Staff & Volunteers
Jeremy R. Smith
Founder, Executive Director
2022 Retreat Speakers
Sean McDowell, PhD
Josephine Lee Aguhob Glaser, MD
Paul Glaser, PhD
Herman C. Armstrong serves as Director of the Workday Ministry for Restore St. Louis. He has worked for several nonprofit organizations as an expert in urban education and college access. He holds a B.S. in Biology, an MBA, and a Master of Theological Studies with an emphasis in Counseling (highest honors). Shortly after beginning a career as an Industrial Chemist, he felt led by God to leave the corporate world and pursue a career in the education sector. Through ENP Coaching LLC, he focuses on helping ministries effectively navigate cross-cultural relationships. An ordained minister, Herman has served in capacities such as Associate Pastor, Christian Education Director, and Adjunct Professor of Biblical Studies. He also recently completed a Certificate in Management and Leadership from the Harvard Business School. A St. Louis native, Herman is following God’s call to plant a church in North City. Herman is married to Kim, and they have three beautiful children.
David S. Baker, JD
Board of Directors
David is a licensed attorney and graduate of the University of Akron, School of Law and received his undergraduate degree from Bob Jones University in South Carolina. His legal practice includes advising individuals and families on the options for their charitable giving—both gift vehicle and choice of entity. His legal and fundraising consulting practice for nonprofits includes advising on start-ups, affiliate structures, conducting charitable interest assessments, coaching development directors and their staff, and providing direction for capital, endowment and planned giving campaigns. Previously, David served as a Planned Giving Officer at the Columbus Foundation, the seventh largest community foundation in the country. He has assisted with the start-up of a rural, regional community foundation as its Director of Advancement and have also served as the launch director for National Christian Foundation Ohio (fka the Columbus Stewardship Foundation). His past professional career has included employment with the global legal publisher LEXIS-NEXIS as well as a Dayton, Ohio law firm. David and his family call Los Angeles home.
Gina Birkemeier, MA, LPC, (PhD Candidate)
Board of Directors
Gina is a licensed professional counselor with a master’s degree in psychology and theology from Covenant Theological Seminary and advanced training in trauma and evidence-based therapies to help people heal. She has walked with the hurting to help them find hope and healing for nearly two decades. The author of three books, Gina teaches and speaks on a variety of subjects related to trauma and recovery with an emphasis in generational family patterns and helps individuals and families learn how to break unhealthy cycles and create legacies of healing and freedom.
Dr. Bobo (‘Dr. B’) serves as Chief Program Officer for Arrabon (see Arrabon.com). He is the former associate professor and department chair for Lindenwood University of St. Charles, MO in the school’s Christian Ministry Studies Program. And prior to Lindenwood, Luke also served as Assistant Dean for both the Francis A. Schaeffer Institute and Youth In Ministry Institute at Covenant Theological Seminary. He has spoken and/or preached in Cape Town, South Africa and Goiânia, Brazil. Dr. Bobo holds a PhD in Rabbinic Andragogy from the University of Missouri St. Louis. He holds a Master of Divinity from Covenant Theological Seminary (St. Louis, MO); a M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia; and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Kansas, Lawrence. Professionally, Dr. Bobo worked as an Electrical Engineer for fifteen years prior to his work with the Institute. He sits on several national boards. And he is the author of “Race, Economics, and Apologetics” (2019), “Living Salty and Light-filled Lives in the Workplace” (2016), and “A Layperson’s Guide to Biblical Interpretation” (2016). He co-authored, “Worked Up: Navigating Calling After College” (2019).
Chris Buckles is delighted to be joining ReThink 3:15 in their ministry as a speaker. Having served with similar ministries through college and his career, he has a heart for shepherding teenagers through difficult questions. Chris primarily seeks to live out this calling by serving as the Headmaster of Providence Classical Christian Academy in St. Louis, MO, where he has the privilege of leading an excellent group of faculty and families in equipping students for lives of wisdom, virtue, and eloquence to the glory of God, while personally teaching the 8th grade Logic class. In his spare time, Chris enjoys spending quality time with his family, taking an occasional bike ride, playing board games, and reading great books. He and his wife, Lindsey, live in Edwardsville, IL with their children Scott, Emilia, Peter, and Georgia, and worship at Center Grove Presbyterian Church.
Michael Carper, PhD
Though he has lived in Los Angeles and Boston, as well as the Twin Cities, Michael Carper is a native mid-western. Born in Kansas, he finished high school in Nebraska. Afterwards, he attended the University of Nebraska—Kearney where he eventually earned four Bachelor of Arts degrees in Philosophy, English, History, and Biology. He also stuck around to get an MA in English, where he acquired his first teaching experience in English Composition. His Master Thesis on Irony won an award for Best Thesis of the Year for the entire state university system. Later, he attended Boston University, where he received a full Merit Scholarship to study Theology, earning a Master’s in Theological Studies. He then moved to St Louis where he received his PhD in Philosophy from St Louis University, focusing his research on the philosophy of religion, issues in science and religion, and ethics. With apologetic concerns in mind, Carper wrote his dissertation on the problem of suffering and evil, a key issue for many who struggle with faith and the existence of God. With 21 years of teaching experience, Carper has taught full-time at places such as the University of Nebraska—Kearney, St Louis Community College—Florissant Valley, Maryville University, and Lindenwood University in numerous areas of philosophy, religion, literature, composition, and theology. Carper always likes to mention that he has other passions outside of teaching and studying, including rock climbing, ballroom dancing (especially salsa!), and further cultivating his expertise in judging fine wine and artisanal beers!
