About Shift

• • • • • • • • • •

This curriculum is birthed out of CHIC 2015, the triennial youth event of the Evangelical Covenant Church. Building on the momentum and energy of CHIC, congregations may choose to use Shift curriculum in late summer or early fall of 2015. Shift also works as a stand-alone discipleship resource to be used at any time. To learn more about CHIC 2015, visit their website.

Each Shift author writes from their own context and experience. That means we fully expect you to shape the curriculum to fit your context—either by quoting the authors directly or by inserting illustrations of your own.

A final note: the final week of the curriculum invites churches to partner with the Covenant World Relief’s clean water initiative. The six weeks of the curriculum can build up to a commitment Sunday.

Our Team

• • • • • • • • • •

Meet the authors behind each week’s curriculum.

Week One


Boaz Johnson

Growing up in the slums of New Delhi, Rajkumar Boaz Johnson began searching for the meaning of life early. When he walked to Hindu grammar school, Boaz faced a dilemma. “I encountered two different realities,” he says. “One was the reality of poverty and injustice. The other was that of high-caste Hindu learning.” He wrestled with this dichotomy, and expanded his spiritual search. Then the philosophy of life taught and espoused by Jesus captured his imagination. Today his initial encounter with Jesus informs his life and work as an expert on the relationship of evangelical Christianity to world religions. He teaches students at North Park University who are grappling with their own big questions. He is very excited about the Shift curriculum because he sees that his students are tired of the same old flat “churchianity” they see in their churches. He knows they are looking for radical shifts in the church.


Heidi Morrow

Heidi Morrow is manager of administrative support for the Make and Deepen Disciples team at Covenant Offices. She previously served two years with Women Ministries and, before that, for seven years as the children’s ministry director at her home church, the Evangelical Covenant Church of Hinsdale, Illinois. Heidi has been married to Scott for twenty-six years, and they have three children. Both Heidi and Scott are serving at CHIC for the first time this summer and are excited to see how God will be at work in Knoxville! She is grateful to have been part of the writing team for this new curriculum.

Ondrey.photo.reduced (1)

Hauna Ondrey

Hauna Ondrey is a teaching fellow in church history at North Park Theological Seminary and editor of the Covenant Quarterly. She received her PhD from the University of Saint Andrews in Scotland, with a research focus in early Christian interpretation of the Old Testament prophets. She is passionate about education within the church and hopes the Shift curriculum will facilitate this in meaningful, communal ways.


Nate Severson

Nate Severson is the youth pastor at Hillcrest Covenant Church in Prairie Village, Kansas. He and his wife, Kirsten, have four kids. He loves Directv sports packages, doing things that are outside the box in ministry, coaching soccer, really good coffee, and daily “shifting” because of God’s grace. He is honored to be a part of the Shift curriculum because he thinks the decisions we make after CHIC are as important as the decisions we make at CHIC. His prayer for everyone involved with CHIC is that our relationships with Jesus would grow in ways that we can’t imagine in our own strength.


Week Two


Amanda Olson

Amanda Olson is pastor of Grace Covenant Church in Chicago, an intentional gathering of unfinished people seeking and sharing Jesus’s transforming love. Amanda is a small town girl from Ohio who is following Jesus in a big city. She loves her husband, enjoys her five-year-old son, appreciates her church, and values her team of leaders. She is excited about Shift because it is a multigenerational curriculum developed out of CHIC, a huge formational event in the life of students. Before serving at Grace, Amanda taught at Covenant Bible College in Canada, was a television producer, and worked in PR and marketing.

P2C Family Life

Neil Josephson

Neil Josephson leads FamilyLife Canada—a Christian ministry dedicated to bringing help and hope to every family—with his wife, Sharol. CHIC has been a huge part of Neil’s journey, from his first CHIC in 1972 through multiple years of bringing high-school students to planning and leading CHIC events. He knows the impact CHIC can make, and he is excited to be part of the Shift curriculum project and its goal to extend the impact of CHIC to the entire Covenant Church and beyond.


Christina Tingelof

Christina Tinglof was born and raised in Boston. She went to college planning to be a small town English teacher, but through a spring break mission trip to an urban children’s ministry she felt God’s call to work with young people in the city. She served as youth pastor at Covenant Congregational Church in Boston (the church she grew up in) for seven years before becoming associate pastor. She loves working with youth from all walks of life, seeing the way a relationship with Christ can transform individuals and communities, and having a job where she can go bowling and eat pizza one day and preach the next! She is excited to be a part of creating the Shift curriculum, because she loves the idea of youth and adults learning and growing together. In her spare time she likes hanging out with her husband, Michael, going to yard sales, reading, and wearing big earrings.


