Chris Coursey

Chris and Jennifer Coursey

Speaking Engagements

Contact via email

Chris and Jennifer Coursey

Chris and Jen Coursey lead and design the THRIVE conference and training program that uses Life Model principles to promote healing, maturity, recovery and joy in individuals, families, communities and churches. Chris is an ordained minister, a pastoral counselor, published author and international speaker while Jen is a teacher, conference facilitator, author and synchronized dance instructor.

Current Activity

Along with his wife Jennifer, Chris develops the THRIVE training program and teaches individuals and groups Life Model principles. (Belonging, Receiving and Giving, Recovery, Maturity and Living from Your Heart) Priorities include prayer ministry, discipleship, THRIVE teaching and conference development. Chris spends much of his time writing and developing materials, studying, fostering relationships and walking his Chocolate Lab, Samson. Chris enjoys speaking to and training God's people so they remain effective in ministry, marriage and relationships. Teaching the Hebraic roots of the Christian faith is another activity Chris greatly enjoys.

Chris and Jen travel and speak on Life Model and THRIVE in America and abroad. THRIVE Conference Training has expanded so people all over the world can participate in the THRIVE training from the East to West Coast up into Canada. Chris and Jen equip individuals, couples and groups to build joy and recover when things go wrong. Chris and Jen offer unique, experiential-based training that focuses on helping people learn the 19 brain skills. This training, based on recent discoveries in neuroscience along with the active Presence of Jesus and Biblical realities, help people develop the necessary skills to positively impact their families and communities to be more like Jesus. From Illinois, Chris and Jen run THRIVE under Shepherd's House, Inc., a Pastoral Care and Training Center located in Pasadena, California. Both are now Assistance Directors for Shepherd's House ministry.

Chris and Jen are active members of New Life Christian Church in Morton, Illinois.

Training and Education

Chris began his education at Eastern Illinois University, majoring in Sociology with a minor in Psychology. Chris graduated in May of 1998 with a B.A. degree then started ministering to adults and children with PTSD, D.I.D., SRA and a variety of issues stemming from both A and B Trauma. Chris sums up his work as, “to help people be full of life”.  Dr. Jim Wilder also has mentored and trained Chris as Chris lectures nationally and internationally on material he has written concerning the effects of trauma and trauma recovery. Chris is known for his relational and community approach to recovery and growth. 


  • M.B.I. Messianic Bible Institute – Yeshiva. Hampton, VA   2001 – 2007 Master's Degree in Theology
  • Eastern Illinois University – 1995-1998 Bachelor’s Degree in Arts and Science
  • Illinois Central Junior College – 1993 – 1995 Associates Degree

Chris Coursey’s Speaking Engagements

Chris speaks nationally and internationally on Life Model and THRIVE principles, redemptive community, recovery from trauma and Biblical principles to joyfully reach your potential.