Social Media Consultant
Tabi is the Corporate Office Administrative Assistant and Social Media Team Lead at ThriVe STL (a local pro-life organization). Tabi also works as a part time Tap Dance Instructor at Life Light Youth Theatre. Starting in 2014, during her late high school years, Tabi attended multiple summer camps with Jeremy Smith and later became a small group leader. Tabi recently joined the ReThink315 team as a part time Social Media Consultant.
Daniel is a native St. Louisan who has spent the majority of his professional career in nonprofit management and administration. In that capacity, he has worked for several years on the east coast within a few public policy and human rights advocacy groups, namely The Heritage Foundation, The American Spectator, and Students for Life of America. As a local entrepreneur and urban minister, he is now focused on cultural apologetics, relational discipleship, and spiritual warfare here in the city and county of St. Louis. With his role in ReThink315, and his ongoing leadership within AmplifyLife and Multiverse Comics Cafe, Daniel is dedicated to truth-exploration, servant-leadership, and community-building—one conversation and project at a time. Being an alumnus of Missouri Baptist University, the C.S. Lewis Institute, and the John Jay Institute, Daniel is passionate about promoting interdenominational dialogue and ecumenical fellowship. He also enjoys studying, writing, and teaching theology and philosophy, along with being a sci-fi lover, comic book reader, firearm collector, and food enthusiast.
Fr. William Dotson
Fr. William Dotson is the pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Church in St. Charles, MO, where he has served for 4 years. He graduated from Kenrick-Glennon Seminary and was ordained in 2012. In addition to being a parish priest, he has served as a member of the Public Policy Committee for the Missouri Catholic Conference, and is currently a member of the Peace and Justice Commission and the Racial Harmony Committee for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. He is also a chaplain for the St. Charles City Police Department.
Cathy Downen, MA, MA, LPC, NCC
Mary Catherine (Cathy) Downen founded Christian Counseling Connection, LLC to provide resources and support for licensed professional Christian counselors in private practice. Christian Counseling Connection has grown to become a flourishing collaborative group of Christian counselors dedicated to creating a Center of Excellence for mental wellness in our community. Cathy Downen is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Missouri and a National Certified Counselor. She earned a Master of Arts degree in counseling from Missouri Baptist University and a Master of Arts degree in English from the University of Missouri-Columbia and has extensive teaching experience as a college adjunct instructor. She is also a Certified SYMBIS Assessment Facilitator for premarital and marital counseling, and a board member of the Liam Michael Foundation for suicide awareness and prevention. Her professional memberships include the American Counseling Association and the American Association of Christian Counselors.
Will DuVal, MDIV
Will DuVal is the lead pastor of West Hills Church in Chesterfield, MO. Before transitioning into the lead role, he served as associate pastor of family ministries (youth and kids). In his 6.5 years at West Hills, he has also intermittently given oversight to small groups, missions, discipleship, worship… you name it! Before moving to St. Louis, Will and his wife Polly worked in northern Indiana for 5 years, where Will served as a youth pastor, humanities teacher, and coach at a secular boarding school. He also came to personal, saving faith in Jesus there, after having spent 3 years deconstructing his faith while completing his M.Div. at Vanderbilt Divinity School. Will helped co-found the St. Louis regional chapter of the Gospel Coalition in 2020 for local pastors, and can usually be found on the beach volleyball court or exploring God’s creation with his awesome wife and kids.
Rev. Michael Farley, MDIV, PhD
Mike Farley is the Pastor of Spiritual Formation at Central Presbyterian Church in Saint Louis, Missouri where he directs ministries of adult education and discipleship and helps to plan and lead worship. Mike received a B.A. in chemistry from Wittenberg University and an M.S. in biochemistry from Indiana University, and he has had a life-long love of studying the relationship of Christian faith and natural science. He received an M.Div. from Covenant Theological Seminary in 2000 and a Ph.D. in historical theology at Saint Louis University in 2007 with a special research focus on the history and theology of worship. Mike continued to teach as an adjunct professor of Theological Studies at Saint Louis University until 2012. Mike has also taught Greek and Hebrew classes at Covenant Seminary and serves there as an adjunct professor of worship. He has published articles in journals such as Studia Liturgica, The Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, and the Calvin Theological Journal, and is a regular online contributor to Modern Reformation.
