Jim Black

Director of Undergraduate Ministry


Jim hails from Indiana. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Biblical Studies from Wheaton College, Illinois, then served as a youth pastor, chaplain, and high school basketball coach at a church and school in Houston, Texas. Following that, he worked in residence life at Wheaton and earned a Master’s degree in Evangelism and Biblical Theology. 

Jim completed an MDiv at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida, and then served as the Senior Pastor at Alliance Bible Church in Baytown, Texas, for nine years. Two long-term dreams coalesced in his role with CFA: ministering to college students and serving in New York City. Jim, his wife, Laurie, and their three children, are honored to engage in this exciting endeavor. 

Jesse Peterson

Ministry Fellow


Jesse grew up in Duluth, Minnesota, and graduated from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities where he studied Music (Percussion / Composition) as well as Classical Hebrew. 

Sensing a call toward ministry, he attended The Bethlehem Institute in Minneapolis for two years and graduated with an MDiv from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Boston. Jesse served in college ministry in New York City at Neighborhood Church of Greenwich Village (Village Vespers) and New York University for two years before joining CFA in 2011.

Rebekah Hannah

Ministry Fellow

Rebekah Hannah.jpg

Rebekah is originally from Texas, but she has been residing in Louisville, KY for the last 7 years. She received her Master of Divinity in Theology and Biblical Counseling from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) in Louisville in 2010.

Since then, she has served as a Garret Fellow for numerous professors, worked as the Assistant Director of the Center for Biblical Counseling at SBTS, taught seminary counseling and women’s ministry courses at SBTS and Boyce College, served as a women’s director of member care and counseling at her church, counseled women in need, and taught at various events and conferences across the country. Rebekah, her husband, Andrew, and daughter, Maggie, are thrilled about helping to grow the next generation of christian leaders in Columbia.

Yolanda Solomon

Ministry Fellow


Yolanda Solomon was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY  and graduated from Ithaca College where she studied Television/Radio Production. Yolanda has worked on numerous television/film productions in NYC. In 2010, Yolanda earned a MA in Urban Missions from Westminster Theological Seminary and joined Christian Union as a volunteer in 2013 before becoming a ministry fellow with Columbia Faith and Action. 

Ava Ligh

Ministry Fellow

Ava Ligh is an alumna of Columbia (CC '99) with a degree in East Asian Languages and Cultures. Upon graduation she worked as a management consultant, specializing in branding and marketing. She then pursued a career in teaching by participating in the New York City Teaching Fellows while obtaining her MS in Early Childhood Education. She married her husband Peter Ligh in 2001 and has three children Karis (10), Erenei (7), and Checed (5). She attends Emmanuel Presbyterian Church, where she serves as the Children's Ministry Coordinator. She joined Christian Union as a volunteer before becoming a ministry fellow.