Workshop Speakers and Details



Taylor Turkington

Taylor Turkington worked for a church in the Portland area for last six years, teaching, discipling, and training. She loves being involved in the equipping and encouraging of people for the work God has given them. Before her church life, Taylor worked as a missionary in Eastern Europe and graduated from Western Seminary with a M.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies. Currently, Taylor is a student at Western in the D.Min. program and is supposed to be writing her dissertation, but she'd rather be drinking tea in a coffee shop with you or digging in her garden. You can find Taylor on Twitter and Instagram as @tayturkington



Adrienne Lawrence

Adrienne Lawrence has been involved in ministry since she started leading Bible studies for her Inter-Varsity college group at Duke University. She later earned her M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Since then, she has spoken at conferences and retreats, discipled women, and taught Sunday school. She currently serves on the women's Bible study teaching and writing team at her local church, Hinson Baptist Church in Portland, OR. Adrienne enjoys hiking, camping, cooking, and exploring new restaurants with her husband and children. 



Kelli Templeton

Kelli Templeton has been following Jesus since 1989 when she was introduced to Jesus by a high-school friend. She learned how to walk with Jesus through other women who taught her to read the Bible, pray, give, be a wife, be a mother, and serve the local church. Today, she is learning to be thankful in all circumstances. She's been married to Bill (her HS sweetheart) for 25 years and has four children: Hannah (19), AJ (16), Silas (14), and Jonathan (11).  Two of her children were adopted from Ethiopia in 2011.  She's a WSU graduate – (Go Cougs!)  and holds a MA in Theology from Western Seminary. She currently serves as the Director of Adult Ministries at Bethel Church in Richland, WA.



Katy Shaw

Katy Shaw is originally from Miami, FL, but has lived in Portland since 2011. She enjoys knitting, sewing, and spending time with friends. She also loves studying the Bible, especially with other women. Katy has a B.A. in Art History from the University of Florida and an M.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies from Western Seminary. She is a member of Trinity Church of Portland. 



Cas Monaco

Cas serves as Cru's Executive Director for Leadership Development, and is currently working on her PhD in North American Missiology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. She and her husband Bob have been married for 34 adventure-filled years serving on the mission field and in the pastorate. 



Whitney Woollard

Whitney Woollard earned her M.A. (Biblical and Theological Studies) from Western Seminary, where she's currently pursuing further theological training and working part-time. She is most passionate about equipping others to read and study God's Word well so that they might grow in affection for Jesus and His glorious gospel message. She is a regular contributor to "Gospel-Centered Discipleship" and writes for various guest blogs. She and her husband Neal live in Portland, Oregon, where she ministers to women at Hinson Baptist Church. Find out more about Whitney on her website.



Wendy Chen

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Wendy comes from an ethnically Chinese family, but born and raised in South Korea, and immigrated to the United States when she was 8 years old. She, together with her husband, serves as the director of the Cru City team in Portland, Oregon, helping recent college graduates live fuller, richer lives. She has been on staff for 11 years, 4 of those in Austin, Texas with the Epic Movement. She longs to see a generation of young women who will reject shame and know their true identity as image bearers of God. She does this by sharing her life, her struggles, and the lies she often finds herself believing, and the courage and faith it takes to put her trust in who God says she is. She loves nothing more than a table full of people she deeply loves, filled with good food and laughter. She is a wife, a mother, a photographer, and she is learning to be brave.



Cynthia Mathai


Cynthia Mathai, Resources Strategist and Coordinator at Verity Fellowship, has been a disciple of Jesus for 16 years and is a member of Trinity Church of Portland. She has a M.A. in Ministry and Leadership with a concentration in Pastoral Care to Women from Western Seminary. She is passionate about the discipleship of women, prayer, and evangelism. In her spare time, Cynthia enjoys reading, writing, being outdoors, drinking Kenyan chai, and doing anything and everything with her wonderful friends. You can find Cynthia on Twitter @cnmathai and on Instagram as @cynthia_mathai



Mary Liebert

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It is Mary's deep desire to equip women to love the Word of God and to study it faithfully. She has had the joy of being part of the women's Bible study at Hinson Church in SE Portland for nearly a decade, as participant, facilitator and teacher. The majority of her time is spent being wife to Jeff, to whom she's married nearly 11 years, and mom to Zachary, Eli and Addie. She and her family love spending time outdoors - playing, biking, hiking, camping and swimming. Always ready for adventure!



Shana Powell


Shana Powell has been a missionary working with college students for 17 years and currently gives leadership nationally with Cru.  She also spent time serving the church in adult discipleship, outreach, and missional mobilization. She loves to help others think strategically and practically about sharing the Gospel, building multiplying disciples, and spiritual movements. Shana and her husband Tyler live and minister in Bozeman, Montana. Shana attended Western Seminary and completed an M.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies.



Lily Rees

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Lily Rees is passionate about loving Muslim women, and has been known to get quite fiery in their defense. She and her husband have been working with Muslims for 16 years and with Middle Eastern refugees for seven. She spends most of her time with refugee women, drinking tea and eating delicious homemade treats. She is also the director of an English as a Second Language program serving refugees in the Portland-Beaverton area. In her spare time, she is a voracious and omnivorous reader.



MeeHee Kirby


MeeHee Kirby, has served in building evangelistic and discipleship movements with Cru for the past 10+ years, in both local and international contexts. MeeHee and her husband Matt live in Bozeman Montana, with their three daughters. Meehee loves people and is gifted in Gospel conversations, able to draw out others and awaken curiosity for the Gospel. She has a legacy of disciples who are continuing to walk with Jesus all over the world.



Malisa Ellis


Malisa Ellis loves talking to students and her neighbors about their spiritual journey and pointing them to Christ. She has spent the last 17 years working with Cru in Eastern Europe, the Pacific Northwest, Boston, and the Middle East. Malisa and her husband Brian live in Boston with their three daughters where they love to welcome college students into their home and demonstrate the hospitality of Jesus. She loves coffee, travel, making things beautiful, and more coffee. 



Workshop Levels

Do you ever wonder which workshops to attend at a Verity Conference event? Sometimes it would be helpful to know for what level the content is designed. Since the level of Bible experience can differ between us at a Verity event, we thought labeling workshops would give you some more information.

Level 1 is not just for beginners, but it means that this workshop is designed for anyone coming in. You may have experience in ministry or you may not, but this is a place that will be ready to explain to people at all levels. If you’re interested in a level 1 class and know your Bible “inside-out” (ok, none of us would actually claim that, but still), don’t let the level stop you. It just means there’s a mix of people in the workshop.

Level 2 workshops will cover teaching that may move quickly through some concepts. It expects that the people in the audience have read their Bible before and are ready to dive into some ways to use it to teach it to others. All are welcome to jump in here, and this workshop is designed to push some of us to new things.

Level 3 is designed for people who are a little nerdy about their Bibles. They like to think theology. Maybe they’ve taken Bible college or seminary classes, or they just like to read about the Scriptures. These workshops will take steps to explore together new topics or next steps in ministry.