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TO BE FULLY KNOWN        AUG. 26, 2023

TO BE FULLY KNOWN        AUG. 26, 2023

TO BE FULLY KNOWN        AUG. 26, 2023

TO BE FULLY KNOWN        AUG. 26, 2023

TO BE FULLY KNOWN        AUG. 26, 2023

TO BE FULLY KNOWN        AUG. 26, 2023

TO BE FULLY KNOWN        AUG. 26, 2023

TO BE FULLY KNOWN        AUG. 26, 2023

What is SYLC?

SYLC is a one day training event provided by the Youth Leader Collective for adults who work with youth in their churches. It is training, encouragement, networking opportunities, community and more for paid youth pastors, volunteer youth leaders, youth ministry students and those interested in youth ministry.

$42 Early Registration Pricing Through Monday, August 21st OR $50 at the Door!

*What’s included with registration?
Breakfast, Lunch, a Free Gift, over 20 Breakout Sessions to choose from, a chance to win gifts from every sponsor, a digital download of all sessions and an incredible day of worship and fellowship with your youth ministry team and from across the region!

Register Now!

Pre-Conference with Walt Mueller
– $27

Understanding & Teaching God’s Design for Sex & Gender

Our children and teens are growing up in a world where “It’s all up to you!” is the mantra that guides – or more accurately mis-guides – our students into embracing and living out ideologies on sex and gender that undermine their human flourishing. In this two-part seminar, Walt will walk you through how the current cultural narrative is forming the beliefs and behaviors of our kids, along with how and what to teach about the beauty of God’s sex-and-gender-positive design as the path to spiritual growth, relational growth, and sexual flourishing.

Learn More

Main Conference with Brent Crowe
– $42 (Early Registration)

To Know Fully & Be Fully Known

Register Now!

2023 Session Speakers

Brent Crowe

Student Leadership University

Brent Crowe is a thought-provoking visionary and communicator who has a passion to present the life changing message of the gospel. Brent uses humor and real-life situations to relate to people at the heart of their struggles. The roles of husband, father, minister, evangelist, author and leader have allowed Brent to influence people from all walks of life throughout his twenty years in ministry.

Engaging issues such as leadership, culture, and change, Brent speaks to hundreds of thousands across the nation and abroad each year and is currently serving as Vice President for Student Leadership University, a program that has trained over one hundred and fifty thousand students to commit themselves to excellence.

He is also the author of Ten Steps to Your Best Life, Philippians Bible Study, Moments ‘til Midnight, Sacred Intent: Maximize the Moments of Your Life, Reimagine: What the World Would Look Like If God Got His Way, Chasing Elephants: Wrestling with the Gray Areas of Life, the Associate Editor of IMPACT, The Student Leadership Bible and the coauthor of The Call.

The desire of Brent’s heart is to see people realize that they have been set apart to the gospel of God and thus, in turn, they must set their lives apart in an effort to capture every moment in worshipful service to Him.

Brent Crowe is currently serving as Vice President of Student Leadership University in Orlando, Florida. He is married to Christina and has six children, Gabe, Charis, Za’Riah, Mercy, Zi’Yon and Aryanna. He holds a Doctorate in Philosophy and two masters degrees, a Masters of Divinity in Evangelism and a Masters of Arts in Ethics, from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Walt Mueller

Center for Parent/Youth Understanding

Dr. Walt Mueller is the founder and President of The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding, a ministry that endeavors to increase the ability of home and church to nurture children and teens into a lifetime of biblically-faithful, whole-life Christian discipleship. A 45-year youth ministry veteran and youth culture watcher, Walt is the author of ten books on youth culture, and a long-time trainer of parents, youth workers, and students. He hosts the 1-minute daily CPYU radio show/podcast Youth Culture Today, and the long-form Youth Culture Matters podcast. Walt is a faculty member in the Doctor of Ministry program at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary where he co-leads the doctoral cohorts for Ministry to Emerging Generations. A husband, father of four, and grandfather of 6, Walt’s passion to deeply understand today’s youth culture as a pathway to more effective ministry continues to grow.


