Our Founder

Dr. Phyllis Kilbourn is a pioneer leader in ministry among children at risk and children in crisis. While a missionary among post-war traumatized children in Liberia and Kenya with WEC International, Phyllis was providing trauma and crisis care (in the 1980s), before trauma care was well known. She has written and edited many books including: Children in Crisis, Healing the Children of War, Street Children, Sexually Exploited Children, Healing for Hurting Hearts, and The Girl Child. After the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010, Dr. Kilbourn was contacted by parachurch organizations to develop a workbook for children to help them process the trauma and devastating losses they experienced. Dr. Kilbourn created There is Hope for Haiti. The workbook was so well-received and powerful for children that Dr. Kilbourn replicated the workbook into There is Hope for Me. Dr. Kilbourn has also given input, advice and direction for other organizations wanting to create their own materials in trauma-informed care. Believing that the local church’s participation in helping suffering children around the world was the answer to their overwhelming need, Phyllis, in 2004 founded Crisis Care Training International (CCTI) that focused on equipping the local and international church and parachurch organizations on trauma and crisis care. For over two decades, Phyllis has conducted trauma-informed care research in dozens of countries across Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia, Latin America, and North America. She has visited hundreds of projects serving children in crisis and facilitated countless training seminars. Phyllis holds a BSc in Elementary Education from Trevecca Nazarene University, an MAR in Religion from Asbury Theological Seminary and a PhD in Education from Trinity International University. She is truly one of the most respected pioneers of the children in crisis movement. Join the Movement. Get Trained Today.

About Curriculum

CCTI’s curriculum, Offering Healing and Hope for Children in Crisis, is a flexible, multi-module curriculum for training caregivers working with children who have experienced trauma from crisis experiences such as physical, sexual or emotional abuse, abandonment and/or exploitation.

Module l, Trauma and Crisis Care, is the core module that usually is taken first. It lays a foundation in understanding children’s response to trauma. Surrounding the “hub” are several “spokes” that examine specific trauma-producing situations.

Curriculum Modules

Module 1: Trauma & Crisis Care

Module 2: Street Children

Module 3: Care for Orphans and Vulnerable Children

Module 4: Children and Soldiers: Working with Children In Situations of Armed Conflict

Module 5: Train the Trainer

Module 6: Counseling Children

Module 7: Restoring Hope to Children with Disabilities

Click here for Modules

Our Mission

To bring the healing and hope of Christ to children and families in crisis situations, through training and resources.

Our Vision

To see every church: • equipped to reach in to every child in their community • equipped to reach out to the children of the world • equipped to realize and utilize the resource of children and their God-given gifts as the church of today.

Our Task

Of the 2.2 billion children in the world, two-thirds (1.5 billion) are hurting—they are children at risk and children in crisis. These are precious children who have been subjected to abuse, abandonment, neglect and/or exploitation. What a strategy of the enemy to destroy the image of God and hinder them from knowing their Savior. Our task is to equip communities, including the local church and caregivers, with the training and resources necessary to bring the healing and hope of Christ to children and families in crisis.

Our Strategy

To accomplish our mission CCTI is:

  • Building awareness of global children-in-crisis situations and subsequent ministry opportunities.
  • Developing resources and training materials including a curriculum, books and a training newsletter.
  • Training and equipping communities, local church members, and caregivers to effectively and compassionately minister to children and families in crisis.
  • Developing a pool of trainers to assist with global training needs.
  • Working towards establishing a fully equipped and accredited training center available to all in children-in-crisis ministry.

Our Staff

All CCTI staff are full-time missionaries. All of our finances comes through the generous donations of individuals who partner with us in our desire to reach children with the healing and hope of Christ.

Phyllis Kilbourn, Ph.D. – Founder:

Phyllis holds the Ph.D. in education from Trinity International University, Deerfield, Illinois. Dr. Kilbourn has taught crisis care training seminars and/or conducted research in many countries across the globe. She resides in South Carolina.



