About Your YBL Instructors
Youth Becoming Leaders is run by Asbury University faculty and students from the Christian Studies and Philosophy department in partnership with Asbury Theological Seminary faculty, Youth for Christ staff, local ministry leaders, and a host of expert guests.
Youth Becoming Leaders is moving online this summer! Please visit our Student Leadership Training page to learn how you and your youth group can learn from these great instructors.
Brian Hull is the program director and is a professor of Youth Ministry at Asbury University. Brian has over 20 years of youth ministry experience and has been the director of the CALL Conference, a weekend experience for High School students who are called to ministry, since 2009.
Lauren Edgell has served as the Assistant Director for Youth Becoming Leaders since January 2019. Lauren graduated from Asbury University in 2018 with B.A. in Youth Ministry and is currently pursing an M.Div from Asbury Theological Seminary. She dabbles in all things farmer’s market, coffee shops, cats, community events, poetry, people watching and baking (preferably without recipes). Her goal in life is to love and listen to people well so that they know the love of the Father, and to create space for young people to come to desire the life of Christ, and be brought to wholeness and healing in Christian community by the power of the Holy Spirit.
James K. Hampton is the professor of youth ministry and practical theology at Asbury Theological Seminary. A veteran of youth ministry for over 25 years, he co-founded Barefoot Ministries, a publishing company in the Wesleyan tradition and served as the coordinator of Youth Ministries (USA/Canada) for the Church of the Nazarene from 1999 to 2001. In addition, he spent nine years on ministerial staff in churches in Ohio and Kansas. He is a well-respected writer, having written numerous articles and chapters for youth and youth workers, including serving as the author and/or editor of seven books, including Worship-Centered Teaching, Everyday Saint, and his most recent book, Sacred Space: Living in the Presence of God. Jim and his wife, Carolyn, have two children.
Brad M. Griffin is the Senior Director of Content for the Fuller Youth Institute, where he develops research-based training for youth workers and parents. A speaker, blogger (fulleryouthinstitute.org), and volunteer youth pastor, Brad is the coauthor of 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.
Kevin Becht is the Southern Indiana Area Director for Youth for Christ/USA. He is a graduate of Asbury University (B.A. Christian Ministries/Intercultural Studies Concentration).
He served as a contributing editor of The YFC Three Story Bible and The Life Bible-zine with Tyndale Publishers, as well as a member of the Leadership Development team as a facilitator of One Heart Retreats (the initial training experience for YFC missionaries serving around the world).
He and his wife Kristi have been married for twenty-five years. They have three children. Joshua (Asbury Class of 2018), Hannah (Asbury Class of 2021), and Caleb (who plans to attend Asbury).
Chris Bounds came to Asbury after teaching for more than a decade in the School of Theology and Ministry at Indiana Wesleyan University. He is an Ordained Elder in The Arkansas Conference of The United Methodist Church, where he served as an associate and senior pastor for eight years. He received his B. A. degree in Bible and Greek from Asbury University in 1988, and an M. Div. degree in 1991 from Asbury Theological Seminary with an emphasis in theological studies. He was awarded his M. Phil. in 1994 and Ph. D. in 1997 from Drew University with a focus in systematic theology.
He and his wife Tamara have been married for over twenty years. They have two children, Maris and Morgan. Chris loves Arkansas Razorback basketball, Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football, and Ben and Jerry’s Heath Bar Crunch Ice Cream.
Rev. Aqueelah Ligonde, an ordained PCUSA clergywoman, is an enthusiastic speaker and leader with a passion for today’s generation of youth, women, and leaders. She has worked with organizations such as Princeton Seminary Institute For Youth Ministry and Youth Specialties. She has served on the Executive Board of GenOn Ministries, an organization dedicated to intergenerational relationships and on the Board of Holmes Presbyterian Camp and Conference Center. Aqueelah holds a Master of Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary, in Chicago, IL. Currently, she is a Staff Consultant with Ministry Architects, a coach with Ministry Incubators, and Transitional Pastor at Far Rockaway Presbyterian Church. She is also pursuing a Doctor of Ministry from Louisville Theological Seminary. For over a decade, Aqueelah served as the Associate Pastor at the First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, Queens, NY. She and her husband live in Long Island, NY.