Dietrich Kirk - Executive Director

"Deech" Kirk has been in youth ministry for 20+ years. He served as the youth minister of Brentwood United Methodist Church for six years before becoming the Executive Director of the Center for Youth Ministry Training in 2006. He continues to serve as one of Brentwood's associate ministers.  He is the author of Raising Teens in an Almost Christian World: A Parent's Guide and one of the co-authors of Now What? Next Steps in Your New Life with Christ.   When he is not leading the CYMT, speaking at youth events, or training other youth workers, Deech enjoys spending time with his wife Keeley and daughters Carlisle and Hallie.
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Lesleigh Carmichael - Associate Director

Lesleigh oversees CYMT's Southeast Region and directs the coaching process for the CYMT residents. She has been with CYMT from the beginning and transitioned to her role of Associate Director in the Summer of 2016 from the many roles she had before. She is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). When she is not working at CYMT, Lesleigh enjoys spending time with her husband, Jamey, and their two daughters, Anna Lauryn and Karaley. Lesleigh also serves as a lead consultant with Ministry Architects.
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Andrew Zirschky - Academic Director

Andrew holds an M.Div. and a Ph.D. in Practical Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary. He oversees the development of our academic program and also teaches many of our youth ministry courses offered through Memphis Theological Seminary. He has 20 years of ministry experience as a youth and college minister at churches in Idaho, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. He has also been named a Timothy Scholar by the United Methodist Foundation for Evangelism based upon his research emphasis in youth and young adult ministry.
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Teresa Kingsbury - Texas Regional Director

Rev. Teresa Kingsbury is Student Ministries Pastor at Bethany UMC in Austin, Texas. Her ministerial experience includes serving as the Director of Children’s Ministry at Laguna Hills United Methodist Church in California. Teresa and her husband Chris have 3 children (Chad, Eric and Kellie). In addition they have 3 grandchildren, Shia, Kate and Miles. Teresa enjoys the outdoors, cooking, reading and time with family and friends.
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Courtney Hicks - Development Director

Courtney has her master’s of education in nonprofit leadership and her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Belmont University. She helped her husband, Rev. Brian Hicks, found and run the nonprofit organization, Harvest Hands CDC, where she served on staff over 8 years. She is a wholehearted Kentucky Wildcat fan, bleeding blue since she could walk. She enjoys running, CrossFit, cooking, collecting antique and vintage treasures, writing and reading. Courtney is mom to Brooklyn. Courtney is behind all things fundraising for CYMT and is always more than happy to take your donation!
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Anna Kathryn Simmons - Marketing Coordinator

Anna Kathryn (AK) is the Marketing Coordinator at CYMT. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Marketing and Communication Studies from Mississippi State University. Prior to coming on board with CYMT, she worked as the Project Leader and Associate Artist at the Foundation for Hospital Art in Atlanta, GA. She now lives in the eccentric East Nashville with her husband Andrew and their two dogs, Piper and Crosby. AK is a singer, songwriter, and plant lover. She would love to connect with you!
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Kris Konsowitz - Memphis Regional Director

Kris has been the Director of Youth Ministries and Young Adults at Collierville United Methodist Church in Collierville, Tenn. for more than two decades.  She is married to Bob and they have three children: Melissa, Chris, and Laura. Kris serves the Memphis region coaching, supervising coaches, and partnering with churches to build foundations for effective youth ministry.
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Jim Edwards - Director of Finance

Jim Edwards volunteers his time as our Director of Finance.  Jim is retired from a life in business with Sage Employment.  He and his wife Katie have one son, Steven, and enjoy spending their time traveling and playing golf.
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Corrie Summerville - Business Administrator

Corrie works as the Business Administrator at CYMT. After graduating from Auburn University, she moved to Nashville where she has worked in both the public and nonprofit accounting fields. Corrie lives in Franklin, Tenn. with her husband, Joe, and their two sons, Jack and Ben.
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Deborah Dobbins Livingston - Executive Assistant

Deborah landed at CYMT in January 2017. She retired in 2013 after a 32 year career as an educator in Franklin Special School District in Tennessee, the last 19 of which were as a school administrator. After retirement, she began a search for “something different” and describes being a member of the CYMT team as that perfect something. Deborah is mom to Daniel, who lives in Carbondale, CO, and Seth, who lives in Chattanooga, TN. She lives in Franklin with her furry children --- Biscuit, Iko, and Izzy. Her hobbies include traveling, dabbling in photography, reading, and singing in the choir and playing handbells at her church.
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Mark DeVries - Co- Founder

