Meet the Instructors.

Single Mom University® secures only the most professional and qualified experts in their respective fields to educate and empower our students. Most instructors have a direct connection to single moms either through personal experience as a current or former single parent, having been raised by one, or having a close relationship with a single mom. This unique perspective gives each instructor insight into your world, ensuring that each class's content gives you effective tools to parent well, succeed financially, and achieve health & wellness goals. These instructors care about YOU and believe in YOUR potential to have a life that is thriving and full.

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Karol Ladd

Karol Ladd


Karol Ladd is known as “the Positive Lady.” Her heart’s desire is to inspire women with a message of lasting hope and Biblical truth. Karol is open, honest and real in both her speaking and her writing. Formerly a teacher, Karol is the best-selling author of over 35 books including The Power of a Positive Mom and her newest book, Becoming a Woman of the Word.

As a gifted communicator and dynamic leader, Karol is a popular speaker to women’s organizations and a frequent guest on radio and television programs. Recently, she started the Engage Positive Parenting Initiative which reaches men and women in communities affected by poverty (www.EngageParenting.com). Her most valued role is that of wife to Curt and mother to two grown daughters, Grace and Joy.

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Shannon Ethridge

Shannon Ethridge


Shannon Ethridge is a million-copy best-selling author of 22 books, international speaker, certified life coach, and advocate for healthy sexuality with a master’s degree in counseling / human relations from Liberty University. Since her mortuary days of embalming many HIV+ and AIDS patients, she has boldly spoken to high school and college students, single adults, and married couples on a variety of issues. She currently resides in Lansing, Michigan.

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Thelma Wells

Thelma Wells


Born “Baby Girl” Morris to a crippled unwed teenage girl in the 1940’s, Thelma Wells had the odds stacked against her.  But, she has become one of the most sought-after speakers in both the banking, corporate and Christian arenas – speaking for Women of Faith for 13 years.  She’s written over 40 books and is world renown as “Mama T,” but her most prized possessions are her faith in Jesus, her husband of 55 years, and her children and grandchildren.

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Mike Haman

Mike Haman


Mike Haman is a father to three children and husband to Rachel. These are his first ministries. Originally from Missouri, Mike makes his home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he is executive pastor of the multi-campus, Healing Place Church. Throughout his twenty years of ministry, Mike has seen the importance to lead the charge in being a healing place for a hurting world. He is author of the book, The Second Mile, and loves LSU football.

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Mike Haman

Genette Howard


Genette Howard is an international speaker, author and certified personal coach dedicated to helping today's overwhelmed women and families experience authentic success with less stress and greater fulfillment. She also serves as a pastor alongside her husband, Dexter Howard.

For over 20 years, Genette has empowered people throughout the world to overcome setbacks and breakthrough into thriving life. She connects deeply with human struggles and offers faith-­‐based, effective solutions that help people experience remarkable personal transformations.

She is the author of two books: "Fight Stress & Live: 5 Simple Commitments That Can Save Your Life" and "The Five Laws of Gratitude: Simple Shifts to Create a Happier, Healthier & Wealthier You". Genette is the mother of six daughters and enjoys Jazzercise, historical fiction, great music, global cuisine, and all things "home". The Howards live in the Charlotte, NC area.

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Jennifer Maggio

Jennifer Maggio


Jennifer Maggio is an award-winning author and national speaker, as well as Chief Executive Officer for the global nonprofit, The Life of a Single Mom. She is an 11-time Circle of Excellence Winner who climbed the corporate ladder, before launching The Life of a Single Mom. Maggio's personal journey through homelessness, abuse, and years of parenting alone has fueled her passion to see every single mother empowered, encouraged, and equipped to do life well.

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Nicole Reyes

Nicole Reyes Smithee


Nicole Reyes is a gifted and dynamic communicator and author, who travels to speak at churches, conferences, and events around the world. Her desire is for people everywhere to experience the radical love of Jesus Christ and passionately pursue His plans. Nicole currently resides in New York City and leads Liberty Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to pioneering local churches globally and helping the hurting around the world.  

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Dorothy Newton

Dorothy Newton


Dorothy Newton was raised in poverty. The oldest of six children, she put herself through college on a volleyball scholarship receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Business, and eventually also secured her M.B.A.

Growing up, Dorothy witnessed her mother be abused and vowed she would never be in such a marriage. Yet, like so many others, she repeated her mother’s pattern. Dorothy married Nathaniel (Nate) Newton, now a retired Dallas Cowboy. Nate grew violent and Dorothy eventually filed for divorce.

As a national speaker and author, Dorothy now uses her story to address the topic of abuse. She is the proud mother of two boys—Nathaniel (Tre’) and Nate. She is a frequent host on Daystar Television Network’s “Joni Table Talk” and has appeared on numerous television and radio programs.

