Our Event Speakers
H.C. Armstrong, MBA, MTS
Herman C. Armstrong is an educational consultant and professor of Biblical studies. He holds a B.S. in Biology from the Missouri University of Science & Technology, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, and a Master of Theological Studies with an emphasis in Christian Counseling from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (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 education. He has worked for several nonprofit organizations as an expert in urban education and college access. An ordained minister, he enjoys speaking to youth about the importance of living in full devotion to Christ and
impressing the importance of knowing how to confidently and intelligently defend the Christian faith. He is currently pursuing a Certificate in Management and Leadership from the Harvard Business School. Herman is married to Kim and they have three beautiful children.
David S. Baker, J.D.
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.
Luke Bobo, Ph.D.
Advisory Board, Event Speaker
Dr. Bobo (Dr. B) serves as Director of Resource and Curriculum Development for Made to Flourish (madetoflourish.org). 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 is a regular contributor to The Washington Institute (washingtoninst.org). He sits on several national boards including the University of Kansas Alumni Association, Consortium of Christian Study Centers (CCSC) and The Culture House. And he is the author of “Living Salty and Light-filled Lives in the Workplace” (Wipf and Stock, 2014) and “A Layperson’s Guide to Biblical Interpretation” (Wipf and Stock, 2016).
Cathy Downen, MA, MA, LPC, NCC
Advisory Board, Event Speaker
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.
Rachel Ferguson, Ph.D.
Advisory Board, Event Speaker
Rachel Ferguson is a professor at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri. She is co-chair of the Lindenwood Honors College, and Director of the Liberty & Ethics Center at the Hammond Institute for Free Enterprise. Her research interests include Hume’s classical liberalism, the philosophy of economics, and Aristotelian virtue theory. Like a good Humean, she likes to appeal to/tick off both sides. Rachel teaches political philosophy, game theory, business ethics, honors seminar, and the spring seminar in economic federalism. She received her PhD in Philosophy from Saint Louis University (2008). In the meantime, she had two babies, Asher and Solomon, who now appear to be sentient persons, which is weird. She is married to Mike Ferguson of Mike Ferguson Media. You can learn more about Rachel at her blog.
Chris Gadsden, Ph.D.
Chris Gadsden currently serves as research field staff with Cru in Columbia, MO, where he lives with his wife, Kristin, and their four amazing kids. His passion for communicating truth and defending the faith 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, a website dedicated to helping people build better beliefs. His teaching experience includes philosophy, ethics and logic at Mizzou and at Heritage Academy in Columbia. Chris’ most interesting publication is a chapter in the volume, “Doctor Who and Philosophy: Regeneration Time.” He avidly follows professional soccer (Sporting KC, Barca and Watford), and is a huge fan of Twenty One Pilots.
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 one daughter. Together they enjoy reading, traveling, watching sports, and playing board games.
Randy Larson, J.D., LL.M., CFP
Board of Directors, Event Speaker
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.
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.
Michael McClymond, M.A., Ph.D.
Advisory Board, Event Speaker
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.
Shane Rosenthal, M.A.
Shane Rosenthal is executive producer and host of the White Horse Inn, a national radio broadcast on theology and apologetics. Shane is a graduate of Cal-State Fullerton (B.A. Humanities) and Westminster Seminary California (M.A. Historical Theology). He wrote a chapter for the book Defending the Faith, Essays on Apologetics, and is a frequent contributor to Modern Reformation magazine. Shane is also ruling elder at Christ Presbyterian Church in St. Charles, MO, and the director of the Friday Night Forum.
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 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.
Cordell Schulten, MA, JD
Advisory Board, Event Speaker
Cordell is a teacher and 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 taught at 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 42 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, Event Speaker
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.
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, Ph.D.
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 department and the Director of STEM education. 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 serves as the Executive Director. 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 also provides consulting services to faith-based non profits (including churches) and chaplain services to C-Level corporate leaders. 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.
Student Liaison, Prayer Coordinator
My name is Kari Waterman. I am 21 and 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 an adult student leader at Base 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 students with ReThink315!
Jason Wilkins, MDIV
Trainer, Event Speaker
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.