Together, their greatest pride and joy are their two young energetic boys. They love the beach, going motor homing and surfing.

Mark DeVries

Mark Devries is the founder of Youth Ministry Architects (2002) and Children’s Ministry Architects (2010), a hands-on coaching service for churches whose ministries are in transition or who hope to move any of their ministries strategically forward.

Since 1986, Mark has served as the Associate Pastor for Youth and Their Families at First Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee, where he continues to oversee the youth ministry on a part-time basis.

Mark has trained youth workers across the United States and Canada, as well as in Russia, Uganda, South Africa, Ecuador, Trinidad, Nicaragua, and Northern Ireland, working with a wide variety of denominations. He has taught courses or been a guest lecturer at a number of colleges and seminaries, including Princeton Theological Seminary (Princeton, NJ), Vanderbilt Divinity School (Nashville, TN), David Lipscomb University (Nashville, TN), Travecca Nazarene College (Nashville, TN), King College (Bristol, TN), Montreat College (Montreat, NC), William Tyndale College (Detroit, MI), Presbyterian College (Montreal, Quebec), Reformed Theological Seminary (Charlotte, NC), Tyndale Theological Seminary (Toronto, Canada) and Calvin College (Grand Rapids, MI).

Mark is the author of a number of books, including Sustainable Youth Ministry (IVP), Family-Based Youth Ministry (IVP, Revised and Expanded, 2004) and 2011 releases, Before You Hire a Youth Pastor and The Indispensable Youth Pastor (Group Publishing), both co-authored with YMA Vice-President, Jeff Dunn-Rankin.

Mark’s articles and reviews have been published in a variety of magazines and journals, including The Christian Century, Theology Today, Group, Youthworker Journal, Preaching,and Lifelong Faith Journal.

Mark served as the general editor for The True Love Waits Bible. In recent years, he and his wife Susan co-authored (with their good friends Robert and Bobbie Wolgemuth) a flip-book on marriage entitled, The Most Important Year in a Woman’s Life/ The Most Important Year in a Man’s Life, which was nominated for the Gold Medallion Award. Mark has also contributed to a number of training manuals and textbooks, including Youth Ministry Handbook (Word, 2000), Starting Right (Zondervan, 2001), and Reaching A Generation For Christ (Moody, 1997), The New Interpreter’s Bible Handbook for Preaching (Abingdon, 2007) and Jesus-Centered Youth Ministry (Group, 2007).  Mark’s writings have now been translated into Korean, Chinese, and Afrikaans.

Mark graduated Summa Cum Laude from Baylor University in Waco, Texas with a B.A. in English and Greek in 1980, and from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1986 with a senior concentration in Youth Evangelism. Throughout his years spent in Waco and Princeton, Mark was involved in youth ministry–working with Young Life in both Waco and Montgomery, New Jersey and serving on the youth staff at the First United Methodist Church in Waco. Upon graduation from Princeton, he was awarded the first Robert Boyd Munger Youth Ministry prize.

Mark serves as the chairman of the board for the Center for Youth Ministry Training, a two-year residential, masters-level, youth ministry training program based in Nashville. He also serves on the Alumni Board for Princeton Theological Seminary.  Mark is a presenter for Homeword’s “Understanding Your Teenager” seminars.  And in addition to partnering occasionally with popular Christian musician, Mark Schultz, Mark is a frequent seminar speaker, training youth leaders at both the Youth Specialties’ National Youth Workers Convention and the Simply Youth Ministry Youth Ministry Conference.

Mark lives in Nashville with Susan, his wife of over 30 years, and they have three grown children: Adam and his wife, Sara, Debbie and her husband, Trey, and Leigh. Mark and Susan have two granddaughters, Parish and Nealie.

Jeannie Mayo

President of Youth Leader’s Coach
Director of Oxygen Youth and Youth Adult Outreach

Acclaimed by Ministries Today as “America’s Number One Youth Pastor,” Jeanne Mayo has thrown her heart and passion into youth ministry for nearly four decades. Her ministry DNA is reflected in her life mission statement: “The motivation and mentorship of Kamikaze Christianity into practicing and potential Kingdom champions.”