Zac Workun

Lifeway Students

Zac currently serves as the Student Ministry Specialist for Lifeway Students. Zac is also the co-founder and network lead for Youth Ministry Booster. Zac is a voracious reader, avid gamer, car-camper, folk musician, black coffee-drinker, beard aficionado. Enneagram 7 & ENFP. He loves to eat breakfast food at new places with his wife Karen and two wild boys Isaiah & Gideon.

For 15+ years, Zac has served on staff at local churches in Oklahoma and North Carolina to oversee the middle school, high school, and college-aged ministries. Zac received his undergraduate education from Oklahoma Baptist University and his Master’s of Divinity from Duke University.

Chad Poe

Throughline Cohort

Chad has been speaking biblical truth into students’ lives for years. He believes in the importance of relationships and seeks to get to know people when he is away from the stage. Ultimately, Chad hopes to see students moved into a deeper relationship with Christ through the power of God’s Word. In turn, those students will impact their community and world for Christ’s sake. Chad is currently the Teaching Pastor at Grace Bible Church. He is the co-host of the Hold On Podcast and is the founder of Through-line Cohort – a ministry that exists to develop communicators of the Bible. He is married to Hope and they have three sons (Shepherd, Charlie, and Alder) and a daughter (Noli).

Amanda Mejias

Lifeway Girls Brand Specialist

Amanda Mejias serves as the Lifeway Girls Brand Specialist, and she is passionate about equipping church leaders as they minister to and disciple teen girls. Amanda feels like she is living a dream, especially with her husband and their two small kids by her side. She is also always down to hear a cheesy joke, grab coffee, and talk about golden retrievers. Amanda holds her master’s degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity.

JaMichael Jordan

Mt. Canaan Baptist Church

JaMichael’s passion for ministry stems from his own challenges as a youth to his transformation to becoming fully dedicated and committed to Christ. In addition to serving as Youth and Young Adult Pastor at the Mount Canaan Baptist Church for many years, JaMichael served five years as Program Director for Stop the Madness National, Inc., a program that was centered around at-risk youth and families. JaMichael gives credit to Stop the Madness National, Inc. for allowing him to be a pioneer of change through teaching, mentoring, and leadership development throughout Chattanooga and Hamilton Country Schools while staying true to his destiny.

Although JaMichael is very focused on youth and young adults he has a vast skill set that includes serving on the advisory council for Glass House Collective (GHC) as well as serving as a consultant with the Supreme Court for the state of Georgia. JaMichael is also a proud graduate of the University of Memphis, where he was actively involved and served in many leadership roles such as President of the Empowered Men of Color (EMOC), Vice-President of the Black Student Association(BSA), Orientation Guide, Memphis State Eight honoree and member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. JaMichael graduated in 2011 where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree. He earned his certification in Pastoral Leadership from Tennessee Temple University in 2014.

Most recently, JaMichael has become a newly published author with the release of his first book entitled “Decoded: Discovering the Mystery That Is You.”

JaMichael is married to Amanda, who equally shares and supports his vision and passions. The two share two sons together Micah and Nason.

Courtney Caroland, LPC-MHSP

Elbow Tree

Courtney lives in Chattanooga, TN with her husband Todd and their dog, Teddy. Courtney served as the Youth Director at Rock Creek Fellowship for 7 years while completing her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Richmont Graduate University. She and Teddy are working at the Christian Counselor Cooperative where she is a licensed counselor as part of the Elbow Tree Group. Courtney loves hiking, cooking, spending time with friends, and always up for the next adventure.

Doug Franklin


Doug Franklin started LeaderTreks in 1994 because he wanted to see students reach their potential. For over twenty years he has been training students and youth pastors alike, developing them into leaders who serve in God’s Kingdom. Before starting LeaderTreks, Doug was a youth pastor for twelve years, but discovered his true passion was discipleship and leadership development. He is married to a wonderfully creative woman named Angie Jones, and they live in West Chicago, Illinois.

