Our Staff


New Life Church Elder Board

Graig Austin

Sara and I got involved at New Life Church in a unique way: We met a staff member while he was raising support, and he invited us to join the work that the church was doing on the ground in Ann Arbor. We joined New Life to be a part of something amazing that God […]

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Erik Weber

I committed my life to Christ in the summer between my sophomore and junior years at the University of Michigan. Then, a friend invited me to come to New Life where I was connected with a community of believers who loved me and built deeply into my life. My beautiful wife Alexi and I met […]

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Nik Spasovski

God called me to campus ministry while I was a student at the University of Michigan, I saw the need for students to know and experience the love and grace of the Jesus of the Bible. I saw and experienced that myself first hand and I wanted others to experience the same freedom, community, and […]

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Rick Keith

I have been serving as a Pastor at New Life since 2001. My role, essentially, is to focus on the care and development of the staff and pastors. It is our hope to raise up pastors and teams to plant churches on other college campuses. My wife Carol and I met at New Life when we were college students…

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Ben Brand

I didn’t grow up going to church, but during my sophomore year of college I was searching for something I couldn’t define and decided to give church a chance. New Life was the closest one to my dorm, so I went to check it out. I kept coming back for the great talks, awesome worship, […]

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Jason Bennett

In the summer of 2006, I married my beautiful wife Tami, moved to Ann Arbor, and started grad school…in L.A. It was during this season that we first visited New Life Church. It didn’t take long to fall in love with the vision of making disciples and the dream of being a multigenerational church that engages both the campus and the city…

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Kyle Chase

Kyle Chase is a pastor at New Life Church whose primary responsibilities include the oversight and discipleship of North Campus students and staff as well as oversight of the teaching ministry at New Life Church. He is a husband and father who is passionate about raising his two boys as well as seeing University of […]

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Joel VanderSchel

Why did I go into ministry? Because you only live once. I want to make my life count as much as I can. In 2000, I realized that life is simply too short not to do what I really wanted to do: live a life of ministry. I believe that God made competent and able to serve the church in a critical way. He knew I’d be needed here, at this church and at this time, …

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Deacons and Deaconesses

Chris Gentz

When I came to Ann Arbor in 2004, I had no idea that God would lead me to pursue a path of becoming a pastor and church-planter. As a freshman, I was doubtful that Ann Arbor had a strong Christian community that I would want to be involved in, but one of my classmates invited […]

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Shawn Pyle

I’ve been involved with New Life Church for over a decade. I love to vibrancy and focus NLC has to see God transform lives on the campus and in the city. I really like working with information. I currently help manage the church’s website, help lead the gifting assessment ministry (Masterpiece) and develop systems to […]

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Kevin Rogan

As an undergraduate student at UofM, I believed that as long as I did more good than bad that I’d be accepted into heaven. Well, I started chasing after a cute girl who invited me to her church, New Life Church and to start reading the Bible. It was in a New Life Church small group with 3 other guys…

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Gaia Stanley

I am an Ann Arbor-ite to the core. I love all that this city and campus have to offer, like free music, learning opportunities, and great natural beauty. I find myself continually discovering the gems of this place. My passion for this city and campus cultivates a desire for God to reign more and more […]

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Jon Roe

I've been married to the lovely Andrea Roe for the last 13 years of my life and we recently welcomed our twins, Cooper and Colette, into the world. I have been working at New Life for the last 6 years and I'm very excited about where God is leading our church in how we worship [...] Read Biography

Betsy Huebner

Seeking what was true about God and what it meant to live for Him, I visited New Life Church and found it to be a place where I could explore these questions. I got involved, started following Christ, and haven’t looked back. When I graduated from Michigan in 2003, I felt God leading me on […]

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Andrew Mast

I’ve been at New Life since my freshman year in 2006, and on staff since 2010. My role focuses on coordinating the Sunday services – leading the tech and creative teams that make our services happen. I also help lead the worship department with Jon Roe. I love getting the chance to help our church engage with God and learn to love God and neighbor.

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Campus Staff

Ministering to students at University of Michigan

Daniel Hamilton

I got involved at New Life during my freshman year at the University of Michigan, but was living a double life where I went to church on Sunday but still participated in the East Quad dorm’s party scene the rest of the week. Over and over, God convicted me that I needed to quit my […]

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Trevor Cuffe

I graduated from the University of Michigan in 2013 with a degree in Civil Engineering. I grew up in a Christian household in southeast Michigan, but really made it my own faith during my time at U of M. Early in my Sophomore year, I left the partying and drinking that consumed my first year […]

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Matt Bekken

I grew up in Byron Center, MI. I graduated from U of M in 2012 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. My wife, Kaitlin, and I met in our high school youth group, and after dating through college we got married in May 2012. I enjoy playing sports, reading, and watching the Office.

