Justin Forbes

Justin brings experience in nonprofit leadership and organizational culture building and has a passion for helping creative ministry leaders to live out their sense of call.

In addition to his local-church experience, Justin was on staff with Young Life for over a decade and today serves as professor of youth ministry at Flagler College. Under his leadership at the Missing Voices Project, his incredible team invested over $1 million in grant funds across the state of Florida to create new expressions of youth ministry with an emphasis on marginalized young people.

Justin holds a degree in philosophy and religion from Flagler College, an M.A. in theology from Fuller Theological Seminary, and an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary. He is wrapping up a Ph.D. in theology from the University of Aberdeen.

He also obsesses over an empty e-mail inbox, so that’s a thing.

Justin lives in St. Augustine Beach, Florida, with his wife and six kids. If you want to swing by and help with dishes or laundry, just let him know.
Kat Bair

Kat Bair

Kat Bair is a coach with Ministry Incubators and our newsletter editor as well as a full-time youth pastor. She is a graduate of Austin Seminary through the Center for Youth Ministry Training and began her innovation work as a Lead Innovator and researcher with CYMT’s Innovation Lab. She is also a writer and contributor for Youth Specialties, Youth Ministry Institute, Women in Youth Ministry, the Institute for Collective Trauma and Growth and more. She is a Nashville native who lives in Fort Worth, Texas, with her husband Andrew, who is a video game developer and considered by teenagers the much cooler of the two.

Carmelle Beaugelin

Carmelle Beaugelin

Carmelle Beaugelin is a visual artist and a “holy cheerleader” of ministry practitioners. Carmelle began to discern her call to ministry as a pre-teen at her mother’s small, but mighty, Pentecostal church in Miami where a strong belief in the “priesthood of all believers” allowed youth agency to flourish.

Carmelle received her Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. In 2018, she joined the staff of the Institute for Youth Ministry at Princeton Seminary and serves as the Program Coordinator for the Log College Project, a youth ministry and innovation research grant project funded by the Lilly Endowment, which journeys alongside congregations as they design, test, and implement new forms of intergenerational youth ministry in their context. Some of her work has included serving as a ministry co-conspirator and board member for The Feed Truck Ministries Inc., as an Expert Innovator for The Center For Youth Ministry Training, and as the Artist-in-Residence at the 2018 Princeton Forum on Youth Ministry.

When she’s not conspiring with teenagers as to how to discreetly break into seminary chapels to hold impromptu worship services, she enjoys acrylic painting, Haitian cooking, and black Cuban coffee.

Margaret Burnett

Margaret Burnett

Margaret Burnett is a pastor and resilience coach with a passion for working with creative leaders thinking way outside the box, courageous leaders willing to take leaps of faith, and prayerful leaders discerning God’s call.

Margaret is an ordained PCUSA pastor who has served as an Associate Pastor for Children and Family Ministries in a suburban church and as an Associate Pastor for Outreach in an inner city church. Seeing the needs of children and families in the inner city, she worked within the church to form a 501(c)3 non-profit to provide free parent counseling and a preschool focused on identifying and mitigating adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).

Margaret lives in Memphis, TN with her husband, Jason, their daughter, Kate, and two wild and crazy dogs. They have two grown children who live in Chattanooga and New Orleans.

Teddy Christenberry

Teddy Christenberry

Teddy is native to Nashville, TN where after graduating from The University of Tennessee in Knoxville, he returned and cut his teeth in youth ministry and music ministry before stepping into the world of small business. As an owner of a boutique property management company, Teddy has implemented and refined lessons he gleaned in his years in ministry: the importance of sustainable and common sense infrastructure; partnering with volunteer board members, and the professional herding of cats amidst chaos. For the last 8 years, Teddy has coached numerous churches through the whirlwind of the expectations for excellence and finds few endeavors as enjoyable as uniting business praxis with Kingdom enterprise. During his younger years, Teddy dabbled in the music industry where he managed artists, toured as a mediocre bassist, and solidified his theory that all industries are saturated with individuals who are making it up as we go. Teddy and his wife reside in Nashville, TN.