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Amy Ford

Amy Ford


Going through an unplanned pregnancy in her teens was one of the hardest times in her life. Amy Ford remembers so well how lonely and ashamed she felt. Looking back on those 9 months of brokenness, fueled her passion to change things for girls with crisis pregnancies. Amy and her friend Salina, started a small group within her church to provide support. Five years later, hundreds of girls have gone through her Embrace Grace program.

Amy is the author of A Bump in Life and a national author and speaker. She is the co-founder and president of Embrace Grace, a non-profit organization formed for the purpose of inspiring the church and providing the tools necessary to be an emotional, practical and spiritual support for single young girls that find themselves with an unplanned pregnancy. She lives in Arlington, TX and actively serves at her home church, Gateway.

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Jenni Catron

Jenni Catron


Jenni Catron is a leadership coach, author and speaker. Her passion is to lead well and to inspire, equip and encourage others to do the same. Her most recent book, The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership: The Power of Leading from Your Heart, Soul, Mind and Strength is available now. She loves a fabulous cup of tea, great books, learning the game of tennis and hiking the west coast with her husband.

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Julio Melara

Julio Melara


Julio Melara is President and CEO of Louisiana Business Inc., a multi-media company which publishes several magazines and digital products such as the Baton Rouge Business Report, Daily Report, InRegister Magazine,225 Magazine, LA NEXT Magazine and several more. He is the author of several books, including Do You Have Time for Success?, It Only Takes Everything You’ve Got!, and Mental Snacks. He is the son of a single mom who has a passion to teach others successful money management and entrepreneurial practices. 

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Jill Monaco

Jill Monaco


Jill Monaco is an author, speaker, and life coach. As the Founder and CEO of Jill Monaco Ministries, a 501c3 non profit that publishes the online magazine Single Matters . She is also the creator of the interactive coaching program for singles From Looking To Loving: Find the Breakthrough You Need So You Can Have The Relationship You Want. She loves helping singles find freedom and purpose so they can live a life they love. Jill is known for captivating audiences with her high-energy, humorous approach to life’s serious issues. You can learn more about Jill by clicking the button below. 

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Jill Garner

Jill Garner


Jill Rigby Garner is a parenting expert who founded Manners of the Heart, a national nonprofit focused on heart education. She is an inspiring speaker and award-winning author of Raising Respectful Children in a Disrespectful World. Jill’s deepest desire and calling are to bring a return of God’s principles of respect and civility to our society. For more information, visit Jill's website through the button below.

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Laveda Jones

LaVeda Jones


LaVeda M. Jones has engaged in the care, support, and advocacy of single mothers since 2009, the year she launched PSM. In February 2015,  LaVeda decided to share her personal struggles, self-doubt, fears and uncertainties in her new book Raising A Prince Without a King. LaVeda’s story of survival has changed lives worldwide.

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Carol Floch McColl

Carol Floch McColl


Carol Floch McColl’s own personal journey through divorce and thirteen years of single parenting enables her to come alongside single moms with empathy, compassion, and encouragement. Her passion is to give women hope in the twists and turns of life—hope that is grounded in the goodness, faithfulness, and unfailing love of God. Carol is the author of The Single Mom’s Devotional (Revell; 2009), and a featured expert in the Single & Parenting curriculum. She has over 35 years of experience in ministry to women and teenagers, but her most satisfying ministry was in nurturing her three daughters to become Christ-followers. Carol is a Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice in Dallas, TX. She holds an M.A. in Counseling from Dallas Baptist University, and a B. A. in Christian Education from Wheaton College (IL).

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Elizabeth Demarest

Elizabeth Demarest


Elizabeth Demarest is a third-generation missionary, who continues to travel the world and lead teams on short-term trips to support indigenous ministries. Elizabeth has been firmly planted in her local church for over nineteen years and she believes the church is necessary to cultivate our divine passions and purpose. Her passion is investing in young women, inspiring them to pursue purity and unearth their God-breathed dreams. She is a national speaker, mother of three, and wife to Aley.

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Dawn Vanderwerf

Dawn VanderWerf


Having been a single mom for nearly 6 years, Dawn VanderWerf loves helping other single parents and their kids discover the hope and purpose she found in Christ, and she is passionate about envisioning and equipping more church communities to better serve single parent families. Recently remarried, Dawn lives with her husband Steve and their four children in Hudsonville, MI where she is the Director of Outreach and Single Parent Missions at EverGreen Ministries. 

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Jade Berry

J.E. Berry


J.E. Berry is a national speaker, former single mom, and author of The Truth About Happiness. She is a wife and a homeschooling mother of five children. As an author and speaker, she explores things that hinder us from moving forward in our walk with Christ, such as people-pleasing, unhappiness, unforgiveness and much more. 

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Jamie Tindle

Jamie Tindle


Jamie Tindle is a faith-filled single mother of 3 amazing adult children, one of whom has disabilities. She is a parent advocate for individuals with disabilities and their families as well as the executive director of Families Helping Families.  Jamie knows the importance of sharing her personal experiences with other families, so they will know there is hope, help, and happiness through the journey.

