Meet the Team – Seminar Speakers

Aliza Hawkins, Conference Director

Seminar Topic: Sexuality: Why Christians Should be Having the Best Sex

I am honored to be a part of Women Discipling Women. My heart is behind what this Conference is about. Christian women today are in desperate need of biblical, relevant, and winsome teaching. It is my hope that our Conference will help to meet that need. I believe in the power and sufficiency of Scripture. I have personally seen the Lord use His Word to change the most stubborn of hearts in the counseling room. As you know, women are constantly giving each other advice. It is a joy to be part of teaching women how to give biblical counsel in a kind yet bold way.

My goal is to ignite in women a passion for Scripture so that they understand its beauty and relevance at a personal level. I believe it is through this personal interaction with God and His Word that women will grow in giving godly and biblical counsel, from sister to sister in Christ. This exchange of biblical wisdom will benefit families, friendships, and the local church. I ask that you join with me in supporting Women Discipling Women through prayer. My greatest desire for this Conference is that God would be glorified in every aspect of this event, from the planning stage to the last session of the weekend.

Aliza lives in Hermosa Beach, California with her wonderful husband, James and baby boy, Hudson. She attended The Master’s College for an undergraduate degree in Business Administration and a Masters degree in Biblical Counseling. Aliza is affiliated with The Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) as a certified counselor. James and Aliza are members of Lighthouse Community Church in Torrance, California where Aliza serves in the biblical counseling ministry.

Heather Pace

Topic: Understanding and Helping your Husband Verbally, Physically, and Spiritually

Heather resides in Laguna Hills with her husband Lucas and their 4 daughters. She loves serving alongside her husband who is an Associate Pastor at Compass Bible Church in Orange County Califonia. She teaches at various women’s and Jr. High girl’s events, disciples and equips the lady leaders of the Jr. High ministry, and works with speakers for her church’s outreach ministry to young moms. Heather graduated from Biola University where she received her degree in Intercultural Studies, with an emphasis on Elementary Education and a minor in Bible. Her favorite Bible verse reminds her to keep going regardless of what each day holds, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58

Nanci McMannis

Topic: Basics of Discipleship: How to Minister to Women in Your Church Who are Experiencing Difficult Times

Invited to a bible study in the book of James in 1974, Nanci learned that she needed to repent and put her faith in Jesus Christ. The Book of James continues to be one of her favorites because it cuts through the busyness and exposes her heart. She learned not only to ask for wisdom (James 1:5), but to see what it looks like (3:17-18). Nanci is an ACBC-certified biblical counselor. Nanci earned her Master’s degree in Biblical Counseling from The Master’s College in 2009. Since then she has counseled women through her full-time ministry post at Compass Bible Church as the Director of Women’s Counseling. Together, Nanci and her husband Bob, serve as mentors in Thrive–a marriage ministry at Compass. She is active in WBS and CLASS. Three of their four children married a TMC classmate. The grand child count just reached six–with three daughters being pregnant at once. Each summer the McMannis clans return to their Southern California roots for fun, food and refreshment. She frequents these blogs: ACBC; John Piper; Dr. Al Moehler; and her pastor Dr. Mike Fabarez. In her spare time, Nanci loves to cook, garden, hike and read.

Jackie Knapp

Topic: Gospel-centered Friendships: Addressing Common Problems In Women’s Friendships

Jackie loves seeing women develop real friendships, pursuing Christ’s call that we lay down our lives each other. She has a B. A. in Psychology from the University of Illinois and a M.A. in Counseling from Master’s College. From 2005-2013, Jackie worked with college students as Resident Director at Master’s College and as the Associate Campus Ministries Director for University Reformed Church in East Lansing, MI. She lives in the Bay Area where she is serving as the Children’s Ministries Director at Solano Community Church while pursuing writing. Jackie loves conversations that involve laughing and crying, throwing strange parties, and road trips of all kinds. Follow her adventures on Instagram @gypsyjac or

Rose Baker

Topic: Parenting: Discipline, Training, Talking about the Heart, Recapturing the Mundane Moments

Rose has enjoyed being a teammate with Ernie in marriage and ministry for 34 years. They met at Washington Bible College, where after graduation they married and spent 25 years in pastoral ministry in Maryland, Pennsylavania, Michigan and Virginia. Her favorite hobby in life has been raising their 6 children, 5 in law kids and 7 grandchildren. They now live in Southern California where Ernie teaches in the Biblical Counseling department at The Master’s College. Throughout her years of ministry, she has enjoyed discipling and training college students, and has loved opening her home to them. Rose homeschooled her children for 22 years, but now enjoys traveling with Ernie to speaking engagements, especially on the East coast where 4 of their children, and 6 of their grandchildren live. One of her favorite verses is Romans 11:36. “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever.”

