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Spiritual Life

Speaker Biographies

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Kyle Dever Devo Kritzinger Sam Leonor
Kayla Malit Geoff Nelson-Blake Chris Oberg
Obed Olivarria

Pastor Sam Leonor
Campus Chaplain
La Sierra University
Pastor Sam Leonor was raised in Central America where his parents were part of developing health care missions. Among others, he attended Southern College in TN, where he earned a secondary education degree. He worked as a youth pastor in Asheville, NC before attending Andrews University where he earned a Master of Divinity. Sam has a passion for making church life meaningful. He wants to see people attach themselves to communities of faith that are healthy, growing and full of love. He believes that, like the Apostle Paul, people can experience dramatic personal change when they come in contact with the Gospel. This happens when Jesus the Christ and His teachings are lived out through the body of Christ.

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Pastor Chris Oberg
Senior Pastor
La Sierra University Church
Pastor Oberg first joined the Pastoral Team in 2000 as Pastor for Children and Families at La Sierra University Church. Five years later her family moved to the Calimesa Church where she would take the responsibility of Senior Pastor. In 2009, they were back at La Sierra University Church, the campus church of her alma mater. What brought them back? Largely the opportunity to work among the next generations with a conviction that the Christian life expressed through Adventist grace-driven priorities is worth pursuing and living. Pastor Oberg is double alumnus of La Sierra University, and she daily lives in a grateful awareness of how this University shapes her life. She is married to Kerby, a Physician-Scientist at Loma Linda University. There Kirby teaches, runs a research laboratory, and collaborates on all sorts of projects interested in congenital anomalies and birth defects. She has two daughters, Amanda and Alisa who are both college-age. Amanda recently graduated with her BS in Business, and Alisa is studying Psychology.

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Kayla Malit
Graduating Senior, Religious Studies
La Sierra University
Kayla was born and raised in Southern California. In 2013, she attended La Sierra University as a graduating senior with her degree in Religious Studies, Pre-Seminar. She has worked in the office of spiritual life in varying capacities for the past 5 years.

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Dean Obed Olivarria
Dean of Men
La Sierra University
Obed Olivarria is the Dean of Men at La Sierra University. He was born and raised in Mexicali, Mexico, and has devoted his life to a life of ministry. Over the past several years he has worked in youth, young adult, and collegiate ministries. He is married to the beautiful Zaidy, and has recently experienced the exciting birth of his son, Ojani. He loves food, sports, traveling, literature, and music. Obed does not believe in telling others about Jesus, but rather, in showing them Whom He is.

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Kyle Dever
Graduate Student, M.Div
Andrews University
Kyle Dever had a great time serving as the First Service Director in 2009-10. He is currently enduring the Seventh-Day Adventist Seminary in Berrien Springs, Michigan and he is looking forward to coming back to Southern California where he pastored for two years. Kyle is loyal to his DC area sports teams, to a fault, and wastes too much affection on his car.

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Pastor Dewald Kritzinger
Associate Pastor for Young Adults & Media
La Sierra University Church
Devo was born and raised in the beautiful country of South Africa where he studied theology at Helderberg College (an extension campus of Andrews University). He came to La Sierra University in 2001 to pursue graduate studies and started working at La Sierra University Church in 2002. Currently he serves as Associate Pastor for Young Adults and Media. He is married to Leilani and has four children (Lia, Amelie, Levi and Kiri). Spending time with his family and enjoying all kinds of sports activities brings joy and delight to his life!

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Geoff Nelson-Blake

Geoffrey Nelson-Blake is a proud alumus of La Sierra University. After graduating from La Sierra University, he attended the Theological Seminary at Andrews University and later served as Pastor for Youth and Young Adults at Paradise Valley Seventh-day Adventist Church in National City, CA. Since 2011, Geoff has worked as a congregation-based community organizer at the San Francisco Organizing Project (sfop.org), part of the PICO National Network (piconetwork.org). Geoff's greatest passion is inspiring and empowering people of faith to organize their own communities for justice.

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More Bio's Coming Soon!!

Contact Us

Spiritual Life Office

La Sierra University

4500 Riverside Parkway
Riverside, CA 92515





951.785.2199 fax



Office Location:

La Sierra Hall #206


Office Hours:

Monday - Thursday 

8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.



8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

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