The Fuller Youth Institute is a team of researchers, creatives, church leaders and dreamers who believe in helping churches unleash the passion and potential of young people everywhere.

Leadership

Kara Eckmann Powell, PhD

Executive Director

    

Dr. Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary, and Fuller's Chief of Leadership Formation. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara serves as a Youth and Family Strategist for Orange, and also speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including Growing Young, Growing With, The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Deep Justice Journeys, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum. Kara lives with her husband Dave and their three teenage and young adult children, Nathan, Krista, and Jessica, in Southern California.

Brad Griffin, MDiv

Senior Director of Content

    

Brad M. Griffin is the Senior Director of Content for the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), where he develops research-based training for youth workers and parents. A speaker, blogger, and volunteer youth pastor, Brad is the coauthor of Faith in an Anxious World, Growing Young, several Sticky Faith books, Every Parent’s Guide to Navigating Our Digital World, and the series Can I Ask That?: 8 Hard Questions about God and Faith. Brad and his family live in Southern California.

Jake Mulder, MDiv

Senior Director of Strategy

    

Jake Mulder is the Senior Director of Strategy at the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) and Fuller's Executive Director of Leadership Formation Division. As Senior Director of Strategy at FYI, he oversees business administration, coordinates new research, develops resources and trainings, and helps the team think strategically. Jake holds a BA in Business Administration in Finance from Western Michigan University, an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary, and is currently pursuing a PhD at Fuller. Passionate about helping individuals and organizations achieve their full potential, he is the coauthor of Growing Young. Prior to joining the FYI team, Jake worked in a variety of ministry and professional roles, including as a Financial Analyst, Youth Pastor in the Reformed Church of America, Ministry Director with Youth for Christ, and missionary with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in Europe and Asia. Jake and his family live in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Yulee Lee, PhD

Senior Director of Staff and Partnerships

Yulee Lee is the Senior Director of Staff and Partnerships at the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), where she oversees the leadership development of staff, develops team culture and office systems, helps build strategic partnerships, and facilitates trainings. Yulee, originally from South Korea, grew up in Salt Lake City skiing and snowboarding on the mountains. She holds a BA in Political Science from Tufts University, a MA in Public Policy from the University of Chicago, and a PhD in Educational Studies with a concentration in Organizational Leadership from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. She has served the local church for 12+ years in the areas of revitalization and innovation, worked in government on the local and national levels, and directed strategy for service learning in higher education while also teaching on the topics of organizational and change leadership. Ultimately, Yulee is passionate about collaborating for change in systems to reflect greater human dignity and flourishing for the vulnerable. In her free time, Yulee finds her happy place in any medium where she can nurture her creative and artistic sides. Yulee and her family reside in Chicago, IL.

Steve Argue, PhD

Applied Research Strategist

    

Steven Argue, PhD (Michigan State University) is the Applied Research Strategist for the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) and Associate Professor of Youth, Family, and Culture at Fuller Theological Seminary. Steve researches, speaks, and writes on adolescent and emerging adult spirituality. He has served as a pastor on the Lead Team at Mars Hill Bible Church (Grand Rapids, MI), coaches and trains church leaders and volunteers, and has been invested in youth ministry conversation for over 20 years. Steve is the coauthor and contributor of a number of books, including Growing With, 18 Plus: Parenting Your Emerging Adult, and Joy: A Guide for Youth Ministry.

Our Exemplary Team

Kat Armas, MDiv

Multicultural Project Assistant

Kat Armas is a Multicultural Project Assistant at the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), where she helps to ensure that inclusion and equity are tracked across race, gender, and socioeconomic status, particularly as it pertains to FYI's most recent project: the Living a Better Story (LABS) project. She is a Cuban-American from Miami, FL, and holds a BA in Psychology from Florida International University and a dual MDiv and MAT from Fuller Theological Seminary. Kat also works as a freelance writer and host of The Protagonistas podcast. Her work centers the voices of women of color in church leadership and theology (you can check it out at http://www.katarmas.com). Outside of writing, podcasting and work, Kat enjoys memoirs, day trips down the California coast, vegan foods, and lounging with her husband and two kittens.

Macy Phenix Davis

Creative Director

    

Macy is the Creative Director at the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) where she creates and manages the design of the FYI brand through its resources, online presence, and various creative needs. She holds a BA in Studio Art with an emphasis in Graphic Design and a Minor in Business Administration from Baylor University. Macy has lived and worked in Arkansas, California, Arizona, and now Texas where she currently resides with her husband Jarrett and daughters Adelina and Anastasia. In her free time, you'll likely find Macy spending time with her family, running, painting, or drinking a good cup of coffee.