Kenda Creasy Dean

Kenda Creasy Dean

Kenda Creasy Dean comes to Ministry Incubators after 30 years of doing ministry that wasn’t in a job description. An ordained United Methodist minister, she teaches practical theology, youth ministry, education and formation, and social innovation at Princeton Theological Seminary, where she works closely with PTS’s Institute for Youth Ministry and the Farminary and directs the Ministry Collaboratory, a Lilly Endowment initiative at Princeton on congregational innovation with young adults. She has extensive experience in new ministry development, grant writing, and nonprofit ministry, especially with young people.

Kenda is the author of a dozen books including Knee-Deep in Flotsam: Why Churches Innovate and How to Start; Delighted: What Teenagers are Teaching the Church About Joy (with Wes Ellis, Abigail Rusert, and Justin Forbes); Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers Is Telling the American Church; and The Godbearing Life (with Ron Foster). She is a frequent speaker and consultant on young people and church innovation and has worked with dozens of seminaries, judicatories, congregations, and other faith-based entities. A graduate of Miami University (Ohio), Wesley Theological Seminary, and Princeton Theological Seminary, Kenda served as a pastor in suburban Washington, DC, and as a campus minister at the University of Maryland before coming to Princeton. She and her husband Kevin live on campus and love hanging out at the beach with their grown children. Contact Kenda here.

Mark DeVries

Mark DeVries

Ministry Incubators co-founder Mark DeVries is a serial ministry innovator, having founded numerous sustainable ministry enterprises, most notably Ministry Architects, whose team of over consultants has worked with over 1,000 ministries around the country.

Mark is also co-founder of the Center for Youth Ministry Training and the founder of Justice Industries. He served as the Associate Pastor for Youth and Their Families at First Presbyterian Church in Nashville for 28 years. Mark is the author of a dozen books, including Sustainable Youth Ministry and Family-Based Youth Ministry, and the co-author of Sustainable Children’s Ministry and Sustainable Young Adult Ministry. Mark has offered ministry training and consulting across the United States and in more than a dozen countries, working with a wide variety of denominations and nondenominational churches and organizations. He has taught courses or been a guest lecturer at more than 20 colleges and seminaries including Duke Divinity School (Durham, NC), Princeton Theological Seminary (Princeton, NJ), and Vanderbilt Divinity School (Nashville).

Mark graduated 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.

Mark and Susan have been married since 1979 and make their home in Nashville. They have three grown children, Adam, Debbie, and Leigh, and four grandchildren, Parish, Nealy, Liam, and Jack.

Contact Mark here.

Amanda Drury

Amanda Drury

Amanda Drury suffers from holy boredom—a condition that tends to spark ideas and gets her 90% of the way through household projects. It has also created a passion to reimagine what the Kingdom of God might look like here on earth.

Amanda is an ordained minister in the Wesleyan Church and teaches practical theology courses at Indiana Wesleyan University where she is also the director of The Imaginarium, a Lilly Endowment initiative on congregational innovation with youth. She has extensive experience in grant writing, speaking, consulting, game making, and youth ministry. Amanda has authored several books including Saying is Believing: The Necessity of Testimony in Adolescent Spiritual Formation and Testimony and Trauma. Amanda is the owner and founder of Discipleship by Design. She is also the founding director of The Brain Kitchen, a nonprofit program that teaches children how to cook in a trauma-informed space.

Amanda graduated with a degree in biblical literature from Indiana Wesleyan University and then moved to New Jersey where she received her Master of Divinity and Ph.D. degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary.

She lives in Marion, Indiana, with her husband, John, their three kids, Sam, Clara, and Paul, and their dog, Izzy.