Shelly Kurth

Shelley Kurth serves as associate pastor of Forest Park Covenant Church in Muskegon, Michigan. She previously served as pastor of children’s ministry for 12 years, and she is also a children and family ministry coach in the Make and Deepen Disciples mission priority of the ECC. Shelley loves to see people connect to Jesus and to create clear pathways for the Holy Spirit. She is excited that families will have the opportunity to learn and grow together through the Shift curriculum.

Week Three


Marco Ambriz

Marco Ambriz is an associate pastor at First Covenant Church in Oakland, California, where he has served since 2004. He and his wife, Nicole, along with their children, Dikaio (age five) and Elea (age four), love calling Oakland their home. In his spare time he enjoys reading theology books, roasting his own coffee, and playing nerdy board games. He feels called to encourage the church in its ongoing missional focus on Jesus and his Great Commission. He is very excited to be a part of this Shift curriculum, particularly because 2015 is his first CHIC experience. He is looking forward to the wider move that God is doing in the Covenant Church through teens.

shaunphoto2 (2)

Shaun Marshall

Shaun Marshall is senior pastor of Community Covenant Church in Calumet Park, Illinois, a dynamic, multigenerational church family with a rich history spanning more than 60 years. As a pastor, he seeks to unite, equip, and release believers to follow Christ and influence the world. A practitioner specializing in church planting, leadership development, and change management, Shaun is passionate about equipping leaders with the clarity needed to move their vision forward. He has offered training, coaching, and consulting through organizations such as the Willow Creek Association and the Evangelical Covenant Church. Shaun and his wife, Veronica, are excited about Shift because they believe that youth and youth workers will be radically transformed to share God’s message of love and reconciliation throughout the world.


David Washington

David A. Washington is the founder and senior pastor of Kingdom Covenant Church in Chicago. He is a speaker, hip-hop artist, and Bible teacher. David is an advocate for empowering youth in the local church, having spent more than 20 years developing teenagers to impact their world for Christ. He is currently leading an inner-city church plant to address the needs of discipleship, community outreach, and community development. He is excited about the Shift curriculum because it is designed to bring every generation of the church together around God’s word, and he believes it will empower everyone involved to reflect and talk about meaningful texts and relevant topics.


Jessica Springer

Jessica Springer is the children’s ministry director at Community Covenant Church in Lenexa, Kansas. She has more than ten years of experience ministering to children and families in the local church context. She received an MDiv and a master’s of Christian education with an emphasis in children’s ministries from Nazarene Theological Seminary. She is an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene, and she has written curriculum for a variety of local churches and publishers. She is excited to partner with Shift as way to help the church journey deeper together in shifting our perspectives to engage in the continuing narrative of God.

Week Four

Curtis pic-1

Curtis Ivanoff

Curtis Ivanoff serves as the field director for the Evangelical Covenant Church of Alaska. He is an Alaska Native and grew up in the village of Unalakleet, Alaska. He enjoys fishing, photography, cooking, and Oklahoma Sooner football. He is excited about the way the Shift curriculum will provide an opportunity for all ages to focus on God’s word, to be challenged, and to go deeper in following Christ.


Cecilia Williams

Cecilia Williams serves as the ministry initiatives director for Love Mercy and Do Justice (LMDJ), a mission priority for the ECC. In her role, she has the deep privilege of working with local Covenant congregations and regional conferences to identify, initiate, and develop viable sustainable ministry projects that form the heart and spirit of LMDJ’s Matthew-Micah Initiative. She firmly believes that God has anchored the church as a catalyst for individual and communal transformation as well as positive social change, which is perhaps why she is most excited about the Shift curriculum. Each component of the curriculum offers the whole church a unique opportunity to join in conversations aimed at shifting closer to the heart of God and deeper in concern for others.

LP headshot 2015

Louie Presuth

Louie Praseuth is a community and youth leader who has been serving in the field of community development, youth, and arts ministry for 15 years. Some of his passions are social, spiritual, artistic, and personal identity development in Christ. He previously served full-time with Youth With A Mission and was an international performer, choreographer, and has competed in high level breakdance competitions worldwide. He began his own not-for-profit organization, The Good Foot Arts Collective, in 2005 that provides a safe space for youth to develop artistic expression for future leadership. He currently continues this work as the youth pastor at Emerald City Bible Fellowship and lives with his wife and two young boys in Seattle.