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Daurie Adcock

Daurie Adcock


Daurie Adcock is a former single mom who knows all too well the life's demands on time and energy. As a mom to 9 children (6 by birth and 3 by love), Daurie has learned the art of balancing health & wellness in a busy schedule.  She has been a Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor for over a decade. Her passion is to help people find their healthiest and happiest self.

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Jonathan James

Jonathan James


Jonathan James is pastor, CEO, dad, worship leader, and husband who has a passion for helping the hurting. As co-founder of Grace Journey Church, Jonathan uses his decade-long experience of pastoring as a way to meet the needs of those around him. He also carries a passion to pastor those who are pastoring others. As a person who has an incurable illness, he has suffered through the ups and downs of balancing life, ministry, parenting, and finances. Jonathan has a background in helping individuals with their financial planning due to his experience as a financial advisor for over 10 years. He uses his background in both finance and his personal experience with hemophilia to help families in crisis. This experience lead to him founding the national organization, Hope Charities, in 2009. Jonathan has substantial experience as a keynote and public speaker and continues to be a role model to many who are growing up with the challenges of hemophilia.

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Jonathan James

Nettye Johnson


Nettye Johnson is founder of Faith and Fitness Services, LLC, a Christ-centered wellness organization offering education, products, and coaching services to help adults grow in spiritual and physical stewardship. As a sedentary and chubby child, Nettye experienced childhood asthma and was later diagnosed with a heart abnormality. For 17 years, she searched many diets and exercise plans and abandoned most of them. She worked a lot, had babies, stress a lot, and ate a lot. Finally, she surrendered her health, eating patterns, and life balance to God and the rest is history. Today, she is the author of Put Your Faith Where Your Fork Is and spends her days coaching others to find the freedom in health that she now experiences.

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Jonathan James

Jeff Maggio


With the 15+ years of experience I have working as a mortgage professional, I understand my customers’ needs to not only get the greatest rates possible, but to also work with a mortgage specialist who helps make the process as convenient and straightforward as possible. As a Loan Officer with Pacific Union Financial, I strive to go the extra mile for every customer – from those buying their first home, to those refinancing their current mortgage. Having the ability to offer customers loan options means we can work together to find the right mortgage solution that best meets your financial situation and goals. Contact me today for additional information or to discuss your specific mortgage needs!

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Jonathan James

Jason Doise


Jason Doise, LUTCF is a co-founder and Senior Partner of Legacy Wealth Partners, an independent financial planning firm in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Since entering the financial services arena in 2002, he has focused on helping motivated people understand and avoid financial pitfalls. He was named one of the Top 4 Under 40 financial advisors in 2015 by the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. Jason and his wife Chenelle have been married for 20 years and are parents to three wonderful children – Jewel, Jonah and Jensi.

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Jonathan James

Crystal Tullos


Crystal Tullos is an ordinary girl from the Texas Panhandle living an extraordinary life following God. After spending a decade in Baton Rouge, she made a life in Boston, MA, following God's call to start StoryHeights Church along with her husband, Tyler. She lives life with audacious faith and an entrepreneurial spirit, enjoying her full life of raising four kids, serving as the executive director and co-lead pastor of her church, flipping houses, mentoring women, and starting and operating Montessori early education centers in the New England area. She is a dynamic communicator who will keep it real, make you laugh, empower you to soar to new heights and realize your God-given strength.

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Jonathan James

Kris Swiatocho


Vivacious. Knowledgeable. Passionate. That's Kris Swiatocho, Director of From His Hands Ministries and The Singles Network Ministries. Kris has served in ministry in various capacities for the last 25 years. An accomplished trainer/mentor author, Kris has a heart to reach and grow people so they will in turn reach and grow others.

Kris is a graduate of North Carolina State University with a bachelor's degree in Environmental Design/Visual Design. She has also received some graduate training at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, been an affiliate staff member with Campus Crusade for Christ, taken leadership development courses, and coordinated singles ministry conferences, workshops and seminars.

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Jonathan James

Steve Repak


Steve Repak, is a Certified Financial Planner™ , Financial Literacy Speaker, Army veteran, and the author of “6 Week Money Challenge For Your Personal Finances” and “Dollars & Uncommon Sense: Basic Training For Your Money”. Steve has been a frequent guest on Fox and Friends, Fox Business, 700 Club, and CNN Headline News. Steve has been interviewed on NPR, Bloomberg Radio, Market Watch Radio, Wall Street Journal Radio, and many other National and Regional Shows. Steve’s work has been featured in Forbes, Investor’s Business Daily, BusinessWeek, New York Post, Chicago Tribune, MSN Money, Yahoo Finance & USA Today.

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Courses Overview.

Single Mom University® courses are designed to teach financial security, positive parenting habits, career preparation, and self-care. Classes incorporate curriculum in three core areas: Parenting, Finances, and Health & Wellness.


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