Mental Health & The Gospel Conference

Hosted by Redemption Church in partnership with the Surge Network, Via Church, and Missio Dei Communities


The Gospel reclaims the shattered stories held within our bodies, hearts, and minds.

The Mental Health & The Gospel conference seeks to bring awareness to prevalent mental health issues facing society through the lens of the gospel story. As participants within this story, we not only need to learn about the brokenness and sin “out there” but enter into the painful realities within our own hearts of unresolved trauma, broken relationships, loss and grief, addiction and chronic or acute loneliness, anger, anxiety, and depression. Participants will walk away, not only with a deeper understanding of prevalent mental health issues facing those they serve, but will also gather tools and resources to better learn how to sit and connect with those experiencing the devastating effects of sin and brokenness. In these pursuits we desire participants to cling to the healing and redemptive power of God to bring about shalom where there is brokenness and sin.


$25 for one ticket

$40 for two tickets

$15 for each additional ticket (for groups)


When: March 9-10, 2018 (Friday-Saturday)

Friday, March 9th 

  • 6:00-6:15pm – Raising Awareness: Mental Health and The Church // Riccardo Stewart
  • 6:15-7:15pm – Mental Health and the Whole Person: From Dualism to Integration // Curt Thompson
  • 7:30-8:30pm – The Burden of the Call: How Caring Requires Sacrifice // Steve Tracy
  • 8:30-9:00pm – Aware: Exploring Our Internal World (Experiential Exercise) // Andy Maurer

 Saturday, March 10th

  • 8:30-9:15am – Anxiety and Depression: Stuck in the Past and Future // Caleb Mitchell
  • 9:30-10:15am – Trauma and Abuse: Shalom Shattered and Restored // Andy Maurer & Steve Tracy
  • 10:15-10:45am – Anchored: Finding Stability In The Midst of Chaos (Experiential Exercise) // Heidi Vance
  • 11:00-11:45am – Detached: How Addiction Insulates Us From Our Sin, Shame, and Pain // Andy Maurer
  • 11:45am-12:45pm – Lunch & Panel Discussion: Finding Connection in Leadership Through Vulnerability
    • Chris Gonzalez
    • Dennae Pierre
    • Vermon Pierre
    • Rick Thiemke
  • 1:00pm-1:45pm – Mental Health for All God’s People: When One Suffers All Suffer // Dennae Pierre
  • 1:45pm-2:15pm – Aligned: From Fragmentation to Integration (Experiential Exercise) // Andy Maurer

Riccardo Stewart

Lead Pastor, Redemption Church - Tempe
About Riccardo Stewart

In 2007 I married Holly and we have been blessed to have two young boys, Noah and Eli.

I grew up in Southern California as a huge sports fan of the Raiders, Lakers and Dodgers. Growing up, my family attended services at Love and Faith Christian Center in South Central Los Angeles. My mother was a great example of a Christian; however, her example was not enough to draw me to Jesus at a young age.

It was through playing football that I had the opportunity to leave California to attend Arizona State University. While playing football at ASU, in my Senior year of College, God begin to work on my heart. For the first time I was able to understand and sense the weight of my sin, and the grace of God was an overwhelming relief and joy. I was led to saving faith through the ministry of Fellowship of Christian Athletes. I was pleased to know the saving faith of the Lord and his power to change me.

I received my BA in Elementary Education at Arizona State University and an MA in Global Urban Leadership from Bakke Graduate University in Seattle, WA.

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Curt Thompson, MD

Psychiatrist and Author
About Curt Thompson, MD

Curt Thompson, M.D., is a psychiatrist in private practice in Falls Church, Virginia and the founder of Being Known, LLC, and The Center for Being Known, an organization that develops resources to educate and train leaders about the intersection between interpersonal neurobiology, Christian spiritual formation, and vocational creativity. He is the author of Anatomy of the Soul and The Soul of Shame: Retelling the Stories We Believe About Ourselves. He graduated from Wright State University School of Medicine, completed his psychiatric residency at Temple University Hospital, and is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He is actively engaged in learning and education as he supervises clinical employees and facilitates ongoing education groups for patients and colleagues.  Throughout his career, along with treating adults, adolescents, and families, his main focus of clinical and research interest has been the integration of psychiatry, its associated disciplines, and Christian spirituality.  He is a frequent speaker on the topic at workshops, conferences, and retreats.      


