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Meet the Team

Tim Adams

Tim Adams

Director of Student Life & Events

Contact: TAdams3@mbts.edu

Hometown: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Family: I met my wife, Kelsey, while serving with K-Life Ministries. We married in 2007. We have three children: Wynndal (10), Cambre (8), Bridger (6).

Favorite Kansas City BBQ: I am not sure I can pick just one, my favorites are Q39 or Joe’s.

Most Impactful Book: JC Ryle’s Holiness; Its nature, hindrances, difficulties, and roots. Other than the Bible, it has been the most formative book for my spiritual growth and theology.  It has shaped the way I think about the Lord, the way I carry myself in pursuit of a steadfast character, and the way I interact with the world.

Kristen Lanier

Assistant Director of Student Life/Title IX Deputy Coordinator

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 have two kids: Ingrid and Titus. Joseph graduated with his PhD and is the manager of 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 Costello

Clara Sylvester

Assistant Director of Events

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 in Kansas City and love it like nothing else! Hit us up for all our favorite KC recommendations.

Degree program: I’m pursuing a Masters of Divinity and am a certified Biblical Counselor 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.

Armando Rodriguez

Armando Rodriguez

Male Undergraduate RA/Office Coordinator

Contact: ARodriguez@mbts.edu

Hometown: I am from Rogers, Arkansas. This place is filled with beautiful hiking spots, Onyx coffee, which is my favorite, and home of the best shopping center, Walmart.

Family: My parents and three older siblings live in the Northwest part of Arkansas. They have supported me greatly over the last three years since I have moved to Kansas City.

Degree Program: BA, Communications

Favorite Kansas City BBQ: Q39!

Most Impactful Book: The most impactful book to me has been On a Ship to Tarshish by Jeff Crawford. This book uses the life of Jonah to help you discern what God’s will for your life is. When I read this book, it steered the direction of where I was headed. It helped me discern my call to ministry and also one of the biggest reasons why I am at Midwestern.

Dalton Parker

Dalton Parker

Intramural Coordinator/Student Leadership Executive

Contact: DParker21769@mbts.edu

Hometown: Benton, Arkansas

Family: I met my wife Emma my first year at Midwestern. We started dating a year later and got married in 2022. We have a cat named Fred.

Favorite Kansas City BBQ: Hawg Jaw

Most Impactful Book: The Christian Ministry by Charles Bridges; its challenge to growing in ministry constantly and how to avoid inefficiency was extremely convicting for a first year seminary student.

Grace Lehew

Female Undergraduate RA

Contact: GLehew@mbts.edu

Hometown: Sapulpa, OK

Family: I have two wonderful parents and 5 siblings. My older sister and her husband live in KC and just had their first child. My older brother is recently married, still living in OK. I have a younger brother who just started school at Spurgeon and is by far my best friend. Then I have a younger brother (10) and sister (9) who have my whole heart.

Degree Program: Accelerate Missions: BA, Intercultural Studies; MDiv, ICP

Favorite Kansas City BBQ: I haven’t chosen a favorite yet, but for now it’s Jack Stack BBQ.

Most Impactful Book: There’s too many to choose from. My top 3 are That Way and No Other by Amy Carmichael, Delighting in God by A.W. Tozer, and Bearing God’s Name: Why Sinai Still Matters by Carmen Joy Imes.

Sarah Commerford

Sarah Commerford

Female Graduate RA/Upperclassman Apartment RA

Contact: SCommerford@mbts.edu

Hometown: Overland Park, KS

Family: I have two sisters, one brother, and four nephews. We’ve all grown up and lived in the KC area our entire lives.

Degree Program: BA in Biblical Counseling

Favorite Kansas City BBQ: Joe’s Kansas City BBQ

Most Impactful Book: Changed Into His Image by Jim Berg. This was one of the first books I read in my degree program, and it was foundational in helping me develop a biblical understanding of the Christian life.

Alexandru Macra

Male Graduate RA

Contact: IMacra@mbts.edu

Hometown: Arad, Romania

Family: I have two sisters and I’m the middle child. All my family lives in Romania.

Degree Program: Master of Divinity

Favorite Kansas City BBQ: Joe’s Kansas City BBQ

Most Impactful Book: Brave Companions by David McCullough

Subhash Vuppula

Subhash Vuppula

Male Undergraduate RA (KMC)

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: Doctor of Ministry

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.

Joel Whitson

Joel Whitson

Male Upperclassman Apartment RA

Contact: JWhitson@mbts.edu

Hometown: St. Joseph, MO

Family: Unmarried, but I am the fun uncle to two nieces and a nephew.

Degree program: PhD in Systematic Theology

Favorite Kansas City BBQ: Slaps BBQ

Most Impactful Book: For Christian books it would be Confessions by Augustine. For novels it would be East of Eden by Steinbeck.

Anna Patterson

Anna Patterson

Family RA

Contact: APatterson2@mbts.edu or FamilyRA@mbts.edu

Hometown: Bettendorf, Iowa

Family: I am the oldest of 4 siblings (1 sister, 2 brothers). I met my husband, Blake, at Iowa State University where we both studied English Education and participated in international ministry. We have a mutual love of books and authentic Chinese food! In our three years of marriage, we have spent one year serving in Bangkok, Thailand. Blake is now pursuing his MDiv here at MBTS and I am working in the Admissions office.

Degree program: Admissions Application Coordinator

Favorite Kansas City BBQ:I don’t really like BBQ that much… TBH, I would rather go to Chick-fil-a.

Most Impactful Book: Becoming Elisabeth Elliot by Ellen Vaughn

Blake Patterson

Blake Patterson

Family RA

Contact: BPatterson@mbts.edu or FamilyRA@mbts.edu

Hometown: St. Ansgar, IA

Family: Anna (wife)

Degree Program: Masters of Divinity with Biblical Counseling Emphasis

Favorite Kansas City BBQ: Slaps

Most Impactful Book: Prodigal God by Tim Keller

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