Antonin Ficatier

Antonin Ficatier

Antonin is the Youth Pastor of Union Church in Hong Kong. A serious globe-trotter, he is originally from France and holds degrees in economics, international business, theology and Christian education from institutions in China (Beijing), France (Paris, Strasbourg), and the States (Princeton). An experienced entrepreneur, Antonin founded Chinese Institute in 2011, which is today one of France’s leading training centers for teaching Chinese. Antonin is a regular contributor to the blog Kindred Youth Ministry, and is passionate about entrepreneurship, theology, youth culture, and unplugging.

Amanda Miller Garber

Amanda Miller Garber

Amanda is a church planter, spiritual pioneer, and relentless dreamer. She is an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church and serves as the Chief Instigator and Founding Pastor of RISE, a quirky young faith community in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

Throughout the last two decades, Amanda has led in a variety of church cultures and contexts. Urban and rural, large and small, traditional and nontraditional—these settings have enabled her to discern and cultivate the God-given hope and possibility within a variety of people and places.

A native of Roanoke, Virginia, Amanda is a graduate of the University of Virginia. She received a graduate degree in Speech-Language Pathology from James Madison University and received her Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity School. As a coach and consultant, she is regularly inspired by fellow innovators and edge walkers.

Amanda lives in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with her husband, two teenagers, and a dog that closely resembles a Muppet. She enjoys running long distances, planting an absurd amount of perennials, and exploring the world and its inhabitants, one cup of coffee at a time.

Mallory Hammond

Mallory Hammond

Mallory grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, spending all of her college summers working for a local youth ministry. After graduating from Auburn University with a degree in musical theatre, Mal worked as a professional actor on various tours around the country before settling in New York City to do equally wonderful and low-budget Shakespeare workshops for high school students. While in NYC, Mal landed a day job at Redeemer Presbyterian Church working with community groups and the kids’ ministry. Since moving to Nashville in 2014, Mallory has led and coached large kids’-ministry teams. Mal dreams of seeing kiddos come to know that they are truly needed and that they deeply belong in the local church and in God’s kingdom. She enjoys new hobbies, cheering on the Auburn Tigers, cooking/eating brunch, and spending quality time with friends and family while attempting to finish a master of arts in ministry from Covenant Theological Seminary. Mallory lives in Nashville with her dog, Rosie.

John Harrell

John Harrell

John Harrell is a task-oriented nerd with a heart for building sustainable systems that serve the Reign of God. His work for Ministry Incubators includes helping to keep the team and our clients resourced for developing sustainable structures, helping the folks we serve to follow through on timelines for growth and organizational health. He also does voices, cracks jokes, and loves camping, travel, and deep-dish pizza. He’s been known to read airline schedules and memorize subway maps for fun.

John and his wife Ana, co-pastors of a congregation in the Midwestern heartland, have roots all over—in Seattle, Kentucky, California, North Carolina, and Maryland. John’s other work includes editing books and manuscripts for publication. His written work has appeared at USAToday.com and BusinessInsider.com, and his editing clients have brought their work to print through InterVarsity Press, Routledge, Wipf & Stock, and Light + Life.

He is ordained in the Free Methodist Church – USA and is an experienced youth and young adult pastor and ministry developer. John and Ana live in southern Illinois.

Ashley Higgins

Ashley Higgins

Ashley Higgins is a Project Manager at Ministry Incubators whose portfolio has included directing Ministry Incubators’ first-ever nationwide conference in Seattle in 2019 and developing ministries in the Mountain West region of the United States. A graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary where she earned a Master of Divinity and a Master of the Arts in Youth Culture, she moved to Nashville in 2014 to work in full-time ministry and is pursuing ordination in the Presbyterian Church (USA). That, working with MINC, and raising her three- and five-year-old girls with Jake keep her busy these days. If she weren’t pursuing ordination, she would be behind a coffee counter, watching too much of the Food Network, or growing the garden of her dreams!