The years have seen incredible results. In Nebraska, she multiplied a group of a few dozen students into hundreds. Then in Illinois, she was met by a group of 30 students that grew to nearly 1,000 and a Christian school of 1,400. While in California, she had the privilege of developing a group of 90 students into over 500 in only one year’s time. Currently, she and her husband are leading an incredible team in Atlanta where amazing growth is happening once again.

Jeanne’s successful ministry has placed her in high demand as a youth ministry and youth leadership communicator. She has criss-crossed the U.S. and the globe, speaking in countless venues to teenagers, college students as well as their leaders. Now one of her greatest joys during these travels is to re-connect with some of her hundreds of spiritual sons and daughters in fulltime ministry all over the world.

In recent years, Jeanne founded Youth Leader’s Coach, a non-profit organization that seeks, “To instruct, equip, inspire and encourage the youth pastors and youth leaders of this generation.”

Through Youth Leader's Coach, Jeanne is now focusing on leaving a legacy through multiplying herself into the lives of countless youth pastors and youth leaders of this generation. She is a coach, mentor and “Big Sis” to youth leaders across the country. Jeanne is also pouring her heart into creating resources designed specifically for those impacting the lives of teenagers. She is a regular columnist for Group Magazine and Ministries Today. She authored the popular leadership book, Thriving Youth Groups as well as Uncensored; Dating, Friendship and Sex, and Uncensored: Finding God When He Feels Far Away. Her most recent release is titled Jeanneisms: Short Sentences That Echo With Loud Meaning. It includes Jeanne's favorite one-liners after 4 decades in ministry public speaking.

In response to Jeanne’s achievements in youth and young adult ministry, Oral Roberts University awarded her a Doctorate of Divinity. She has been featured on the 700 Cub, Trinity Broadcasting Network, and many national radio stations and serves as a part of the Global Pastors' Network. Jeanne also sponsors, through Youth Leader’s Coach, her National Youth Leaders’ Conference. This widely acclaimed event has become one of the largest gatherings of its kind, drawing thousands of youth pastors and leaders in 2001, 2005 and 2009.

Jeanne found her way to the cross as a young teenage woman. After college, she married her “hero,” Pastor Sam Mayo, who has been the Senior Pastor at most places she served. Jeanne considers her most cherished accolade, however, to be that she is the proud mom of two adult sons, Josh and Justin. Jeanne’s favorite quote comes from missionary Jim Elliot which contains the words that motivate her to live out her life mission …

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

Dr. Duffy Robbins

Dr. Duffy Robbins, Professor of Youth Ministry at Eastern University, St Davids, PA is a 35 year veteran of youth ministry who is widely respected as one of the leading voices in youth and family ministry. But, his ministry goes well beyond that.

He’s in constant demand as a speaker for teenagers and people who love teenagers (parents, youth workers, etc). But, his warm conversational style, coupled with a quick  sense of humor and a unique ability to make Scripture come alive have made him a popular speaker as well for Bible Conferences, Parenting Seminars, Faculty Workshops, College chapels, Mens’ Retreats and Family Camps and Conferences.

His ministry has given him platforms as diverse as Ocean Grove Camp-meeting Association (NJ), the Chautauqua Institute (NY), Forest Home Family Camp (CA), The Creation Festival (PA and WA), Covenant Harbor Conference Center (WI), Camp Berea “Man Camp” (NH), the Presidential Prayer Breakfast (DC), the Christian Camps and Conferences National Convention and literally hundreds of pulpits and college campuses around the world. His international ministry has ranged from youth conventions, Men’s’ retreats and training conferences in Australia, New Zealand, throughout Europe, parts of Asia and all over North America and the Caribbean. His long association with Youth Specialties has allowed him to touch the lives and ministries of thousands of youth workers and teenagers around the world.

Duffy graduated magna cum laude with a Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts, and completed his Doctor of Ministry in Youth and Family Ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA.

Duffy is the author of over fifteen books and hundreds of articles. His titles include: 

Duffy lives in Valley Forge, PA with his wife and best friend, Maggie. They have two grown daughters, Erin and Katie.