Dr. Lawrence Feingold, STD, STL
Dr. Lawrence Feingold, STD, STL, is Associate Professor of Theology & Philosophy at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, MO. Dr. Feingold converted to Catholicism in 1989 together with his wife, while engaged in realist marble sculpture in Pietrasanta. His scholarly interests center on the theology and philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas and the Thomistic tradition, the relationship between nature and grace, Christian anthropology, Christology, fundamental theology, the Jewish roots of the Catholic faith, and the relationship between Christian faith and culture. Dr. Feingold studied Philosophy and Theology at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, and Biblical Hebrew and Greek at the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum in Jerusalem. Subsequently, he taught Philosophy and Theology in the House of Formation of Miles Christi in Argentina. Until recently, Dr. Feingold was Assistant Professor of Theology for the Institute of Pastoral Theology of Ave Maria University. Since 2011, he is Associate Professor of Theology and Philosophy at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Feingold is also Director of Theology for the Association of Hebrew Catholics.
Rachel Ferguson is a professor of business ethics, assistant dean of the College of Business, and director of the Free Enterprise Center at Concordia University Chicago. She is a board member for LOVEtheLOU, a neighborhood stabilization ministry in North St. Louis; the Freedom Center of Missouri; and ReThink315. She is also on the editorial board of the Journal of Religion, Culture & Democracy. In addition, Rachel coordinates the Classical Liberal Network, a collection of liberty-oriented faculty across the nation, which aims to engage with constitutional law and economics at the faculty, undergraduate, and high school levels. She co-wrote Black Liberation Through the Marketplace: Hope, Heartbreak, and the Promise of America (May 2022) with historian Marcus Witcher. Dr. Ferguson received her B.A. in philosophy from Lindenwood University and her Ph.D. in philosophy from Saint Louis University.
Chris Gadsden, PhD
Chris Gadsden currently serves in Columbia, MO as a Speaker/Researcher with Cru City: Arts & Culture and as an adjunct instructor in the Mizzou philosophy department. He shares a home with Kristin (his wife), three of their four amazing kids, and their dog, Pascal. His passion for communicating truth, defending the faith, and bringing people closer to an encounter with God stems from his own conversion from atheism while an undergrad at Florida State University. In addition to his 25 years of campus ministry experience, Chris earned an MA in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics from Talbot School of Theology (Biola University) in 2003, and his PhD in Philosophy (Epistemology) from the University of Missouri in 2014. In 2017, Chris founded GroundBelief.com (
Steve Grimes has a B.S. degree from Washington University in St. Louis in Systems and Data Processing. He was also an adjunct faculty member for the Washington University School of Engineering and Applied Science for 25 years, teaching Computer Systems Architecture in the undergraduate Bachelor of Science program. He currently works as a Business Intelligence developer, capping an Information Technology career that spans multiple computer environments and languages.
My name is Kylie! I am currently studying to become a Pediatric Physical Therapist and also work as a teller at a local credit union. I am very passionate when it comes to Christian apologetics and philosophy because this is how, in large part, I met Jesus. I once considered myself Agnostic but through my own research, through apologetics training with local speakers and professors, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, I’m now a Christian! This is why I’m so excited about the mission and ministry of ReThink315! I hope to help other students learn what I learned and experience what I experienced.
Matthew Heckel, PhD
Matt Heckel teaches history, Latin, and apologetics at Heritage Classical Christian Academy, and is an adjunct instructor of history at Missouri Baptist University. He has a Ph.D. in Reformation Studies from Concordia Seminary St. Louis and an M.Div. from Covenant Theological seminary. He has been published in Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Presbyterion, Church History, and contributed to the T & T Clark Companion to Reformation Theology. Matt and his wife Tammy have three children and are members at Covenant Presbyterian Church. He enjoys following Cardinal baseball, reading, watching films and documentaries, traveling, and is always up for a round of golf.
Kyle Keating, MDIV
Kyle Keating serves as the Dean of Providence Classical Christian Academy in St. Louis, Missouri. He received is B.A. in Political Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and his M.Div. from Covenant Theology Seminary. After serving with the campus ministry Cru at Ball State University, he and his wife moved to St. Louis. He regularly teaches about Christian ethics and apologetics at local churches, schools, and college campuses and has written for the Christian Research Journal, Mere Orthodoxy, and Christ and Pop Culture. He and his wife have a daughter and a son. Together they enjoy reading, traveling, watching sports, and playing board games.
Zachary Klein is a software architect, independent researcher, husband of Elizabeth and a homeschooling father of five. In addition to his professional career in data science and IT, he has long had a deep interest in Earth sciences, and in geology in particular. He is a member of the Eastern Missouri Society for Paleontology, the Creation Research Society, and the Creation Geology Society, and has authored and led geological field trips in the St Louis region, as well as at Mt St Helens, in Washington state. Zachary serves as a speaker and as a member of the board of the Missouri Association of Creation, and enjoys introducing people to the grandeur of God’s creation and the reliability of Scripture.