Delesslyn Kennebrew

Delesslyn Kennebrew

Rev. Dr. Delesslyn Audra Kennebrew, J.D., M.Div., is a Visionary Strategist, Faithful Innovator, Inspirational Essayist, and Imaginative Preacher. For 15 years, she has worked to give life to the vision and mission of local churches. Dr. Kennebrew has a passion for helping churches to discern, discover, and develop what’s next. She currently serves as the Regional Minister for Ministry Innovation in the Greater Kansas City Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Her Ministry Motto is Colossians 3:17 – And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

James Lee

James Lee

James Lee is passionate about cultivating the divine spark in people through creative worship, Christ-centered discipleship, and visual storytelling. He is an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church, currently serving as the lead pastor of Wesley Church in South Plainfield, NJ. James is also an active freelance video producer and media production consultant. He received his M.Div. from Drew Theological School and his B.A. from Rutgers University.

Aqueelah Ligonde

Aqueelah Ligonde

Aqueelah Ligonde is an enthusiastic speaker and leader with a passion for today’s generation of youth and women. Aqueelah holds a Master of Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry and a Certificate in Black Church Studies from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. In 2011, she was ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and became a member of the Presbytery of New York City. Aqueelah has worked with various organizations, institutions, and programs such as the Institute for Youth Ministry at Princeton Theological Seminary, Leadership Education at Duke Divinity, Fuller Youth Institute, Urban Youth Workers Institute, Youth Specialties, Holmes Presbyterian Camp, PC(USA) Young Adult Volunteer Program, and GenOn/Logos Ministries, plus others. For over a decade, Aqueelah served as Associate Pastor at the First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, Queens, NY. Aqueelah is an International Coaching Federation (ICF)-trained coach through the Coach Approach Skills Training program. She is a Consultant with Ministry Architects and the Vice President for Coaching and Training for Ministry Incubators, organizations that are designed to champion congregations and leaders to help them live into their full ministry potential.

Janna Louie

Janna Louie

Janna Louie is an American Baptist minister currently serving graduate students and faculty in Southern California. As an ordained clergy, she is committed to working alongside community organizers in efforts that move our society towards racial and economic justice. She was born and raised in Chicago and is a daughter of immigrants from Hong Kong. After completing her M.Div. at Fuller Theological Seminary, she received the Parish Pulpit Fellowship and studied sociopolitical engagement through preaching in Southeast Asia. She was also awarded the David Allan Hubbard Award and continues to create integrated spaces for current seminarians by serving as a group facilitator and teaching assistant. She was an expositor at IFES 2019 World Assembly in South Africa. She directed various preaching courses and has preaching experience throughout the United States, South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Viet Nam, and Thailand. She currently lives in Los Angeles. In her spare time, she enjoys running, cooking, and learning to grow her own vegetables.

Bryan Miller

Bryan Miller

While he tries to avoid the word “obsessed” and prefers terms like “dedication” or “love,” Bryan’s life has been one of passionate (obsessive) engagement and trying to bring those passions into conversation with each other. Early in his life he developed a love of technology (imagine the young teenager with an intro programming book trying to make flashy text on a geocities site). While this love of technology lead to countless sleepless nights, instead of directly pursuing a career in technology, he pursued his love of the church with an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary and an M.A. from the University of Kansas. After seminary, Bryan and his best friend Michael Gewecke founded Smart Church Project, a technology design and consulting company that helps mission driven organizations increase their impact. When not buried by books or immersed in code, Bryan enjoys spending time with his lovely wife exploring the great wilds of the Kansas landscape.

Shari L. Oosting

Shari L. Oosting

Shari Oosting works with Christian leaders and congregations to discern what God is calling them toward next. She directs the Churches in Mission project at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, MI, which helps congregations clarify and engage in local mission through listening to their neighbors to discover what the Spirit is up to. Prior to working in theological education, she spent seven years in the finance industry.

