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Campus Ministry Staff

Forrest Buckner

Storm Family Dean of Spiritual Life and Campus Pastor

The Rev. Forrest Buckner, Ph.D., joined Whitworth in July 2015. After undergraduate degrees in civil and mechanical engineering at Colorado School of Mines, Forrest worked at First Presbyterian Church of Boulder for more than nine years. He earned his M.Div. from Fuller Theological Seminary and his Ph.D. in Theology from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Outside of Whitworth, he primarily enjoys spending time with his wife and three delightful children. The greatest gifts in working at Whitworth for Forrest are the wonderful students, faculty and staff with whom he gets to interact on a daily basis as he participates in the university's Christ-centered mission to invite every student to honor God, follow Christ and serve humanity.

Matthew 6:33 is a life verse for Forrest: “Seek first His kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you as well.”

To speak or correspond with Forrest directly, call 509.777.4506 or email

Lauren Taylor

Campus Pastor for Discipleship

Lauren joined the Whitworth Campus Ministry staff in the summer of 2018. After growing up in Wheaton, Ill., and graduating from Wheaton College with a B.A. in Biblical and theological studies, Lauren moved out East to attend Princeton Theological Seminary. Lauren has served in youth ministry and college ministry now for over a decade. Lauren is married to Derek '08, and together they spend their time chasing their two little boys, walking their dog, sharing meals with friends and talking about the Kingdom of God.

Lauren loves studying and praying through all of Scripture, but one verse that is particularly meaningful is Micah 6:8 “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"

Lauren would love to talk to you about life, faith and anything in between. Just email her at or call 509.777.3859.

Stephaine Nobles-Beans

Associate Chaplain for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Ministry

The Rev. Stephy Nobles-Beans is part of the Act Six Steering Committee, and she helps write the prayer blog On Bended Knee for the university. She preaches in the chapel each semester in addition to mentoring students and sharing the Word of God with them. As the advisor to the Exceptional Gospel Choir, Stephy has the opportunity to build relationships with students through praise and worship. Building relationships with others, as well as collaborating and networking to see how others can work together to bring about change, peace and harmony, are Stephy's missions. If you'd like to meet with Stephy or pray with her, contact her at 509.777.4568 or

Ben Brody

Director of Campus Worship

Ben Brody is a Whitworth alum with a deep passion for authentic worship that is based in scriptural truth and musical excellence. He helps coordinate music for chapel services and oversees the Hosanna ministry. Contact Ben at 509.777.3214 or



Derek Taylor

Emmaus Scholars Program Director

Derek TaylorAfter graduating from Whitworth, Derek received an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Th.D. from Duke University. Derek is married to Lauren, the campus pastor for discipleship & residence hall ministry here at Whitworth. Lauren and Derek spend most of their free time chasing their young sons Theo and Micah, going on hikes with their dog Charlie (who is by all objective standards the best dog in the world) and cooking up something fun in the kitchen. If Derek isn't doing these things, he's either watching Duke basketball or finding quiet moments to escape to the river with his fly rod. Along with directing the Emmaus Scholars Program, Derek also teaches theology here at Whitworth. He is especially interested in the theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, scriptural hermeneutics (which is a fancy way of saying "how to read the Bible") and thinking creatively about what it means to speak faithfully about God today. Derek also has a deep passion for coffee, so if you'd like to chat over a cup, just shoot him an email at or call 509.777.3337.

Kent McDonald

Young Life Regional Trainer, Campus Ministry, Lecturer in Practical Theology

Kent McDonald has been at Whitworth for 23 years, is married with three beautiful daughters, and is a grandfather to Marlow and Bennett. He received his M.Div. at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary and his Doctorate at Carey Theological Seminary. Kent has a heart for international work, and he served from 1994-2000 as a missionary in Kenya with Young Life. He teaches in the Theology Department, works with the Chapel Program, and speaks and connects with Youth Pastors in the Spokane area through the Whitworth Office of Church Engagement. He is the Regional Trainer for Young Life for the Mountain West and oversees Whitworth's Young Life Training Program . Kent has a passion for working with young people and "20-somethings," and he is a frequent speaker for camps, retreats and conferences. He loves a good cup of coffee and a laugh or two. 

Favorite Verse – John 1:14 “And the word become flesh and moved into the neighborhood.”

If you'd like to meet with Kent, please contact him at 509.777.3241 or

Krisi Sonneland

Spiritual Director

Krisi SonnelandKrisi Sonneland is a Whitworth alum and is passionate about giving back to the place where she first experienced God's grace as a first-year student. She was a theology major at Whitworth and received a certificate in spiritual direction from Gonzaga University. She counts it a privilege to journey with students who are seeking to discover where Jesus is at work in the events of life, to gain a deeper sense of Jesus' daily presence and to find greater clarity for the road ahead. Krisi and her husband Andy have been in ministry at Camp Spalding for over 30 years. They have five children, two of whom are current Whitworth students. Krisi loves active outdoor pursuits, including running, hiking and cross-country skiing. If she is not outside you can usually find her having meaningful conversations or praying with students. If you'd like to meet with Krisi for conversation or prayer, email her at

Ron Pyle

Campus Ministry Associate

Ron Pyle earned an M.A. Ron Pylein Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Speech Communication from the University of Washington. Ron joined the Whitworth faculty in 1988. Ron taught courses in Interpersonal Communication, Communication Theory, Rhetoric, Preaching and Small Group Ministry. In 2020, Ron married Peggy Arendt and together they have six children and nine grandchildren. Newly retired from his faculty position, Ron now delights in mentoring students and staff, time with friends and family, preaching and trying to hit a golf ball straight. You can contact Ron for conversation and prayer at 509.777.4595 or