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Featured Speaker


Welcome to another new speaker, Khouria Krista West!

Kh. Krista has been adding to the beauty and richness of the Orthodox Church for many years!  There is a good chance that you’ve already seen her work.   Find out more about Khouria Krista and her beautiful creations, along with her many speaking topics, on her speaker page!

Take a look at her speaker page here to find out more!




Thomas Eric Ruthford

Thomas Eric Ruthford is available to speak on: Dating, Romantic Relationships and other relational issues related to teens. Learn more »

Additional Information: Website


Thomas Eric RuthfordThomas Eric Ruthford’s life made quite a change in 2001, from being a newspaper reporter to becoming a Peace Corps volunteer, and from having no particular religion to being baptized in the Orthodox Church. He served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Ukraine as a teacher of English as a foreign language, and became conversational in Russian. Ruthford has a BA in Communications and History from Pacific Lutheran University and a master’s degree in public policy and management at Carnegie Mellon University in 2005. He served as chief financial officer at Raphael House of San Francisco, a homeless shelter run by an Orthodox charity.

Thomas’s first humor book, Heaven Help the Single Christian: Your (Practical) Guide to Navigating Church as You Search for a Godly Mate, was published in 2010 by Regina Orthodox Press. He’s also been published in Divine Ascent magazine and His work has appeared in The Seattle Post-Intelligencer and he has published stories on homelessness in Seattle and commercial sexual exploitation of children for a new non-profit site called the Seattle PostGlobe. Currently he is working on a book about his experiences teaching in Ukraine.

Ruthford married a priest’s daughter in 2007. Thomas and Miri live near Seattle with an energetic dog named Jisa, and go on multi-day biking adventures.


Ruthford is available to present on dating for young Christians, particularly the plight of the single Christian who would really like to meet someone at church but is disappointed by the slim pickings at coffee hour. His presentation focuses on topics covered in his book, Heaven Help the Single Christian and includes:

  • Dating vs. Courting vs. General Naughtiness
  • Modest ≠ Frumpy: Attractive Clothing for Christians on the Make
  • Joys and Perils of Dating PKs and Seminarians: A Partner With a Direct Connection to Church
  • Monasticism: Competing with St. Anthony the Great for Your Sweetie’s Heart
  • Romantic Pilgrimages
  • Travel Lust
  • Convert Your Sweetie With a Kiss: Missionary Dating
  • Babies and Other Hazards of Passion
  • Match-Making and Other Bad Advice
  • Suppose You Propose

The presentation is highly interactive and humorous, and also includes a list of signs on how to tell if you might be dating the wrong person.

Ruthford’s presentation provides both humor and energy on the topic of courting and dating for Christians. His presentation is ideal for conferences for young adults and youth aged 14-17, study groups, and family conferences where parents and youth attend together.


Endorsements for Heaven Help the Single Christian: Your (Practical) Guide to Navigating Church as You Search for a Godly Mate:

Christian singles get bombarded with bad advice, from all directions, every day. Thank Heaven for this good-natured, clear, and funny book, by someone who arrived successfully on the other side of a wedding day.
– Frederica Mathewes-Green, Author & Speaker

It’s been said that the way to an Orthodox man’s heart is for a gal to walk around with a cookbook under one arm, and a copy of the “Rudder” under the other. Thanks to Mr. Ruthford’s disarming book, only one arm’s necessary, for gals and guys! Now that one arm’s free…
– Fr Joseph Huneycutt, Author & Speaker

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