Barry Shafer, Founder/Director
Barry Shafer has been communicating the truth of God’s Word since 1984 as a volunteer youth leader, youth pastor, pastor, author and speaker. Barry, with his late wife Dana, founded InWord Resources in 1996 to strengthen youth ministry with discipleship materials and experiences that meaningfully engage teens in Scripture. Barry is author of Unleashing God’s Word in Youth Ministry (Youth Specialties/Zondervan) and has written numerous teen devotionals and small-group Bible studies.
Barry holds a mass communications degree from Anderson University (Anderson, Ind.) and a master’s degree in biblical studies from Cincinnati Bible Seminary (Cincinnati, Ohio). He lives in Middletown, Ohio with his infant son Reade and his wife Jessica, who happens to be a Grammy-winning opera soprano. If you’re curious about that fascinating world you can check out Jessica’s website here! [LINK: www.jessicarivera.com]
When Barry’s not studying, writing, being a diva spouse, or “daddy-ing” Reade, you can find him reading on the porch, biking on a trail, pulling for the Packers, or playing a little golf.
Kristan Dooley, Writer/Contributor
Kristan has worked in student ministry for over a decade. Having recently served as a youth pastor with the Vineyard Cincinnati, Kristan is transitioning into a full-time speaking/writing ministry. Equipped with a master’s degree in educational ministry from Cincinnati Christian Seminary (Cincinnati, Ohio), Kristan is passionate about taking students to a deeper place in their relationship with Christ. She and her husband Dave, who is the elementary pastor at Vineyard Cincinnati, have two daughters.
Experiencing a life call that can be summed up in one word, “bigger,” Kristan and Dave recently rallied an entire community to build a brand new home for a family who had been living in a flood-damaged house with their cancer-stricken daughter.
When Kristan isn’t ministering to students (or project-managing a house build) you can find her spending time with her family on a boat, reading, spending time with close friends, and enjoying “no makeup Mondays” (her personal Sabbath day).
Leneita Fix, Writer/Contributor
Leneita has been involved in youth or family ministry for over 22 years. She is a contributor to Group Magazine, has authored or co-authored several youth ministry books, most recently, Everybody’s Urban: Understanding the Survival Mode of the Next Generation (Group). She also contributes to several youth ministry websites including Leadertreks. Leneita is the missions and training coordinator for BowDown Church and also co-founded a coaching and training organization, Frontline Urban Resources (everybodysurban.org). She lives with her amazing husband John and her personal youth group of four children in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Leneita has a political science degree from the University of Massachusetts (with a minor in international relations), missions certification from the Roffe School of Ministry (West Sussux, UK) and is a leadership cohort in the Christian Community Development Association.
In her free time Leneita enjoys hanging out with her family, reading, writing, running (as in training for half marathons) and being outside anytime it’s sunny, thus taking full advantage of her location.
Karen Norval, Writer/Contributor
Karen has been in and around youth ministry for over 20 years, serving as a volunteer and youth pastor. She has a degree in sociology from the University of Akron (Akron, Ohio) and a heavy concern for the world kids face today. A former InWord board member, Karen’s passion for seeing teens transformed by the truth of God’s Word keeps her close (and contributing!) to InWord’s work.
In her “spare” time Karen recently founded a ministry that bubbled up in response to a very specific and heart-breaking need: moms who are struggling with the addictions of their kids. Called “One Day Moms,” the ministry has become an epicenter of encouragement for moms facing the pain and challenges of kids with addictions.
Karen lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Greg who is a senior VP at Honda Trading America. They have two daughters and a son, all of whom are either graduated or soon to be graduated from college.
Dodger Vaughan, Contributor
Dodger, equipped with one of the best youth ministry names ever, has been in youth ministry for over 13 years, serving four years as a volunteer and nine years on staff as youth pastor with the Middleport Church of Christ in Middleport, Ohio. He is currently the campus minister of Reach Out on Campus at nearby Ohio University. Dodger has a marketing degree from Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) and a master’s degree in youth ministry leadership from Huntington University (Huntington, Ind.).
Dodger and his amazing wife Brooke, who is a physical therapy professor at Ohio University (Athens, Ohio) have a son, Trey and a daughter, Ella. Along with his family and teens, Dodger also loves motorcycles (with an emphasis on Harley’s), coffee, and Ohio State football.
Colleen Harriott, Editor
Colleen cut her youth ministry teeth on Young Life, volunteering for three years in Puyallup and Tumwater, Wash., and serving on Young Life International Staff for six years in Dusseldorf, Germany. Colleen has a degree in secondary education (minor in publishing/printing) from Pacific Lutheran (Tacoma, Wash.), a masters in theology from Fuller Theological Seminary (Colorado Springs campus), and a certificate in spiritual direction from Denver Seminary (Denver, Colo.).
While serving at Fuller Seminary for 13 years, Colleen helped coordinate the early incarnation of the Institute for Youth Ministry and assisted with practicum courses in youth ministry. Representing Fuller at many National Youth Worker Conventions, Colleen has encouraged and advised countless youth workers in their careers and academic pursuits.
Living in Seattle, Wash., Colleen is married to Jim, a structural engineer, and is mom to two teen aged step-daughters, dog Skyla (“world’s best dog”) and two fun cats, Sammy and Lizzie. She takes full advantage of the beauty of the Pacific Northwest with hiking, walking, biking, running or sitting in a Seattle coffee shop. Her favorite indoor sport is cooking, having adopted the credo of a local spice company, “Love people, cook them tasty food” (Penzy’s Spices).