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Denise Thompson

Denise works with North Campus students, helping them to grow in relationship with God. As a student at UofM, she lived on North Campus all four years and has a heart for reaching students there. Her job includes reaching out to students, leading a homegroup, and helping to foster community on North! Denise’s favorite color […]

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Mike Tiesenga

Came on staff in 2011, after a year of support raising was released to work with the off campus for LT 2012 where I began leading OC Blue. Have been with the same New Life team since then. This fall OC Blue is being renamed and refocused to the Kerrytown part of the off-campus. I’m […]

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Phil Hollander

I grew up in a Christian household in Indiana and regularly attended church and youth group every week. Although I was immersed in this Christian culture, I truly didn’t grasp the magnitude of what Christ had done for me. I also didn’t really understand what having a thriving, intimate relationship with God looked like. It […]

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Hannah Witte

Myers Briggs calls me an ENFJ. I love deep conversation, asking questions, poetry, mountains, the color teal, adventures, & cooking. I’m an ex-Buckeye, born & raised in Columbus, OH before coming to UM to study Psychology. I wasn’t raised in the church & became a Christian at age 16. When I came to college at […]

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Dan Chen

I grew up in Grand Rapids, MI and came to U of M for engineering in the fall of 2006. God did a ton in my life during those few years of college through New Life; I ended up walking out with a degree in sociology, and a call to full-time ministry. I had caught […]

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Carson Witte

I’m a sports nut and a bit of a goofball. I really enjoy people with all their quirks and stories. I’m a firm believer that fishing is spiritual and country music is good for the soul. I grew up in Coopersville, Michigan with my parents and two sisters. I now have four nieces and nephews […]

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Becky Bondy

One of the things I love about Ann Arbor is all of the beautiful parks and trees! I love being outside and enjoying God’s creation. I especially love connecting with God outdoors, I feel His love for me when I am walking in nature. I also love to cook! Food is a favorite activity for […]

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Jack Duiven

I hail from Grand Rapids, MI where I grew up in the church for most of my life. Although I went to church stuff a lot, I felt pressure to be good at everything, got my value from my performance, and tried hard to not make any mistakes in life. My freshman year of college [...] Read Biography

Jason Wilkins

I got involved with New Life after my sophomore year. I actually attended Ferris State University for my undergrad, and had a friend who went to Michigan and was involved at New Life. He invited me to participate in New Life’s summer Leadership Training Program during the summer of 2012. That summer God really changed [...] Read Biography

Mike Filicicchia

I have a magical wife, Jessie, who is also on staff at New Life. We have two cats/lions at home named Joan & Davy, and that basically rounds out our little family. I’m originally from the Chicago area (Schaumburg, for the insiders). I studied Mathematics and Economics at U of M, and continue in my […]

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Veronica Rapin

My senior year of college, I experienced the Grace of Jesus and the rich, authentic community at New Life and it changed my life. I was struck by the New Life’s commitment and passion to spread the Gospel and raise up genuine and devoted followers of Jesus. After I graduated in 2013, the Lord gave […]

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Ryan Bondy

At the end of my sophomore year I was invited to a service at New Life Church. It was a Monday night the week before final exams, and the church was hosting a celebration service. I remember being confused about how there was a church service on a monday night but when I arrived, the […]

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Analissa Forsgren

I often quote Ariel from the Little Mermaid saying, “I want to be where the people are.” After growing up in rural Michigan and then attending the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, I can definitely say I am city person. I love to be where I can try new foods, go new places, and […]

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Shepherd Smith

I transferred to U of M as a junior in engineering and started going to New Life in order to be on mission for the Lord and build deep friendships. During my time as a student I played a lot of frisbee, met my wife, and spent a lot of time growing with the Lord. […]

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Amy Grace Smith

Like plenty of U of M alums, growing up I was a smart, disciplined, and well-behaved kid. But beneath my academic achievements, I also had a thirst for adventure and belonging. I called myself a Christian, but for a long time I searched for these things outside of the Lord. During high school, Jesus graciously […]

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Natalie Norton

When I came to Ann Arbor in the fall of 2013 to pursue a medical career, I had no idea that being a Christian at UofM could be more than attending church and staying out of trouble. I was invited by an older student to join her small group, where the first week I chickened out from meeting them. However, the second week I found belonging from a group of women who were committed to following Christ with their whole lives.

