Ravencrest Chalet Staff


Frank Cirone, Director and Bible School Principal

Originally from Rhinebeck, New York, Frank graduated from Philadelphia Biblical University with a BS in Biblical Education in 1989 prior to joining the staff at Ravencrest Chalet. He holds a Master’s Degree in Christian Leadership from Denver Seminary. Frank and his wife, Krista, have four children: Andrew, Ben, Isaak and Anikka. Frank spends time traveling and speaking at various events in the United States and overseas, and loves watching his kids compete in their various sports.


James Alsum, Maintenance Supervisor

James grew up in Loveland, Colorado. After being a student here at Ravencrest Chalet for one year he stayed on to serve as a summer and maintenance intern before coming on staff in 2010.  James met his wife Stacy during his time as a summer intern. They were married in 2011, have two sons Jayden and Asher. James has an Associate of Arts degree through Front Range Community College in Fort Collins and enjoys spending time with his family, playing all kinds of board games and sports.


Matthew Ashmead, Assistant Principal, Dean of Men

Matt was born and raised just outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota. He came to Ravencrest Chalet for two years right out of high school and then finished College at Multnomah University in Portland, Oregon, with a double major in Bible and Theology, and Educational Ministries. After being a student Matt continued his connection with Ravencrest by visiting and keeping up with various staff. In 2011 Matt went down to New Zealand to spend a year serving as a volunteer staff member at the Torchbearers Center The Crossing. When he had finished up his year in New Zealand he interned at a church in Seattle before joining the team here in June of 2013.  Matt enjoys living in unusual places, having called both a sailboat and a teepee home for short periods of time.


Brett Milliken, Assistant Program Director

Brett hails from Portland, Oregon and initially encountered Torchbearers when he attended Capernwray Hall and Tauernhof after being invited by close friends. Through his time spent at Tauernhof in 2010 as a ski instructor, he was inspired to be able to share the love of Christ while enjoying His great outdoors, and soon after applied to Multnomah University in Portland, OR. While studying to earn his Bachelors of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies at Multnomah University, he spent a few years interspersed working at Tauernhof as a Ski and Upward Bound instructor in Austria. There he met his wife, Rachel, in 2013. After falling deeply in love with her in her home country of Switzerland, the two were married in August 2014, and were joined by their son Finn the following August. They are expecting another boy this coming August. Brett loves spending time adventuring in God's creation with his family, whether it be skiing, rock climbing, trail running or hiking. 


Katie Christian, Kitchen Manager

Katie was born in Littleton, Colorado, but she grew up in Pakistan as a missionary kid. She returned to the states to attend college and, after two years at Colorado Christian University,  she decided to attend Ravencrest Chalet for one year of focused Bible learning. After a great experience and having loved her time as a student, she was thrilled to hear that the kitchen manager position had opened up and immediately applied. She loves cooking, reading, writing, looking at mountains (not climbing them), and being with people.


Kate Schweikart, Registrar/Secretary

Originally from Louisiana, Kate has called Colorado home for the last 20 years. She has a B.A. in Communications from Colorado University in Colorado Springs and a M.A. in Counseling from Colorado Christian University. Kate attended Bodenseehof, a Torchbearers center in Germany, in ’03-’04, encountered God like never before and was changed forever. She came back to Colorado and worked as an Office Manager in ministries for 7 years before working as a Mental Health Therapist for 3 years. God then provided an opportunity for her to fulfill a life-long dream of living in France and had the honor of doing so at the Torchbearers center there, Champfleuri, as the Resident Assistant for the female students and administrative support in the office. Kate is thrilled to be able to serve at Ravencrest as Bible School Registrar and Secretary to use her administrative gifts, but even more so to have the opportunity to build relationships with the students and see them grow in the Lord. She loves her dog Stella and is an avid LSU football fan – geaux Tigers!


Lydia Pike, Domestics Supervisor

Lydia hails from Falcon Heights, Minnesota. She was homeschooled for most of her life and graduated high school in 2011. After taking a year off to work, Lydia was introduced to the idea of going to a Torchbearers school and decided to come to Ravencrest Chalet in 2012. She fell in love with the Ravencrest community and knew that this is where God wanted her, and though she thought she was just coming back to intern, God had another plan as she has stayed on as the full time Domestics Supervisor. She is so thankful for the privilege of getting to serve God by serving others on a daily basis. A few of Lydia’s favorite things include, her family, anything coconut, dolphins, chocolate, going to the lake in the summer, Caribou Coffee, her relationship with Jesus, campfires, road trips, frozen yogurt and puppies.