Randy Larson, JD, LLM, CFP
Randy Larson graduated from Biola University in California in 2004 with his Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies. After he received his Master of Arts in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics from Biola in 2007, he and his wife moved from California to the Midwest. Randy earned his J.D. and LL.M. in Taxation from Washington University in St. Louis. Randy is a Certified Financial Planner® as well as a Missouri-licensed attorney. In addition to co-founding 25, he founded The Larson Law Firm, LLC, practicing in the areas of estate planning, business law, and asset protection for physicians and dentists. When Randy is not playing with his five children or going on a date night with his wife, he enjoys riding his dirt bike and studying theology and philosophy.Randy and his wife also serve as youth leaders at his Church in St. Louis, Missouri.
Chris is currently working on his MDiv on the Apologetics track at Covenant Seminary with plans of pursuing a Ph.D. in Christian Leadership. Chris has a passion for conversation, writing, and witnessing to Christians and Non-Christians, sharing the Gospel lovingly and respectfully. Before his seminary calling, Chris worked as an executive chef for 30+ years in the restaurant industry. In his career, he has opened some of St. Louis’ finest restaurants, 2x Taste of St. Louis winner, educator, entrepreneur, and consultant. A severe motorcycle accident in 2016 changed his career path. Although he has retired from the culinary industry, he still serves as a consultant to Bunge North America. Chris serves as a licensed minister with the Christian Crusaders MC, a 40+-year-old ministry that evangelizes to the hard-core biker. Chris lives in Webster Groves with his wife Sandra and their two boxer dogs, Brutus and Naomi.
Sean Maney has been the Executive Director at FirstLight for 10 years. He received his Masters of Divinity and Masters of Counseling from Covenant Theological Seminary and is a teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church of America. He is married to his wife, Sarah, and has two children, Matthew and Lillian. FirstLight Ministries exists to come alongside those who struggle with sexual issues and their families. The team at FirstLight offers confidential, Christ-centered discipleship groups that bring hope and healing to those impacted by unwanted sexual behaviors. FirstLight continues to serve primarily in St. Louis but has expanded to offer training for churches to begin to offer their own support to those struggling with these issues.
Jude Marshall is a student studying Graphic Communications at St. Louis Community College. Early childhood and High school classes at Grand Center Arts Academy fostered his love for art and design. His passion, and God’s plan for him, would lead Jude to the start of a career as a graphic designer. Jude hopes to use his time with ReThink315 not only as a way to become a better artist; but also as a means to spread the love of Christ through his talents.
Emily McCarty, PhD Candidate
Emily McCarty teaches at Saint Louis University and is writing her dissertation on God’s love and the problem of evil. She also studies the philosophical debates concerning God’s existence and the veracity of the Christian faith. When she isn’t thinking about theistic arguments, Emily likes to spend time outdoors and to grab a cup of coffee with a friend.
Michael McClymond, MA, PhD
Michael McClymond is Professor of Modern Christianity at Saint Louis University. He was educated at Northwestern University (B.A.), Yale University (M.Div.), and the University of Chicago (M.A., Ph.D.), and has held teaching or research appointments at Wheaton College (IL), Westmont College, the University of California–San Diego, Emory University, Yale University, and University of Birmingham (UK). He has written or edited ten volumes on Christian theology, comparative religions, and biblical studies, including Familiar Stranger: An Introduction to Jesus of Nazareth (2004) and—co-written with Gerald McDermott—The Theology of Jonathan Edwards (2012). This last was chosen from more than 400 titles as Theology/Ethics Book of the Year by Christianity Today magazine. This work on Jonathan Edwards has been translated in its entirety into Korean, and is being translated into Portuguese. McClymond edited the Encyclopedia of Religious Revivals in America, 2 vols. (2007), and co-edited—with the late Lamin Sanneh of Yale University—the Wiley-Blackwell Companion to World Christianity (2016). He has done field investigation of Pentecostalism in Mozambique and in Brazil. In 2012, he was Senior Scholar-in-Residence at the Overseas Ministries Study Center. His latest work is The Devil’s Redemption: A New History and Interpretation of the Christian Debate Over Universal Salvation, 2 vols. (2018), which won the Academic Theology Book of the Year Award from The Gospel Coalition and was chosen by the American Library Association as an Outstanding Academic Title. He served as Co-Chair of both the Evangelical Studies Group and the Pentecostal-Charismatic Movements Group in the American Academy of Religion (AAR). An Anglican layman, McClymond has been a leader in Global Day of Prayer, Habitat for Humanity, and Stepping Into the Light (a substance abuse recovery ministry in St. Louis). His daughter, Sarah, graduated from college in 2020, and is an artist who lives in Seattle.