He has specific expertise in the field of interpersonal neurobiology and how it reflects important tenants of Christian faith, providing opportunities to comprehend and experience that same faith in fresh trustworthy ways. Much of his work is now committed to training other professionals across cultures and in multiple vocational domains in the same material.  


He and his wife Phyllis are the parents of two children and reside in Arlington, Virginia.  He serves as an elder at Washington Community Fellowship, a congregation of the Mennonite church, in Washington, D.C.  His duties there have included preaching, teaching, and involvement in the fellowship’s healing prayer ministry.

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Steve Tracy, PhD

Founder and President, Mending the Soul Ministries
About Steve Tracy, PhD

Steve Tracy was a pastor for 15 years. For the past 22 years he has taught at Phoenix Seminary where he is Professor of theology and ethics. He earned an M.Div. and a Th.M. from Western Baptist Seminary and a PhD in biblical studies from the University of Sheffield, England. Steve is the author of numerous journal articles and seven books. His research and ministry focus is on gender, sexuality and abuse. He served the state of Arizona on the Governor’s Commission for the Prevention of Violence against Women and is president of Mending the Soul Ministries, an abuse resource ministry he founded in 2003 with his wife Celestia. He is particularly involved in trauma ministry in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and elsewhere in East Africa.

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Andy Maurer, MS, M.Div

Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist, The Phoenix Counseling Collective
About Andy Maurer, MS, M.Div

Andy Maurer works to create trauma-informed spaces that promote healing and success for pastors and entrepreneurs throughout Phoenix. In addition, his vision is to see the church become trauma-informed, in order to love and serve those who have experienced trauma and abuse. As a result, he has done trainings for pastors and ministry leaders equipping and educating them on the issue of trauma.

As a licensed associate marriage and family therapist in Arizona, Andy provides counseling services at The Phoenix Counseling Collective in Downtown Phoenix. As a therapist, he works primarily with couples and adults who have experienced trauma or abuse. Andy is also an assistant professor at Arizona Christian University in the department of behavioral and social sciences, where he teaches on marriage, family, sport psychology, and biblical studies. Andy earned both a Master of Divinity in Professional Counseling from Phoenix Seminary and a Masters in Marital Family Therapy from Fuller Theological Seminary.

When not working, Andy enjoys seeing movies, reading books, doing CrossFit, and dreaming about business endeavors with his wife, Charity, a fine art wedding photographer and entrepreneur. Andy and Charity have two adventurous boys, Achilles and Cyrus.

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Caleb Mitchell, MA, M.Div

Co-Owner and Licensed Professional Counselor, The Phoenix Counseling Collective
About Caleb Mitchell, MA, M.Div

Caleb Mitchell is a licensed therapist in Arizona. He and his wife, Elisa, own a private counseling practice downtown, The Phoenix Counseling Collective. Since completing his MDiv and MAC at Covenant Theological Seminary in 2003, Caleb has worked as a pastor in a local church and as a clinician in inpatient, residential, and outpatient settings with adolescents and adults struggling with a myriad of issues such as eating disorders, sexual addictions, marriage issues, domestic violence, sexual identity issues, depression, anxiety, and trauma. He has taught at the graduate level and has spoken nationally on the intersection of theology and psychology. Caleb is the proud father of two girls and is lucky to be married to his best friend and wife who counsels couples with him.  If he can ever find the time, Caleb enjoys building furniture, working on his house, watching movies, drinking good coffee, and reading books.