Fawn Kemble

Topic: How to Relate to and Minister to Teens in Our Time

Fawn Kemble grew up in Southern California, the fourth of five children raised by Christian parents who were artists and teachers. After earning her BA in English from UCSB, her  desire to help others led her to social work for 4 years in a Family Preservation organization, then to pursue her MABC at The Master’s College. Her passion for literature, LA, and teenagers led her to move to West Los Angeles to teach English at Pacifica Christian High School, for the past 8 years. She has just begun a new career as Director of Client Services at Claris Health, a life-affirming crisis pregnancy center. Any time she is not working or reading, she can usually be found at Pacifica events, enjoying LA culture with friends, ministering at her church (Cornerstone West LA), spending time with family, or people-watching at Disneyland. She serves Cornerstone in the Biblical Counseling ministry and blogs for the church website monthly ( Her favorite verse is Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”

Mary Somerville

Topic: Titus 2:3-5

Mary has many years of experience as a pastor’s wife and discipler of women.  For 14 years she directed a ministry of evangelism and discipleship of teen moms with Young Life.  She has a passion for encouraging pastor’s wives and has authored the book One with a Shepherd: The Tears and Triumphs of a Ministry Marriage.  The book has been translated into Russian and French and is being distributed in 12 countries.  She holds an MA in counseling from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and is currently an Adjunct Faculty Member at The Master’s College in Santa Clarita, CA where she enjoys teaching women to disciple women.  Bob and Mary have 2 grown children and 7 precious grandchildren.  They worship at Faith Community Church in Santa Clarita.  For fun they enjoy reading, traveling and visiting mission fields and walking together. Mary’s favorite scripture is Romans 8.

Janie Street

Topic: How to be a Godly Ministry Wife

Janie is wife to Dr. John Street, head of the Biblical Counseling graduate program at The Masters College in Santa Clarita, California. She is also mother to 4 grown children and grandmother to 5 little ones. Prior to raising her family, she graduated from Cedarville University with a major in music. She taught private piano lessons to children of various ages for 20 years. Her ministry continues in her home, but her duties have changed considerably. She assists her husband with his speaking and writing ministry by taking care of the admin duties: scheduling, arranging air travel, and corresponding with pastors and publishers. Currently John and Janie are writing a book called Biblical Counseling Guide for Women, which takes various topics of difficulty for women (such as anorexia, postpartum depression, etc.) and gives an exegetical answer from a specific passage of Scripture. In addition, it is Janie’s joy to care for her sweet and godly mother-in-law during her declining years of health. Janie also occasionally speaks to women’s groups as time permits. One of her favorite things to do is to spend time with her grandchildren, reading to them and playing!

Karen Avinelis

Topic: How to be a Competent Caretaker: Taking Care of the Elderly or Disabled with Respect and Love

While caring for her own parents, Karen learned to apply biblical truth to the challenges of being a caretaker. She recorded for others what she had learned from this experience for her master’s thesis in Biblical Counseling. Karen helped to found Porterville Biblical Counseling Center and also became involved with Peacemaker Ministries. Karen’s passion for God’s Word then led her to pursue a second master’s degree, this time in Biblical Studies. However, God interrupted this plan as Karen realized that she should be serving alongside her husband in marketplace ministry. Currently Karen does just that, sharing the love and grace of Jesus in the business world, where she leads a company that develops nutritious fruit snacks which utilize fruit grown by her family’s agriculture business. The family businesses seek to bear fruit for God’s kingdom by living out and sharing biblical values and by promoting good stewardship of God’s creation. Karen is certified by the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors and holds a M.A. in Biblical Counseling from The Master’s College and a B.S. in Animal Science from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She is married to Tom and has two married adult children and four grandchildren, with whom she spends as much time as she possibly can. Karen attends Emmanuel Bible Church in Salem, Oregon, and Living Word Fellowship in Porterville, California. Her favorite scripture is Philippians 3:7-9, to consider everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus as Lord.

Carlynn Fabarez

Topic: Life Theology: Hard Isn’t Bad, Easy Isn’t Better According to Scripture, James 1:2-4

Carlynn is married to Mike, the founding/senior pastor of Compass Bible Church, Aliso Viejo. She and Pastor Mike have worked together in the local church for 30 years. Carlynn is an alumnus of UC Irvine, Moody Bible Institute, and the University of Arizona and has a degree in Elementary Education. She was a school teacher for many years but now she teaches God’s word and mentors the women/staff wives in her church. She is a gifted communicator who effectively encourages all women to be both hearers and doers of God’s Word. In her spare time, she likes to golf, read, and spend time with her family. Pastor Mike and Carlynn have been married for 29 years and have 3 children.

