Children's and Youth Programming

Children's Program Directors

Amy Cruse

Amy Cruse has been involved in children's ministry for over 15 years. She has a passion to create a ministry for children that develops a deeper understanding of Jesus' love for them through compassionate leadership and service and developmentally appropriate Biblical curriculum. She currently serves as the Early Childhood Ministries Director at Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena. She knows that each child has a place in the body of Christ, and fully desires to teach and equip them and their parents to serve Jesus with all that they are.

  • What are you looking forward to in the children’s program (0-2) this year?

I am looking forward to spending time with the children and pouring into their growing minds and curious spirits.

  • What can returning and new parents and kids expect from the program?

Parents can expect their children to be well cared for and nurtured in a fun filled program. Children can expect their time to be filled with exploring the beautiful campus, science experiments, crafts, and learning a little more about who Jesus is, and how he loves them.

Karen Donaldson

I'm a mother to 3 kids, ages 6, 8 and 11. I work part-time as an Employee Benefits Consultant and attended University of Southern California. Helping kids learn and try new things are my passions. I co-lead 2 Girl Scouts troops in my area and our family are Den Leaders for Cub Scouts. We enjoy being outdoors and our favorite place to relax is the beach. Right now, our kids love playing baseball and volleyball, and watching Marvel movies. 

  • What are you looking forward to in the children’s program (3-12) this year? 

I look forward to seeing families and kids from last year and to meeting new families. It was great to have some family outings around Santa Barbara last year. 

  • What can returning and new parents and kids expect from the program? 

For the program, I want to create a warm and inviting environment for young kids to play and experience nature as their parents are in sessions.  We'll learn songs, do some arts and crafts, and take nature hikes around the beautiful campus. 

Youth Program Director

Haley Neiderhiser

Haley has been serving as the Pastor of Student Ministries at Stockton Covenant Church since 2013. She is a licensed Pastor in the Evangelical Covenant Church. Haley graduated from Huntington University with a Bachelors degree in Youth Ministry, and is currently pursuing her Masters of Arts in Christian Formation through North Park Theological Seminary. She is originally from Cedar Rapids, IA and moved to Stockton to be involved in multicultural and Latino ministry. Outside of ministry Haley loves spending time with friends and family especially when volleyball, tennis, hiking or ice-cream are also involved.

For the Kids

We are delighted to announce that Kimberly Gordon-Biddle will attend the conference and will do book readings for the children of her book LaDonna Plays Hoops.

Kimberly A. Gordon Biddle is a college professor of 27 years and is currently at California State University, Sacramento (Sac State). She has a PhD from Stanford University in Child and Adolescent Development, is a former American Psychological Association MFP Fellow, has collaborated on over 1 million dollars in grants, and was the winner of one of the Stanford GSE Alumni Awards for Excellence in Education for 2018 and a Career Achievement Award from the University of Redlands in 2019. She has co-authored two textbooks and several articles and book chapters.

She is also the author of a children’s picture book, LaDonna Plays Hoops, an inspirational and contemporary story of a young, African-American girl who goes to visit her grandma for a family reunion, and tries to become the family hoops star. Her second picture book focuses on Easter and is under contract with a scheduled release of Spring 2020.