Workshop Speakers

Workshops are where attendees who desire to engage in thoughtful discussion go to learn how God uses gospel-centered mission to address the deep spiritual needs of the world around us.

Garry and Cynthia Barkman

Garry and Cynthia Barkman -Moody Aviation

Garry and Cynthia Barkman served overseas for over 25 years before moving to Moody Aviation to invest in the next generation of missionary aviators. They raised their two sons, ages 28 &24, in Latin America and Asia, where they provided aviation service to church planters among unreached people groups. Their passion is to see the next generation of missionary aviators be spiritually mature and technically qualified to do their part to in seeing the Gospel reach the ends of the earth in their generation!

Mike Blair and Tim Peterson

Teen Missions International

Teen Missions International exists to launch youth into lifetime missions involvement by training, discipling, and mobilizing them to impact eternity around the world NOW. Many of our alumni are in full-time Christian ministry, serving the Lord worldwide as pastors, teachers, support technicians, and missionaries.

Dr. Marc Canner and Kaleb Barkman

Great Northern University

Dr. Marc Canner served as a military linguist and interpreter for the INF Treaty. He has cross-cultural experience amongst Russians and Ukrainians, including church planting and discipleship in the former Soviet Union. Dr. Canner also serves as President of Language and Culture Training International (LCTI), a non-profit agency that equips candidates with the linguistic, English teaching, and inter-cultural skills for effective cross-cultural ministry. He regularly speaks about second language acquisition, cognitive linguistics and issues in missiology. He has published two Russian language textbooks designed for missionaries and several language aptitude and proficiency exams.

Dr. Greg Burch

Multnomah University

Dr. Greg Burch, is Associate Professor and Chair of the Global Studies department at Multnomah University. Prior to his current role, he lived and worked in Caracas, Venezuela and San José, Costa Rica where he served in advocacy and teaching roles in support of vulnerable children and youth. When he’s not teaching or hanging out with students he’s probably surfing or hiking. He and his wife Christina have two college-aged kids and live in Oregon City, Oregon.

Michael Q. “Fitz” Fitzgerald

As a Bioengineering PhD candidate at UC San Diego, Fitz spends most of his days culturing Alzheimer’s-diseased balls of neural tissue colloquially referred to as “mini-brains”. As a christian apologist working in a field of skeptics, he has had quite a bit of experience discussing the scientific and ethical underpinnings of Christianity. In his workshop, Fitz plans to provide a helpful tool for navigating difficult apologetics conversations when you feel stuck–regardless of whether the conversation is with your little brother or a nobel laureate.

Danny Foster


Danny Foster leads the Canada Institute of Linguistics where people are trained to serve indigenous communities through language development and Bible translation.

Andrew Frye

The Ambassador’s Forum

Andrew Frye lives in Grants Pass, Oregon with his wife Terry – they have two adult children. He has spoken at churches and camps across the United States on worldview, apologetics, church history, and engaging the culture. Andy has been faculty with Worldview Academy since 2008 and is the author of “The Image of God: A 9 Week Study”. He has served the church as a worship leader, elder, and pastoral teacher. He is the department chair for social studies at Grants Pass High School and has been an adjunct professor at Pacific Bible College, Concordia University, and Rogue Community College. Andrew is a James Madison Fellow-Scholar and holds a MA (Liberal Studies) in history and political philosophy from Excelsior College, where he did work at Georgetown University and Oxford University, England, and a B.A. in history from San Diego State University. He enjoys soccer, music, and good coffee.

Dez Johnston & Kirk Petersen


Dez is the Director of Youth for EMENA at Alpha International, where he serves and supports leaders within Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. He is an ordained Baptist Minister who led an incarnational church plant in an area of mass deprivation in Scotland whilst being the Alpha Scotland Youth Coordinator, previous to becoming the Director of Scotland. Keeping him busy at home are his wife Fi, daughter, Amber, Cody, and newest addition, Finn. When he is not cooking for his family, Dez loves music, the PlayStation, hats, and sunglasses! He also has a small addiction to really, really old books and working out new ways of communicating our culture.