Shannon Kay McCoy

Topic: Why Trusting God with Your Past, Present, and Future is Important

Shannon is a biblical counselor at Valley Center Community Church in Southern California. She has a Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling from The Master’s College in Santa Clarita, CA and is ACBC certified. She is a retreat and conference speaker, author of Help! I’m A Slave To Food and contributing author to Women Counseling Women. She is currently pursuing future candidacy for the Ph.D. program in Biblical Counseling at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. She blogs at and Her favorite Scripture verse is Galatians 2:20. She loves Friday movie nights with her daughter Raven.

Caroline Newheiser

Topic: How to Lovingly Minister to Difficult Family Members

Caroline lives in Escondido where she and her husband moved in 1987 from Saudi Arabia.  She has a degree in Elementary Education from Baylor University.  After home schooling her three sons, she pursued NANC (now ACBC) certification.  Caroline counsels women in her church as well as women in the community through the Institute for Biblical Counseling and Discipleship.  Her husband is the preaching pastor at Grace Bible Church.  Besides counseling and working in women’s ministries at her church, Caroline has been teaching Sunday School for 20+ years.  A well-loved passage of Scripture is II Timothy 1:7.  Caroline loves making counted cross stitch projects as a hobby.

Amalie Parmerlee

Topic: How Trusting God Should Impact Your Dating Life

Amalie was born north of Sydney, Australia and moved to Kansas City at the age of 5. Partially due to being raised by parents who loved Jesus and lived out their faith, at the age of 4, she came to understand what Christ did for her sins and accepted Jesus as her Savior. She has been a registered nurse for 11 years and she is currently working on completing her MABC. She is not currently working as a nurse but does full-time discipleship and counseling at Cornerstone Church in Ames, Iowa as a part of their college ministry staff; The Salt Company. She is so grateful for this season of singleness God has provided for her to serve the wonderful college women in her life. Amalie enjoys spending time in the beauty of God’s creation through traveling, hiking, meeting new people, etc. and she loves sharing the hope of the gospel with unbelievers and believers. Her life verses is Acts 20:24, “But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.”

Shelbi Cullen

Topic: Working Out the Root of Bitterness

Shelbi has been married for 29 years to her best friend Sean.  They have four children: Two Sons: James (28) and Kyle (26), two daughters Carly (23) and Hannah (16) and a wonderful son-in-law Michael.  Shelbi completed her biblical counseling training from the Institute of Biblical Counseling and Discipleship, and has an MA from the Master’s College in Biblical Counseling.  She is also a member of The Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). She currently works at The Master’s College as an Adjunct Professor and Office Coordinator in The Biblical Counseling Department.  Her favorite things to do are to read, write Bible studies, garden, take long walks with her husband, and hang out with her kids who make her laugh.

Donna Shannon

Topic: Time Management – A Biblical Perspective 

In 1980 Bill and Donna Shannon moved to LA from NY as unbelievers. By God’s gracious providence He saw fit to save them and bring them to Grace Community Church in 1982. Bill became a part of the first class at TMS in 1986 and Donna began attending SemWives. It ministered to her so much that after Bill graduated in 1990, (and again in 2011) she wanted to continue as a Group Leader desiring to encourage others similarly. She loves discipleship and enjoys ministering to women whether it be on an individual basis or in a group setting such as the ladies’ study, Women Walking Wisely in the Shannon’s fellowship group. In addition to these church based ministires, Donna also does women’s retreats and has opportunity to speak in a variety of women’s groups in the United States and abroad. Bill is pastor over Discipleship Counseling at GCC, pastors the adult fellowship group, FaithBuilders, oversees a variety of areas at GCC including Men’s and Women’s Ministries, Pre-Marital, and the Logos Discipleship/Counseling class. He is currently an adjunct professor at the Master’s College. Bill and she were married in 1976. Their two grown daughters have blessed them with five granddaughters. The Shannon’s make their home in North Hills. In a formal setting or just over a cup of tea her favorite activities are studying and discussing the Word, hiking, a variety of outdoor activities, journaling, writing devotionals and helping others with needs. Donna holds a Associates Degree in Science and recently completed the Women’s Ministry Certificate Program at the Master’s College. Her favorite verse is Psalm 73:23-28.

Alyssa Buck

Topic: Contentment

The Lord Jesus graciously saved Alyssa at the age of 23 after many years of struggling to understand the realities of Christ that her parents had shared with her. She was converted reading Romans 9 and understanding the profound realities of God’s free choice in salvation. Immediately she felt a call to care for others who were suffering and enrolled and graduated with her Masters in Biblical Counseling in 2006. In the intervening years she and her husband Jon have had 6 daughters, serve in their local church, and are heading to India this fall for a 5 year pastoral training mission. They are daily stunned by the glory of God’s love for them that triumphs over their sin through His Son and long for others to see and know the Savior.