Dr. Chap Clark

Chap Clark (PhD, University of Denver) is the Vice Provost of Regional Campuses and professor of Youth, Family, and Culture at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is also the senior editor of YouthWorker Journal, a Sojourner contributing writer and “Red Letter Communicator,” and president of ParenTeen™ and HURT Seminars. He is a speaker, trainer, consultant, as well as the author of 19 books, including:

Chap has served in many diverse settings over his career, in the church, parachurch, and industry. He was on the Young Life staff for 15 years as an Area and Regional Director, and for the past 20 while a seminary professor, Chap has served as an executive pastor, a senior pastor, and a consulting producer for a New Line television reality show. He is a highly acclaimed resource for community, adult, youth, and family conferences, as well as media, board, corporate and educational consulting and training.

Dee and Chap have been married for over thirty years, and have partnered together in ministry, as well as speaking and writing throughout their married life. They have three grown children: Chap, Jr. (29), Rob (26) and Katie (23). They make their home in Gig Harbor, WA.

Dr. Kara Powell

Dr. Kara E. Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute and a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary (see www.fulleryouthinstitute.org).  Prior to that, Kara was an Assistant Professor of Youth Ministry and Practical Theology at Azusa Pacific University.  She completed her PhD in Practical Theology from Fuller Seminary with a focus on Pastoral Role Expectations in 2000, an MDiv from Bethel Theological Seminary in 1994, and a BA in human biology, graduating with Honors from Stanford University in 1991.

In addition to her roles at Fuller Seminary, Kara currently volunteers in student ministries at Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena.   She was also college pastor at Lake Avenue Church from 1995-1998 and was the Associate Youth Minister at San Diego First Assembly of God from 1991-1995.  During college, Kara gained an ongoing commitment to church/parachurch partnerships during her time on Young Life Student Staff in the Stanford area.

Kara is the author of: 

Kara is also a regular speaker at Youth Specialties National Youth Workers Conventions, the Simply Youth Ministry Conference, as well as retreats and conferences across the country.

Kara lives in Pasadena, CA, with her husband, Dave, who is a medical device engineer, and their children, Nathan, Krista, and Jessica.

Greg Stier

Greg Stier is the founder and president of Dare 2 Share Ministries International. Since 1991, Greg has impacted the lives of tens of thousands of Christian teenagers through Dare 2 Share events. Greg combines amazing true-life stories and side-splitting humor to communicate sound Biblical truth in a way that not only inspires teenagers, but motivates them to action. He and his team are committed to mobilize teenagers to relationally and relentlessly reach this young generation for Christ. He is the author of eight books and numerous resources, including: 

For more information about Dare 2 Share or Greg Stier, please visit www.dare2share.org.

Dr. Marv Penner

Marv is the National Director of  YouthWorks and Youth Specialties Canada. He is an internationally known author, professor, speaker, and youth ministry veteran having spent the last 40 years working with students and families. Marv oversees the Canadian Centre for Adolescent Research, a think tank that conducts research on Canadian youth and youth culture. He recently co-directed a major national study, What’s Happening? The State of Youth Ministry in Canada. He has trained and inspired thousands of youth workers at various national and international youth workers conferences and conventions and has taught at more than 20 colleges and seminaries around the globe.

He is the author of six books on youth ministry including: 

In addition to his teaching, speaking, and writing, Marv is a marriage and family counselor, specializing in parent/adolescent conflict resolution, sexual abuse recovery, self-injury, eating disorders, and marriage and family issues. He received his M.A. in Marriage and Family Counseling from Grace Seminary and his D. Phil degree from Oxford Graduate School.

In his spare time Marv enjoys canoeing and kayaking, outdoor photography, woodworking, wilderness camping, and motorcycle touring.  Over the course of his life Marv has had some crazy jobs including being a Brinks armored car guard, a waterski instructor, an undercover private investigator, and a professional firefighter. Life is more predictable these days. Marv and his wife, Lois, live in Lake Country, British Columbia where their organization, All About Youth is headquartered. They have three awesome adult kids who have each married equally awesome spouses…and grandchildren have begun to arrive.