Erik Snyder, Assistant Director and Business Manager

Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Erik holds an Associate’s Degree in Business Management and has spent 6 years in the corporate world, holding various positions before spending one year volunteering and attending at Capernwray Hall, England and then 6 months at Bodenseehof in Germany. He then moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado where he started a business building custom furniture for one year before coming to Ravencrest Chalet in October of 2007 where he now serves as Business Manager. He and his wife Sarah have five young children: Catherine, Camille, Jack, Jude, and Quinn.


John Traxinger, Assistant Cook

John was born in Chicago, Illinois, and later moved to Wheaton. After graduating from high school, John attended Bible School at Timberline Lodge, the Torchbearers Center in Winter Park, Colorado. After that year John felt led to attend Ravencrest Chalet for the leadership-training course during which he learned what a Godly leader looks like and how to lean on God in hard times. He later came back as an intern in the kitchen, and soon took on the Assistant Cook role. John loves to hunt and fish, to snowboard and cook. He also really enjoys teaching students how to prepare meat, while hearing how they are growing in their relationship with the Lord, what He is teaching them, and what plans God has for them after Ravencrest; as well he loves helping the students with homework or giving advice on hard decisions in their lives.


 Torchbearers International Staff at Ravencrest Chalet



Chris Thomas: Senior Advisor, Minister at Large and Chairman of the Board of Directors

Chris was born in Nottingham, England, but grew up at Capernwray Hall, meaning he was really born into the Torchbearers Ministry! He attended College at Columbia International University in South Carolina and was called by his dad (Ian Thomas, the founder of Torchbearers International) to direct Ravencrest and then subsequently to assume the position of International Director of Torchbearers. Chris is married to Bonnie, has three adult sons, and enjoys geocaching, calling it his ‘evangelistic tool!’


Chris Mainland: Media Manager, Torchbearers International

Chris is from Wisconsin and he heard about Torchbearers and the opportunity to go to Bible School from a friend at college. He attended Capernwray New Zealand in 2007, where he grew more deeply in his relationship with Jesus, and also met his wife, Carly. After Capernwray, they both finished university at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. During that time Chris did a summer internship at Ravencrest Chalet and got connected with the Communications team for Torchbearers. Since graduating, they have traveled to several of the centers doing media work, and have just recently settled at Ravencrest as their base. Chris manages various media projects on the Communications and Development team, to support the different centers and communicate the good news of Christ and the general work of Torchbearers to the world. He also has the privilege of being part of the Ravencrest community and hanging out with students and guests. Chris studied communications with an emphasis in video and is passionate about photography and filmmaking. (You may have seen the video he made about the Bible School at Ravencrest!) He enjoys hanging out with his wife in the mountains.


Carly Mainland: Social Media and Alumni Coordinator, Torchbearers International

Originally from Brookfield, Wisconsin, Carly got connected with the Torchbearers ministry through her home church, Elmbrook. She came to Ravencrest Chalet with her youth group during high school, and attended Capernwray New Zealand after graduating. She met Chris, now her husband, during her time there, and they attended Moody Bible Institute together. She studied Bible and Counseling and since graduating in 2011, Chris and Carly have been working for Torchbearers International on the Communications and Development team. They see it as a privilege to have the opportunity to share with others how they too can discover the life that is available in Christ! Grateful to be hosted by Ravencrest, they love doing life with the staff, interns and students. Carly enjoys traveling, mountain sunsets, kittens, and making Chai from scratch. 


Nathanael Christian: Store and Product Manager, Torchbearers International; and A/V and Social Media Manager at Ravencrest

Nathanael (Aka Thanael) is a Colorado native who grew up in southwest Denver. After being homeschooled and graduating from high school in 2013, and having a semester of college credits under his belt, he decided it would be beneficial to have a solid year in study of the bible before continuing on with college. So in the fall of 2013 Thanael enrolled in bible school at Ravencrest Chalet. Afterwards, he went on to continue studying at Red Rocks Community College then transferred to Metropolitan State University of Denver, for the 2015 fall semester, to study Technical Communications with an emphasis in social media. In preference of hands on experience versus classroom learning, Thanael jumped at the opportunity to reconnect with Ravencrest and join the Torchbearers communication team. At the beginning of 2016, he moved back to Estes Park to run and administrate the Torchbearers online store and serve in the Ravencrest Audio/Visual and social media role. Thanael enjoys photography, exploring and adventuring, social media, and connecting with people.

Ravencrest Chalet team photo 1        

Apply Online now!

Apply today to attend a First year or Second year Bible School program at Ravencrest Chalet, find out how to apply.

Ravencrest Chalet team photo 2        

Ready to study?

So you want to study at Ravencrest? Take a look through our Bible School section - it’s the easiest way to find out the most information!  

Ravencrest Chalet team photo 3

Retreats/youth weeks

If you haven’t got a year to spare at Ravencrest, try attending one our retreats. There’s something for everyone, young and young at heart!