OnLine SBS Leadership

Who we are

Below is a little information about our staff
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SBS staff

Phil Leage

online sbs director

Having worked with Youth With A Mission’s (YWAM) unique School of Biblical Studies (SBS) for three decades, it has long been my desire to make this dynamic course accessible to those that are not able to attend the regular residential school, and especially to make this course available to the wider body of Christ.

A little about me!
My name is Philip Leage, but I go by Phil most of the time. I am British, but having lived in a few different countries and on a YWAM base for a long time I have a rather mixed accent. I left school to train as a motor mechanic, doing this for 13 years in all, but convinced that this was not what God had called me to long term. What that was I did not know, so I continued in the garage, and was very involved in my local church.

It was not until 1982 that I felt God release me from fixing cars to join YWAM, which I did by doing a SOE in Lausanne Switzerland January 1983 (I still have to do a DTS but lets keep that quiet!). When I arrived and looked at the weekly curriculum, I noticed to my dismay that the third to last week was titled ‘Bible Study’. ‘Oh no’ I though, not a whole week on Bible study, we all know how boring this is going to be! Well, it was that week that actually set the course of my life.

We had the privilege of having Dr Earl Morey teach. He spoke on Philemon and Ephesians, and it took just the first hour of lecture for me to realize that he was talking about a kind of Bible study that I did not know existed.

Knowing that I was called to teach the Bible, and hearing about the School of Biblical Studies, I had a strong desire to do this school. But the only place that the school was offered was Hawaii. The same time I was doing my SOE, the second ever SBS was in its second term. To cut a long and wonderful story short, that September, I found myself in Hawaii under the leadership of Ron and Judy Smith as a student of their third school.

During that year, I came to understand that this school was something God was calling me to long term. I did not know then how long term it was going to be, that twenty seven years later I would still be involved with the school! As I was studying in Hawaii, the leaders of YWAM England were purchasing the YWAM base The King’s Lodge to enable them to offer further training in the nation, and I was invited to pioneer the SBS there.

I have led many SBS schools, trained staff and leaders for the SBS and BCC, and pioneered the Biblical Teaching and Preaching School as well as working with Jennifer Cuthbertson to launch the SBS Distance Learning Course which become the forerunner of this Online course. I am now involved in one of my most exciting ventures, taking the SBS into the virtual world.

I am married to Linda, an American who has graciously adopted the British culture and ways, well mostly, and two children, Elisa and Jonathan.

Let me introduce you to our Centre Leaders for our English courses. Tom and Deb lead the North America Center, Chris leads our course in the Republic of India and Paula and Joy the rest of the world! I’m sure you will get to know your leaders well. I know they are eager to help you as you embark on this wonderful journey.

Centre Leaders

Deb and Tom, We are natives of Wisconsin in the U.S.A. and parents of 4 sons, 3 daughter-in-laws, and 5 grandchildren. We have been on staff with YWAM Lakeside, Montana for almost 25 years where we have served in various capacities.

sbs staff america


North America
Deb also served full time at YWAM Lakeside, Montana. She served for 4 years as the Kitchen manager, and then the Lord moved her into the Performing Arts – Theatre Dept. She served in the Theatre Dept. at YWAM Lakeside for 14 years, where she led the Foundations of Theatre Production School. Deb has also staffed on the Northwest Ballet for 20 years as their Stage Manager and Lighting Designer.

Deb was a student in the SBS Distance Learning Course, where she completed the New Testament in the summer of 2000. In 2007 she took a sabbatical where she completed her SBS studies and also Titus Project, which is an outreach for SBS graduates at YWAM Lakeside. Deb then felt the Lord leading her into staffing the SBS in Lakeside, where she staffed for 7 years.

During that time she was also a staff member for the Online SBS. In the summer of 2015 she was released by the leadership of YWAM Lakeside to be full time staff for the Online SBS, and she and Tom are now serving in that capacity. Deb’s strengths lie in the area of team building, pioneering new ministry, and teaching.

sbs staff america


North America
Tom served as the head of Facilities, the head of Accounting, the head of IT, and the Operations Director prior to his taking a Sabbatical and becoming a student in SBS. While a student he heard clearly from the Lord not to go back to what he had been doing but to join the SBS staff.

Tom staffed the SBS in Lakeside Montana for 6 years, then Sean Ellis, the SBS director in Lakeside, asked Tom to be the next SBS school leader, as Sean was moving into working with SBS International.

Tom was the SBS school leader in Lakeside for 7 years before he felt led to move into the Online SBS world. He is a gifted teacher, programmer and administrator as well as having a strong pastoral call.

SBS india


My name is J. D. Christopher and I was born and brought up in Tamil Nadu, South India. I was trained as a middle school teacher but God called me Missions.

I completed my SBS in 2000 and then I joined SBS staff. From 2005 my wife and I have led SBS in Mysuru. Since 2013 I have been working with the Online SBS, coordinating the work in this part of the World. I’m also part of “MoBible” team, which moves around to preach and teach the Word of God. My desire is to see the Word of God continue to transform the nation (India).

The Online SBS is a great opportunity to spread His Word in every arena of society and see His righteousness, peace, joy & hope in India & beyond…

sbs staff


Rest of the World
My name is Paula Tamaki (formerly Spencer) and I was born in Yorkshire, England, although I have lived my adult years in many different places while in ministry with Youth With A Mission.

Those other places include Japan where I did my DTS and then staffed in 1988-9, moving into church-planting there for about 3 years and later on leading SBSCC and various other base ministries in Tokyo. In Singapore I was an SBS Student, and then staff in 1991-93, and later on I served in Scotland (YWAM staff 1995-1999), and short term in London as SBS-related courses staff; and also Perth, Australia, staffing SBSCC.

Since 2009, after a year of being settled back in my native UK, I took on the role of e-SBS Course Leader, which I love and enjoy! What a pleasure to be able to fellowship and interact with people from literally all over the world from my own home! (Being a home-schooling mother of two boys, this is also very practical!!) What a joy to serve the online community using the amazing advantages of technology for the Kingdom of God!!

My prayer is that you as part of this online community will feel a significant part in this global family and body of believers, and know that your own participation in it is necessary, valued and appreciated as we learn from one another and grow together in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.



Rest of the World
I have been involved with YWAM for many years, included working with YWAM Stockholm where I’m located. I did my SBS way back in 1998 in Montana, USA.

I have been working with the online SBS since 2010 and love having students from all over the world! I’m so honored to get to work with such wonderful online SBS staff and to help our students who are involved in a variety of ministries around the world.

I’m married to a wonderful Swedish man and we have three children (2 girls and a boy). I enjoy traveling and getting to teach in different SBSs. I also love to run in half marathons and enjoy reading.