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Meet the Team

Jared Bumpers

Director of Student Life & Events

Contact: jbumpers@mbts.edu

Hometown: Springfield, Missouri

Family: I met my wife, Kimberly, my first year of college. We were married shortly thereafter and have been married for twelve years. We have four children: McCartnie (5), Rush (3), Maverick (2), and Jett (1).

Favorite Kansas City BBQ: My favorite Kansas City BBQ is currently Q39.

Most Impactful Book: As a new believer, Jerry Bridges’ The Pursuit of Holiness was incredibly formative. It provided a solid framework for understanding the importance of sanctification in the life of the believer and set the trajectory for my spiritual growth. As a pastor in ministry, Dangerous Calling by Paul David Tripp rocked my world. It exposed areas of sin and pride in my life and challenged me to ground my ministry in a close, personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Kristen Lanier

Assistant Director of Student Life

Contact: klanier@mbts.edu

Hometown: Pace, Florida

Family: My husband, Joseph, & I met while we were both at University of Mobile in Mobile, Alabama. We moved to Kansas City shortly after getting married and have been married for 4 years. We just welcomed our first little one to the family in June, Ingrid. Joseph is finishing PhD work and manages both the Tomlinson Café and Sword & Trowel Bookstore.

Degree Program: Master of Counseling

Favorite Kansas City BBQ: Q39 (specifically their brisket) or burnt ends from anywhere

Most Impactful Book: First, The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness by Tim Keller is a short but sweet reflection on gospel-centered humility for everyday life. Secondly, Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts by Jerry Bridges was the first book to speak of God’s redemptive plan & my struggle with Crohn’s disease.

Clara Sylvester

Assistant Director of Events & Student Leadership Coordinator

Contact: csylvester@mbts.edu

Hometown: My parents live in Louisville, Kentucky, although I most recently lived in Southwest Ohio before I moved to Kansas City — let’s just say I’m a thoroughly Midwestern girl.

Family: My husband Daniel and I live on Judson Court and both enjoy working and studying on campus. We love Kansas City like nothing else! Hit us up for all our favorite KC recommendations. Otherwise, you can find us walking every day after work.

Degree program: I’m pursuing a Masters of Divinity and certification with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors.

Favorite Kansas City BBQ: Joe’s Kansas City, although I’m much more passionate about Kansas City Coffee than I am about the BBQ.

Most Impactful Book: The Gospel Primer by Milton Vincent has been one of the most transformational books I’ve ever read.

Daniel sylvester

Family RA

Contact: dsylvester@mbts.edu

Hometown: Opelousas, Louisiana

Family: I have two younger sisters who are probably the most special people in the world to me.

Degree Program: Master in Biblical Counseling

Favorite Kansas City BBQ: Q39!

Most Impactful Book: Oh there’s so many. Anything by Rosaria Butterfield. I’ve underlined every sentence in Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert. I also just read the Biblical Counseling Movement After Adams by Heath Lambert. That was a great book. Gentle and Lowly by Ortland, God’s Grace in Your Suffering and Making All Things New by Powlison, My Heart Cries Out by Paul David Tripp, and last but not least, Eragon by Christopher Paolini.

Abby Bearden

Female Graduate RA

Contact: ABearden@mbts.edu

Hometown: Fort Worth, TX

Family: I’ve got two incredible parents, three crazy younger brothers, and one older sister who’s one of my best friends (but mostly because she has given me the two cutest nephews known to man).

Degree Program: Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling

Favorite Kansas City BBQ: Joe’s KC

Most Impactful Book: The Valley of Vision has been so impactful during my personal times of prayer with the Lord. Also, Heath Lambert’s A Theology of Biblical Counseling was my first real exposure to Biblical Counseling and was so foundational in building my heart for BC.

Heath McClure

Male Graduate RA

Contact: hmcclure@mbts.edu

Hometown: Mesquite, Texas

Family: I am married to Jessica McClure, my mom and dad are in Mesquite, and my brother is a Junior at Texas A&M.

Degree Program: Master of Divinity

Favorite Kansas City BBQ: Joe’s Kansas City (specifically the Z-Man)

Most Impactful Book: On the Incarnation by Athanasius

Grace Branscum

Female Undergraduate RA

Contact: GBranscum@mbts.edu

Hometown: Moore, Oklahoma

Family: I am the fourth of five girls, but a complete middle child at heart. I have 2 loving parents and 3 not-quite-as-loving cats.

Degree Program: BA Intercultural Studies

Favorite Kansas City BBQ: Recovering vegetarian, so Joe’s BBQ

Most Impactful Book: Abide in Christ by Andrew Murray has sparked a renewed desire in me to daily abide in our Savior who truly and fully gives peace and satisfaction. Valley of Vision, and My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers, and Pilgrim’s Progress are a few honorable mentions.

Bubba Suchanek

Male Undergraduate RA

Contact: BSuchanek@mbts.edu

Hometown: DeQuincy, Louisiana

Family: In Kansas City it is just me as I am single, but I do have lots of brothers and sisters and four awesome nieces.

Degree Program: Master of Arts in Christian Education

Favorite Kansas City BBQ: SLAPS

Most Impactful Book: Humility and Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray

Subhash Vuppula

Male Undergraduate RA

Contact: SVuppula@mbts.edu

Hometown: Nalgonda, India

Family: I have two siblings – a brother and a sister. Both my parents are teachers, and they live in India.

Degree program: Master of Divinity

Favorite Kansas City BBQ: Jack Stack BBQ is my favorite

Most Impactful Book: I love to read books by Kevin DeYoung and John Piper. Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung is one of the most impactful books I’ve read.

Student Clubs

bean bag toss

Student clubs are a great way to explore your interests and get involved on campus. Whether you’re interested in making a few running friends, joining a book club, or starting a creative writing group, this is a great way to get connected. You can contact Student Life at studentlife@mbts.edu for more information about joining or starting a club, then fill out a Student Club Proposal here:

Student Club Proposal