FYI Team


Kara Eckmann Powell, PhD

Executive Director

Dr. Kara E. Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) and a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary. She completed her PhD in Practical Theology from Fuller Seminary with a focus on Pastoral Role Expectations in 2000, an MDiv from Bethel Theological Seminary in 1994, and a BA degree with Honors from Stanford University in 1991. In addition to her roles at Fuller Seminary, Kara currently serves as an Advisor to Youth Specialties and volunteers in student ministries at Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena. Named by Christianity Today as one of "50 Women You Should Know", Kara is the author or co-author of a number of books and curriculum guides, including Sticky Faith (parent and youth leader editions and student curriculum, 2011-2012), Essential Leadership (2010), Deep Justice Journeys (2009), Deep Justice in a Broken World (2008), Deep Ministry in a Shallow World (2006), Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum (2001, rev 2009), Help! I’m a Woman in Youth Ministry (2004), and Mirror, Mirror (2003).  Resources from Kara Powell.  Follow @kpowellfyi on Twitter.

Brad M. Griffin, MDiv

Associate Director

Brad Griffin serves as the Associate Director for the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI). Brad holds a Master of Divinity with a concentration in Youth, Family, and Culture from Fuller and a BA in Psychology from Asbury College. Brad coordinates FYI’s research efforts, leads workshops, develops resources, manages FYI's online presence, consults with youth workers, and manages the private foundation grants of FYI. He has co-authored Sticky Faith (youth leader edition and student curriculum, 2011-2012), Deep Justice Journeys (2009), and has authored or co-authored articles for the FYI E-Journal, Immerse Journal and YouthWorker Journal, as well as chapters in Middle School Ministry (2009), Deep Ministry in a Shallow World (2006) and Halos and Avatars (2010). A native Kentuckian, Brad now lives in Pasadena with his wife Missy and their three children. After 15 years in youth ministry, he now volunteers in ministry at
Mountainside Communion.  Resources from Brad Griffin. Follow @bgriffinfyi on Twitter.

Irene M. Cho, MDiv

Program Adminstrator

Irene Cho serves as the Program Administrator for the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI). She holds a Master of Divinity with an emphasis in Pastoral and General Ministries from Talbot Theological Seminary and a BA in Christian Education from Biola University, and is a PhD student in Fuller's School of Intercultural Studies. At FYI Irene is the point person for the Urban Youth Ministry Certificate program, event planning, and FYI systems overall. Having served over 15 years in youth ministry, Irene speaks all over the country at conferences such as Youth for Christ, Youth Specialties DC/LA, JAMA New Awakening, Urban Youth Workers Institute and youth retreats, has written various curriculums and consults for many youth ministries. Her passion is for the misfits of the world and to bring the gospel message to those who seem to fall through the cracks. In her minimal spare time, Irene enjoys a great book, movie, or television show, hanging out with friends and former students, and of course getting some sleep.  Resources from Irene Cho. Follow @irenemcho on Twitter.


Jake Mulder

Program Manager

Jake Mulder serves as the Program Manager at the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI). He is pursuing a Master of Divinity from Fuller Seminary and holds a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Finance from Western Michigan University. At FYI, he oversees the business administration, coordinates research projects, develops resources, and helps the team think strategically. Prior to joining FYI, Jake was the Ministry Director of a Youth For Christ chapter in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He has also worked as a Financial Analyst and has over 7 years of youth ministry experience as a volunteer, youth pastor, and missionary with Youth With A Mission.


Matthew Schuler, MAT

Creative Director

Matthew holds a Master of Arts in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary and a BS in Journalism and Mass Communication from Kansas State University. As Creative Director, he manages film production, website development, and graphic design. An avid musician, Matthew also teaches at various churches throughout Southern California and hikes whenever possible.


Johanna Greenway

Administrative Assistant

Johanna Greenway serves as the Administrative Assistant at FYI.  She holds a Bachelors degree in Education from Central Michigan University. At FYI, Johanna provides a range of administrative support to all of our projects and daily activities. Johanna and her husband are originally from beautiful West Michigan where she worked with kids in various capacities.  She loves living in California and being a part of this awesome team.


Brian Nelson

Church Engagement Specialist

Brian holds a Bachelors degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management and Marketing from Loyola Marymount University. Brian manages FYI's ongoing relationships with Cohort churches, plans Sticky Faith events, and provides administrative support for the FYI staff. He also serves on the development team by strategizing and implementing new fundraising and communication initiatives. Brian began his career at TOMS, working on the Community team and planning events for the One for One model. Brian serves at MOSAIC with his wife Christa. A southern California native, a goofy soul, and a love for building community, Brian is excited to be on the FYI team.


Haley Smith

Cohort Assistant

Haley Smith is a student at Fuller Seminary from Dallas, Texas working to earn her Masters in Theology and Ministry. In serving as our Cohort Administrator for the past year Haley manages our relationship with our cohort churches, plans Sticky Faith events and provides administrative support for the FYI staff. She will also serve on our new development team by helping to strategize and implement new fundraising and communication initiatives. She graduated from Baylor University with a BA in Journalism and has previously worked for 4 years in fundraising for ministries and social justice organizations.


Executive Committee

Scott Cormode, PhD, Academic Dean & Hugh De Pree Professor of Leadership Development
Mari Clements, PhD, Dean of the School of Psychology
Joel Green, PhD, Dean of the School of Theology & Professor of NT Interpretation
Scott Sunquist, PhD, Dean of the School of Intercultural Studies
Chapman “Chap” Clark, PhD, Professor of Youth, Family, and Culture
James Furrow, PhD, Professor of Marital and Family Therapy and department chair
Jude Tiersma Watson, PhD, Associate Professor of Urban Mission
Pam King, PhD, Associate Professor of Marriage and Family Studies

Advisory Council

Mary Andringa 
Steven Argue
Judy Bergman
April Diaz
Megan Hutchinson
Ken Knipp
Mark Maines
Christa Peitzman
Linda Prinn
Albert Tate
Jeremy Taylor
Cindy Go
Jeff Wright
Tim Galleher
Jeff Mattesich