Speakers

Brian Kissinger
Week 1 Host
steubenvilleconferences.com
Chris Mueller
Week 2 Host
chrismueller.co

Meet The Team

Kyle Huelsing
Week 1 Worship Leader
Kyle Huelsing is a Catholic worship leader and speaker in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Missouri. In 2012 Kyle felt called to pursue a career in full-time ministry after working several years in the corporate business world while doing music ministry on the side. Kyle leads worship and speaks to teens and young adults at conferences, faith rallies, Life Teen camps, XLT’s, and the Generation Life trip in Washington D.C. In 2016 he opened for an Audrey Assad concert. He currently directs music at St. Joseph in Cottleville and St. Clement of Rome parishes in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, as well as the Catholic Newman Center at Lindenwood University. His greatest love, other than Jesus, is being a husband and father to his wife, Kimberly, and their four children, Peter, Ava, Samuel, and Juliet.
Fr. Dave Pivonka, TOR
Week 1 Clergy
Father Dave Pivonka, TOR, is well known to youth conference attendees from San Diego to Nova Scotia. An internationally popular speaker, he spends much of his time helping others come to know God’s love for them through his dynamic preaching, writing, CDs, and other spiritual outreaches. Father Dave’s books include Spiritual Freedom: God’s Life Changing Gift, Hiking the Camino: 500 Miles with Jesus, and the forthcoming Encounter Jesus: Discovery to Discipleship. He held several ministry positions at Franciscan University and also served as the director of Seminary Formation for his Franciscan community in Washington, D.C. Father Dave is presently the director of Franciscan Pathways, an evangelistic and preaching outreach of the TORs.
Rachel Leininger
Week 1 Speaker
Rachel Leininger serves as the Chastity Educator for The REAP Team, a retreat ministry of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis, Missouri, where it’s her full-time job to speak to teens and adults about love, sex, marriage, dating, and relationships. She has been a volunteer Core member with her parish's youth ministry program for nearly a decade. She studied Creative Writing and Theology at Saint Louis University and loves Cardinals baseball, Netflix, blogging, terrible puns, and America. She is also the author of a LifeTeen book titled "The Next Step: A Catholic Teen's Guide to Surviving High School" and she's is recently married to a handsome, faith-filled man named David.
Jason Evert
Week 1 Speaker
Jason Evert has spoken about the virtue of chastity to more than one million students on five continents. He is the author of more than 10 books, including How to Find Your Soulmate Without Losing Your Soul and Theology of the Body for Teens. Jason has a master’s degree in theology and an undergraduate degree in theology and counseling, with a minor in philosophy, from Franciscan University of Steubenville. He lives with his wife, Crystalina, and their children in Denver.
jasonevert.com
Jimmy Mitchell
Week 1 Speaker
Originally from Atlanta, Jimmy moved to Music City, USA in 2008 to pursue studies in business and philosophy from Vanderbilt University. His two great passions—mentoring young people and supporting artists—led him in and out of seminary and missionary work before eventually founding Mysterium Records & Book in 2010, with the vision of building a community of artists dedicated to the restoration of Christian culture. Two years later, Love Good Music began as a community of patrons supporting young singer/songwriters. Both movements work together to evangelize society with the underlying belief that beauty can save the world. Jimmy also hosts retreats and speaks at conferences for youth and young adults all over the world.
lovegoodculture.com
Josh Blakesley
Week 2 Worship Leader
Josh Blakesley’s mission is to make music that moves people into prayer and action. He began leading worship 15+ years ago and isn’t slowing down anytime soon. He just released a new mass setting called Mass of Restoration, which he leads at any Steubenville Conference of which he is a part. Josh travels with his band around the country at least 80 dates a year. He also serves as the Associate Music Director at his home parish in Central Louisiana, where he lives with his wife Heather and two children, Sophie and Sutty.
joshblakesleymusic.com
Fr. Chris Martin
Week 2 Clergy
Father Christopher Martin is a priest in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Ordained in 2006, Father Martin now serves as the vocations director for the archdiocese. He lives in and runs a house of discernment for men and frequently travels, giving talks and retreats for young people and helping them discover the vocation to which God is calling them.
Sarah Swafford
Week 2 Speaker
Sarah Swafford is the founder of Emotional Virtue Ministries and author of the book Emotional Virtue: A Guide to Drama-Free Relationships. She speaks internationally to people of all ages on a variety of topics such as emotional virtue, dating and relationships, modesty of intentions, and interior confidence. A graduate of Benedictine College, Sarah has appeared on EWTN’s Life on the Rock, EWTN Live, and is co-host of EWTN’s At the Heart of Relationships. She contributed to Ascension Press’ confirmation program Chosen, YDisciple’s True Beauty, and is a proud team member of www.chastityproject.com. Sarah and her husband, Dr. Andrew Swafford, reside in Atchison, Kansas, with their four young children: Thomas, Fulton, Cate, and Kolbe. Find out more at www.emotionalvirtue.com.
emotionalvirtue.com
Oscar Rivera Jr.
Week 2 Speaker
Oscar Rivera Jr. (“Two Ten”) lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia, with his amazing family. He is a graduate of Franciscan University and is currently working on his MA in theology. He serves as director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry at his parish. Raised in the inner city of Waterbury, Connecticut, Oscar was taught at an early age about survival. His method of avoiding the streets became God and hip-hop. For over a decade he has been an international speaker and performer. Oscar’s life is devoted to the new evangelization and his upbeat urban approach has made his message entertaining and easy to understand. Our faith is not boring and neither is Oscar.
Cooper Ray
Week 2 Speaker / Musician
Cooper Ray is a dynamic & light-hearted speaker, worship leader, and retreat facilitator who leads groups of all ages to a greater awareness of who they are as Catholic Christians and how to recognize God’s presence in their lives. As a full-time missionary, he has shared his stories, music, and life experiences with thousands youth and adults at hundreds of diocesan, parish, and school events across the country. He has also presented at numerous national and regional events including the the National Catholic Youth Conference, LA Congress, and Steubenville Youth Conferences. He holds a Bachelors in Psychology and a Masters in Pastoral Studies. Cooper lives in Texas with his wife, Laura, and two sons.
cooperray.com