Guest Speakers

Dan Lewis

Dan Lewis is presently the Senior Pastor of Troy Christian Chapel, an evangelical congregation in a Detroit suburb. He is formerly an Assistant Professor of Christian Studies at William Tyndale College and has taught at several other colleges and seminaries. He and his wife Peggy originally met in college in Oregon, they have three sons (one of whom also teaches periodically for YWAM, and another who served as a YWAM missionary for about six years). They have five grandchildren. Dan has written commentaries on all the books of the New Testament and about two-thirds of the books in the Old Testament. He has been teaching for the University of the Nations since the early 1990s and is the lecturer for several of their on-line courses.
Jo Van Bakel

Jo van Bakel presently resides in Kailua-Kona, USA and is the director of the Bible Department at the University of the Nations, the training branch of Youth with a Mission (YWAM). His wife, Leesha, is from Malaysia and their two boys, Joshua and Johan, are adopted from Taiwan. Jo was a missionary in Hong Kong and Taiwan for 20 years and now works in the capacity of a teacher in Kona to train up new missionaries until his children are grown up and have finished high school. After that Jo and Leesha hope to go back to Asia. Besides teaching at home Jo also frequently travels overseas to teach in other schools of<br/ >Youth with a Mission
Mark Smith

Mark Smith began teaching at The College of Idaho in 1989. His scholarly interests include ancient/medieval Western civilization, ancient Greece, ancient Rome, medieval Europe, the reformation, history of Christianity, ancient Greek and Latin. Dr. Smith has published several articles. His wife of 33 years is Debi. They have two children: Diana, who serves as a school counselor in Indonesia, and Zeus, a 75 pound golden retriever, who really does believe he rules the world from Mount Olympus.
Ron and Judy Smith

Ron and Judy Smith assumed leadership of the first School of Biblical Studies (SBS) in Kona, Hawaii in 1981. Since then the SBS has multiplied to around 40 schools worldwide. Ron and Judy presently serve as encouragers to the SBS students and staff and continue to teach in the schools. They also help by providing resource materials and advice. Ron has been busy putting more of his amazing teaching into book form for all of us to enjoy. You can understand more of God’s heart for missions, money, and Bible reading through some of his latest works. Have theology questions? Visit Ron’s website at where you can find out just about anything concerning Christian theology.
Steve and Dayna Gregg

Steve and Dayna Gregg live in Temecula, CA. They are lifelong Christians, having seven children and two grandchildren. Dayna is an Art professor at Riverside City College, where she has taught for over 27 years. Steve is a Bible teacher at large, an author and a radio talk-show host. His radio program, “The Narrow Path” has been on the air daily since 1997. He has been in the teaching ministry since 1971, and began teaching in YWAM in 1982. He teaches regularly in YWAM’s Discipleship Training Schools, Schools of Biblical Studies, and other YWAM courses around the world. For 16 years, he directed a small Bible-and-discipleship course in Oregon, called “The Great Commission School.” Steve wrote several books, among them: Revelation – Four Views (a parallel commentary). Steve’s radio programs and recorded lectures can be heard at
John Randerson

John is 66 years old and lives in Hawaii with his wife Sonja. He lived most of his life in New Zealand but is now a US citizen. Together they have six children and nine grandchildren. Sonja and John love to minister together to see both minds and hearts connected with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They do not teach to give information, but are committed to teaching that leads to life transformation. John is completing an MDiv degree through Fuller Seminary, majoring in biblical studies. He has worked with YWAM since 2003, and has led two nine month SBS schools here in Hawaii as well as staffing on three others. He teaches in YWAM schools in several locations, and has also taught in several Asian nations.
Debi Yu

Debi did her DTS in 2005 in Kailua-Kona with the first ever PhotogenX DTS, traveling to Israel and Egypt for her outreach. She completed her SBS in Lakeside, Montana and then staffed the SBS in Taiwan for three years before returning stateside. While in Taiwan, Debi often taught with the DTS there, teaching on her favorite topics, The Father Heart of God and the Holy Spirit. Presently Debi lives in Pasadena, CA, about 20 minutes north of Downtown, Los Angeles, where she works at Fuller Theological Seminary with the Doctor of Ministry program as the Academic Advisor. She is also finishing up her Master of Theology degree in Biblical Studies at Fuller and praying about either moving back to YWAM and the Biblical Studies program or to pursue a higher degree in becoming a more equipped teacher.
Phil Leage

Phil Leage is 61 and married to Linda with two children, Elisa (19 years old) and Jonathan, (17 years old). He is British married to an American having been married for 22 years. Phil has been with Youth with a Mission since 1983 and most of this time working with the School of Biblical Studies or related Bible schools. He lives and works out of the YWAM campus in the Midlands of England The King’s Lodge having served there for 28 years. Apart from being part of the Leadership Team of this campus and supporting YWAM Bible schools in different parts of the world, he is pioneering On-line Bible training for both YWAM and the wider Body of Christ.
Sean Ellis

Sean Ellis is the head teaching pastor of a bilingual church plant in Taichung, Taiwan. He and his wife Katie have been serving as missionaries for over 20 years. Most of this time was spent working with Youth with a Mission, where Sean was the school leader of the School of Biblical Studies at both the Kona, Hawaii and Lakeside, Montana campuses. He spent several years working with SBS International before transitioning to his current position as a pastor. Sean and Katie have four children, and Katie is the first grade teacher at a school for missionary children. Sean is currently finishing up his MDiv at Asbury Theological Seminary, and also travels in both Asia and the West teaching in YWAM’s Bible schools.
Tom Phillips

