About Chris

Chris and Jen
Author/Speaker Qualifications:

For nearly fifteen years Chris has ministered, taught and trained people all over the United States and abroad. He has been trained by respected leaders in the field of Christian recovery and has been mentored by internationally acclaimed author, speaker and pastor, Dr. Jim Wilder (www.lifemodel.org)

With Dr. E. James Wilder, Chris developed THRIVE,  a premiere leadership training designed to effectively propagate relational character skills into families, communities, cultures and groups worldwide. THRIVE consists of three 5-day training tracks with rotating regional events focusing on the application of skills into complex issues. Chris has become a respected teacher on subjects that pertain to leadership development, character formation, Christian community, trauma recovery

Chris spent seven years in ministry living in a redemptive community setting ministering to people with a history of severe trauma, abuse and neglect. Chris’ training includes working with adults and children with PTSD, D.I.D., SRA, maturity-related issues and a variety of personality disorders and problems that result from unprocessed painful events. Chris is an ordained minister and member of the international Evangelical Church Alliance. Chris and Jen are active members of New Life Christian Church in Morton, Illinois, under the care of Pastor Bob See and Pastor Jason Morris.


As a child, he admired his pastor and the boldness he displayed preaching the Gospel. He respected his pastor’s confidence in the God who saves. Chris’ mother relates that he would frequently say, “Mom, I want to be a pastor…” Chris finds great joy joining people as they draw closer to the heart of God that is expressed in their relationships. He enjoys watching people grow into who God created them to be. Chris now runs an international training program called THRIVE under the care of Shepherd’s House, Inc., a not-for-profit religious organization founded in 1970 to provide Christian care and ministry training.


M.B.I. Messianic Bible Institute–Yeshiva. Hampton, VA 2001 – 2007 Master of Theology.

Eastern Illinois University – 1995 – 1998 Bachelor of Arts.

Illinois Central Junior College – 1993 – 1995 Associate in Arts and Science.

He has been trained by respected leaders in the field of Christian recovery and mentored by internationally acclaimed author, speaker and pastor, Dr. E. James Wilder (www.lifemodel.org)


Chris is the Assistant Director for Shepherd’s House Ministry, PO Box 40096, Pasadena, CA. 91114, 626-794-3670. Under Shepherd’s House, Chris and his wife run the THRIVE Training, leads THRIVE Maturity and THRIVE marriage retreats. He focuses on training and equipping the next generation of leaders.

 Current Ministry:

Chris speaks nationally and internationally on topics related to leadership development, character formation, joyful maturity, trauma recovery and developing joy-filled communities with strong families.

Leads weekend maturity retreats for leadership teams, church communities and ministries.

Leads Rekindled Marriage Retreats.

Trains and equips churches with the 19 relational character skills and the Share Immanuel process for removing hindrances that stunt emotional and spiritual maturity

Leads THRIVE training events throughout the US and Canada to equip individuals and couples in the 19 character skills to remain effective and resilient.

Chris trains counselors and leaders to effectively help and serve individuals, couples and families to be able to process painful absences and wounds that rob life and joy. Chris travels and works out of his home office specializing in equipping.

Ministry Story:

In recent years Shepherd’s House has written their vision for ministry in a small book called The Life Model: Living From The Heart Jesus Gave You. The Life Model is intended to be a way of life guide as well as a guide for ministry. A growing number of books, tapes, videos, conferences and training seminars use aspects of The Life Model. This book has been translated in several languages. The Life Model is used around the world for trauma treatment, addiction recovery, community development, church design, child rearing and Christian missions. Shepherd’s House staff members teach and speak about building joy, recovering from trauma, attachments and returning to joy from distress. Shepherd’s House trains counselors, pastors and hurting people at conferences internationally. Shepherd’s House website is www.lifemodel.org.  Shepherd’s House is now working with organizations around the world to help God’s people recover and grow. Organizations such as Voice of the Martyrs and others use Shepherd’s House as a resource.

Chris and wife Jennifer are blessed with two young sons, 3-year old Matthew and 1-year old Andrew.

To Schedule an Event or Receive Counsel go to the “Contact Joy Starters” page.

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