Joe “J.R.” Miller, PhD
Dr. Joe “J.R.” Miller has more than a decade of experience in teaching and 20+ years of pastoral ministry supported by a diverse educational background spanning six academic degrees in science, theology, philosophy, and ethics. He is the Co-Founder of the Center for Cultural Apologetics and works with college students as a Campus Director for Ratio Christi. Joe teaches at several colleges and universities, is a Visiting Scholar and Fellow with Reasons to Believe, and serves on the Academic Advisory Council for the Center for Biblical Unity. He is a contributing writer for several online outlets and has authored multiple books on church history, biblical theology, and leadership. Joe and his wife Suzanne enjoy life with their 3 sons in San Diego, CA.
Nancy Pearcey, PhD
Heralded as “America’s preeminent evangelical Protestant female intellectual” (The Economist), Nancy Pearcey is author of soon-to-be-published (January 2, 2018) Love Thy Body: Answering Hard Questions about Life and Sexuality, Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity, which won a 2005 ECPA Gold Medallion Award, and How Now Shall We Live? (coauthored by Harold Fickett and Chuck Colson), which won a 2000 ECPA Gold Medallion Award, in addition to other works. Pearcey has been a visiting scholar at Biola University’s Torrey Honors Institute, professor of worldview studies at Cairn University, and Francis A. Schaeffer scholar at the World Journalism Institute. Currently she is professor of apologetics and scholar in residence at Houston Baptist University, a fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, and editor at large of The Pearcey Report. Pearcey has addressed staffers on Capitol Hill and at the White House; actors and screenwriters in Hollywood; scientists at Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories; artists at the International Arts Movement; students and faculty at universities such as Princeton, Stanford, Dartmouth, USC, UGA, and St. John’s College; and educational and activist groups, including the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. Pearcey has published 100+ articles in outlets such as the Washington Post, the Washington Times, First Things, American Thinker, Human Events, Christianity Today, Books & Culture, World, Human Life Review, American Enterprise, The Daily Caller, and Regent University Law Review. She has served as an editorial board member of Salem Communications and a commentator on Public Square Radio, and she has appeared on radio and television, including Fox & Friends, NPR, and C-SPAN. Formerly an agnostic, Pearcey studied in Heidelberg, Germany, in the early 1970s, and in Switzerland at L’Abri Fellowship under Francis Schaeffer. She earned a BA from Iowa State University, an MA from Covenant Theological Seminary, and pursued graduate work in history of philosophy at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto.
Fazale “Fuz” Rana, PhD
Formerly a senior scientist in research and development at Procter & Gamble, Fuz graduated with highest honors from West Virginia State College (now University) with a BS in chemistry and went on to earn a PhD in chemistry with an emphasis in biochemistry from Ohio University, where he was twice awarded the Donald Clippinger Research Award. He pursued postdoctoral studies in the biophysics of cell membranes at the Universities of Virginia and Georgia. Several articles by Fuz have been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals – such as Biochemistry, Applied Spectroscopy, FEBS Letters, Journal of Microbiological Methods and Journal of Chemical Education – and he has delivered numerous presentations at international scientific meetings. He also holds two patents, authored a chapter on molecular convergence and intelligent design for The Nature of Nature, and co-wrote a chapter on antimicrobial peptides for Biological and Synthetic Membranes. Biochemist Fazale (Fuz) Rana writes and speaks extensively about evidence for creation emerging from biochemistry, genetics, human origins, and synthetic biology. As vice president of research and apologetics at Reasons to Believe (RTB), he is dedicated to communicating to skeptics and believers alike the powerful scientific case for God’s existence and the Bible’s reliability. Fuz lives in Southern California with his wife Amy. They have five children.
John Richardson, MDIV
John Richardson, Executive Pastor of Discipleship, served as a pastor to churches in Illinois and Missouri for seventeen years before becoming a mediator and pastoral counselor at Live at Peace Ministries in St. Louis. While working at Live at Peace for five years, John also served as a pastor in Owensville, MO on a part-time basis. He started attending First Free in 2008 and joined the staff in 2011. He oversees Care, Outreach, Discipleship Communities, Men’s Ministry, and Women’s Ministry. John has a Master of Divinity from Covenant Theological Seminary and a B.A. from Fort Wayne Bible College. He is a Certified Christian Conciliator with the Institute of Christian Conciliation and serves on the board of directors for the Association of Missouri Mediators.
Shane Rosenthal, MA
Shane Rosenthal is host of The Humble Skeptic podcast. He was one of the creators of the White Horse Inn radio show, which he also served as host from 2019-2021. Shane has written numerous articles for Modern Reformation magazine, and was a contributing author for the book Defending the Faith: Essays on Apologetics. He is a graduate of Cal-State Fullerton and Westminster Seminary California, and you read his articles on faith and apologetics topics at shanerose.substack.com.
