Meet the Mama Bears!
Hillary Morgan Ferrer is the founder of Mama Bear Apologetics, a ministry birthed from many sleepless nights. She feels a burden for providing accessible apologetics resources for busy moms on the go. Hillary has her masters degree in biology from Clemson University and is currently working on a masters in apologetics from Biola University. Her specialties are in scientific apologetics, critiques of the Darwinian mechanism, dealing with doubt, and identifying causes and solutions for youth leaving the church. She and her husband have been married for 10 years and minister together as an apologetics team in the local church. Hillary contributes to the ministry as Mama-Bear-in-Chief, coordinating the day-to-day efforts, outreach through Ratio Christi, editing blog submissions as well as writing her own, and recording the Mama Bear Apologetics Podcast with her close friend and partner, Rebekah. She can never sneak up on anybody because of her chronic hiccups, which you can hear occasionally on the podcast.
Rebekah Valerius is the mother of two precocious girls, and she spends much of her time studying and finding ways to quote G.K. Chesterton. She has a bachelors in biochemistry from the University of Texas at Arlington, and worked for several years as a research scientist in the protein crystallography lab at UT Southwestern Medical Center. She is currently studying for her masters in apologetics from Houston Baptist University. Her specialities are incorporating apologetics into culture and literature. Even though her current research interests are in the humanities, she and Hillary made an immediate bond over their shared love of science, and particularly the complex structure of proteins. Rebekah and her husband are entering their 13th year of wedded bliss. She serves primarily as co-host with Hillary on the Mama Bear Apologetics Podcast. You can see Rebekah’s writing on the Mama Bear blog as well as her personal blog www.alongthebeam.com.
Cathryn Buse is our newest Mama Bear! She is the mom of two adorable and rambunctious boys. She is a former NASA engineer who felt God leading her to leave the workforce and focus on being a mama full-time. Cathryn has taught apologetics for the last 8 years. Her first book Teaching Others to Defend Christianity was published in 2016, and since then she has spent her time teaching her curriculum to a wide variety of church audiences ages 11-84. She has a bachelors and masters in engineering, and her favorite topics are worldview, pro-life apologetics, and absolutely demolishing materialistic naturalism. With her commitment to both science and equipping moms, she is a perfect fit for Mama Bear Apologetics. She has been married to her engineering sweetheart for 8 nerdy years. Her role at Mama Bear is providing blog content and developing resources for future Mama Bear study groups. You can see her writing on the Mama Bear Blog as well as her website www.defendthefaithministry.com.
Associate Mama Bears
Julie Loos is the Director of Prayer and Women’s Outreach for Ratio Christi. She has 12 years of leadership in the Moms in Prayer International ministry serving as the Missouri State Coordinator for four years and now as the College Groups Facilitator. She has also served as a small group leader in Bible Study Fellowship, is a graduate of Proverbs 31 Ministries’ SheSpeaks writer’s conference, and Dr. Frank Turek’s Cross Examined Instructors Academy. She participates in her local Reasonable Faith chapter, and is pursuing her Certificate in Apologetics from Biola University. After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Journalism and Psychology, she enjoyed a career in advertising as an award-winning copywriter.
Julie Loos lives with her husband and two sons in St. Louis, MO. She is sending her oldest son to college this year. Her other son is in high school. She enjoys studying God’s word, exercising, reading, gardening and cooking. You’ll usually find her not far from a cup of coffee and piece of dark chocolate…
She serves Mama Bear by engaging in outreach, and enjoys writing and speaking about the importance of prayer in apologetics, and how to spiritually prepare your students for college.
Hillary Short is the senior thesis director at Geneva School of Boerne. She is also our resident Mama-Bear-in-the-field. She is the author of the “Playground Apologetics” series on the Mama Bear Apologetics blog, and enjoys showing moms how to have conversations that matter, wherever God has planted them. She is a connoisseur of awkward moments, forgetting where she left her keys, and making cookies. She is the proud wife of Dr. Howard Short, the proud mom of Jonah Short, and the moderately proud mom of two cats. She is aware that it is confusing having two Mama Bears named “Hillary,” but feels strongly that it is too late to change her name, so we just roll with it.
Alisa (Girard) Childers is a former CCM recording artist with the band ZOEgirl. After experiencing a period of profound doubt where her faith was intellectually challenged by a pastor-turned-agnostic, she discovered apologetics. In the wake of this difficult encounter, she slowly pieced her faith back together. Her mission is to now provide the “lifeboat” for others that she wished she’d had during that difficult time. (You can see a video of her story here.) She is happily married and has a beautiful son in a suburb near Nashville, Tennessee where she blogs, speaks, and records on apologetics topics at www.AlisaChilders.com.
You can see Alisa’s writing on the Mama Bear blog, and occasionally hear her on the podcast as well. She is well versed in introductory apologetics, passionate about equipping teens, and is especially educated (through the school of hard knocks) with addressing the theology of Progressive Christianity.
Robin Lopez is another fellow scientist, and found a home here at Mama Bear Apologetics. She has her masters in Geoinformation Sciences, and works as a Geoinformation Specialist in Washington, DC. She is an avid student of apologetics, and attends as many conferences as work will allow. She has recently taken over the Audio Apologetics Blog, and has a voice that makes you feel like everything is going to be OK. The Audio Apologetics Blog is a ministry of Mama Bear Apologetics for those who either don’t like reading, or don’t have time to read (like many a mother.)
Melissa Cain Travis
Melissa has been a friend and supporter of Mama Bear Apologetics from the beginning. She serves as Assistant Professor of Christian Apologetics at Houston Baptist University, where she has been on the faculty since 2013. She was featured, alongside her colleagues, in the April 2015 cover story of Christianity Today magazine, “The Unexpected Defenders,” and solo for the April 2015 Her.meneutics piece entitled, “The Apologist Mom.” She is the author of How Do We Know God is Really There? (Apologia Press, 2013), How Do We Know God Created Life? (2014), How Do We Know Jesus is Alive? (2015), and How Do We Know Right from Wrong? (forthcoming). These are known as the Young Defenders series, illustrated storybooks that teach the fundamentals of Christian apologetics to young children.
Melissa earned her Master of Arts in Science and Religion from Biola University, graduating with Highest Honors. She is certified in Christian apologetics by Biola and holds a Bachelor of Science in general biology from Campbell University. She is currently pursuing a PhD in humanities, focusing on the philosophy and theology related to scientific and mathematical thought in the Western tradition and contemporary thought. She worked as a bench scientist in the fields of biotechnology and pharmaceutical research for five years after obtaining her undergraduate degree, and has spent more than a decade researching the science, theology, and philosophy related to the origins debate.
Despite her degrees, Melissa feels that her highest duty and calling is to her children and seeks to take the resources that the Lord has given her to help equip moms like her to raise their children in a robust faith that will not crumble in the wake of tough questions. You can read more by Melissa by going to her personal blog at https://hcchristian.wordpress.com.