Werner Ramirez

Werner Ramirez

Werner is a Guatemalan immigrant who grew up in the ‘hood of Long Beach, CA. He jokes that he did not get into much trouble growing up because he has great parents who got him cable television and took him to church. Werner is an ordained minister of word and sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA). He holds an M.Div and a MA in Christian Education & Spiritual Formation from Princeton Theological Seminary. Werner has worked in youth ministry for over a decade on both coasts in suburban and urban contexts. He currently lives in Queens, NY with his wonderful wife April, and serves as the Associate Pastor for Youth and Young Adult Ministries at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, NY.  Fun fact: As an eighth grader, he was interviewed by Robin Roberts on Good Morning America!
Colyer Robison

Colyer Robison

Colyer began working in youth ministry in 1990 as an intern at First Presbyterian Church in Nashville, TN. After graduating from Vanderbilt University, she resumed her focus on youth ministry and served as the logistics director of Family-Based Youth Ministry. Since 2003, she has served as the VP of Operations for Ministry Architects. Colyer lives outside New Orleans, Louisiana with her husband and three children. A family of sports enthusiasts, the Robisons can often be found on the nearest field, court, or stadium.

Amelia Thompson

Amelia Thompson

Over the last ten years, Amelia Thompson has provided grant writing, fundraising, strategic planning, program design, and performance management support to a range of causes and nonprofits. She completed her undergraduate degree in Political Science at Vassar College and graduate studies in education at St. John’s University. She serves as a youth minister at her local congregation, Christian Cultural Center.

Kerwin Webb

Kerwin Webb

Minister Kerwin Webb is a native of Birmingham, Alabama, and earned a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Alabama State University. Minister Webb is a 2019 graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, where he earned his Master of Divinity degree, a Certificate in Black Church Studies, and an International Certificate in Youth, Theology, and Innovation from the Institute for Youth Ministry (IYM).

In 2012, Kerwin founded the RMW Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on child development, youth outreach, and adult empowerment, in 2013. Minister Webb currently serves as the Associate Pastor of Youth and Young Adults at Second Baptist Church of Asbury Park, the President of the Greater Red Bank branch of the NAACP, coalition liaison for the New Jersey Social Justice Remembrance Coalition, and Board Chair of the T. Thomas Fortune Foundation.

Gabby Cudjoe Wilkes

Gabby Cudjoe Wilkes

Gabby works at the intersection of faith, culture, leadership, and strategy. She travels the country as a public speaker and strategist, working with individuals and institutions to dream strategically about the impact they wish to leave on the world. Her work centers around storytelling, prophetic imagination, and design thinking as key tools for maximum impact. Gabby is the co-founding, co-lead pastor of The Double Love Experience Church in Brooklyn, New York. Before launching her church, she served for five years on the pastoral staff of a Queens church as a young adult pastor.

Gabby is a proud graduate of Hampton University, New York University, and Yale University Divinity School where she serves on the alumni board. She is currently in the writing phase of her doctorate at Duke Divinity School where she is writing on strategy and innovation within the black church. She has been featured in Forbes and Essence.

Trey Wince

Trey Wince

Trey never met a project he didn’t try to scale. His first job was a window washing enterprise that he started just so he could have his own business cards and pizza money. He has launched and led faith communities in Oklahoma, Tennessee, and New Jersey, and somewhere along the way he decided that pastors tend to be better at ministry when they aren’t busy struggling to pay the electric bill.

Trey has a passion for helping high-impact churches and ministry leaders tap into their creative side. During his years of church leading, planting, consulting, coaching, and pastoring, Trey has remained convinced that fostering a culture of innovation is more about rhythms and practice than happenstance. He has served as pastor of Princeton and Kingston United Methodist Churches in New Jersey, as a college ministry director to students at Vanderbilt, Belmont, and Lipscomb Universities, director of young adult ministries at First Presbyterian Church of Nashville, and international missions coordinator with Joshua Expeditions. Before coming to Ministry Incubators, he supported and resourced over 500 churches as director of new disciples for the Greater New Jersey Conference of The United Methodist Church. Trey is an International Coaching Federation (ICF)-trained coach through the Coach Approach Skills Training program.

He and his wife Debbie live in Oklahoma City as the delighted parents of Liam and Jack.