Marcus Ross, PhD
Ross received his B.S. in Earth Science from Pennsylvania State University, his M.S. in Paleontology from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and his Ph.D. in Geosciences from the University of Rhode Island. He is an Assistant Professor of Geology in the Biology/Chemistry Department at Liberty University, where he is also the Assistant Director of the Center for Creation Studies. As a graduate student, Ross was a fellow of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. Ross, along with Fred Heeren (an old Earth creationist), attended the Kunming conference in China with grants from the Institute. The conference was notable for being secretly funded by the Discovery Institute in an attempt to gain scientific legitimacy for intelligent design. In 2007, Ross was featured in a report on creationism. Ross “believes that the Bible is a literally true account of the creation of the universe and that the earth is at most 10,000 years old.” This is in contrast to his previous position as reflected when he earned his Ph.D. in geosciences from University of Rhode Island with a dissertation about “the abundance and spread of mosasaurs, marine reptiles that, as he wrote, vanished at the end of the Cretaceous era about 65 million years ago.” Ross has been criticized by some for taking this academic route, but Ross claims that it only firmed his belief in young earth creationism and has enabled him to find academic ground upon which to base the argument for his scientific credentials. In 2011, Steven Newton’s cover story in Earth discussed Ross using minor appearances at academic conferences, where he uses standard science, as a way to bolster claims that creationists challenge mainstream geological consensus when they are not presenting young Earth creationism at the conferences. Newton wrote, that Ross said that “he thought in a ‘framework’ of standard science; but for a creationist audience, he said, he used a creationist framework. Ross was a cast member in the 2017 documentary film Is Genesis History?, where he and the other cast members argued in favor of and presented evidence for a young Earth.
Mark P. Ryan, MA, MDIV
Mark Ryan is the Director of the Francis A. Schaeffer Institute at Covenant Theological Seminary, Saint Louis, MO, where he also serves as adjunct professor of religion and culture. Mark has worked with L’Abri Fellowship in both Massachusetts and British Columbia and has pastored churches in Australia and the United States. Mark’s ministry experience, heart for evangelism, and interest in helping Christians and non-Christians alike navigate the cross-currents of religion and culture, make him a valuable member of the ReThink315 team.
Nate Salah, PhD
Dr. Nate Salah is an award-winning educator and life-long entrepreneur. Founding his first business in retail sales at 17 and first corporation in tax accounting at 22, Nate later founded wholly-owned and ownership interests in a conglomerate of industries including business accounting, commercial and residential real estate, construction, wholesale distribution, multi-state retail sales, mortgage lending, concept food services, and digital marketing. Academically, Nate dropped out of college at age 21, yet resumed several years later earning a Bachelor, MBA, and Ph.D., writing his dissertation on the Visionary Leadership of Iconic American Entrepreneurs. Nate is a faculty member at Missouri Baptist University where he teaches undergraduate and graduate students a variety of business courses in the subjects of Entrepreneurship, Organizational Behavior, and Leadership. Nate is honored to be the recipient of Concordia University’s 2014 St. Louis Center Master Teacher of the Year Award and the 2017 Batterman School of Business Master of Science Organizational Leadership & Administration Faculty of the Year Award.
Cordell is an adjunct professor of Humanities and Social & Behavioral Sciences at Missouri Baptist University. Prior to this role, he served as the Dean of Students & Staff at Valor International Scholars in Anseong, Korea. He has also served as a guest lecturer at L’Abri Fellowship in Korea, a teacher at Heritage Classical Christian Academy and as the English Ministry pastor at the Korean Presbyterian Church in Kirkwood, Missouri. From 2009 through 2014, Cordell taught American Law at Handong Global University in Pohang, Korea. He has also previously taught at both Missouri Baptist University and Fontbonne University in St. Louis, Missouri. Before teaching, he practiced law for ten years. Cordell earned his MA in Theological Studies from Covenant Theological Seminary in 2004 and his JD from Saint Louis University School of Law in 1986. He has also studied Theology & Culture at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. Cordell and his wife Sandy have been married for 43 years. They have four grown children and five grandchildren. He is the author of Life Abroad @ Handong and Le Chemin: Wholly Following the Path of Jesus.
Part Time Administrator
Sarah is the owner of Lilypond LLC, a virtual assistant business based in Massachusetts. Sarah and her family have been involved in apologetics ministry with Jeremy Smith since 2015. Having studied International Affairs and Peace and Conflict Studies at Gordon College, Sarah is passionate about fostering sincere discussions across divides and is excited to aid ReThink315 in equipping Christians to share their faith and engage in respectful conversations with those who disagree with them. In her free time, Sarah loves to travel, kayak, write poetry, and read books about theology, psychology, culture, and more.
Board of Directors
Jeannie is a graduate of St Louis University in Biochemistry where she initially worked as a Co-op and then employee at Sigma Aldrich. She was part of the start-up Food and Drug division, now known as Sigma Aldrich Fine Chemicals, SAFC. Coming to Christ as a college student makes her passionate about reaching young adults in answering tough questions, in helping them prepare to give a reason for their faith, and discussing the complementary relationship between God and science, as a point of strengthening their faith. She serves as a youth leader in her church and has volunteered with inner-city tutoring. Both of her kids are in college, one married and in graduate school. As an example that God’s plan is an unknown adventure, she now serves as an Owner, Analyst and Managing Member at Convergent Wealth Management.