Lizzy Brady

Lizzy Brady is a recent graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in sociology and gender studies. She is currently serving on the Make and Deepen Disciples team for the ECC. Lizzy likes to begin her day with strong coffee and a little something sweet. But at the end of the day, she is deeply committed to justice and peacemaking as a means to an end, holding fast to hope and stones of remembrance. She is eager to see where this journey will lead the church as it intentionally seeks to shift toward a more Christlike perspective.

Week Five


Mark Seversen

Mark Seversen is the senior pastor at Hillcrest Covenant Church in Prairie Village, Kansas. He has been a pastor there for more than 13 years, and he has attended CHIC twice with his students and their leaders. He has come to believe that there are few investments a senior pastor can make that match CHIC. He is excited about the Shift curriculum because he believes it will give the church a better glimpse of what God is up to in the lives of youth and the entire ECC family. He wants the church to catch some of the enthusiasm for following Jesus that students bring home, and he wants youth to see that following Jesus is something everyone can be passionate about.


Kevin Farmer

Kevin Farmer has been working with children, teenagers, college students, and their families for more than 20 years, and he has served the ECC, the Northwest Conference, and North Park University as a pastor, speaker, and ministry consultant since 2003. Currently he serves as the head of admission and family ministry at Hope Academy, a Christ-centered K-12 school serving students and families in Minneapolis. One of his deepest passions is Christian formation, equipping people for a life-shifting journey with Jesus Christ. He is excited to see how the Shift curriculum can help the church on its journey with the Lord. He prays that this study will help readers to shift deeper into Christ and further into his mission!


Ruby Varghese

Ruby Varghese serves at Kent Covenant Church in Kent, Washington, as the associate pastor of student ministries, where she has been in ministry for eight years. She finds it a joy to serve in the ECC with youth, not only with her church but also on a conference and denominational level. She is excited about the Shift curriculum because it takes what thousands of students and leaders learn at CHIC and gives them resources to share with hundreds of churches and communities. The theme is so critical for believers to wrestle with when it comes to their focus, perspective, and priorities, that God may shift their hearts and minds to be more like him.


Shelley Kurth

Shelley Kurth serves as associate pastor of Forest Park Covenant Church in Muskegon, Michigan. She previously served as pastor of children’s ministry for 12 years, and she is also a children and family ministry coach in the Make and Deepen Disciples mission priority of the ECC. Shelley loves to see people connect to Jesus and to create clear pathways for the Holy Spirit. She is excited that families will have the opportunity to learn and grow together through the Shift curriculum.

Week Six


Liz VerHage

Liz Verhage is pastor of global and local ministries at Quest Church in Seattle, where she’s passionate about equipping the church to love God and love others through engaging in presence, justice, advocacy, and compassion. Liz is a communicator and strategic ministry developer, with diverse experience in preaching, teaching, writing, consulting, racial reconciliation, community organizing and international ministry, including previous work with the ONE Campaign to make global poverty history. Liz is a grateful wife and mother. She loves Covenant World Relief and the way the Covenant Church invites the church into international ministry through sustainable, effective, and mutually reciprocal practices. She’s excited to see how Shift encourages and equips the ECC to go deeper in a lifestyle of missional discipleship.


Michael Jorden

Michael Jorden is the lead pastor at La Viña Covenant Church, a Spanish-speaking congregation in his hometown of Kerman, California, a small agricultural town in the Central Valley. He is second generation Portuguese on his mother’s side, with no Spanish background. He served as a short-term missionary with the Covenant in Mexico (Cuautitlan Izcalli), and upon his return, he and his wife were part of planting La Viña Covenant Church. He is excited about the Shift curriculum because it takes the conversation that began in CHIC 2015 among the youth and carries it into the churches, making space for a variety of cultural and generational voices. His prayer is that through these studies and the dialogue they invite, the Holy Spirit would help the church shift into actively participating in God’s mission in the world.


Danielle Kilgore

Danielle Kilgore is youth director at Kingdom Builders Covenant Church in Decatur, Georgia, and the Youth Ministry Network facilitator and CHIC Liaison for the Southeast Conference of the ECC. She is thrilled to have students take part in this after-CHIC curriculum, because she recognizes that they leave CHIC with much excitement and passion for Christ and this curriculum will help youth leaders capitalize on that momentum and get teens involved in the work of Christ. She knows that the lessons included will truly enhance the experience teens had at CHIC 2015 and will provide insight to those who didn’t participate in CHIC but want to join the shift.


Steve Burger

Steve Burger works in children, family, and intergenerational ministry for the ECC. He lives in Mt. Prospect, Illinois, and is a member of DeerGrove Covenant Church in Deerfield. His hope is that the children’s Shift curriculum will not only impact the lives of children in the context of child specific ministry, but will also foster a broader conversation and experience between children, parents, and the entire church body.