  • THRIVE Marriage Retreat, Bloomington, IL. April 30-May 2nd, 2010. Speaker.
  • THRIVE Marriage Retreat, Pasadena , CA . The First Church of the Nazarene in Pasadena . January 8-9th, 2010. Speaker.
  • THRIVE Marriage Retreat, Portland, Oregon. October 16-18th, 2009. Speaker.
  • Discovering the Heart of the Father- men’s retreat hosted by KCBT Sept. 18-19th, 2009
  • THRIVE  Conference- Tracks I, II and III. Peoria, IL July 27th-August 1st, 2009 THRIVE Conference
  • THRIVE Applications Conference- Families, Peoria, IL July 23rd-25th, 2009THRIVE Conference
  • THRIVE  Conference- Tracks I and II. Edmonton, Alberta Canada. June 1st-6th, 2009THRIVE Conference
  • New Life Christian Church Mom’s Life group- Reaching Your Parenting Potential. Morton, IL April 3, 2009
  • THRIVE - Conference, Edmonton, AB Canada. August 25th thru August 30th, 2008. Conference Director and Track I leader and speaker.
  • YWAM Family Ministries School. Vancouver, BC Canada. March 10th - 14th, 2008. Topic: Maturity.
  • Kingdom Life Ministries, Hesston, Kansas. February 22nd & 23rd, 2008 Topic: Maturity Retreat.
  • Medford, New Jersey. February 15th & 16th, 2008 - Reaching Your Potential with Joy.
  • THRIVE - Conference, Oxnard, CA. January 28th-February 2nd, 2008. Conference Director and Track III leader and speaker. THRIVE Conference
  • THRIVE Conference, Bloomington, IL. November 5th thru 10th ,2007. Conference Director and Track I leader and speaker. THRIVE Conference
  • ICBC School - Indianapolis, IN. November 12th, 2007. Topic Covered: Maturity Overview
  • FLIGHT Ministries, Edmonton, Canada. Topic: Reaching Your Potential with Joy. November 16th and 17th, 2007.
  • THRIVE Conference, Big Rapids, MI. July 30th thru August 4th 2007. Conference Director and Track III leader and speaker. THRIVE Conference
  • Second Baptist Church, Peoria, IL. May 11, 2007. Topic covered: Joy Bonds, Mothers and God
  • Christ Is King Community Church , Leadership Maturity Retreat, Norfolk , NE. April 27-29, 2007
  • THRIVE - Conference Pasadena, CA. March 5-10th, 2007
  • University of the Nations YWAM  – Teaching in Kona, Hawaii with U of N Addictive Behavior Counseling Schools December 4th - 8th, 2006
  • Christ Is King Community Church , Leadership Maturity Retreat, Norfolk , NE. October 6th – 8th, 2006
  • THRIVE Conference, Big Rapids, MI. July 31 – August 5, 2006.Conference Director, Track I , II, III and IV speaker.
  • Reba Place Fellowship, Evanston, IL. Topics covered: Maturity Retreat. March 24th – 25th 2006.
  • ICBC – International Center for Biblical Counseling – International Conference, Sioux City, IA. March 2 - 4, 2006. Topics covered: Maturity and the Abuse of Power.
  • Beit Tahilla Congregation, Tampa Bay, FL.Topics covered: Maturity in the Body of Christ. February 2006
  • THRIVEConference, Big Rapids, MI. August 1 – 6, 2005. Conference Organizer, Track I and Track II facilitator and speaker
  • FLIGHT Ministries, Edmonton, Canada. Topics covered: Maturity Retreat.May 26 – 28th 2005
  • Beit Tahilla Congregation, Tampa Bay, FL. Topics covered:Redemptive Community, Joy and Return to Joy. February 2005
  • THRIVEConference, Big Rapids, MI. August 16 – 21, 2004. Conference Organizer and Track I facilitator.
  • Andrews University in Berrien Springs, MI. Topics covered: Maturity Retreat - July 9-11, 2004
  • Evangelical Community Church, Lafayette, IN. Topics covered: DID, Maturity and Attachments, June 2004
  • Wellsprings Counseling Center, Grand Haven, MI. May 2004
  • ICBC – Teacher’s Assistant to Dr. Wilder – Sioux City, IA. 2004
  • THRIVE Conference at Ramada Inn, Ludington, MI. – conference overseer and coordinator 2003
  • TACGIS – Trauma and Abuse Care Group International Society – International conference in Alberta, Canada- June 2003
  • THRIVEConference CenterBaldwin, MI. 2002
  • ISBC – Teacher’s Assistant to Dr. Jim Wilder – Indianapolis, IN. 2002
  • Christian Family Worship Fellowship – Homestead, FL. 2002
  • Return to Joy – C.A.R.E., Inc. Conference CenterBaldwin, MI. 2002
  • Warfare for the New Millennium - C.A.R.E., Inc. Conference Center - Baldwin, MI. 2001


Chris is a published author with three books in print. Share Immanuel, The Healing Lifestyle written with Dr. Jim Wilder is translated in multiple languages. Chris and his wife Jen recently completed a third skill guide workbook that is now being tested while two skill guides are already published, named Year One: Mastering Joy and Rest and Year Two: Mastering Returning to Joy. Each skill guide is a 52-week brain retraining, character-building workbook designed to train skills and experience Immanuel growth. These skill guides are the beginning steps toward creating a THRIVE training package for the church. Each book equips THRIVE attendees to continue their skill training practice. Chris and Jen are currently working on an additional training booklet for busy married couples to accompany THRIVE Marriage Retreats.

Chris is co-authoring a book with Dr. Jim Wilder on the subject of Thriving. Chris is currently authoring two books on Thriving and the Church. 

Chris and Jen released two training videos, one called, Steps to Joy on synchronized dancing. The other, a pre-THRIVE 12 week study video called, Sensible Strategies for Belonging. Both Chris and Jen intend to expand the THRIVE training with additional training videos and resources.

Chris offers articles on topics pertaining to maturity, healing, the role and significance of redemptive Christian community, addiction and trauma recovery, primary attachments and bonding as well as other topics related to Scripture and the Christian experience. One article in particular on Bonds and Attachments, was published in Promise, an international magazine in January of 2004.

Chris develops, organizes and speaks at THRIVE Conferences and travels to speak at various Christian conferences and training seminars each year. The THRIVE conference has grown exponentially in the US and is now offered in Canada.

Speaking Schedule

See the current list here.


Do you want Chris Coursey to speak at your church, community or ministry?


Chris consults leaders, churches, ministries, families, couples and communities on Life Model and THRIVE concepts. 

Chris advises, coaches, encourages and directs individuals, couples and communities who desire change and transformation. 



  • Contact Chris if you would like Life Model teaching and practical application to your family, community, church and ministry. 
  • Contact Chris if you are interested in having the THRIVE training in your community!
    • This training includes an introduction to joy training
    • Learn return to joy skills
    • Develop a solid group identity
    • Foster growth in you and your people
    • Build multi-generational community, learn Immanuel healing and develop character skills to be more like Jesus in good and bad times

Contact Chris