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City Staff

Focused on reaching graduates, young professionals, and families in the Ann Arbor Area

Chris McCurry

I enjoy fishing, swimming, hiking, biking, camping, hunting, skiing, kayaking, and sailing. Basically, I love being in nature. It’s where I go to recharge. My first week at the University of Michigan, I filled out a spiritual interest survey so I could enter a raffle to win a bike. Later, a couple guys from New […]

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Sara-Marie Kuntz

Sara-Marie serves graduate students, working singles, couples, and families who live in and around Ann Arbor. Her ministry includes activities like sharing the Gospel, women’s ministry, outreach, discipleship, teaching, event planning, and administrative work. The bulk of her time is spent directing Phase 2, New Life City’s ministry for graduate students and working singles and […]

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Melissa Mashner

Melissa followed the Lord’s leading in her life by moving to Ann Arbor, Michigan in 2015 from her hometown of Rochester, New York. It is a joy for Melissa to serve as the Director of Children’s Ministries at New Life Church because she is passionate about training and equipping our kids through meaningful and purposeful […]

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International Missionaries

Serving New Life Church internationally through our partner churches

Sigourney Seybert

God has led me to be involved in social justice ministry. I am currently living and working in La Libertad, El Salvador teaching English and giving UM and EMU students opportunities to connect with real issues around the world and engage with God’s heart for justice. I love empowering young people to engage with justice […]

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Ali Wood

Ali has been called to serve marginalized women in Africa with an organization called Amani ya Juu, which means “peace from above” in Kiswahili. This reconciliation-based social enterprise allows Ali to use her design background to serve as Creative Director for women of various African nations and cultures. She designs fair-trade certified products for Amani, […]

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Operations Staff

Our dedicated team who help New Life Church function

Jessica Courtois

I came to the University of Michigan in the fall of 2004 to start my college career and found New Life Church my first Sunday on campus. I was awed by the rock music and the teachings and the fact that I was surrounded by people my age who also loved Jesus. I was hooked. […]

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Jessie Filicicchia

I am a professional counselor on staff with New Life Church (NLC). I have a Master’s (MA) in Counseling Psychology from Moody Theological Seminary and am a Limited Licensed Professional Counselor (LLPC) in the state of Michigan. I have practiced counseling in this capacity since 2016, and I have worked as a campus missionary with NLC in Ann Arbor since 2009.

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Jessica Branski

I grew up with my parents and younger brother in Grand Rapids, MI; Northern California; and Lausanne, Switzerland. In 2014, I graduated from Michigan with a degree in International Studies. I love to spend time with friends and family, watch football and hockey, go ice skating, travel, read, knit, and explore Ann Arbor. I have […]

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Yeha Youm

I first got involved with New Life Church as a freshman at U of M. I grew up loving Jesus, but I was really drawn to the community here because they helped me experience the gospel in a fresh way. I was [still am] a recovering/struggling perfectionist so when the leader of my first small […]

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Tim Courtois

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) on staff with New Life Church (NLC). God has made me to be a comforter and a disruptor, and to love people well by seeking to know and bless the particularity of how he has carved his Image into the heart of each one. I have been doing this as a professional counselor since 2007. I am honored and humbled by the courage and dignity of those I counsel as they invite me into their stories with them.

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Steveie King

I came on staff at New Life in 2010 after the Lord called me away from going to medical school. Since then I have gone through a lot of personal struggles but God has used it not only for my personal good but also the good of my ministry. I have a strong passion for […]

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New Life EMU

Ministering to students living in Ypsilanti, on EMU's campus, or attending Washtenaw Community College

Holly Chuang

I grew up in a campus town. My parents graduated from undergrad there. When they were students, a campus ministry reached out to them and in that community of believers, they became the first in their families to become Christians. They raised me in the Church where I heard and believed the gospel at a […]

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Sarah Santini

It is a miracle that I am here. I don’t deserve to help plant a church for college students in Ypsilanti. I am just a woman whom God has chosen to mercifully rescue, gloriously ruin, and extravagantly redeem for His glory. I am nothing but an example that God can use anyone. I love the […]

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Kirsten Allen

I have been in campus ministry at some level for the last seven years. For the last three years, I have been involved at Eastern Michigan University. My heart’s desire is to reach this generation with the amazing good news of God’s unconditional love and grace. My husband of twenty-five years and I serve together […]

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Dustin Santini

I’ve been in campus ministry since 2007 and have loved to see God transform college student’s lives. In 2014, I got married to the best women in the world. At first she was my coworker on this adventure at New Life EMU, but now we are madly in love with each other. I’m passionate about […]

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