instructors and staff


  • LAURIE BESONEN, Executive Director

    Most people who know me well know that I am a natural encourager with a big laugh and a willingness to listen to whatever is on a person’s heart.  My home state is New Mexico, where I grew up with three siblings and parents who loved Jesus. I trusted Christ in Elementary school through the influence of my family and the church we attended.  However, it wasn’t until my Freshman year of college that I understood for the first time what it means to surrender my whole life to follow Jesus.  After I made that decision, I learned to rely on God’s word as my daily nourishment for life, to share my faith and to disciple young believers.


    After graduating with a BA in Speech Communication, God clearly called me to follow Him into a full-time ministry of evangelism and discipleship. The Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20) and the Great Commandment (Matt 22: 36-40) had become my true passion. I came on staff with Cru, Campus, Campus Crusade for Christ’s college ministry. For 33 years, I ministered on a local campus, on a regional team and national team for the campus ministry. During this time, I also attained an M.Div from Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, MN. And I had the opportunity to direct a leadership development program that prepared the next generation of Cru leaders to lead nationally. For the last three years, I had the privilege of working with The Navigators. I formed a new department poised to meet the training, staff development and member care needs of the national organization.

     

    In 2007, I married Ron Besonen and we began our life together in Colorado Springs, CO. We adopted our son, John, from China in 2010 when he was two years old. We are active members of our church and volunteer with the AWANA program that John participates in. Last fall we added to our family a golden doodle puppy named, Penny.


    Contact Laurie at laurie@villageschoolsofthebible.org

  • JENNIFER DOUGAN, TEACHER

    Jennifer Dougan loves to point people to God's life-transforming words. With over 20 years of church ministry as Youth Pastor's wife and church staff member, and active member of women's ministries, experienced in co-facilitating women's and couples' retreats and in leading Bible studies, Sunday Schools and small groups, Jennifer loves to teach God's Word. She speaks often at MOPS and MOMS NEXT mothers groups, women's retreats, conferences, camps and adult Sunday Schools. Jennifer has a BA from University of Northwestern - St. Paul with a double major in Communications and Bible, and enjoyed taking several classes from Dr. Harvey Martin. Jennifer and her husband serve in ministry together in the Twin Cities and have three children. For more information, see her web site at jenniferdougan.com

  • Pastor Ryan Habbena, Teacher

    Ryan Habbena is the Pastor of Preaching and Teaching at Conquering King Fellowship in Eagan, MN, and serves as Director of Signet Ring Ministries, a teaching and resource ministry. He holds degrees in Biblical and Theological Studies (B.A. Bethel University, M.A. Bethel Seminary), has published articles on Biblical matters and is the author of Eternal Scars (2004), The Parable of the Fig Tree (2009), and The Pilgrim’s Path (2010). Ryan lives with his wife and three children near St. Paul, MN.

  • LETSON KAMWANA, TEACHER

    Letson is a missionary of the Full Gospel Church (Fullies) in Fish Hoek, and ministers to the people of Masiphumelele. Originally from Malawi, Letson has studied at Rosebank Bible College, UNISA and Capet Theological Seminary and holds a Diploma in Ministry and an Advanced Bible Course Diploma.He has served in churches in Malawi and South Africa as a sunday school teacher, youth mentor and mobilizer for missions. He loves travelling, playing sports - basektball, soccer, volley ball and tennis and likes to read.  He lives in Fish Hoek with his wife and daughter.

  • David King, teacher

    David King was for 18 years senior pastor at First Baptist Church in downtown Minneapolis. Since 2005, he has been interim pastor at three Evangelical Free churches. He holds an M.Div from Denver Seminary. He has taught at Northwestern University, St. Paul as adjunct faculty. He is married to Marie, a former hospice nurse. David and Marie have four children and ten grandchildren. One of David's greatest joys is being taught by and teaching God's Word.

  • Dr. Harvey Martin, Teacher

    Dr. Martin taught at the University of Northwestern, St. Paul, for 21 years. He is a graduate of Dallas Seminary and received his Ph.D. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Harvey has had a life-long passion for evangelizing and has been involved with a Polish evangelical mission for many years. He is currently the pastor of the Dale Evangelical Free Church in Harris, MN. He and his wife have three daughters, all of whom are accomplished violinists.

  • mathabo masilela, teacher

    Mathabo is excited to start teaching Cover-to-Cover to students in South Africa. She has a BTH from the South African Theological Seminary (SATS). She is currently the principal of Sweetwaters Bible School  and also lectures at Durban Bible College. Mathabo is a probationary pastor at Sweetwaters Church where she worships. She is married with two children.

  • Dr. John Mayer, Teacher

    Dr. John Mayer has a BA from the University of Minnesota, an MA from Bethel Seminary and a D.Min from Bethel University. He has taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Northwestern, St Paul, as well as Crown College, Bethany College and Urban Christian College Consortium. He has written curriculum and degree programs for the University of Northwestern, St. Paul, and for Bethel University and other educational institutions. He has served as a guest lecturer at 21 schools and colleges. Dr. Mayer is the president of City Vision, Minneapolis, and has spoken at numerous conferences, seminars and workshops around the USA.

  • Cher moua, Teacher

    Pastor T. Cher Moua plans on bringing Cover-to-Cover to the Hmong community this fall. Cher was born and raised in Laos during the Vietnam War, and came to the US as one of many refugees after the region fell, leaving them, as he puts it, "homeless, stateless, directionless, hopeless and futureless." God intervened through people reaching out with the gospel. Cher and his wife accepted Christ which "changed the trajectory of our lives forever." Cher is CRU Inner City Director of Leadership Development and Strategic Partnership in the Twin Cities, and has served with CrossCultural E. Free Church in St. Paul, Union Gospel Mission, and in Christian higher education.

  • Pastor Harlan Seri, MENTOR

    Pastor Harlan Seri has 8 years' experience as a senior pastor, as well as many years of teaching, coaching and administrative experience in public schools. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and Bible from Concordia College, St. Paul; a Master’s Degree in Theological Studies from the University of Northwestern, St. Paul, and has also taken various classes at Bethel Seminary. Harlan is married to Debi, a cardiac sonographer and Sunday school superintendent who leads a Women’s Bible study. Harlan and Debi have six grandchildren and enjoy biking, reading and traveling.


  • Dr. ashley smyth, Africa Consultant

    Dr. Ashley Smyth has formal qualifications in theology, education and psychology. He has a doctorate in Education, and was ordained as a pastor. His extensive experience includes having been a teacher and pastor, principal of Cornerstone Christian College in Cape Town, and Academic Dean at the South African College of Applied Psychology. He is Evaluator of Training with the Council on Higher Education (CHE) in South Africa.  Ashley has published articles on community, health, counseling and education and has delivered papers at international conferences on church, missions, various aspects of  counseling and educational curriculum design. 

  • Warwick Alcock, Director of Strategic Operations

    Warwick was born and raised in South Africa and moved to the USA in 1998. He received an MBA from the Cape Town Graduate School of Business and has been a management consultant for most of his career. Warwick is a graduate of Village School’s Cover-to-Cover Bible Survey course. He served on the Village Schools board from January 2014 to June 2015, and joined the staff in July 2015. 

  • Trish Alcock, School Administrator

    Trish manages the day-to-day financial records and student registrations. She has considerable experience in office administration and has worked at a number of Christian ministries, both here and in South Africa. She is also a graduate of the VSB Cover-to-Cover course. Trish grew up in South Africa and immigrated with her family to the U.S. in 1998. She is married to VSB staff member, Warwick Alcock. They have two married children and six grandchildren.