Kirk is the Northwest Director for Alpha and the Alpha Youth Series, an introduction to the Christian faith used worldwide by millions of students to reach their peers. He served as a youth pastor in Oregon for two decades and enjoys time with his wife Marlys, his three young-adult children, and his golden retriever.

Kristyn Kidney

Kristyn Kidney’s teaching career has taken her to many places around the world and allowed her to dialogue with diverse learners from a variety of cultures and contexts. She loves teaching English, not because she loves English, but because she loves students. Teaching allows her to serve students, build and establish relationships, and engage in multicultural dialogue. As the TESOL Department Chair and Graduate Division Chair at Multnomah University she delights mentoring English language teachers during their season of study and preparation as she directs the TESOL programs.

Brian Overholt

Director of Content, The Ambassadors Forum

Brian has had a passion for apologetics and evangelism since his youth. That passion has only intensified as he’s watched so many of his childhood church friends walk away from their faith. Consequently, he’s been trying to answer the questions and objections of skeptics and wanderers around him since the turn of the millennium and has been in full-time Christian ministry since 2012.

John Rozzelle


John is on staff with Cru in Portland, Oregon. He lived in Croatia right after college helping to lead and launch campus ministries on a global internship with Cru. He has a deep love for theology, the outdoors and reading. Make sure to ask him what he is currently reading.

Sonya Rygh

Team Leader, CRU

Sonya grew up in the Portland Metro area and was introduced to Jesus by friends in high school. She is passionate about helping others know Jesus, grow in their faith and go across the street or around the world. She and her husband John have been married for 30 years and have five children. She loves the outdoors, a good cup of coffee and a great conversation.

Avery Stafford

Pastor, Common Ground Church

Avery Stafford is Lead Pastor at Common Ground Church in Beaverton, Oregon, and an adjunct faculty member at Multnomah Biblical Seminary in Portland. He is a graduate of Abilene Christian University (1992) and holds an MA in Pastoral Studies and a DMin from Multnomah Biblical Seminary (1998, 2020). His book, When Collaboration Mirrors the Trinity, was published by Wipf & Stock in 2021. He is also an award-winning songwriter and music recording artist with six albums to his credit. Avery is married to Nina (34 yrs.) and they have 3 adult children.

Scott Stoutenburg

Destiny Rescue

Director of Student Engagement for Destiny Rescue. Former Pastor, youth pastor, coach,conference speaker. Husband, father to 4 grandfather to 3,with one to be named later. Global advocate to eradicate child sex trafficking.

Roy Swart

Co-founder, The Ambassadors Forum

Roy Swart has spent 25 years ministering to one of the most unreached people groups on the planet: the elite intellectuals of the semiconductor industry. Roy’s Mechanical Engineering degree from MIT, creative mind, and passion for life have opened doors traditionally closed to the gospel. Roy leads the Ambassadors Forum, a local Apologetics ministry in Portland, OR, that helps youth better understand and defend their faith.

Hung Thach

Team Leader CRU HS

Hung and his family fled from war-torn South Vietnam in 1975, came to the United States, and was sponsored by a local Church in Chattanooga, TN. He and his wife Angela have been married for 27 years and have three children, Caleb, Brooke, and Jericho. They have served with Cru for the past 25 years, and Hung currently serves as the Team Leader for Cru’s High School ministry in Los Angeles.

Adrian Toader

Apologist, The Ambassadors Forum

Adrian is a member of the Southwest Hills Ambassadors Forum who has been teaching on apologetics topics for over 10 years. He is a former public school teacher with a Masters in teaching and has extensive experience engaging the secular culture.

Paul Veit

The Dino Pastor

Paul is first and foremost a follower of Jesus Christ. He is the founder and director of Declare God’s Wonders, Inc., an evangelistic ministry. For over 18 years he ministered as a youth pastor and has conducted events for YWAM, Teen Mission Int’l and spoken at over 100 youth groups. He has personally conducted over 1,800 Creation vs. Evolution Events. When not on the road, he enjoys paleontological excavations and teaches regularly at The Dinosaur Encounter, a Creation Learning Center, which he is developing in Bridgton, ME.

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