Rachel Dodd, MDiv

Communication and Content Lead

     

Rachel Dodd is the Communication and Content Lead at the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) and gets FYI's research and resources into the hands of leaders, ministries, and families. She holds a BA in Church Music and Youth Ministry from Point Loma Nazarene University, and an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary. Having served students and families in the UK and US for over 15 years, Rachel loves writing to share stories and equip those following their own calling in ministry. She and her husband, Carl, now live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, and have two daughters who keep life full of sparkles, adventure, and lots of caffeine.

Zachariah Ellis, PhD

Project Coordinator

Zach Ellis is a Project Coordinator for the Ministry Innovations with Young Adults (MIYA) research project and for Growing Young cohorts at the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI). Zach holds an MDiv from Nazarene Theological Leadership and a PhD from Fuller Theological Seminary. He is ordained in the Church of the Nazarene and is an active volunteer in his church’s youth group. Before joining FYI, he was a youth pastor in Eastern Oregon. In his free time, you’ll likely find him hiking with his wife and two kids or watching Sporting Kansas City score goals.

Tyler Greenway, PhD

Research Director

Tyler Greenway serves as the Research Director at the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) and supports various research activities including literature review, grant writing, study design, data collection and management, statistical analysis, and presenting and publishing results. He holds an MDiv from Calvin Theological Seminary and an MA and PhD in Psychological Science from Fuller Theological Seminary. On a good day, he also brews a mean cup of coffee for the office. Tyler and his wife live in Grand Rapids, MI with their son and daughters.

Jennifer A. Guerra Aldana, MDiv

Manager of Multicultural Initiatives
Directora de Iniciativas Multiculturales
다문화 이니셔티브 감독
多元文化規劃總監

 

Jennifer A. Guerra Aldana is the Manager of Multicultural Initiatives at the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI). Jennifer, originally from Guatemala, grew up in Southern California as the daughter of church planters. She holds a BA in Social Work from Point Loma Nazarene University and an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary. Jennifer previously served as a pastor and social worker in San Diego county. Her passions include leadership training, intercultural youth spiritual formation and bilingual ministries.

Jenica “Nica” Halula

Video Producer

     

Jenica “Nica” Halula is the Video Producer at the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), and creates videos for FYI projects like Faith in An Anxious World, as well as producing FYI Podcasts. Nica began writing and performing as a teenager with the Fitz Family, a traveling, family juggling act. After studying English Writing at the University of Northwestern, St. Paul, MN, she spent the next decade with HappyFunTime Industries, performing improv, writing comedy sketches, and producing short films, award-winning educational films, and story-driven content for nonprofits. She co-authored <18>: Faith for the Next Generation as well as wrote and illustrated Shep & a Hundred Sheep. She lives in Southern California with her husband and kids, and enjoys writing, creating art, exploring new places, and family movie nights.

Jennifer “Jen”

Office Coordinator

Jennifer “Jen” is the Office Coordinator at the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) and involved in many areas of the FYI team. She holds a BM (Bachelor of Arts in Music) and a Minor in Education from University of California, Irvine (UCI). After college, instead of going into music education, she ended up in ministry where she volunteered and worked at an Orange County church for 10 years. She juggled many coordinating positions during her time there, but children’s ministry coordinator was her steady role. Children’s ministry is where her heart is and she has been a part of different children programs since high school. Outside of work, Jen loves hiking, baking, and Disneyland.

Lisa Evans Hanle, MDiv

Project Coordinator

Lisa Hanle is the Project Coordinator for the Discipleship Movement at the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI). She holds a BA in Sociology from Stanford University and an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary. Lisa has been pastoring for over 10 years at a nondenominational church in Silicon Valley, CA where she continues to support the staff and serve with the high school youth group. Lisa lives with her husband and son in the Bay Area, CA.

Roslyn Hernández, MDiv

Administrative Assistant

Roslyn Hernández serves as the Administrative Assistant at the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI). She provides a range of administrative support for the Growing Young Cohort, assists in coordinating events, co-produces The FYI on Youth Ministry podcast, and assists with the LABS and CVDYM research projects. Roslyn lived in México City as a child and grew up in the Central Valley of California. She holds a BA in Film & Media Studies and Spanish, and a Minor in Art History from from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), and an MDiv with an emphasis on Youth, Family and Culture from Fuller Theological Seminary. She is passionate about engaging popular culture theologically and enjoys reading, writing, art, hiking, culinary cultures, yoga, and tea.

Jane Hong-Guzman de Leon, MDiv

Project Coordinator and Content Advisor

Jane Hong-Guzman de Leon is the Project Coordinator for the Living a Better Story (LABS) research project and a Content Advisor for the Ministry Innovations with Young Adults (MIYA) research project at the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI). She holds a BA in English Literature from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary. Jane is also a licensed pastor with over a decade of ministry experience pastoring youth and adults in two thriving church plants in Southern California. Prior to becoming a pastor, Jane worked as a deputy probation counselor, junior high English teacher, and a professor at the International University in Mexico. In her free time she guest preaches, officiates weddings, serves at Innovative Space for Asian American Christianity (ISAAC), cares for her family, and gathers with people around food and deep conversations. Jane is passionate about seeing diversity, justice, healing, and transformation in and out of the church.  

