Meet Our Staff

Reverend Lynn Barger Elliott

Co-Pastor Head of Staff
Phone: (651) 223-7542

A fourth-generation Presbyterian pastor, Lynn has served churches in Ann Arbor (MI), Riverside (IL), and Grand Rapids (MI). She graduated from Wheaton College with a degree in Philosophy and from Princeton Theological Seminary with a Masters in Divinity. She has a Certificate in Non-Profit Executive Leadership through the Mendoza School of Business at Notre Dame. 

Lynn is the recipient of the David H.C. Read Preacher/Scholar of the Year Award designated to a seminary graduate within the United States who demonstrates the strongest potential of benefiting the greater church with his/her skills of scholarship and preaching. She has served as Affiliate Faculty at Calvin University where she taught courses on Leadership and Intergenerational Ministry and was involved with the Calvin Prison Initiative at the Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility. 

As an author, Lynn has published chapters in the books InterGenerate: Transforming Churches through Intergenerational Ministry and Faith Formation with the New Generation. She speaks nationally and consults on dynamics around Generational Theory, Youth Ministry, and Ministry Leadership. 

For hobbies, Lynn enjoys reading mysteries and is perpetually striving to grow a redder tomato and longer-flowering hydrangea. Lynn and her husband Mark have three children. Their son Brendan works in New York City, their daughter Auden works in San Francisco, and their daughter Halley is a sophomore at the University of Michigan.

Reverend Doctor Mark Barger Elliott

Co-Pastor Head of Staff
Phone: (651) 223-7549

Mark was baptized in John Calvin’s church in Geneva, Switzerland, and 18 years later made a profession of faith while attending Cornell University. Ten years later, he was ordinated in the Presbyterian Church (USA). Along with his wife Lynn, Mark has served churches in Ann Arbor (MI), Riverside (IL), and Grand Rapids (MI).

A life-long learner, Mark graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary where he won the John T. Galloway Preaching Award. At San Francisco Theological Seminary he earned a Doctor of Ministry in preaching. Mark has taken classes on strategic planning at the Harvard Business School, has a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Northwestern University, a Certificate in Human Resource Essentials from Cornell University, and enjoys events such as the European Society for Study of Science and Theology. Mark has taught “Biblical Perspectives” at Compass College of the Visual Arts and preaching at McCormick Seminary. Recently, he and his wife taught a seminar at Princeton Seminary on “Visually Speaking: Proclamation in the Digital Age.”

As an author, Mark has written Creative Styles of Preaching, Middle of Maze: 5 Secrets to Finding Your Way and Easter: 21 Stations. As a filmmaker he directed The Last Songwriter which premiered at the Nashville Film Festival and won an Audience Award, and Lost Boy Home which was narrated by Sam Waterston, premiered at the Palm Beach International Film Festival, won a Best Shorts Award and was featured at the Africa World Documentary Film Festival.

For hobbies, Mark enjoys running, watching Big Ten athletics, and the pursuit of making the perfect omelette.

Reverend Doctor Julia A. Carlson

Associate Pastor for Spiritual Life and Care
Phone: (651) 223-7553

Reverend Julia Carlson is the Associate Pastor for Spiritual Life and Care. She previously served as a spiritual care counselor at Hazelden Treatment Center in Center City, Minnesota. Since her ordination in January of 2000, she has served as interim pastor and interim associate pastor at several churches in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and completed a chaplain residency at Fairview Hospitals and Clinics. Her many continuing education studies have included workshops in grief care, in leadership in times of anxiety, as well as the requisite interim ministry training. Of her work in congregational care, Julia says, “I have presence: an open heart, a curious and lively mind, and ears to hear. I honed the presence of deep listening here, expanded my vocabulary for God and Spirit, and take part in the healing of souls.”

Aaron David Miller

Director of Music / Organist
Phone: (651) 223-7550

Aaron David Miller is a renowned organ improviser having won numerous international awards and given concerts across the country.  Dr. Miller’s performances have been heard on Pipe Dreams and numerous television programs.  His orchestra works have been performed by such ensembles as the Seattle Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Zurich Symphony, and numerous new music ensembles.  His organ, choral and orchestra compositions are published by Augsburg Fortress, Paraclete Publishing, Morningstar Publications, and Oxford University Press.  Dr. Miller was the featured artist at the National AGO convention held in Houston, TX of 2016.  In addition to many performance prizes, Dr. Miller was recipient of the 2004 Hellenikon Idyllion Prize for Composition, Athens, Greece.