For over 20 years, Mark has served as Associate Pastor for Youth and their Families at First Presbyterian Church, Nashville, Tenn., where he continues to oversee the youth ministry on a part-time basis. Additionally, Mark is the founder of Youth Ministry Architects, a hands-on coaching service for churches whose youth ministries are in transition (intentional or unexpected) or churches who hope to see their youth ministries move to the next level. Mark has trained youth leaders across the United States, as well as in Russia, Canada, Uganda, and South Africa, working with a wide variety of denominations. He is the author of Family Based Youth Ministry and Sustainable Youth Ministry.


Dea Wathen - Recruiter

Dea is an alumni of the Center for Youth Ministry Training.
She graduated from Kentucky Wesleyan and Memphis Theological Seminary. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky with her husband David and their son Davis.
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Kate McKnight - Recruiter

Dea is an alumni of the Center for Youth Ministry Training.
She graduated from the University of Evansville and Memphis Theological Seminary. She is the Associate Director of Youth Ministries at Trinity UMC in Homewood, Alabama.
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Tiffany Malone - Recruiter

Tiffany is an alumni of the Center for Youth Ministry Training.
She graduated from the Northeast Nazarene University and Memphis Theological Seminary. She is the youth minister at Hope UMC in Denver, Colorado.
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Tony Akers - Coach

Tony Akers has a Master’s degree in Christian Education/Youth Ministry from Asbury Theological Seminary and recently entered his ninth year serving as the Minister to Youth and their Families at Trinity United Methodist Church in Huntsville, Ala. He is privileged to be married to Debbi and dad to Madison, Samuel, and Hannah Grace. When not doing youth ministry, Tony can be found at a soccer game, on the river, or reading.
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Christy Beesley - Coach

Christy Beesley has worked with youth in the Episcopal Church for 15 years at parishes in Nashville, Atlanta, and Memphis. She has been involved with Episcopal youth events, retreats, and camps on the diocesan, provincial, and national levels. She currently lives in Nashville and works at St. Augustine’s Chapel, Thistle Farms, and DuBose Conference Center. She loves live music, college football, and adventures.
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Trey Carey - Coach

Trey is the Pastor of Youth and College Ministries at First United Methodist Church in Murfreesboro, Tenn. He has a Masters of Divinity from Asbury Seminary and is currently finishing up a Doctorate of Ministry from Fuller Seminary in Youth, Family, and Culture. He is an ordained Deacon in the United Methodist Church and has been in full-time youth and family ministry for over 15 years. Trey is married to Abbey and they have two kids, Lilly Broox and William. He is also a lover of music and boasts of being able to sing and play the well as at least three songs on the piano (unfortunately, all of them are from the Frozen soundtrack). Trey is passionate about encouraging and equipping people of all ages to grow in their relationships with Christ and others.
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Toby Chastain - Coach

Toby is an alumni of the Center for Youth Ministry Training.
He graduated from the Huntingdon College and Memphis Theological Seminary. He is the youth minister at FUMC Hartselle, Alabama.
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Joanna Cummings - Coach

Joanna Cummings is the Minister of Children and Spiritual Formation at Forest Hills United Methodist Church in Brentwood, TN where she has served since 2009. Previously, Joanna has worked in youth ministry, serving churches in middle TN as well as middle school camp ministries. Joanna is an alumnae of CYMT with a Master's degree in Religion from Memphis Theological Seminary. Additionally, Joanna is a curriculum writer and enjoys resourcing others in ministry and in faith. She is passionate about nurturing the spirituality of children, their families and bringing generations together in the faith community. Joanna is married to Chris, and they have a dog named Shalom. You can usually find them creating up-cycled art and doing DIY projects around the home.
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Mark Curtis - Coach

Mark Curtis is the pastor at Lake Forest Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, TN. Mark has nearly 20 years experience working in youth ministry. Mark is married to Diana, and has two boys, Daniel, 6, and Asher, 1, and spends most of his time chasing them around. When he is not on the move after them, he loves playing softball, and riding his bike through beautiful East Tennessee.
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Jerrod Gunter - Coach

