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

  • 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.

  • 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.


    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

  • Mike Evans, teacher

    Mike has a BA in Biology and Religion from Luther College and an M.Div from Bethel Seminary. He has served at two churches, the most recent being an almost 18-year tenure as pastor of Crossroads Evangelical Free Church in Earlham, Iowa. Mike was ordained for ministry with the Evangelical Free Church.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • EUNICE WOLD, teacher

    Eunice has a BA from Augsburg College, MN and a M.Div from Luther Seminary, MN.  She has served as an associate pastor in various churches since 1994. She is a passionate teacher and has been involved in Christian Education for many years.

  • Chris Klein, Teacher

    Chris has a BA in Speech Communication from Minnesota State University and a BA in Theology from Bethlehem College and Seminary in Minneapolis. He is a graduate of the VSB Cover-to-Cover course and the Teacher Training and Discipling course taught by Dr. Martin. Chris is an elder, Bible teacher and Men's Bible study facilitator at Trinity Evangelical Church in Plainview, Minnesota. He has developed and taught Adult Sunday School classes, and has taught the Pentatech to pastors at a Bible Conference in Haiti.

  • Tom Mason, Teacher

    Tom Mason is the senior pastor at First Evangelical Free Church in Boone, Iowa. Prior to that, Tom and his wife Julie and family were missionaries in Vienna, Austria, teaching Bible in a Christian school and pastoring an international church. Tom has Theology degrees from Capernwray Bible School in England, Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, and Columbia International University in South Carolina. Tom's passion is not only teaching the Scriptures but also helping others get into the Word of God for themselves.

  • Gary Moore, mentor

    Gary has a B.Science degree from the University of Florida, an M.Div from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, an M.Th from Duke University Divinity School, and a Masters of Strategic Studies from the US Army Senior Service College. Gary retired from the Army as a chaplain with the rank of colonel in 2012. During his army service, Gary ministered to soldiers in two combat zones, and became Airborne Jump Master with 87 paratroop jumps. He served as senior pastor for eight army congregations. He also served as Ethics and Leadership instructor at the US Army Infantry School and the US Army Logistics Management College. Before entering active duty in 1986, Gary served as a solo pastor of a 'yoked parish', a small town church and a country church. He ministered to both congregations for seven years. 

  • Gordy Nelson, Teacher

    Gordy took the Cover-to-Cover Bible Survey course as a student, and also took several short courses offered by Village Schools of the Bible. Gordy met the founder of Village Schools, Monty Sholund, in 1998. Gordy and his wife, Debbie, decided to enroll in Cover-to-Cover, not knowing that this life-changing course would lead them to facilitating and teaching the class themselves. Many lives have been impacted in Dassel, Minnesota and the surrounding communities because of the ministry of Village Schools of the Bible. Gordy and Debbie farm near Dassel and have two adult married children.

  • Dr. Clarke Tungseth, Mentor Advisor

    Clarke graduated from the Covenant Bible Institute in 1964, and received a BA from North Park College. He graduated from the VSB Cover-to-Cover course and the Teacher Training and Discipleship course taught by Dr. Martin. He has 40 years' experience tutoring and teaching. He has served on two school boards, has taught at church, and has led and facilitated various Bible study groups. He has 5 years' experience with CRU as an online counselor with over 1200 contacts with students from around the world.

  • 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.