Student Liaison, Communications
JJ has been working with Jeremy Smith since 2017, specializing in student ministry and leadership training. He has been passionate about apologetics since his freshman year of highschool, pressing in and learning whenever possible. Outside of ReThink315, JJ loves to reach out to young men and women to discuss their interests and beliefs through meaningful relationships. He is currently working full-time as a portfolio manager for a local investment firm. JJ loves playing football, piano, and traveling with friends and family.
Andrew D. Shaw, PhD
Andrew D. Shaw Ph.D. is a high school science teacher at Westminster Christian Academy in St. Louis, Missouri, and the chair of the science and engineering department. His teaching assignment includes advanced chemistry and physics, but he has also taught advanced biology, earth science, forensic science, and astronomy. His passion is studying and teaching the relationship between the Christian Faith and Science. Dr. Shaw is a graduate of Covenant College (BS in Physics), University of Tennessee-Chattanooga (MA in Science Education) and University of Missouri-St. Louis (Ph.D. in philosophy of science education). His research experience includes 12 summers at the Idaho National Engineering Lab where he primarily studied the detection of chemical weapons with a mass spectrometer.
Jeremy R. Smith
Founder, Executive Director
Jeremy’s life miraculously changed when Jesus rescued him in 1996. Since then, personally and professionally, he’s been passionate about helping Christians and non-Christians to think through and seriously consider what they believe, why they believe it, and why it matters. From 2000 – 2010, Jeremy’s professional history included consultative sales roles in both the legal industry and educational publishing. From 2010 – 2020, Jeremy served as the Executive Director for Faith Ascent, a para-church organization training college bound Christian teens in apologetics. In October 2020, with a team of like-minded friends, Jeremy founded ReThink315 and currently serves as the Executive Director. Jeremy also provides consulting services to faith-based non profits (including churches) and chaplain services to C-Level corporate leaders. From 2013 – 2020, Jeremy served as the Corporate Chaplain at Cordell & Cordell, a domestic litigation firm, leading voluntary discussion groups and answering questions about Christianity. With 10+ years in vocational ministry and 20+ years serving and engaging non-Christians and doubting Christians, Jeremy brings an informed perspective to his leadership role at ReThink315. Jeremy has studied select topics related to Christian Apologetics, Christian Theology, Evangelism, and Philosophy through Biola University in La Mirada, CA and Covenant Theological Seminary in Saint Louis, MO. Jeremy is affiliated with The Missouri Apologetics Network, St. Louis Reasonable Faith Chapter, St. Louis Reasons to Believe Chapter, and Midrash: Commentary on Culture. Jeremy is happily married to Katie and is a grateful father to Elijah, Lucy, and Lorelei Rae.
Jannique is a graduate of Greenville University with a Bachelors in Speech Communication and Journalism. In 2007, Jannique joined First Care Family Resources, the largest faith-based Pregnancy Clinics in South Florida, as their sexual integrity and pro-life speaker. She was later promoted to Director of her own Pregnancy Clinic in Boca Raton, South Florida, near Florida Atlantic University, where she led a large team of women to provide counseling and ultrasounds to women faced with unplanned pregnancies. Jannique founded her own ministry, Love Protects in 2011, a ministry focused on sexuality integrity, human trafficking, and natural marriage and sexuality. That same year Jannique joined the professional speaking team of the Life Training Institute as a full-time pro-life apologist and speaker training thousands of young adults across the country to make a logical and reasoned defense for the humanity and value of the Preborn. Jannique is an active Board member of Faith 2 Action which wrote and successfully passed the Heartbeat Bill in eight states. She is also on the Advisory Board of Faith Ascent, a young adult apologetics ministry in St. Louis Missouri. She speaks annually to over 50,000 young adults in the United States and over 15,000 young adults in South America and Europe. Her unique pro-life apologetics style has led to invitations to debate or give speeches on the national college circuit tour such as Cornell and Yale Universities, Texas A&M, the University of Mary-Hardin Baylor, and many others.
S. Joshua Swamidass, MD, PhD
S. Joshua Swamidass is an American computational biologist, physician, academic and author. He is an Associate Professor of Laboratory and Genomic Medicine, and a Faculty Lead of Translational Bioinformatics in the Institute for Informatics at Washington University in Saint Louis. He focuses his research on applications of statistical machine learning and decision theory in the context of chemical biology and medicine. He has also worked on drug discovery, drug metabolism, and translational research. Swamidass is the founder of “Peaceful Science,” where he writes regarding the advancement of the civic practice of science. He also serves as an Associate Editor for BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making. He is the author of a book entitled The Genealogical Adam and Eve.
