Speakers’ Bios

Garen Forsythe (Main Session & Workshop Speaker)

Garen has been directing the ministry to international students attending Emporia State University since 1990. He is the husband of his beautiful wife Pat and the father of three awesome children Charissa, Ariel, and Kieran (one who is now pursuing her Master’s Degree at Duke and two who are working on their undergraduate degrees at Emporia State and K-State Polytechnic respectively). Garen’s passion is helping college students come to know Jesus and then to be formed, in ever-increasing degrees, into his image for the sake of the world.


*2018 Speaker Bios Coming Soon*

Nate Sapp  (Worship Leader)

Nate grew up in Nairobi, Kenya as a missionary kid and came to K-State in the fall of 2000.  He met Erika, his lovely wife and partner in ministry, through Christian Challenge and they were married the summer of 2004.  Nate joined staff at KSU Christian Challenge January 2005, upon graduation from K-State with a Secondary Education degree, as the worship leader and loves his job of connecting with college students and leading them in worship.




Nathan and Crystal Lenz (Workshop Speaker)

Nathan and Crystal live in Manhattan with their three wonderfully rambunctious boys. Crystal obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Kansas State University and has held various positions there. Currently, she is a stay-at-home mom and freelance editor. Nathan received his bachelor’s degree from Manhattan Christian College and master’s degree from Azusa Pacific University. He is a marriage and family therapist in private practice and also teaches at Manhattan Christian College. They both have a desire to help people recognize their need for God and grow in their ability to live a life full of God’s grace and power.

Alex Knudson (Workshop Speaker)

Alex has lived in Kansas for nearly 20 years. She met her husband, Chad, post-college while working and training for ministry in Wichita; and they have been married for 13 years.  They live just a stone’s throw from Lawrence, KS on a few acres and are grateful to be involved with an incredible team of folks helping plant Rock Hill Church. Alex and Chad are working to develop and train Christ-followers in all spheres of influence and are currently launching businesses in the area to serve as a training ground for discipleship and leadership development.  A current place of discipleship and training is at a Kansas City law firm as a paralegal focused on mergers and acquisitions in the healthcare industry.

Jim Presnell (Workshop Speaker)

Jim is a church planter and pastor of Rock Hill Church in Lawrence, Kansas. Jim’s vision is to recruit, equip and deploy Great Commission laborers – from the campus to the harvest – across the street and to the nations. Jim and his wife Cindy grew up in the mountains of East Tennessee and he earned degrees from Milligan College, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Fuller Seminary. Jim became an apprentice of Jesus during his college years. He marvels at the beauty of the local church, is passionate about baseball and looks forward to heaven, where he believes his curveball will break more sharply.

Chad Knudson (Workshop Speaker)
Chad and his wife, Alex, are passionate about equipping Christ-followers who desire to live as influential disciples and leaders in all aspects of their lives; through the marketplace, organizational leadership, the church, communities, and colleagues. Chad has worked in engineering, sales, and marketing for nearly 17 years, and he’s had the privilege of leading teams in companies within the U.S.A. and Asia.  Chad is currently on staff at Rock Hill Church in Lawrence, KS. Chad and Alex are also working with a great team to start various businesses in the Lawrence area to serve communities and provide hands-on learning opportunities for Rock Hill Church’s discipleship and leadership training.

Brian Sturm (Workshop Speaker)
Brian is Associate Director of Kansas State Christian Challenge, who oversees LIFE Groups and Leadership Training at KSU Christian Challenge.  Married to his wife Mindi for 20 years.  Father to four children Elijah (17), Emma (13), Cooper (11), and Zeke (9). Do you ever feel confused about what it means to be a man?  

Garen Forsythe (Workshop Speaker)
Garen Forsythe has been directing the ministry to international students attending Emporia State University since 1990.  Garen is the husband of his beautiful wife Pat and the father of three awesome children Charissa, Ariel, and Kieran (one of whom is in the work world and two of whom are in college right now).  Garen‘s passion is helping college students come to know Jesus and then to be formed in greater degrees into his image for the sake of the world.

Chris Geyer (Workshop Speaker)
A Christian Challenge alum at Kansas State University, Chris earned his Doctorate at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and currently serves as Discipleship Pastor at NorthRidge Church in Sabetha, Kansas. He married a fellow K-State Christian Challenge alum, Elly, and together, they are parents to four boys..

Christy Moran Craft (Workshop Speaker)
Christy is an associate professor in the College of Education at Kansas State University (K-State). She teaches graduate students who are interested in becoming administrators in higher education settings. Her research and writing focus on issues related to religion and spirituality in higher education, with particular emphasis on the role and impact of Christianity. She received her B.S. in Psychology at Bradley University, received her Ph.D. in Higher Education at the University of Arizona, and has been at K-State since 2005.

Jordan Golden (Workshop Speaker)
Executive Director and Associate Pastor at Aviator Church, a multisite church in South Central Kansas that has been named as one of the top 100 fastest growing churches in the United States. Jordan’s passion for the lost, combined with his passion for young leaders, led him to create IntrepidDisciple.com, a blog and podcast that seeks to encourage bold disciples of Christ in today’s modern world. He resides in Derby, KS with his wife and two young children.