Tami Snowden – Director:

Tami began her work with children in crisis by ministering to the orphaned children in Kyrgyzstan. After leaving Central Asia, Tami began a ministry of advocacy for children in crisis. She is the co-creator of Red Card, a family curriculum for churches designed to raise awareness for children at risk, mobilize prayer on their behalf, and equip families to offer practical help. Tami realized the need to equip the church by training indigenous leaders and caregivers of children in crisis and joined the CCTI staff as Training Coordinator in January of 2013. Tami has taught multiple modules of CCTI’s Trauma Training material throughout the USA and abroad. Tami now serves as the Director of CCTI. Tami holds a BA in Business Administration from Fort Lewis College, Durango, CO and has completed a Masters  Certificate in Theology from Denver Seminary. Tami and her daughter live in Colorado.

Amy Wilson – Director of Education:

Amy and her husband have been serving in missions related work to children since 2002. They worked full time in Mexico City during 2009-2010, where they helped to establish a community center for Street Children. Since their return to the states, Amy continued to serve with Pioneers and their children’s ministry, Stand4Kids. God then opened doors for Amy to work with WEC and Crisis Care Training International. She has been serving as an Editing, Marketing and International Online Education Coordinator for CCTI since 2012. Amy also home schools her sons in North Carolina, where the family resides. Amy holds a BA in Psychology and Elementary Education from Meredith College, Raleigh, NC.  She also attended Moody Bible College where she completed a Certificate of Biblical Studies.

Howard & Virginia McConnell – Finance & Operations Management:

Howard and Virginia McConnell were both born in Colorado, where they accepted Jesus as their Savior at an early age. After graduating from Adams State College, they moved to Minnesota and Howard taught accounting in a Community College. Virginia was a stay-at-home mom for their two children. After seventeen years, God called them to go to WEC International to serve in finances for WEC-USA. Twenty six years later, when they were beginning to think retirement, God again called; this time to New Zealand. They served in New Zealand for four years, where Howard once again worked with finance and Virginia worked in the office and in hospitality to the field. As the door closed on their time in New Zealand, God opened the door for Howard and Virginia to come to CCTI to serve in Finance and Operations Management in South Carolina.


Natalie Flickner – Curriculum Developer & Member Care:

Natalie Flickner is an associate missionary with World Evangelism for Christ (WEC) serving as a part of Crisis Care Training International (CCTI). She graduated with a BA in both Intercultural Studies and Bible from Columbia International University. Then she continued studying at Columbia Biblical Seminary and earned an MA in Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Formation.  Natalie has ministered with CCTI since 2013.  Her role at CCTI is Disability Coordinator and Trainer. Under this role she has written a module for CCTI curriculum called “Restoring Hope to Children with Disabilities”. This module is being used worldwide to educate caregivers. She also speaks at conferences regarding the current worldwide state of children with disability. She uses her personal experience of living with mild cerebral palsy in both her writing and speaking engagements. Natalie also trains caregivers of children in crisis through CCTI online courses. She lives with her husband in South Carolina.

Marissa Phelps – Children’s Prayer & Advocacy Coordinator:  

Marissa holds an M.A. in Missions and Evangelism and a second degree in Christian Education from Asbury Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky.  During her time in seminary she also served with GO International as Children’s Ministries Coordinator.

Marissa has served children by focusing on training indigenous church leaders in the importance of ministering to children on the local level. She has also written a training manual for this purpose. Marissa joined CCTI in 2009 with a passion to serve children in crisis as God leads.

Marissa is married, and she and her husband have three children.  They currently live in New Mexico where Marissa’s husband serves as pastor of The First Presbyterian Church.


Denise McCarthy – On-line Training Coordinator:

Denise was born and raised in the Adirondacks of upstate New York. Later in life, Denise, her husband and their three children were called to Dakar, Senegal, to serve at Dakar Academy. In 2008, they opened the country’s first American-run day center for talibé street boys.  Talibé means “disciple of Allah.” As early as age four, these boys are given to a supposed teacher in the faith, are forced to beg for a daily quota and food, and receive no education or care. The day center continues operating with International Baptist Church.

In 2016, they were called back to the U.S. Denise lives in California, with her husband, who serves as the Director of Operations for their church. Their three children are grown now, and they have one grandson.


Francisca Viloria- Latin America Coordinator: Francisca Viloria is the most recent addition to the CCTI team. Francisca was born in Venezuela. She received her doctorate from the University of Reading in the United Kingdom. Francisca began working as a WEC missionary in 2014, where she quickly began training the CCTI material in her home country, as well as many other South American countries. She now resides in the US to continue her work with CCTI. She serves as a trainer and with translating the curriculum resources into Spanish. Francisca has one son.