Jay Barbier

Tennessee Baptist Mission Board

Jay serves as the Youth Specialist with the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board. His desire is to help engage people with the Gospel and know the love of Jesus Christ. Jay believes that the message of Jesus changes lives and provides hope. He has worked at churches in Louisiana, Tennessee and has spoken throughout the Southeast. He leads Youth Summer Camps and YEC, Youth Evangelism Conference, for Tennessee Baptists. Jay holds a degree from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He enjoys traveling with his wife Natalee and two children, Caleb and Mary-Clare. Advocating for Special Needs, eating Cajun Cuisine, and travel brings joy to his family.

Ryan Dunlap


Ryan is the CEO of Conflictish, a conflict strategy consultancy specializing in addressing workplace conflict and sexual misconduct behavior in leaders. From tarnished rapport to squeamish behavior, he’s passionate about helping leaders get their ‘ish together.

Ryan is an expert in his field and has conducted countless interviews, high-stakes interrogations, complex negotiations, de-escalations, and interventions. He is a decorated law enforcement veteran with 14 years of experience in various roles including a detective in the Special Victims Unit and member of the Child Abduction Response Team, SWAT hostage negotiator, and crisis intervention officer.

Previously, Ryan served as the Pastor of Life Safety and Executive Director of Operations at Victory World Church in Atlanta, and as the Executive Director of Street Grace Tennessee, a faith-based anti-human trafficking non-profit. Today, in addition to his consulting practice, he serves as the Pastor of Leadership Development at City Light Church in Chattanooga.

Ryan has been married to his high school sweetheart, Alicia, for 16 years. They enjoy serving as marriage and pre-marriage ministry facilitators, worshipping and playing music together, and practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with their 4 children.

Brian Housman

360 Family

Brian has been working full-time with families since 1993. He has had the privilege of speaking at more than 600 conferences, schools, churches, and camps from coast to coast as well as several international locations. Brian is a prolific writer for parenting magazines, most notably Parenting  Teenagers, Parent Life, and Homeschooling Today with more than 80 articles published. He is the author of four books: Engaging Your Teen’s World, Tech Savvy Parenting, How You Always Meant to Parent, and Teen Savvy Parenting. Brian has been featured as a parenting coach on more than sixty radio shows and TV programs including FOX, ABC, and NBC affiliates.

Brian has had the privilege of being just a small part of the process as God turns the hearts of parents toward their children as well as children toward their parents. After serving for thirteen years in positions ranging from a youth pastor to a camp director to a school administrator, Brian stepped out and created 360 Family in September 2004. Most recently, he launched Screen Smarts—a one of a kind technology course for parents that now includes tens of thousands of parents!

Tony Souder

One Hundred Years

Tony is the CEO of One Hundred Years, a family of ministries dedicated to helping individuals, families and churches flourish in bringing the greatness of God to the next generation. These ministries include the Youth Leader Collective and the Pray for Me Campaign. Since 1994 the Youth Leader Collective has connected, coached and cared for youth leaders throughout the southeast. One of Tony’s passions is helping churches and ministries thrive in creating natural and effective intergenerational relationships beginning with prayer. Tony and his bride, Rhonda, have been married since 1985 and have twin adult daughters.

Amy-Jo Girardier

Brentwood Baptist Church

Amy-Jo Girardier is the Women’s Minister and has served as Girls Minister for 19 years at Brentwood Baptist in Brentwood, TN. She continues to speak and write resources for teen girls, moms, and youth workers engaged in the girls ministry conversation.  She is also the author of the two Lifeway biblestudy and DVD teaching series: Authentic Love and Faithful One and created the resource of

Amy-Jo loves Jesus more than anything else!  She loves talking about generations, technology, drinking coffee, running, serving on staff with her husband Darrel, wordle, and hanging out with her sons Scout and Skylar.