Andy Jung, DMin

Director of Church Engagement

Andy Jung is the Director of Church Engagement at the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), where he oversees the church engagement strategy. He leads cohorts and other training initiatives, develops relationships and networks with church and denominational leaders and ensures effective systems and processes to execute all these efforts effectively and efficiently. Andy earned a BS in Math Education from North Carolina State University, an MDiv from Campbell University Divinity School and a DMin from Fuller Theological Seminary in Youth, Family and Culture. He has served as a youth minister for 20+ years and a senior pastor for five years. In addition, Andy also served as a state executive leader for Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of NC for two years. He is passionate about helping churches better love and care for young people so the teenagers and young adults can thrive in their faith. In his free time, Andy is an avid sports fan. He especially enjoys playing golf and cheering for his beloved NC State Wolfpack. Andy and his wife live in Salisbury, NC and love to travel to new places around the world.

Lisa Nopachai, MA

Multicultural Project Assistant

Lisa Nopachai is the Multicultural Project Assistant for the Character and Virtue Development in Youth Ministry (CVDYM) Project at the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI). She holds a BA in Psychology from Amherst College and an MA in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. Her experience includes curriculum development around maternal identity and cultural-spiritual formation, interfaith hospital and hospice chaplaincy, and child advocacy. Lisa grew up in New Jersey and currently lives in Southern California with her husband and two girls. In her free time, she loves rock climbing, hiking, and having spontaneous dance parties with her kids.

Giovanny Panginda, MDiv

Project Coordinator

  

Giovanny serves as a Project Coordinator at the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), assisting staff in a variety of ways, including multicultural research, social media, and marketing. He holds a BA in Psychology and Sociology from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), and an MDiv with an emphasis on Asian American Context from Fuller Theological Seminary. Born in Indonesia, but raised in Southern California, Giovanny also serves as a youth pastor for two Indonesian churches. Giovanny is passionate about photography and going on adventures with friends to find food, coffee, and hiking spots, which just so happens to be some of the subject matter you'll find on his Instagram..

Caleb Roose

Project Manager

  

Caleb Roose is a project manager at the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), where he advises and facilitates FYI church trainings and research (Youth Ministry Innovations, Ministry Innovations with Young Adults, and Living a Better Story), coaches and consults with churches around the country, and develops resources. The coauthor of Sticky Faith Innovation: How Your Compassion, Creativity and Courage Can Support Teenagers' Lasting Faith with Steven Argue, Caleb is passionate about helping young people wrestle with their faith and encouraging leaders to do the same. Caleb has worked in a variety of ministry and professional roles, including volunteering in youth ministries, serving as an associate pastor of discipleship and administration, counseling at and running youth camps, ministering in six different countries with Youth With a Mission (YWAM), and managing an after-school program for kids. A Southern California native, Caleb lives 30 minutes from his hometown with his wife, Colleen, and two young daughters, Lilah and Eliana. 

Ahren Samuel, MA

Multicultural Project Assistant

Ahren Samuel is a Multicultural Project Assistant at the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) where she is committed to diversity and making sure that inclusion and equity are tracked across race, gender and socioeconomic status. Ahren, a Pasadena native, holds a BA in International Relations with a Minor in Spanish & Latin American Studies from Spelman College, a Culinary Arts Degree from LA Trade Tech College, and an MA in Intercultural Studies with an emphasis in Children at Risk from Fuller Theological Seminary. Her passion is working with marginalized high school students and making sure they have all the resources and opportunities to be empowered, encouraged, enriched, and supported. Ahren was always taught that “one who learns must also teach.” Therefore, she feels it is her duty and mission to work with and empower marginalized youth in her community. In her free time, Ahren enjoys going to concerts, traveling, trying and cooking new foods, and anything Disneyland related.

Aaron Yenney, MAT

Project Coordinator

Aaron Yenney is the Project Coordinator for the Character and Virtue Development in Youth Ministry (CVDYM) Project at the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI). He holds a BA in Biblical Studies from Life Pacific College (LPC), and an MAT in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. Prior to joining the FYI team, Aaron served for almost a decade at his alma mater where he taught courses in biblical studies and spiritual formation, directed the Academic Resource Center, advised the Multicultural Student Union, and lead urban immersion trips to downtown Los Angeles. Aaron is a big believer in the local church and serves regularly on the preaching team where he attends. In his free time, Aaron is almost always listening to music, enjoys running, reading and writing, spending time with friends and neighbors, and going to as many baseball games as possible.