Pastor, Director of Small Groups
Although born and raised in Illinois, Ryan moved to Columbia to attend the University of Missouri. After a year of serving in college ministry in Hungary, he earned a Master of Divinity from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis. About a year after the start of The Crossing, Ryan returned to Columbia to join the staff team here. Over the years, he has worked with high school students, college students, and 20-somethings, and now oversees the Small Groups ministry.
Leader & Coach Development
Kelley is from St. Louis, Missouri, and went to the University of Missouri for college where she got involved in Cru. After graduating with a degree in Communication and marrying Ryan, they decided to go into full-time ministry. They moved to Columbia in 2001 to help start The Crossing, and she has served part-time in many areas of the church over years: high school, college, women’s ministry, and Crossing 20s. She currently works with Small Groups recruiting, training, and coaching leaders. She gets really excited about encouraging and equipping others to grow in their faith, and step out to be used by God to lead others. She and Ryan have been married for 20 years and have three children: Ethan, Ella, and Molly.
Chris grew up as a missionary kid. His parents served on staff with Cru at Kansas State, and then when he was 10, his family moved to Budapest Hungary where he spent the rest of his childhood as his parents continued to work in campus ministry. Chris returned to the U.S. to attend Kansas State University. After graduating, he decided to join staff with Cru to do campus ministry at Mizzou. While the director of the ministry, Chris commuted to Covenant Theological Seminary and earned a Master of Divinity. Chris and his wife, Elizabeth, with their four daughters, are now on staff with Cru City where they focus on equipping, training, and resourcing people to reach out to their neighbors. Chris is also on staff at The Crossing where he serves on the Small Groups team and is developing a neighboring ministry within The Crossing.
Small Groups Staff
Christina grew up in Carthage, MO, moving to Columbia to attend the University of Missouri. The same year she graduated from the University, she married Mark-- her Southern California sweetheart-- and started teaching elementary school (which has now been 20 years ago!). She taught a few more years, then enjoyed several more at home with their 4 children. Christina has loved stepping back into the community as a substitute teacher in the public schools. Currently, she's excited about working with small groups to come alongside others and help them be known and grown within the body of Christ.
Elizabeth McKinney graduated from Miami University, where she studied Comparative Religion, with a focus on Judaism. She married her husband, Chris, and worked for 17 years as a spiritual resource for college students through Cru and then transitioned to a ministry called Cru City, where she focuses on neighboring. Elizabeth is a mom to four girls. She and Chris are excited to bring a neighboring focus to The Crossing and be a resource to anyone who wants to grow in loving their neighbors.
Jessica grew up in St. Charles, MO. In 2003, she moved to Columbia to attend the University of Missouri. In college, Jessica joined a campus ministry where she later met her husband, Rhett. Together they began attending The Crossing in 2005. Jessica has worked for the past 11 years as an Adult Oncology Nurse. Currently, Jessica is helping other women lead small groups here at The Crossing.
Small Groups Admin
As a proud Midwesterner originally from Ohio, Katie has been pleased to call Columbia home since she, her husband Aaron, and their four kids moved to Missouri in 2014. Before then, several big moves early in their marriage took Katie and Aaron from North Carolina--where they met in college--to Pennsylvania, Virginia, and most recently Texas. Katie earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering at Duke University, where she was also a Division I swimmer. For the past several years, Katie has channeled her passion for learning into homeschooling her children, which has also honed her organizational abilities. She loves The Crossing for its commitment to excellence in the name of Jesus and its ability to make a large church feel small through intentionally building personal relationships. Katie is excited to use her gifts to serve on the Small Groups team.
Nicole grew up in Columbia and graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications. While at Mizzou, Nicole was involved with CRU. Nicole came on staff part-time with The Crossing in 2016. She has served with the Agape Ministry, the Crossing 20’s, and now the Small Group ministry team. She is thrilled to be working with such good friends and thinks helping people grow in their faith in Christ is the best job out there.