You can find her on instagram: @amyjogirardier.

Chris Martin

Moody Publishers

Chris Martin is a content marketing editor at Moody Publishers, an author, and a social media, marketing, and communications consultant. He writes regularly in his newsletter, Terms of Service, and is the author of Terms of Service: The Real Cost of Social Media (B&H, 2022). Chris lives outside Nashville with his wife, Susie, their daughter, Magnolia, and their dog, Rizzo.

Robert Row


Robert is the Student Ministries Coordinator for seeJesus, a global discipling mission. He works with Student Pastors throughout the country helping them discover the beauty of Jesus as a Person. Robert served as a Youth Pastor for 20 years and he currently lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee with his wife Rebecca. They have five children, Emily (In Heaven since 2000), Tyler (Junior at the University of Tennessee), Campbell (Freshman at Covenant College), Laura (10th grade) and Mary Katherine (5th grade). Robert enjoys fly fishing, hiking, camping, landscaping and bonsais.

Matt Brinkley

PACT Ministry

Matt Brinkley’s ministry experience spans over 40 years. He is a graduate of Covenant College (BS) and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (ADiv). After serving as a youth pastor in Macon, GA, and Montgomery, AL, he moved to Atlanta to serve as student pastor at Perimeter Church in 1991. Eleven years later, Matt’s responsibilities there broadened to include leadership of the Nextgen Division and oversight of all ministries related to children and youth. In 2006 he went on staff at The Vine Community Church (PCA) serving as the Nextgen director and the oversight of adult discipleship until 2013.

Matt now serves full-time as the director of PACT Ministry which he founded in 1996 that serves and encourages youth pastors across the country in their personal walk with God, family and life balance, and strategic ministry.

He is an active certified coach and facilitator/trainer for RightPATH Resources impacting leaders in Fortune 500 companies as well as executives running medium and small businesses.

Matt is the author of four books (Mistaken Identity, Stay the Course, FOUR, and Dating by the Book), along with five discipleship manuals. He is a sought-after speaker for retreats and conferences. Matt and his wife Vickie have been married for 40 years and have three grown children… Matt Jr., Andrew, and Mary Beth, and five incredible grandchildren… Nathan, Luke, Olivia, Elena, and Hudson.

Chris Trent

Georgia Baptist Mission Board

Chris serves at the Next Gen Catalyst at the Georgia Baptist Mission Board. Having recently wrapped up almost 17 years as the Middle School and Student Pastor at Johnson Ferry Baptist in Marietta, Georgia, he has a passion for pointing teenagers to Jesus and investing in leaders who are impacting the next generation for Christ. He lives in Marietta, GA with his wife, Wendy and has two grown up kids, Dillon and Abby. As an “old guy” in youth ministry (now 30 years), he is also the co-host of the The Youth Ministry Podcast for Volunteers (launching in August, 2022) and author of Consider This: A Youth Minister’s Guide to Longevity.

Chad Higgins

Lifeway Parent Ministry Specialist

Chad Higgins serves as the Parent Ministry Specialist for Lifeway. He has served in the local church since 2004. He is the co-founder of Youth Ministry Booster and is passionate about seeing spiritually healthy ministers lead families that point their children to Jesus. He lives in Stillwater, OK with his wife Martha and their daughter Malia. He loves chess, the Red Sox and sushi.

Cordell Kingsley

Second Baptist Church, LaFayette

Cordell serves as the Youth and Worship Pastor of Second Baptist Church LaFayette, GA. His ministry’s goal is to connect students with Jesus and each other. He has previously served at Antioch Baptist Church and worked with the GA Baptist Mission board. Cordell combines his passion for technology with ministry. He gets to use his experience and degree in Media Production to communicate the gospel and connect members of the community.

