Welcome to the RUF at UT Knoxville profile page! RUF is a community of students that is trying to learn how to love God, love people, and love the University of Tennessee. The way that we do that is to create safe places (large groups, small groups, one-on-ones) for students of all types and backgrounds to PROCESS the story of Jesus and to learn how to INTEGRATE their lives into His story.
Listen to our podcast!
Matt is a graduate of Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, NC. He grew up in Dallas, TX and graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2003 where he studied Philosophy and Communication. After graduation, Matt served as an intern with RUF at Louisiana State University for two years where he developed a heart for college students (and Cajun food). It was during his internship that he met and married the RUF intern at Emory University, Kathryn, who hails from Memphis, TN and studied Religious Studies at Washington and Lee. Matt served as the RUF campus minister at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC for 4 years before moving to Knoxville. Matt and Kathryn have 2 wonderful children - Zoe Kate (born Sept of 2010) and Reid (born Dec of 2012).
After growing up in Memphis, TN, Kathryn attended Washington & Lee University. There she studied Religion, got involved with RUF, and tried to learn how to play the guitar and become outdoorsy (both unsuccessfully). After college, she interned with RUF at Emory University in Atlanta. During her internship, she met and dated and married the RUF intern at LSU (Matt!). They moved to Charlotte, where Matt attended RTS and Kathryn worked for Bank of America. When Matt was called to be the Campus Minister at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, Kathryn also returned to vocational ministry with RUF there. They've been married since 2006 and together created 2 crazy yet cute kids, Zoe Kate and Reid.
Ellie grew up in Fort Worth, TX and completed her undergrad at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. There she majored in Psychology and minored in Religion in Film Studies. You can usually find her watching movies, walking in the woods, drinking tea, or with friends at chipotle. RUF made Wake Forest feel like home during her 4 years there and she is thrilled to serve UTK's campus.
McKenna grew up in Fort Worth, TX before heading off to college just around the corner at Texas Christian University. She graduated with a degree in Sports Psychology and a minor in Social Work. When school kicked off, McKenna was quick to get involved with RUF and stayed around for all four years. RUF has impacted her life in many ways, and she is beyond excited to be able to share her love for the ministry with students on campus at University of Tennessee these next two years. You are likely to find her at a basketball game, on the dance floor, or in line at Starbucks.
Matt grew up in Chattanooga, TN and graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a degree in psychology. He has been married to his wife Laura since June 2018. RUF made a big difference in Matt’s life during college, and he is excited for this opportunity to work as an intern at UT. When he’s not on campus, Matt is most likely to be found running through the woods, sipping a mug of coffee, or attempting to make something inspired by the Great British Baking Show.
Walker Grew up in Hot Springs, Arkansas and graduated from Oklahoma State University in 2018 where he majored in Human Development and Family Science with an option in Family and Youth Ministry/ Outreach and minored in Religious Studies. It was in Stillwater, Oklahoma that Walker realized his love for college students as he found himself serving with a campus ministry. Walker will marry his camp crush, Shelby Collins, in December of 2018. Walker loves spending time in the woods, on the mountains, or near a river. He is thrilled to be working on good ole Rocky Top!