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Heidi Vance, MA

Owner and Licensed Professional Counselor, The Center for Therapeutic Yoga
About Heidi Vance, MA

As a Licensed Professional Counselor and Master Holy Yoga Instructor, Heidi provides a safe place for individuals to explore how their body carries the weight of their wounds and pursue their healing journey. She feels honored to facilitate a space for individuals to experience healing of the whole self.   

Heidi earned her Master of Professional Counseling degree from Ottawa University in 2011 and simultaneously completed a Graduate Diploma in Christian Counseling.  She completed her 225-hour Holy Yoga Instructor certification in the Spring of 2011 and went on to become a 500-hour Master Holy Yoga Instructor in 2015.

She has worked with individuals and couples struggling with PTSD/trauma, abuse, depression, anxiety, grief/loss, addiction and intimacy issues. She has been in the mental health field for over ten years and in the private practice setting since 2011.

She has worked extensively with survivors of sexual trauma through both talk therapy and Trauma-Sensitive Yoga.  She has experience counseling U.S. Special Operations soldiers and their families managing the effects of PTSD at Ft Bragg in North Carolina.  Heidi has presented to groups of clinicians and U.S. Army Chaplains on the modality of Therapeutic Yoga and sat on a panel as the expert for treating U.S. military veterans with Trauma-Sensitive Yoga.

Heidi utilizes her clinical expertise in tandem with her yoga instruction to provide Therapeutic Yoga. Her hope is that Therapeutic Yoga can serve as a supplement to the counseling work of dealing with a variety of mental health issues.  She longs to see people transformed as they discover healthy ways for coping with the stressors and wounds that they manage.  

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Chris Gonzalez

Elder, Missio Dei Communities - Tempe
About Chris Gonzalez

Chris Gonzalez is lead pastor for Missio Dei Communities in Tempe. Missio Dei is a church committed to finding their place in the biblical story and living faithfully in it. Chris also serves part time as the president of the Missional Training Center, a seminary serving the churches of Arizona. Chris moved to Tempe from Memphis, TN in 1997 to attend ASU. He is married to Leslie and they have three biological children and a foster son.

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Vermon Pierre

Lead Pastor, Roosevelt Community Church
About Vermon Pierre

Vermon Pierre is the lead pastor for preaching and mission at Roosevelt Community Church in Phoenix, Arizona. He is the author of Gospel Shaped Living, which is part of the Gospel Shaped Church curriculum published by The Good Book Company and The Gospel Coalition. Locally, Vermon serves as President of the Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation and as a board member for The Gospel Coalition Arizona and The Surge Network. Vermon also serves on the national council for The Gospel Coalition. He is a graduate of Princeton University and has a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Vermon and his wife Dennae live in downtown Phoenix and have four children.

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Rick Thiemke

Lead Pastor, Via Church
About Rick Thiemke
Rick Thiemke is the Lead Pastor of Via Church in Mesa. Via is a well established church that exists to reflect the hope of Christ so others can do the same. Rick graduated from North Central University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Pastoral Studies. Rick is currently pursuing a Masters in Missional Theology through the Missional Training Center. He currently serves on the Executive Board for the Surge Network–a network of churches in Arizona that seek to put Jesus on display in the city. Rick lives in Mesa, Arizona, with his wife, Susan. They have two adult children, Brittany and Kyle
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Dennae Pierre

Executive Director, The Surge Network
About Dennae Pierre

Dennae Pierre was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. Dennae and her husband, Vermon Pierre, planted Roosevelt Community Church in Downtown Phoenix. Dennae leads the Surge Network, a collaborative movement of over 90 churches in Arizona that equips pastors, connects congregations, and helps the local church be the hands and feet of Jesus in their cities.  Dennae’s work with Surge is focused on helping congregations cross cultures and boundaries to deepen their love for one another, unite in love for Jesus, and partner together around mission and witness. Dennae and Vermon have four children and enjoy spending their free time exploring the parks, restaurants, and coffee shops of Downtown Phoenix.   

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