He believes that God is equipping this generation to start a revival in our schools, communities, and churches. This starts with the church being more than a place to come on Sunday, but instead being a light to our community: serving and loving the people around us. Cordell lives in Chickamauga, GA with his wife Timerra Kingsley. They share a passion for helping students build relationships with the Lord. Some of their favorite things to do include traveling, watching volleyball, and getting ice cream!

Jason Pittman

PACT Ministry

Jason and his wife Lori have served in student ministry for over 23 years. Most recently, serving as the Associate Director of PACT Ministry, a ministry that specializes in life-on-life coaching of youth pastors. Before serving with PACT he served in 2 churches over the span of 22 years in Carrollton, GA and Columbia, SC. Jason and Lori have been married for 23 years, have 4 children and 2 cats and currently reside in Columbia, SC. You will routinely find Jason and Lori travelling to new places, eating great food and reading a great book.

Michael Savadge

First Baptist, Chickamauga

Michael Savadge is the associate pastor at First Baptist Church in Chickamauga, Georgia. He previously served in student ministry for 16 years at churches Arkansas, Kansas and Georgia. His passion for healthy student ministry continues as he invests in student pastors as student ministry coach with PACT Ministry out of Atlanta, Georgia. Michael is married to Krista and they have four children: Madisyn (15), Callie (13), Camden (11) and Leah (6).

Chris Ownby

First Things First

With close to 20 years’ experience in congregational youth and family ministry, Chris Ownby now serves as a family life educator and research coordinator for First Things First, a Chattanooga non-profit which provides healthy relationship education and resources for couples and parents to live better lives and create positive generational change. He also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, teaching Child and Family Studies. Chris has been married to his wife Kristin for 19 years, and they have two teenage daughters.

Kerry Ray


Kerry is the Director of Publishing for Prior to joining the YM360 team, Kerry was a youth ministry veteran with 27+ years of experience serving and leading in churches of various sizes, denominations, and multi-site strategies. After nearly 3 decades immersed in all things youth ministry, Kerry is quick to tell you that he still finds immeasurable joy and life in every opportunity he has to engage teenagers and youth workers whether that be in the form of camp/retreat speaking, writing, content creating, coaching youth workers, developing young leaders, enlightening parents on adolescent development, church consulting, or training youth ministry teams. Kerry and his wife Stefanie live in Birmingham, AL, with their two children. You can connect with Kerry on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook at @kray2u.

Woodland Park Baptist Church
6735 Standifer Gap Rd
Chattanooga, TN (37421)

"I felt everything was planned and handled with real care and sincerity. I honestly and without bias gained more from SYLC than both the Orange Conference and NYWC the past couple of years. Great job!"

Jacob DucoteOoltewah UMC

What can I say about SYLC? It was an amazing day filled with informative teaching, in-depth conversations, and intentional discipleship. As a Student Pastor, to have my adult leaders there only enhanced the experience, as it allowed us to "divide and conquer," but to still be able to come together as a team and implement what we learned. Do you and your ministry a favor and sign-up for SYLC. Your leaders, church, and students will thank you, guaranteed!

Spencer KinkadeYouth Pastor, Chattanooga Valley Baptist

Such an amazing conference today! I was encouraged. My youth leaders were encouraged. Thanks to Youth Leader Collective for all you do!

Patrick EverettFirst Baptist Fort Oglethorpe

I cannot say enough great things about SYLC! It was so what my team needed! Awesome, Awesome, Awesome! Literally a game changer for us.

Bobby FleckRinggold UMC

Being able to be around other believers who desire to love and do life with the younger generation was both encouraging and challenging to me. I feel I gained a clearer vision of what discipleship looked like with the youth and some ideas on how to go about it. I have pulled out some of the resources I was given, or notes I took several times for reminders or ideas of how to pray or questions I can ask to better get to know the girls I’m desiring to know and serve. It was worth the time and energy to be there!

Amanda TurnerVolunteer Leader, Woodland Park Chattanooga
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