Dietrich Kirk

CYMT Executive Director

“Deech” Kirk has been in youth ministry for 20+ years. He served as the youth minister of Brentwood United Methodist Church for six years before becoming the Executive Director of the CYMT in 2006. He continues to serve as one of Brentwood’s associate ministers. He is the author of Raising Teens in an Almost Christian World: A Parent’s Guide and one of the co-authors of Now What? Next Steps in Your New Life with Christ. When he is not leading the CYMT, speaking at youth events, or training other youth workers, Deech enjoys spending time with his wife Keeley and daughters Carlisle and Hallie.

Kate Unruh

Laboratory Managing Director

“Kate-O” Unruh holds a Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts in Youth Ministry from Princeton Theological Seminary, where she is also a Doctoral Candidate in Practical Theology. Kate-O co-directs the Innovation Grant and teaches education and formation at Memphis Theological Seminary. Her research interests include youth ministry, confirmation, and the intersection of youth, faith, and culture. She hails from Kansas and will forever be a Jayhawk at heart.

Mark Taylor

Laboratory Research & Content Coordinator

Mark holds a Master of Arts in Religion with an emphasis in Youth Ministry from Memphis Theological Seminary and a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Spanish from Calvin College.  Mark is a graduate of the CYMT Graduate Residency.  He has over a decade of experience working with youth in the church both as a volunteer and a youth minister.

Lindsay Brooks

CYMT Event Operations Manager

Lindsay holds a Master of Arts in Religion with a focus in Youth Ministry from Memphis Theological Seminary, and a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education with a focus in Economics and Political Science from Clemson University.  Lindsay is a graduate of the CYMT Graduate Residency.  She served in student ministry for 12 years, 9 years at Brentwood UMC in Tennessee, and 3 years at Northbrook UMC in Georgia.

Andrew Zirschky

Laboratory Chief Strategist

Andrew holds a M.Div. and a Ph.D. in Practical Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary. He oversees the development of the CYMT academic program and holds a faculty position in practical theology and youth ministry at Memphis Theological Seminary. He has 20 years of ministry experience as a youth and college minister at churches in Idaho, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. He has also been named a Timothy Scholar by the United Methodist Foundation for Evangelism based upon his research emphasis in youth and young adult ministry.