Tom runs the Emmaus School of Biblical Studies (ESBS) at beautiful Lake Lure, North Carolina. While studying Geology at Western Carolina University Tom heard about YWAM and signed up for a DTS in Lakeside, Montana. Then while at DTS, Tom saw the SBS program and thought “Why do I not do that too?” and so has partnered with a local Christian camp ministry to use their facilities during its off season. The school offers the exact same SBS curriculum, but for people who haven’t done a DTS. Typically half the class has an YWAM background, and half doesn’t (we make them sit on different sides of the room… just kidding ☺). He and his wife Julia love everything outdoors. They’ve been married 11 years this coming winter…and they have two awesome (and sometimes grumpy) kids, Anna (6) and Luke (4).
Scott Contival

Scott did his DTS in Richardson Springs, CA in 1990 and then was a student in the first SBS in Lakeside, Montana in 1991-92. After finishing SBS he went to university for four years, graduating with a degree in English literature from U.C. Berkeley. After graduating from Berkeley he went on SBS staff in Montana in 1996 and has been serving full-time with YWAM ever since. He met his wife, Anna, in Montana and they were married in 1998. Shortly after marrying they moved to Colorado to help pioneer SBS in Trinidad, CO. Then, in 2002, they moved to Taiwan where they have lived for the past 12 years. They have three children, Ian (14), Caleb (13), and Ella (11) and are currently fostering with the intention of adopting their fourth child, Mia (3). Scott and Anna serve as the base directors for YWAM Taipei and would love to see each and every one of you come to Taiwan and live and serve here for the rest of your life. We’re not kidding.
Kerry Ast

Ryan and Kerry Ast are newlyweds who were married in June of 2013. They led the Titus Project Ministry at YWAM Montana but now work at the base in Tijuana, Mexico. Titus Project trains School of Biblical Studies’ graduates as teachers and then releases them into areas of the world where Bible teaching is greatly needed ( Ryan and Kerry have both traveled extensively in Asia and Kerry has spent 4 years living in Nepal as a Bible teacher. Ryan and Kerry love the outdoors and are passionate about seeing the Bible transform nations.
Danny Lehmann

While surfing in California, Danny was challenged with the gospel on the beach and soon became a Christian. After a few months of discipleship, he began to share his faith on the beaches and streets and in 1980 he joined Youth with a Mission. He still resides in Hawaii with his wife, Linda. They have two sons, Daniel and David, and are the proud grandparents of two grandsons. He is the director of Youth with a Mission Hawaiian Islands, serves on the Global Leadership Team of YWAM International and is the overseer of YWAM’s Bible and missions schools worldwide as the Dean of the College of Christian Ministries. He has written three books on evangelism: “For the Gospel’s Sake”, “Bringin ‘Em Back Alive” and “Beautiful Feet.” In addition, he has written “Before You Hit the Wall” – a book about spiritual discipline, “STOKED! -Firing Up Your Passion for God” and the latest called “The Next Big Thing” plus various Gospel tracts. He travels extensively teaching on evangelism, the disciplined life and missions in various training schools and churches and has been a teacher at Calvary Chapel Honolulu since 1983.
Geoff Caroll

Geoff Carroll and his wife Jamie lead Biblical Study Trips to Israel and throughout the land of the Bible. Geoff received his Bachelor’s degree in ministry from Abilene Christian University in 2004, and began his Masters of Divinity there (later completed in 2009). In 2005 he was accepted into the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and pursued a Masters in the Bible and its World. Living and studying in Israel greatly impacted his perspective of the power and depth of the Biblical text in its original context. His teachings engage the Text from a cultural, historical, geographical, and archaeological perspective. It was also in Israel that he fell in love with his wife Jamie. Nine years later they, along with their one-year-old son Samuel, travel throughout the lands of the Bible several times each year. When not traveling through the land of the Bible, they have lived and ministered in Colorado, Texas, and Ecuador, and are always ready for new adventures as they strive above all to love God and their neighbors throughout the world. For more information go to:
Catherine McConnell

Catherine McConnell is presently the SBS leader in Taipei, Taiwan. Originally from Michigan she has been living and serving the base in Taiwan for the past 5 years. YWAM schools that she has been a part of are DTS in Kona in 2008, followed by the school of Humanities and Science after which she traveled with her school leaders to bring the school to Burtigney, Switzerland. In 2010 Catherine left university to pursue a solid Biblical foundation with the SBS program in Taiwan and hasn’t looked back since! Completing SBS and going on Titus outreach she returned in 2011 to staff the next school and has been working with SBS ever since.
James Lunn

James Lunn is based in Cape Town, South Africa and has been serving with YWAM for the past 17 years. He spent four years working in China in church planting and business development before doing his SBS and moving to a focus of teaching and pastoral training across Africa and Asia. After getting married and moving to South Africa with his wife in 2008, he worked with and led the SBS there for a few years before stepping down to focus on mentoring and raising up leaders as well as spending more time working in the local community among those caught in a lifestyle of gangsterism and drug addiction. He serves on the base leadership team for YWAM Muizenberg and overseas the financial and legal affairs.