Meet Our Staff

Reverend Doctor Scott Kenefake

Transitional Pastor
Phone: (651) 223-7542

Rev. Dr. Scott M. Kenefake is a Kansas City native (Overland Park) and has been an ordained Teaching Elder in the Presbyterian Church USA for more than 35 years.  He is a graduate of the University of Kansas (B.A., Government/History,), Washburn University School of Law (J.D., Public Interest), San Francisco Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (D. Min.).  He has served as an installed pastor in several congregations around the country (Rome, Georgia; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Albany, New York; and Appleton, Wisconsin), as an exchange pastor in Ayr, Scotland, as a Hospital/Hospice Chaplain (Topeka, Kansas), and as an Interim/Transitional Head of Staff (New York, New York; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Bloomington, Indiana). He and his wife, Gail, have been married for 38 years and have two adult children: Mary Elizabeth, who lives in London, and William (spouse, Anna) who live in Kansas City, Missouri (Brookside).  Dr. Kenefake enjoys reading, listening to NPR, watching PBS, playing tennis, trying new restaurants, travel, all genres of music and the arts, and walking his dogs, Bindi and Pip.

Reverend Doctor Julia A. Carlson

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

Reverend Dr. 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.”

Rev. Phillip J. Romine

Transitional Pastor for Faith Formation and Lifelong Learning
Phone: (651) 223-7554

Rev. Phillip J. Romine is the Transitional Associate Pastor for Faith Formation and Lifelong Learning. He earned dual master’s degrees with honors at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities and has worked in nonprofit program management, children and youth ministry, communications, and higher education administration for the last 15 years. Born and raised in Elkhart, IN, Phil spent a year as an exchange student in Germany, and found his way to Minnesota as an undergraduate at St. Olaf College, where he majored in German and Sociology/Anthropology. He lives in Northeast Minneapolis with his spouse Liz Stoneburg, children Hugo and Georgiana Stoneburg, and dog Lorelei. He loves gardening, homebrewing, choral music, and traveling to places old and new with his family.

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.).  As a composer, Matthew has been commissioned to compose for the Dale Warland Singers, Choral Arts Ensemble of Rochester, the MMEA All-State Choir, and numerous school, community, and professional ensembles. 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.  Matthew is a classical music producer, with credits on recordings by The Singers, the National Lutheran Choir, the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus, and The Concordia Choir (Moorhead, MN).

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. Ms. Ardalan is member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and is a teaching artist on the voice faculty at the MacPhail Center for Music. She is dedicated to guiding all to find their true voice!​

David Johnson

Carillonneur Emeritus

Dave Johnson was appointed carillonneur in 1993 and served as our carillonneur for 30 years, retiring in 2023. 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 and Carillonneur

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 assists with the Choir School program, and 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.

Elsa Kendig

Director of Youth and Family Ministry
Phone: (651) 223-7549

Elsa Kendig is a third generation Presbyterian through the Mexican side of her family and a Ruling Elder who has worked in youth ministry for over 15 years. A graduate of St. Olaf College with a dual degree in social studies education and history, Elsa believes strongly in the power of how we tell the stories of our history and our faith. Engaging youth with playfulness, joy, and a deep respect for their growing wisdom, insights, and questions, Elsa looks forward to the ways the youth program can grow in the coming years by adults of the church helping youth faithfully engage the real issues of today. Alongside her service to the wider denomination through presbytery-level service, in her free time, Elsa enjoys mountain and commuter biking, a good road trip, and used book stores. 

Jimmy Hoke

Director of Children and Family Ministry

Dr. Jimmy Hoke is a religious educator and biblical scholar who brings creative teaching energy and passion for community-building to guiding faith formation for children and families at House of Hope. They especially love finding ways to bring the Bible to life in ways that excite new learners and encourage their curious questions. Jimmy previously served as the Director of Educational Ministries at the Presbyterian Church of Madison, NJ (2012-2017) and as a Visiting Professor of Religion at Luther College (2017-2023). Jimmy’s scholarly career also includes their current teaching as affiliated faculty at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities and their book about the women and LGBTQIA+ folks around Paul’s letter to the Romans. When not working, Jimmy enjoys swimming, singing, and reading queer science fiction.

Michelle Freyholtz

Director of Administration

David Goudzwaard-Vaught

Executive Assistant for Pastors and Programs

Malinda Johnson

Lead Communications Coordinator

Mark Schwister

Administrative Assistant

Rodney Beach

Facility Manager

Shelley Baumgart

Facility Lead

Julie Stanley

Facility Staff

Michelle Theisen

Facility Staff