Marco van Raalten
Marco van Raalten was born and raised in Holland, Europe. At the age of 19 he left his country as a missionary and pastor. He has served in Asia, Africa, Europe, Central America, and North America. Prior to moving to St. Louis, he spent 17 years in Farmington, MO serving in youth ministry. He now serves on staff with St. Paul Evangelical Church as a ‘City Missionary’ – serving in bringing the body of Christ closer together in the St. Louis Metro area for the purpose of spiritual renewal and missional community impact.
George became an Evangelical Christian in 1984 while obtaining his BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Ever since that moment, he has been fascinated with how closely God’s “Book of Nature” accords with His book of Scripture. After earning an MS in Information Technology, an MA in Military Operational Art, and an MA in Christian Apologetics (Science and Religion), George retired from 20 years as an Air Force officer, 13 years as a government contractor (Systems Engineer and Systems Analyst), and 7 years as an adjunct instructor (electrical engineering courses at McKendree University and Southwestern Illinois College) to serve the Lord full-time. Assisting with ReThink315 retreats is part of that goal. George and his wife reside outside of Scott AFB, IL, twenty minutes east of St Louis, where he serves as deacon at a Christian and Missionary Alliance church (same denomination as A. W. Tozer). George is also the president of RTB’s St Louis Chapter (Reasons.org) and an instructor for the “Critical Thinking Skills” and “Evangelism in a Scientific Context” courses at Reasons Institute, so presenting evidences for Christianity is a true love of his. He prays for the success of each student at the ReThink315 retreat as we learn together how to worship God with all of our mind (Luke 10:27).
Student Liaison, Prayer Coordinator
My name is Kari Waterman. I work full-time as a Customer Service Representative. I have been leading and serving students in various capacities since 2016. I’ve been a student leader and small group leader at a local apologetics summer camp and a head volleyball coach for St. Louis Crossfire and the St. Louis Panthers. In each leadership position, my biggest takeaways have always been the value of patience and the power of prayer. I am a member of Hope Church in Berkeley, MO. When I’m not working, I can be found playing volleyball at church or off on a hike. I am looking forward to serving parents and students with ReThink315!
Jason Wilkins, MDIV
Jason Wilkins, a St. Louis native and lifelong Cardinal fan, is a graduate of Westminster Christian Academy and Mizzou. He also holds a Masters of Divinity degree from Covenant Theological Seminary where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. For 10+ years Jason has taught worldviews to High School Seniors at Westminster Christian Academy. Although Jason has an observable passion for God’s word and for seeing the saints (young and old) brought to maturity in Christ, he is best known for his starring role as the private investigator, Thomas Magnum, in the hit television series, Magnum PI.
Ken Wolgemuth, PhD
Ken Wolgemuth founded Solid Rock Lectures to communicate the wonder of God’s handiwork in geology. He has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Wheaton College, a PhD in geochemistry from Columbia University, and a 40-year career in the petroleum industry. He was drawn into Christian worldview apologetics two decades ago, becoming a Colson Fellow, and accepted as a Fellow in the American Scientific Affiliation. He has given numerous lectures about creation, and co-authored a 2018 paper on radiocarbon dating, published in ASA’s Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith. He is a contributing author to the ground-breaking book written expressly for the church, The Grand Canyon, Monument to an Ancient Earth: Can Noah’s Flood Explain the Grand Canyon? Over the last three years, he has given talks to homeschool conventions for
Oklahoma, Iowa, and the Charlotte Mason Institute, along with Classical Conversations for high school seniors.
Conway Wong is the St. Louis Chapter Director of the global web ministry Reasonable Faith. He received a certification in apologetics through Dr. William Lane Craig and is also certified through Dr. Frank Turek’s Cross-Examined Instructor Academy. Conway’s formal education is in Aerospace Engineering (B.S.E., Arizona State University) and Philosophy (B.A., University of Missouri St. Louis) with graduate coursework in Philosophy. He has given apologetic presentations on several topics to various St. Louis area-based churches and groups including: Washington University Ratio Christi, West County Assembly of God, First Baptist of Arnold, Faith Ascent Ministries, and the St. Louis Chapters of Reasons to Believe and Reasonable Faith. He is also a software engineer working for a variety of defense related projects for Boeing including the C-17 Weapons System Trainer, F-15 Mission Systems, MQ-25 Unmanned Aircraft System, and F/A-18 Mission Systems. Conway is also the head martial arts instructor for Shuri-Ryu Karate of St. Louis. He is a member and elder of St. Paul’s Evangelical Free Church.
Letitia Wong is a native of Phoenix, AZ, a child of immigrants and a first generation American born citizen. Letitia grew up in a diverse, lower-to-middle income neighborhood and attended public school from K-12 and graduated with honors. Letitia holds a BS in Health Sciences from Purdue University and has spoken at various faith-based groups such as Concerned Women for America, Faith Ascent Ministries, and Reasonable Faith. She is a wife, a mother, and a strong public advocate for the Christian faith with an emphasis in education for life-affirming ethics and policies. Letitia has lived in St. Louis, Missouri since 2000 and is today the President of the Missouri state chapter of the Frederick Douglass Foundation.