Our Staff

Grafted Life is staffed by a small and specialized team. We endeavor to model our value for relationship, prayer, discernment, and depth in our daily interactions.

Debbie Swindoll


Debbie loves to recognize how God integrates the different roles in our lives to equip us for ministry.  Growing up in the church, being a wife, mother and grandmother, studying spiritual formation and training as a spiritual director all influence her perspective as she envisions and develops formation resources. “I am privileged to create structures for people that encourage them to come honestly into God’s presence to experience themselves and God in love and truth. That is a truly transforming encounter”.

As the founder of Grafted Life, she envisioned and co-authored 10 studies for the ministry. She currently writes, speaks, and consults on issues of relational theology and spiritual leadership and ministers as a spiritual director. She partners with Curt at their company, Current Strategies, helping Christian leaders integrate best spiritual practices into their work life. She and Curt have been married since 1981 and enjoy their relationships with their adult children and growing grandchildren.

Debbie received her training in Spiritual Formation and Soul Care from Talbot’s Institute for Spiritual Formation at Biola University, completing her degree in 2007. She currently serves as the spiritual formation pastor at Journey Community Church.

debbie at graftedlife dot org

Shelley Hudson

Director of Operations

Shelley serves in this operations role leading the internal team and managing the work to meet the visions and goals of Grafted Life. She delights in encouraging and supporting others as they explore and discover their strengths, talents, and gifts.

She earned her BS in Finance from University of Texas at Dallas in 2011 and has served in various operational & financial roles with corporations over her 35-year career. In 2023, she earned her MA in Spiritual Formation from George Fox University’s Portland Seminary. She is overjoyed to integrate her skills, loves, and talents into this role with Grafted Life.

Shelley is married to John, and has a son, Ryan, a daughter-in-law, Kelsie and a granddaughter, Sadie, born in 2021. She enjoys spending time with family, reading, and spending time outdoors, preferably near a river, a lake, or the ocean. 

shelley at graftedlife dot org

Carolann Duffin

Director of Church Partnerships

Carolann is the Director of Church Partnerships for Grafted Life Ministries. She is responsible for building strong relationships with churches who are seeking to bring formational resources into their communities, as well as assists churches with implementation. Carolann is also responsible for the leader training for those desiring to lead our Life with God formational bible study.

For the first eleven years with Grafted Life Carolann fulfilled the role of ministry administrator, and prior to her work at Grafted Life, she had a wide variety of professional experiences ranging from office operations to all aspects of running her own small business. In addition, she has more than 20 years of experience in area of chemical dependency and recovery ministries for families affected by addiction.

In the summer of 2010 she and her family relocated to the Dallas area. Carolann has been married to Michael since 1981, has two sons; Noah and Alexi, a lovely daughter-in-law Jamie, a beautiful granddaugher Lily Sofia born in 2023, and 2 step children; Michael and Steven.

carolann at graftedlife dot org

Cecil Linke

Pastor Liaison

Cecil has always had a passion for the local church. Years of frustration around the standard "growth" models adopted by many churches, along with an interest in the writings of Dallas Willard, Richard Foster, Debbie Swindoll and others, he desires to focus on helping pastors bring formation to the forefront of local church ministry.

Cecil has his BS degree from Texas Tech and his ThM from Dallas Theological Seminary. For over 27 years, he has been in full-time vocational ministry in the north Dallas area serving in multiple churches and roles. He currently serves as lead pastor of Journey Community Church in Allen, a church he and his wife planted.

cecil at graftedlife dot org

Kelly Arabie

Director of Communications and Marketing

Kelly is engaged in supporting the ESDA community and overseeing Grafted Life's communications and events. 

A Louisiana native, Kelly relocated to the DFW area to attend Dallas Theological Seminary in the late 1990's. She graduated with an MA in Christian Education with a focus on ministry to women. Kelly has served in pastoral ministry in the local church and parachurch ministry for more than two decades.

Kelly enjoys writing, care for the soul, honest heart conversations and a hot cup of tea. She lives with her husband Tre and their two teens in the Dallas area. 

kelly at graftedlife dot org

Melissa Osigian

ESDA Administrative Assistant

Melissa supports ESDA with her administrative gifts. She is responsible for processing spiritual director and student member applications and renewals.

With a background in accounting, Melissa cares about the details but also cares about listening to a person’s heart. Her desire is to deeply love God and others in beautiful and purposeful ways.

Melissa lives with her husband, Pat, in the Dallas area and has two adult children, Madeline and Patrick. Melissa enjoys time with her family, walks with friends, and matcha lattes.

melissa at graftedlife dot org

Mike Bowden

Soul Care Facilitator

Mike ministers through Grafted Life as an event host and on-site pastor. He serves ESDA in ways that are particular to Spiritual Directors working within the Evangelical world. Mike sees Spiritual Direction as a vital gift to the Evangelical church of today.

Mike’s “day job” is Spiritual Care Facilitator for TEAM (The Evangelical Alliance Mission). In this role he serves as a Spiritual Director and Retreat leader as a means of “Soul Care” for missionaries around the world. Prior to this he served for 17 years as a missionary in the Czech Republic with his wife Sonja and their two daughters.

Mike received his training in spiritual direction from North Park Seminary in Chicago and lives with his family in Southwest Michigan.

mike at graftedlife dot org

Curt Swindoll

Chairman and Executive Counsel

Curt serves as Chairman and Executive Counsel for Grafted Life, which he co-founded with Debbie in 2010. He consults with Christian-led businesses and nonprofit organizations, helping them integrate effective spiritual practices alongside best business practices.

Curt’s career has spanned C-level roles and consulting work through three different agencies. He currently leads Current Strategies where he works as a Professional EOS Implementer.

In 2000, Curt earned his MBA from Pepperdine University. He taught for several years as an adjunct professor in BIOLA University's Masters in Organizational Leadership program on nonprofit leadership and management issues. He regularly speaks and writes on the unique challenges facing Christian leaders.

curt at graftedlife dot org