Jerrod Gunter currently serves as the Youth Pastor at New Direction Christian Church in Memphis, Tenn. Prior to joining New Direction, Jerrod worked for the Urban Youth Initiative serving as an Educational Outreach Specialist. For six years, Jerrod also worked at Youth Villages, working as a Teacher-Counselor, Senior Supervisor, Senior Program Manager, and a Transitional Living Senior Specialist. The Lakeland, Fla., native earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology in 2001 from Tusculum College. He has a Masters of Marriage and Family Therapy in 2008 from Capella University in Minneapolis, Minn. He is married to Lakeicha, and they have three children, Dezmon, Ariana, and Jalen.
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Jim Hinkle - Coach

Jim is a youth minister at Sycamore View Church of Christ, Memphis, TN. He’s been in full-time youth ministry for 20 years and has been serving in Memphis since 2005. Jim has had the opportunity to adjunct at several universities and seminaries, and he’s passionate about connecting the mind and heart in ministry. Jim lives intentionally in an inner city neighborhood in the heart of Memphis with his wife, Stacy, and their five children.
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Kris Lott - Coach

Kris Lott was in the first graduating class of CYMT and has served as the Director of Youth Ministry at Calvary United Methodist Church since 2004. Kris graduated from the University of Tennessee with a B.A. in history. He is currently finishing his Masters in Marriage and Family Counseling from Trevecca Nazarene University. Kris is married to Allison and has three daughters, Jenny, Claire, and Molly. When not in school or working, Kris enjoys coaching his daughters’ different teams, playing sports, and relaxing at the lake.
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Lisa Long - Coach

Lisa Long is the Middle School Pastor at Belmont Church in Nashville where she has served Belmont’s Mosaic Youth for nearly six years. She has walked with the group through two youth pastor transitions; during the last transition she served as Interim Youth Pastor for a little over a year. Lisa earned a Doctor of Divinity from Tabernacle Bible College & Seminary where she is pursuing her Ph.D. She has 20 years of experience as an ordained minister. Teaching, training, and shaping youth and young adults is her passion. She enjoys life with her husband, Tom, who is a Worship Director. Her daughter, Bethany, is in college at Belmont University. Her son, Isaiah, graduates from high school this year.
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Darin Miller - Coach

Darin Miller is the Family minister at The Cove UMC in Huntsville, Alabama.
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Jennifer Smith - Coach

Jennifer Smith previously served as the Director of Children, Youth and Family Ministries at St. Elisabeth's Episcopal Church in Memphis, TN. Jennifer has coordinated the Happening movement for the Diocese of West TN for the past six years. She has served children and youth in churches in Missouri and Florida as well as staffing "Youth Week" at Kanuga Conference Center in Hendersonville, NC since 2007. Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family, watching movies and reading. And once...she was a contestant on The Price is Right!
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Bart Styes - Coach

Bart Styes is the Director of Student Ministries at Bluff Park UMC in Hoover, Ala. He has also served in camping ministry at Camp Sumatanga with a focus on programming and marketing. He has bachelor's and master's degrees in Communication Studies from the University of Alabama. He lives in Birmingham with wife Shannon, sons Josh and Sam and daughter Lily. Email Bart

David Thompson - Coach

Rev. David Thompson has been that Pastor of Student Ministries at Trinity UMC in Birmingham since May 2005. David was born and raised in Tuscaloosa, Ala. and is the son and grandson of United Methodist pastors. David earned a B.S. in Art from the University of Alabama and is currently in seminary at Memphis Theological. He is married to Tina and they have three daughters, Madelyn, Anna Blakely and Lily. David is a member of the USA Team Handball team.
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Dee Wells - Coach

Dee Moore Wells is a third generation Disciple minister and has spent many years at Bethany Hills as a counselor or director of camps. She earned her Masters of Divinity from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. and is serving as Senior Minister at First Christian Church in Livingston, Tenn. She is married to Al Wells, and they live together on a 10 acre mountainside with dogs, cats, a brood of chickens and a host of goats. She has two children, David and Dana, and two grandchildren, Lizzy and Clay. Dee enjoys camping, boating, golfing, backpacking, entertaining friends, vegetable gardening, watching good movies, and reading.
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