Matthew Culloton

Choir Director
Phone: (651) 223-7543

Dr. Matthew Culloton is the Choirmaster at House of Hope Presbyterian Church in St. Paul. He is also the Founding Artistic Director of The Singers, a 40-voice professional choir based in the Twin Cities. He holds degrees from Concordia College (B.M) and the University of Minnesota (M.M. & D.M.A.). Matthew is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Saint Thomas and conducted the University of Minnesota Women’’s Chorus from 2008-2011. In 2004, he received the MN ACDA Outstanding Young Choral Conductor of the Year Award. In 2003, he received the VocalEssence/ACDA of Minnesota Creative Programming Award. As a composer, Matthew has been commissioned to compose for the Dale Warland Singers, Choral Arts Ensemble of Rochester, and the MMEA All-State Choir. He is editor of the “Christmas with The Singers Choral Series” published by MorningStar Music Publishers and co-editor of the “Matthew and Michael Culloton Choral Series” with Santa Barbara Publishing Company. 

Sofia Ardalan

Choir School Director
Phone: (651) 223-7548

Sofia Ardalan, Director, The House of Hope Choir School, conducts the ensembles of The Choir School, our unique music education program for singers ages 4-18. Under her leadership, the Choir School sings weekly in worship, and has performed several large choral works with professional orchestra including Vivaldi’s Gloria, Galuppi’s Dixit Dominus and Cantata BWV 4 by JS Bach.  Ms. Ardalan is a highly sought after vocal instructor and clinician, leading masterclasses and judging competitions around the state. A member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Ms. Ardalan is dedicated to guiding all to find their true voice!​

David Johnson


Dave Johnson was appointed carillonneur in 1993. He is active in The Guild of Carillonneurs in North America and has performed recitals throughout the United States. He was an elected member of The Guild’s board of directors from 1999 to 2005, was again elected in 2010, has served on various committees, was its recording secretary for ten years, and in June 2010 was elected its president. Dave received his B.A. from Hamline University, M.A. from Stanford University and Ph.D. in American Intellectual History from the University of Kansas. He is the author of two histories of Hamline, a 150th anniversary history of House of Hope and a 50th anniversary history of Presbyterian Homes and Services of Minnesota.  He taught history at Kansas Wesleyan University, the University of Kansas and Pacific Lutheran University.

Tim Short

Music Associate

Tim Short joined the House of Hope staff as Music Associate in 2018.  He holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from  Mount Union University, and a Master of Music degree in organ performance from Drake University where he was a Graduate Fellow.  A longtime musician and educator, he has a specific interest in the use of handbells for the enrichment of worship through musical offerings,  as accompaniment to hymns or sung liturgy, and as a musical complement to prayer.  He enjoys the creative and experimentational process of combining bell ringing with other instruments or voices.

Kiera Stegall

Director of Children and Family Ministry
Phone: (651) 223-7547

Kiera Stegall has served children and families in a variety of teaching and ministry roles since 2003. She joined the House of Hope staff in 2017. Kiera holds a Master of Divinity degree from Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, Georgia as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Church Ministries, Bible, and Children’s Ministries. She is pursuing a Doctorate of Ministry in Theology and the Arts at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. Kiera enjoys exploring Scripture with children via storytelling, theatre, and visual arts. Believing justice stems from our faith, Kiera seeks opportunities to involve children in using their voice and actions in pursuit of social change. As a local children’s theatre teaching artist, Kiera enjoys theatrical performances with her child, Leila, and partner, Jon.

Dan Miglets-Nelson

Director of Youth Ministry
Phone: (651) 223-7545

Dan Miglets-Nelson has brought creativity, energy, and passion to youth ministry since 2006 while serving churches in Texas, Nevada, Illinois, and Minnesota. He holds a Master of Divinity from Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, where he was awarded the E.L.C.A. Fund For Leaders Scholarship in 2013 for Congregational Development and Redevelopment. After graduating, he moved to Chicago where he helped plant and launch Third Place Chicago, a thriving new campus of Redeemer Church on the city’s northwest side. Before seminary, Dan was a professional musician, helping to write and record over half a dozen albums with many bands and artists in a variety of musical styles. He is an avid reader of history and theology and can often be found either at a local coffee shop, or rock climbing along the St. Croix River. Dan and his wife Julia live in Minneapolis.

Michelle Freyholtz

Director of Administration

David Goudzwaard-Vaught

Executive Assistant for Pastors and Programs

Debbie Tschida

Administrative Assistant

Malinda Johnson

Administrative Assistant

Ellen Lewandoski

Administrative Assistant

Jim Brzezinski

Facilities Manager

Shelley Baumgart

Facility Staff